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January 8, 2013

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Introduction to Openness in Education, the 2013 Edition
David Wiley, iterating toward openness, January 8, 2013.

I'm not sure whether to call it a MOOC or an open course or what, but readers will be interested to know of the launch of David Wiley's latest iteration of "Introduction to Openness in Education", a staple since 2007. "The course is currently “full” in the Canvas Network. International interest looks strong (Go Iceland! Go Seychelles!)... However, since most of the course action really occurs on your blog, twitter, youtube, and delicious accounts (this is important: read why), you can still participate fully in the course even though you can’t register in Canvas. Just add your name and blog post to the same Google Form course participants are using, and you’ll get aggregated in the course RSS feed just like everyone else." One wonders, why use Canvas then? If there's an upper limit, that would seem to me to be broken.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Web Logs, Google, RSS]

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Virtual Tours of Online Communities as Learning Journeys
Nancy White, Full Circle Associates, January 8, 2013.

Way back in the early days of the web, there was this thing called a 'web tour'. It stemmed from the idea that while a website would typically be an ordered liust of pages, a 'tour' could offer readers an alternative route through the pages or a subset of the pages. Later, the idea if a 'web tour' migrated to synchronous online sessions, where a session leader might lead participants through a series of sites. Today we can think of a 'tour' as any presentation of a series of web sites, pages or resources. So, through the mechanism of a 'tour', we might conduct a 'virtual tour' of a city, by viewing graphics, videos or animations, or equally, a tour of some subject, like bagels of Scientology. In this post, Nancy White sets up the concept of a virtual tour of online communities, setting up the planning and conduct of the tour. See also the (much more substantial) follow-up post, vitural tours of online communities as learning journeys.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video, Online Learning Communities]

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The Top 20 Most Popular LMS Software Solutions
Unattributed, Capterra, January 8, 2013.

I'm not sure how much credence I would give this graph, but in overview it seems accurate enough. Capterra writes, "Below is a look the most popular options as measured by a combination of their total number of customers, active users, and online presence. In order to see a comprehensive list, please visit our LMS Software Directory."

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Growth for Online Learning
Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, January 8, 2013.

Online learning has yet to show a plateau, according to the 2012 iteration of the Babson Survey Research Group's annual Survey of Online Learning. According to the study, more than 30 percent of all enrollments were in online classes (see diagram, above). The same survey reviews attitudes regading MOOCs, generally displaying divided opinions. "A small fraction (2.6 percent) of the roughly 2,500 responding colleges said they currently have massive open courses, and another 9.4 percent said they are planning one." (p.s. the term MOOC was not coined by Dave Barwick, no matter what the report says - as is widely known, it was coined by Bryan Alexander and Dave Cormier in 2008 to describe CCK08).

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

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Outlook for online learning in 2013: online learning comes of age
Tony Bates, Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, January 7, 2013.

As promised, Tony Bates has tallied a number of predictions for 2013 and beyond, each with probabilities attached. Some of them are vague and probably ("online learning starts to become a core activity", "hybrid learning... which I mean the re-design of courses to integrate the best of online and campus-based teaching"), some of them are unsuprising ("the evolution of MOOCs: the trough of disillusionment") and some of them are pretty niche ("online learning increasingly appearing as strategic initiatives within institutional plans"). I think the more significant predictions concern outsourcing ("some institutions outsourcing all or a significant part of their online learning activities to organizations such as Academic Partnerships, Pearson or its subsidiaries, or 2U") and open textbooks.

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A Cost Analysis of the Open Course Library
Nicole Allen, Student PIRGs, January 6, 2013.

Reporting showing that the use of open course materials would save students in Washington state Community and Technical Colleges $1.26 million during the 2011-2012 school year. "This alone is greater than the $1.18 million cost of producing the courses." People keep talking about how open online learning "needs a business model" - it seems to me that this is its business mode, right here. The full report in PDF.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Traditional and Online Courses, Online Learning]

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The Objective of Education Is Learning, Not Teaching
Russell L. Ackoff and Daniel Greenberg, Knowledge@Wharton, January 6, 2013.

It's probably useful to see what the readers of Knowledge@Wharton (Law and Public Policy) are learning about education, and while on the one hand it is good to see a column that reports that "in most schools, memorization is mistaken for learning" and "the objective of education is learning, not teaching," the column itself is weak. There are a couple of student-teacher interactions reported that read as though they were fabricated. And an utterly false mythology of the one-room schoolhouse as progressive learning is propagated (as one commenter corrects the authors, "What went on in the one-room schoolhouse of the 19th century was rote memorization whenever possible"). 

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Interaction, Online Learning]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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