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by Stephen Downes
January 1, 2010

Year End Notes
Terry Anderson catches up on some items, including a new journal and an online conference. I didn't cover the journal here because (unlike in education) because it requires people to register before they can view the contents. Why would they need this? We know why - it's because advertisers demand it. Is a journal that collects email addresses 'open'? On some definitions, maybe - but my policy here is that, if the link doesn't take you straight to the article, if it takes you to some barrier, like a subscription wall, it's not open.). Terry Anderson, Virtual Canuck, January 1, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

A radical definition of Open Education
"If Open Education is to mean anything, it has to address the question of social divisions including class, gender and race," writes Graham Attwell. Which is why I have always taken pains o point out that the best predictor of achievement in education is social and economic status. Attwell continues, "I am unconvinced this can be done from inside the existing educational institutions, although of course is will need the support of those working in those organisations." Which is why, when asked, I have consistently stated that I expect change in education to originate outside these institutions. And that, perhaps is my major argument against people whop want to create change from within the system: why is it, I wonder, that they want to protect and preserve the system? Graham Atwell, Pontydysgu, January 1, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

Predictions for 2010
Bubblegum edupunk, consulting cartels, and the arrival of the big touch - great predictions for 2010. This prediction in particular is very interesting: "Consulting Cartels will continue to be the vocal and visible agents of change within small networks – sharing quality ideas and information, but remaining price-distant from ordinary teachers in public education. Scale and reach will remain their biggest challenge - and a potential risk exists that they may be widening the equity gap not closing it." Dean Groom, Design 4 Learning, January 1, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

As Honor Students Multiply, Who Really Is One?
A story like this strikes me as mean-spirited. The gist is there is this school that has too many honor societies, membership in which is supposed to be exclusive. It has attracted the attention of the educational lobby groups. "This cheapens the currency," "said Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a nonprofit educational policy group in Washington. "Once everyone's wearing rhinestones, you might not notice someone wearing diamonds." The idea that some club designed to recognize achievement must inherently be exclusive seems wrongheaded to me. Achievement is not a property of the elite; it is a property of the empowered. Winnie Hu, New York Times, January 1, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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