OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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October 12, 2011

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BYOD – Worst Idea of the 21st Century?
Gary Stager, Stager-to-go, October 12, 2011.

Gary Stager - who is becoming the David Noble of the 2010s - pens a strongly worded editorial calling 'Bring Your Own Device' (BYOD) "the worst idea of the 21st century" because it aggravates inequality, causes teacher anxiety, and narrows the learning process. "It is miseducative to make important educational decisions based on price," he writes. I think he misunderstands the nature of personal devices - first of all, and most importantly, that they are personal, and secondly, that a pocket-sized device sold for the price of a single textbook carries more computing power than the average school-supplied computer purchased five years ago. Audrey Watters responds to Stager in Michael Feldstein's e-Literate blog: "I’m hopeful BYOD can help challenge some of the vendor lock-in with software that, say, only works on Windows, or only works on iPads. I hope this is something that will drive schools to the Web versus native apps."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Microsoft, Books, Web Logs, Online Learning]

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A Lesson from Football
Doug Peterson, doug – off the record, October 12, 2011.

Doug Peterson comes so close to drawing the right lesson from this incident, but I'm afraid he misses it. He writes, "the biggest takeaway from this situation is the encouragement to all to proofread and predict the consequences, both in the short term and the long term, of a comment or a post before submitting it." No. The biggest takeaway is this: when you speak, write or perform before a crowd, no matter how large or small, your real personality - the 'real you' - will eventually come out, no matter how carefully you prepare or edit your content. So make sure your real personality is not something you're going to be ashamed of, because there's no disclaimer or retraction that's going to make it right again.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Thomson Corporation, Personalization]

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In, Against, and Beyond The University: for the courage of boundary-less toil
Richard Hall, DMU Learning Exchanges, October 12, 2011.

"It isn't for the moment that you are struck that you need courage, but for the long uphill climb back to sanity and faith and security." Anne Morrow Lindbergh. A nice turn of phrase. A good lead-in that challenges professors to question their role as complicit in the domination of the wealthy over the rest of us (at least, that's how I'm reading it). "In the mass of protests that form a politics of events against austerity, academics might consider their participatory traditions and positions, and how they actively contribute to the dissolution of their expertise as a commodity, in order to support other socially-constructed forms of production."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Security Issues, Academia]

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Open market teachers
Doug Johnson, The Blue Skunk Blog, October 12, 2011.

I guess my only comment here is that the formula above is brought to you by the same people who brought you the economy circa 2008-2011.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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Canadian universities must reform or perish
Editorial, Globe and Mail, October 12, 2011.

The Globe and Mail calls for "a Canadian renaissance in undergraduate education," noting that Canada's undergraduate education has weakened and there is an insufficient emphasis on quality. Some parts of the Globe editorial are in dreamland - the bit about having made education "more affordable" in recent years, when exactly the opposite has happened. But this is a laudable objective: "It ought to produce critical thinkers, scientifically and culturally literate people who can assess evidence, connect the dots and communicate with clarity." Whether simply training professors or measuring output will result in this change is questionable. But the editorial is, I think, a symptom of a long-expected loss of patience with the university system as it exists now, and I think that if it doesn't achieve some sort of renaissance, then it will undergo, unwillingly, a reformation.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Canada, Online Learning]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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