August 17, 2012
Please Note - in my attempt to release a new version of gRSShopper some data files were accidentally included in the distribution package. These data files contained a 2010 backup of www.downes.ca user accounts and passwords as well as some more recent www.mooc.ca accounts that were deleted when the site was relaunched July 29 of this year. User information and passwords from the Change course, the CCK courses, and the LAK course were not released.
According to my server logs and Sourceforge sever logs, the distribution package has been downloaded five times (thankfully, nobody really cares when I release software) so the lists are out there. None of the passwords actually work, as they all originate from a date prior to a recent security upgrade that encrypted all passwords and rendered all existing passwords invalid.
However, if you have used the same password on other websites (which you really should not do!) then you should change the password on these other websites. You don't need to change your downes.ca password but if you want to do it anyways, click here to reset your password.
Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience. I really don't think any harm has resulted, but it's best to be safe. I hope you'll understand that downes.ca and mooc.ca are not commercial entities; they are just what I can code in my spare time, and my efforts are frequently far from perfect.
Riding the MOOC Wave
Inside Higher Ed, August 17, 2012.
"It is certainly naïve," wrote Ellen Wagner in an email, "And opportunistic." She was responding to a query about World Education University, which "will forever alter the landscape of post-secondary education," according to its founder, "by offering free courses online, Hines is now in charge of the personal information of about 50,000 prospective students and more than $1 million in seed funding." We meanwhile are working with 49 cents of funding, a wing, and a prayer. I won't ask for millions in funding (I already did that, and nobody volunteered) but I will wonder out loud how they manage it. Is there some secret society?
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Privacy Issues]
Informal Learning Basics
Website, August 17, 2012.
Saul Carliner has a new book on informal learning, and a Facebook page (which you're supposed to 'like') and a blog to support the book, which is the way things are done these days I guess. This link is to the blog, and as far as I'm concerned, if the book isn't open access online, it is anti-social and doesn't exist.
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Web Logs, Open Access]
What does the "college cost" conversation tell us about the school industry?
Unschooling Rules, August 13, 2012.
It's an old dodge: asking people who were successful in the system to evaluate the merits of the system. When it comes to education, Clark Aldrich argues, the old dodge is alive and well. "We have to increasingly realize that the worst people to evaluate and shape research on schools are, in order:
- Current employees of the education system, or people being indirectly but significantly funded by academic institutions.
- The top 5% beneficiaries of the existing system. (I suspect there is no greater believer in academic Darwinism than President Obama.)
- The people whose skill-sets line up with narrow skills actually taught at schools (such as journalists, who learned the craft of writing)
- PhD's and other people who's status, even identity, correlates with the validity of the current education system."
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Research, Australia, Online Learning, Academia]
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