Stephen's Web

[Chat] [Discuss] [Search] [Mobile] [About] [Archives] [Options]


by Stephen Downes
March 3, 2010

Another 3D Virtual World Shutting Down
Following Forterra and Metaplace, another 3D environment, There, is shutting its virtual doors. "There has closed registration, billing, and member program upgrades. Also, developer submissions are closed and rental processing will be stopped, so no more rent will be collected for neighborhoods, lots, or There homes. And, all purchases of Therebucks and member program updates... will be refunded in full." If Second Life can survive the downturn, it'll be in a good place. Karl Kapp, Kapp Notes, March 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The OCWC Value Proposition
Open Courseware Consortium president Steve Carson responds to David Wiley's post. Included is a link to the orgqanization's strategic plan Call me jaded, but I don't think Wiley's opinion has changed - he posts the Value Proposition to Members" on his blog without comment (just to put things in perspective - for one year's worth of OCWC's $1 million annual budget I could produce OLDaily indefinitely into the future, until I died, by living off the interest (p.s. anybody willing to give me $1 million to do that should feel free to write)). David Wiley, iterating toward openness, March 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Conclusively proven: video games make aggressive kids
I agree that we can't ever say "conclusively" about such a study, but games do influence attitudes. "But there's no point in being naive about it: experiences and activities influence our views, thoughts, and beliefs (duh). Even the US Army recognizes the value of games in developing skills (mindsets?) of future soldiers." George Siemens, elearnspace, March 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Tuition fees must rise Editorial
The Winnipeg Free Press - never a bastion of enlightenment - is calling for tuition increases. "Manitoba students have had it easy for too long for no real purpose other than political" it argues in an editorial. "Low tuition has not opened the post-secondary doors to low-income families." Maybe not - low-income families have many barriers to face that are not addressed by lower fees. But raising tuition fees surely slams the door on any lower-income students that make it that far. Raising fees entrenches higher education as a bastion of privilege for the wealthier set, and devalues academic merit as the criterion for admission. The newspaper should recommend redressing tuition 'shortfalls' with compensating public funding, and recommend means for lowering additional barriers to low-income students, such as public access to open learning resources so they can benefit, like their wealthier counterparts, from a rich information environment prior to enrolment.

We will see a lot more of this. Newspapers and other media will not hesitate to leap to the defense of the wealthier at the expense of the public. That is why it is a public policy imperative to provide alternative routes to post-secondary education. If we depend on universities, and universities remain a very expensive means of providing an education, then an education will once again become reserved for the wealthy. Such routes must not be means-based - why is why I discourage public-private partnerships. They must allow the person willing to devote the time and effort access to educational resources, counselling and support, peer interaction and mentorship, and evaluation and assessement. Editorial, Winnipeg Free Press, March 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Open Educational Practices and Resources
A major European report on open educational resources recommends the adoption of competency-based learning. "This report emphasises the need to foster open practices of teaching and learning that are informed by a competency-based educational framework." (p.12) I can see the reasoning: OER's enable autonomous learning, but only if learning is evaluated in terms of outcomes, not process. "The learner's autonomy, personal mastery and self-direction must be acknowledged." (p.39) This also opens learning to more providers, something explicitly embraced by the report: policy makers and funding bodies, they write, should "demand public–private partnerships to concentrate on ventures for innovating educational practices and resources." (p.122) I don't see the need for such a linkage. Public money should fund educational activities directly, in support of public policy objectives. Guntram Geser, ed., Open e-Learning Content Observatory Services , March 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

This newsletter is sent only at the request of subscribers. If you would like to unsubscribe, Click here.

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter? Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list. Click here to subscribe.

Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.