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June 7, 2012

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Clive Thompson on 3-D Printing’s Legal Morass
Jeanine Poggi, E.J. Schultz , Wired, June 7, 2012.

This didn't take long - almost as soon as 3D printing was introduced for the masses we are reading about concerns about copyright and the potential for lawsuits. "Observers predict that in a few years we’ll see printers that integrate scanning capability — so your kid can toss in a Warhammer figurine, hit Copy, and get a new one. The machine will become a photocopier of stuff. This has all the makings of an epic and surreal legal battle. You thought Hollywood and record labels were powerful lobbyists, crushing Napster and suing file-sharers? Wait until you see what the manufacturing industry can do."

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What’s the “problem” with MOOCs?
Doug Holton, EdTechDev, June 7, 2012.

There's a lot to munch through in this post. Doug Holton begins by listing criticisms of some recent MOOCs and open online learning initiatives, such as Coursera, Khan Academy, and Curt Bonk's MOOC. He traces the problems in these courses to a lack of instructional design. "Teaching," he writes, "should be treated as a design science, more like engineering than just an art or craft that we all think we can intuitively do well." In response to MOOC "purists" who appeal to connection more than content he argues "Connecting” learners to one another or exposing them to content may often not be sufficient to magically cause learning to happen or to cause significant changes in beliefs and practice." In the same vein, "making content 'open' isn’t sufficient to magically cause learning to happen," he argues. learning needs to be situated in practice, problems or authentic experience, he argues, proposing "MOOLEs (massive open online learning experience) instead of MOOCs." I have personally resisted 'designing' MOOCs because that returns us to a centrally-focused provider-defined model of learning, which (to me) is the opposite of what MOOCs are about.

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Book release: Towards Peer-production in Public Services: cases from Finland
Andrea Botero, Andrew Gryf Paterson and Joanna Saad-Sulonen, eds., Aalto University, June 7, 2012.

We've seen this before: "peer production is a way to produce goods and services that relies on self-organizing communities of individuals who come together to produce a shared outcome, i.e., the production of content by the general public rather than by paid professionals and experts in the field." This book examines the application of peer production for public servcies. The key challenge is the tendency of existing systems to 'crowd out' certain forms of participation; parents, for example, can exercise only temporary and ad hoc roles in public education. This happens whether the service provider isadministered publicly or is contracted from private enterprise. Cooperative service production - or the 'third sector' - emphasizes peer production as the core of servcie provision, with public and private enterprises providing services at the margins.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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