By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Of Few Letters
Miguel Guhlin, Around the Corner-MGuhlin.org, April 23, 2013
Miguel Guhlin points to an essay by William Zinnsser in The American Scholar on the topic of 'men of letters'. It resonates with me in two ways: first, because I achieved the 'Man of Letters' Boy Scout badge after self-publishing 'The Eagle Report', a mimeographed hand-written town newspaper I authored while in grade 5, and the Book of the Month Club (BOMC), which I signed up for with my father around the same time, and through which I was exposed to, among others, Pierre Berton, Farley Mowat, and William L. Shirer. So I understand Zinnsser's lament for the passing of men of letters. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Of Few Letters
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. European MOOCs
Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu.org, April 23, 2013
This is interesting. From Graham Attwell: "Partners in 11 countries have joined forces to launch the first pan-European ‘MOOCs’ (Massive Open Online Courses) initiative, with the support of the European Commission. MOOCs are online university courses which enable people to access quality education without having to leave their homes... Detailed information about the initiative and the courses on offer is available on the portal www.OpenupEd.eu. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. The Organization as a Cycling Peloton
Dan Pontefract, April 23, 2013
The cycling pelaton is a classic example of cooperation (as opposed to everybody's favourite, collaboration). The members of the pelaton do not have a shared objective: each member wants a different person to finish first. Nonetheless, they individuals have a better chance of succeeding if they work with the group - even with a group of competitors - than they would working on their own. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Review of Arts Based Research
Melisa (Misha) Cahnmann-Talor, education review, April 24, 2013
The title of Chapter 1 is: "What is and What is Not Arts Based Research?" At the end of this review, I still do not have the answer to that question. As Cahnmann-Talor writes, "The answers to most questions result in further questioning, where even definitions offered remain filled with ambiguity and openness to interpretation". More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Will MOOC Technology Break the Education Cartel?
Jonathan Nadler, Education Technology Debate, April 24, 2013
Jonathan Nadler writes, "Once flexible and even user-generated learning content embedded in MOOC’s trickles down to a primary school level, and super-capable mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are deployed widely enough to provide ubiquitous access, its really only the process we use to harness them (especially how to keep some strategic face to face time in the mix) that remains to be solved." The "obligatory history lesson" should include a reminder that trickle-down has never worked, and has only ever served to entrench, not unseat, the cartels. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Learning Resource Metadata is Go for Schema
Phil Barker, Phil’s JISC CETIS blog, April 24, 2013
Phil Barker writes, "The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative aimed to help people discover useful learning resources by adding to the schema.org ontology properties to describe educational characteristics of creative works. Well, as of the release of schema draft version 1.0a a couple of weeks ago, the LRMI properties are in the official schema.org ontology." To see how LRMI metadata is used, take a look at this resource, first without the metadata, then with the metadata (you'll have to view soruce to see the metadata embedded in the resource). More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Why c and x MOOCs are attracting different number of participants?
Sui Fai John Mak, Learner Weblog, April 21, 2013
It's a question I'm sure many people have pondered: why do the xMOOCs attract hundreds of thousands of people, while cMOOCs attract far few. Sui Fai John Mak rounds up the reasons:
- branding and affiliation with elite institutions and professors,
- well established courses with rich support on resources and assessment (grading/peer assessment),
- granting of certificates of achievement or statements of attainment (in recognition),
- degrees of difficulties – xMOOCs are much easier compared to cMOOCs,
- perceptions of learners – xMOOCs are based on 1,2,3 above, and 4 – learners – cMOOCs would have to curate resources and create blog posts/join forums,
- assessment. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. 2019 Fosway 9-Grids for Learning Systems and Digital Learning
Fosway Group, 2019/01/30
I'm linking to this mostly for the diagram, since there's a spamwall blocking readers from the actual report (I gave my information so you don't have to). The focus is on the learning systems market for the UK and Europe (including learning managent systems (LMS) and Next Gen Learning Environments (NGLE). The category extends to talent managent system like Cornerstone, but what's most interesting is what's missing completely: Blackboard. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. How Much Artificial Intelligence Should There Be in the Classroom?
Betsy Corcoran, Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge, 2019/01/30
“If our children are educated by AI teachers, then their potential can be fully realized.” So said Squirrel AI co-founder Derek Li at a recent conference in China, according to this article and podcast episode. "Li painted AI as not just some pale substitute, but as ultimately superior to humans when it comes to some aspects of teaching" and "he hopes to provide each child with a super-power AI teacher that is the combination of Einstein and Socrates." Ah, but should he? Regulation is very important in this domain. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Is it possible to decolonize the Commons? An interview with Jane Anderson of Local Contexts
Jennie Rose Halperin, Creative Commons, 2019/01/30
I admit to having mixed feelings about traditional knowledge (TK) lables. These are lables that denote traditional ownership and limitations on the use of indigenous cultural heritage and artifacts. You can view the lables here. I certainly understand the sentiment behind these lables. As the video accompanying the article makes clear, the colonial past has resulted in the appropriation and debasement of traditional knowledge from around the world, transforming it into Disney princesses or hot yoga. At the same time, I am not comfortable with limitations to the concept of public domain and limitations on access and use based on gender. More...