I work in the Learning and Performance Support Systems program at the National Research Council, a multi-year effort to develop personal learning technology and learning analytics. I am one of the originators of the Massive Open Online Course, write about online and networked learning, have authored learning management and content syndication software, and am the author of the widely read e-learning newsletter OLDaily.


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Cengage OpenNow: Big news on the OER front hiding in plain sight


Phil Hill offers "ome historical context showing the interplay of the OER movement and changing strategies from the big textbook publishers." basically the article argues that the need for, and movement toward, OER by the big publishers has been apparent for a number of years. People in the LMS space will equally recall having been urged over the last few years to embrace OERs. So I think that, yes, open education resources (OER) are becoming mainstream. Now we need to ensure that they remain that way, as it's very tempting for publishers to wrap them with commercial applications and hide them from wider access again.

Today: 62 Total: 273 Phil Hill, e-Literate, 2017/11/17 [Direct Link]

Hack Education Weekly News


Watch something long enough and you see the patterns. Just so with Audrey Watters and tech headlines. From her newsletter today: "There’s often a pattern to the education news – or at least, to the stories that get shouted the loudest and spread the widest in any given week. Via The 74: 'Report: 30 Million Well-Paying Jobs, Mostly in the West and South, Exist for Workers Without Bachelor’s Degrees.' 'You Can Get a Good Job Without a Bachelor’s Degree,' Bloomberg insists. You just need the right training apparently. Via Education Week: 'Betsy DeVos: Stop ‘Forcing’ Four-Year Degrees as Only Pathway to Success.' '“Trade school, not 4-year college, is a better bet to solve the US income gap, researchers say.'" Yep. That's our media at work.

Today: 107 Total: 371 Audrey Watters, Hack Education, 2017/11/17 [Direct Link]

3 Myths About “Empowering” Students in Schools Today


I've used the terms 'personal and 'personalized' learning to stand for what Yong Zhao is credited with calling 'personalized' and 'individualized' learning. No matter the terminology, the concept is key. What you want is "having students go through their own paths to whatever endpoint they desire.  How you take the path and where you end up is totally dependent upon the strengths and interests of the learner." I find a lot of educators say "I agree with this, but..." and then insert some condition where they assert control. Even George Couros inserts "creating a difference for myself and/or others" into his definition of "empowered" in this post. No. Being empowered means being able to work on something even if you don't think it creates no difference at all (I have a ton of projects like that!). If you want people to define their own future, then it's not "empowered (with conditions)". It's simply "empowered".

Today: 58 Total: 265 George Couros, 2017/11/17 [Direct Link]

Managers Can Support—Not Create—Social Learning Communities


I am asked fairly frequently how we can create learning communities and this response is the one I invariably give: you have to work with the communities that are already there and support them, rather than think you can create something from scratch. Communities are voluntary; you can't foce people to become a part of one. As Pamela Hogle writes, "Social learning on its own does not create community, but it is one of the elements that can contribute to communities forming. However, it cannot be forced; the social learning can, should, and generally does develop organically."

Today: 94 Total: 327 Pamela Hogle, Learning Solutions, 2017/11/17 [Direct Link]

W3C Strategic Highlights


I don't think there's anything particularly surprising in this strategy document released by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) but it's good to see the highlights assembled in one place. Some key initiatives include the "Web Platform Testing effort to create a comprehensive cross-browser test suite for the majority of the Web platform" as well as social network specifications; "ActivityPub and WebSub are near completion and will enable greater decentralization of social-networking applications."

Today: 64 Total: 251 World Wide Web Consortium, 2017/11/17 [Direct Link]

The “Third World” Is Not Your Classroom


This is an interesting and well-written article discussing the interactuon between young American university students and the developing world (though of course the observations apply more broadly). The thesis is that when these students come to 'help', they bring with them their own expectations, culture and epistemology, and are often, first, shock, and second, less than helpful. What is required, writes the author, is a clear setting of expectations by the organizers, and greater humility on the part of the students. It's an old message, but it's a good reminder for everyone (including me). Be sure to read the comments; there's a lot more good stuff in there and a minimum of trolling.

Today: 37 Total: 234 Courtney Martin, Bright, Medium, 2017/11/17 [Direct Link]

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Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.