July 9, 2012
Are open educational resources the key to global economic growth?
The Guardian, July 8, 2012.
Here's the argument, in a nutshell: "there is mounting evidence that learners can be trained more quickly using OER... this means that OERs can be used to create a better trained, more flexible global workforce for the 21st century." All other things being equal, I think the argument is successful. I have in the past talked about the load societies carry, and of how responsible social policies have the effect of lightening this load. But not all other things are equal. Educating the bulk of society means a shift in power and wealth, one that those who currently own all the power and wealth do not support. As we have seen since 2008 (and currently in Europe) they will leave scorched earth behind, rather than give up their privilege. So in implementing OERs and open education generally we need to be cognizant of the social changes that will be needed in order to support the changes in education.
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, European Union]
Open Letter to Canadian Universities
elearnspace, July 8, 2012.
George Siemens fires an open letter at Canadian universities. "Canadian universities are squandering an opportunity to reply meaningfully to Coursera and EDx. I’m aware of at least two major Canadian universities that are negotiating to join Coursera. Why give not develop your own? Why not create an active experiment in a Canadian context that allows you to build your understanding of emerging learning models?" Fair enough, but I think it's rather hopeful to expect change to come out of the university system. But hey, should they change their minds and actually fund an initiative, I would be happy to work on that initiative (nay, to lead it! why be modest?) and develop a truly Canadian approach based on gRSShopper and a PLE and a connectivist model of MOOC.
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Connectivism, RSS, Canada]
The Dangers of Being Smart
Big Think, July 8, 2012.
The point of this post is that "being smarter does not make you better at transcending unjustified views
and bad beliefs, all of which naturally then play into your life." But it sounds to me like they need to revisit their definition of "smarter". Because a part of being smart just is the reflective re-examination of one's own beliefs, reliance on the evidence, and consideration of alternative points of view. And what makes a person smart is that they do this better." Big Think this week has some related posts, including a 'rationality quiz' that tests your knowledge of some basic principles of probability, and an article on the 'lost aret' of thinking before you act, which reads to me like yet another occasion to defend capitalists and attack Occupy (*yawn*).
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Assessment]
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