OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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April 22, 2011

files/images/e-Learning2Bin2BMalaysia.JPG, size: 50461 bytes, type:  image/jpeg
E-Learning Trends and Challenges in Malaysian Higher Education Institutions
Zaid Ali Alsagoff, ZaidLearn, April 22, 2011.

Zaid Ali Alsagoff introduces us to Malaysia Education Online. "Malaysia Education Online (MEdO) is part of the Malaysia Government Transformation Plan (GTP) to expand international distance learning. MEdO is an online learning platform delivering education programmes from Malaysian universities, colleges, polytechnics and training institutes. It is the gateway for them to extend their global outreach whilst each participating institution is able to maintain its identity and uniqueness (more)."

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The BO.LT Page Sharing Service and OERs
Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus, April 22, 2011.

files/images/bolt-ukwebfocus-blog.pngw150h96, size: 18640 bytes, type:   Brian Kelly links to a TechCrunch article on the bo.lt page editing service. Bo.lt, "as the TechCrunch article announced 'lets you copy, edit and share any page. As the first comment to the article put it: I can just see it…this will make it easier for 1) people to create fake bank statements, 2) awesome mocking of news headlines, 3) derivative web designs.'" Well, yeah, but as Kelly notes, "Might a service such as Bo.lt have a role to play in enabling such resources to be reused,I wonder? Will Bo.lt turn out to be a threat to our institutions (allowing, for examples, disgruntled students unhappy at having to pay £9,000 to go to University to create parodies of corporate Web pages) or a useful tool to allow learners to be creative without having to master complex authoring tools?" With luck, both.

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Ten things Computer Science tells us about bureaucrats
Daniel Lemire, Weblog, April 22, 2011.

This is funny - and the first example I have seen of humour that combines computer science with bureaucracy. For example, "Parallel computing is hard. You may think that splitting the work between ten bureaucrats would make it go ten times faster, but you are lucky if it goes faster at all." And nine more.

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Review of Cross-Country Evidence on Teacher Performance
Matthias von Davier, National Education Policy Center, April 22, 2011.

files/images/ednext_20112_Woessmann_open.jpg, size: 102107 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Ludger Woessmann has made a name for himself by reinterpreting PISA studies and reaching conclusions friendly to a certain political perspective on education. In 2004 he argued that PISA shows that computers harmed educational outcomes, small class sizes have no impact on educational outcome, private schools have a positive impact, and so do standardized exams. Which is ridiculous, and I analyzed his study to explain exactly why. With the latest PISA study comes another Woessmann analysis (summary) and another set of corporate reform-friendly conclusions, this time to the effect that is that nations "that pay teachers on their performance score higher on PISA tests." Matthias von Davier's review of Woessmann's study reaches the unsurprising (in my opinion) conclusion that "drawing policy conclusions about teacher performance pay on the basis of this analysis is not warranted."

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World Bank Group Education Strategy
Sir John Daniel, Commonwealth of Learning, April 21, 2011.

JohnDaniel argues that the World Bank's global education policy is converging with the Commonwealth of Learning's strategy. He points to several indicators, which I quote:
- the WB has called its new strategy Learning for All, which resonates nicely with Learning for Development, the title of COL's current plan;
- it has recognised that the 'youth bulge', a.k.a. the 'secondary surge' is now a major challenge;
- it makes a more ringing endorsement of technology than we have seen from the WB previously;
- the objective 'learning for all: beyond schooling' resonates well with what we found at a recent meeting of COL's Focal Points in the Caribbean;
- the WB states that 'second chance and informal learning opportunities are thus essential to ensure that all youth can acquire skills for the labour market'; and
- it is encouraging to see the notion of 'education systems' coming through strongly in the WB's discourse.
Well, post hoc and all that, and while nobody lets me come even close to the boardrooms, it's worth noting that all these resemble the approach to learning we have advocated here for many years

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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