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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Autopsy of a Failed Holacracy: Lessons in Justice, Equity, and Self-Management


Here is an article highlighted by Wendy Wickham directly relevant to the Engagement in a Time of Polarization MOOC I am currently taking (it's a subscription article but I have six free views left, so...). Wickham writes, "The assumption behind any change model is 'I can change you.'  Training = 'I can change you.' Organizational culture initiatives = 'I can change you.' Management = 'I can change you.' No wonder projects fail and people are resentful." Also: " The same people who tend to go after power will be the same people who have power in this structure.  There is nothing inherently in the structure (or in any structure) that equalizes how people experience power in its various forms."

Today: 141 Total: 141 Simon Mont, NonProfit Quarterly, 2018/02/20 [Direct Link]

Bad News: the game researchers hope will 'vaccinate' public against fake news

This is an interesting idea. "Cambridge researchers have built an online game, simply titled Bad News, in which players compete to become 'a disinformation and fake news tycoon'. By shedding light on the shady practices, they hope the game will 'vaccinate' the public, and make people immune to the spread of untruths." As with all games, the lessons being taught are hidden in the game design, and thus hard to observe and assess, but assuming a benign and competent design, this format can be effective.

Today: 122 Total: 122 Ian Sample, The Guardian, 2018/02/20 [Direct Link]

McGraw-Hill Education Launches Textbook and E-Book Rental Program


Considering that you can only rent e-books as it is, it's hard to see what the big draw is here. The article suggests " College students may be able to save as much as 70 percent off their textbooks" but I'm sure few will ever see that level of savings. From where I sit this seems like a cynical effort to kill the used textbook market in order to eliminate the expense of creating new editions every year. Of course, the effort is sure to be successful: " McGraw-Hill Education currently has distribution agreements with Barnes & Noble Education, through its Barnes & Noble College and MBS Textbook Exchange subsidiaries, and Chegg." That means students will be stuck using this service, even when  it costs them more.

Today: 121 Total: 121 Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology, 2018/02/20 [Direct Link]

Google Condemns the Archival Web


Doc Searls writes, "The archival Web—the one you see through the protocol HTTP—will soon be condemned, cordoned off behind Google's police tape, labeled "insecure" on every current Chrome browser... Every legacy website, nearly all of which were created with no malice, commit no fraud and distribute no malware, will become haunted houses: still there, but too scary for most people to visit." It's a problem for me because getting a certificate is neither simple nor cheap. "As Dave put it way back here, the costs are prohibitive—in time, money, hassle and all the rest." As I said in 2004, this is the 'high bar' attack on open content. The answer - for me, at least - is the free service Let's Encrypt - but I'll need the wildcard certificates, because I have a lot of different domains.

Today: 112 Total: 112 Doc Searls, dsearls, 2018/02/20 [Direct Link]

I have forgotten how to read


I thought at first the author was describing some rare mental condition involving Broca's area but all he is saying is that he reads differently now. "Online life makes me into a different kind of reader – a cynical one. I scrounge, now, for the useful fact; I zero in on the shareable link. My attention – and thus my experience – fractures." I'm sure people listened to the chanting monks differently after they were able to read the printed word for themselves. I'm sure I see cityscapes and scenic vistas now that I regard them with the photographer's eye. Michael Harris sees this as a bad thing. "We have digested our devices; they can numb us, now, to the pleasure of patience." My own view is different: I have a richer, deeper, multifaceted experience.

Today: 112 Total: 112 Michael Harris, Globe and Mail, 2018/02/20 [Direct Link]

Wikispaces is Closing - Here Are Some Alternatives


It's sad to read this. On the Wikispaces blog the developers write, "it has become apparent that the required investment to bring the infrastructure and code in line with modern standards is very substantial." Modern standards would include everything from security to accessibility to APIs and cloud services. There are instructions for downloading your content. The company, Tes, continues to exist, offering a marketplace of (it says) 775K educational resources, most of which seem to be offered for a few dollars (presumably this is more profitable than Wikispaces).

Today: 177 Total: 177 Richard Byrne, Free Technology for Teachers, 2018/02/20 [Direct Link]

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