Stephen's Web

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


by Stephen Downes
June 11, 2010

Willetts floats idea of separating teaching and examining
You have to consider the source, but this proposal to separate teaching and assessment is the thin edge of the wedge. David Willetts, the UK's new Universities Minister, floated the idea, saying, "It has generally been assumed that any home-grown institution offering higher education must award its own degrees. But I am interested in looking at whether some institutions could benefit from linking themselves to an established exam brand with global recognition." I have been expecting such a proposal for a long time, and have long suggested that, when adopted, it will precipitate a crisis in the higher education sector. Simon Baker, Times Higher Education, June 11, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

MCPS, Pearson, and Missing an Opportunity
David Wiley is on point with his criticism of a public school division's sale of its curriculum to a publisher. "Montgomery County Public Schools' shortsighted decision to sell its nationally recognized and taxpayer-funded curriculum to an education publishing company (Re: Global firm to pay Montgomery, Md., schools millions for elementary curriculum; June 9, 2010) will only further exacerbate the education budget crises in the region and throughout the nation." David Wiley, iterating toward openness, June 11, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Cloud Computing and the Power to Choose
Feature article describing types of cloud computing services, advantages of cloud computing, discussion of future trends, and examples of cloud computing in action. "Many CIOs do indeed view the cloud as a key strategy for the future," write the authors, "a strategy that will enable them to add greater value to their institution at a more strategic level, rather than constantly focusing on keeping the lights running." Still - I keep in mind a post I read today describing how UC Davis will not be using cloud computing to outsource email, because of privacy and security considerations. Rob Bristow, Ted Dodds, Richard Northam, and Leo Plugge, EDUCAUSE Review, June 11, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Top-Ten IT Issues, 2010
The current EDUCAUSE Review summarizes the top 10 IT issues, as revealed by its current issues survey. Here they are:
1. Funding IT
2. Administrative/ERP/Information Systems
3. Security
4. Teaching and Learning with Technology
5. Identity/Access Management
6. (tie). Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity
6. (tie). Governance, Organization, and Leadership
7. Agility, Adaptability, and Responsiveness
8. Learning Management Systems
9. Strategic Planning
10. Infrastructure/Cyberinfrastructure
Bret L. Ingerman and Catherine Yang, EDUCAUSE Review, June 11, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Economic Analyses and Useful Idiots
Anya Kamenetz responds to criticisms "from the left" that her argument is "too rooted in economics". Of course, being rooted in economics isn't what the critics are concerned about at all - rather, it's that "the rhetoric behind privatizing education, i.e., efficiency, reduced costs, and curricular freedom, will ultimately accelerate the decline of higher ed into a series of feeding lots for the private sector job market." One wonders whether Kamenetz's defenses of her book, and the text that was actually (carefully screened, vetted and published by a publishing company) are drifting further and further apart. Anya Kamenetz, DIYU, June 11, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Towards the networked school....

Interesting diagram. Of course, from inside the institution the process is thought of as the upper part expanding to fill the bottom part - so, for example, the intranet (with a single login, closed network, etc) becomes the whole of the knowledge network. And those looking at it from the perspective of the bottom see the properties of the open internet infusing the classroom and intranet. Derek Wenmoth, Derek's Blog, June 11, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

EDUPUNK or, on becoming a useful idiot
The bava discusses the repurposing of edupunk to service the machine. "I love how the dismissal of women's studies, religious studies, and by extension philosophy, english, art history, fine arts, music, theater, and on and on, brings into sharp focus what the neo-liberal vision of an unregulated, free market education might look like: service training for the new de-humanized economy (The Wire, anyone?). What we are seeing is the gentrification of higher ed as an impulse to razing public education though the liberatory rhetoric of innovation and efficiency-only to have the process devoured by the wolves of the free market.

"Reynolds understands the 'edpunks' as the useful idiots who very well may help bring the public education system down, and that's all part and parcel of the framing of EDUPUNKS as the romanticized destroyer-or necessary idiots-who pave the way for the eduprenuers, the ultimate heroes of Kamenetz story. It's a tough narrative for me to swallow, and I don't need to read the book to follow it's arc. But when organizations like NCAT get framed as a solution in terms of efficiency at warehousing their services like box stores, you know the solutions aren't going to end well.

"Last I checked that's really not what EDUPUNK was all about, but I don't write books, so you're gonna have to take my word on this." Jim Groom, bavatuesdays, June 11, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Aviary Tools - WOW
At Muguel Guhlin's recommendation, I spent some time playing at 'a href="">Aviary, and was duly impressed. Aviary is a suite of audio and image editing tools that run in your browser. The tools are easy to use, but sophisticated - that's why there are separate vector, image, and effects tools, as well as a music maker, audio editor, and screen capture. Miguel Guhlin, Around the Corner, June 11, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

High school students face hard lesson in economics
The crisis in education is in full swing, with mass teacher layoffs and reductions in service. "Mass layoffs of teachers, counselors and other staff members - caused in part by the drying up of federal stimulus dollars - are leading to larger classes and reductions in everything that is not a core subject, including music, art, clubs, sports and other after-school activities." Time is running out to craft an alternative system. One reformers realize that attacking the unions has done nothing to improve the system, they will begin to take the rest of it apart, or perhaps simply turn it over to WalMart. Associated Press, Google News, June 11, 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.