OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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April 26, 2013

Why You Should Write Daily
Leo Babauta, Zen Habits, April 26, 2013

Why do I write daily? This: "Writing daily forces you to come up with new ideas regularly, and so that forces you to solve the very important problem of where to get ideas. What’s the answer to that problem? Ideas are everywhere! In the people you talk to, in your life experiments, in things you read online, in new ventures and magazines and films and music and novels. But when you write regularly, your eyes are open to these ideas." Yes, there are some other reasons that involve audiences and persuasion, but for me this is the big one. To me, writing is like breathing. The only way to breathe in, is to breathe out.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

3 Higher Ed Lessons from Netflix's "Long Term View"
Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, April 26, 2013


The key lesson I would learn (contrary to the author's here) is that in order to create a content enterprise you have to focus on content distribution (this is pretty much true of anything). Yes, Netflix buys, produces and sells content. But it is a content distribution network. And (thinking more broadly) not even that - it's helping people entertain themselves using their mobile devices. Yes, they buy and sell content to do it. But look where the locus of control is. There's no 'Netflix of Education' not because the technology is hard, but because nobody in education has figured this out yet (well, eccept me, and nobody is listening to me - but if I ever get my hands on startup money, watch out).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Networks]

Turning over a new leaf
Steve Wheeler, Learning with 'e's, April 26, 2013


I like this image, if only because it suggests that 'socially' and 'autonomously' are not contraries in learning. Though how one would attempt to define learning that is both social and autonomous is more difficult. Here, it is presented as 'professional learning', but that could have a lot of meanings. Here: "As Jane Hart argues in her report, one of the things most knowledge workers desire is to be able to learn flexibly, whilst remaining within the flow of their work, and preferably without leaving the work space to do so."

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Students Avoid ‘Difficult’ Online Courses, Study Finds
Ann Schnoebelen, The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog, April 26, 2013

The report states, "Many students stay away from online courses in subjects they deem especially difficult or interesting." Again, we have to keep in mind that by studying "students" the reserachers are limiting their domain to people who (a) have already excelled in traditional education, (b) have the means to pay for tuition, and (c) have already done so, and are currently attending college. So of course they would shun the online option in cases where their privileged position will give them that in-person advantage. Yes, it's true that "A 2010 study by the U.S. Department of Education actually found that students in online courses fared better than those receiving face-to-face instruction." And in the real world, people flock to these challenging courses. But students, given the option, make choices that preserve their advantage, rather than forcing them to compete with strangers in a new and (to them) unproven environment.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Tuition and Student Fees]

Who Will Pay for the Paper?
Allie Grasgreen, Inside Higher Ed, April 26, 2013


It's interesting to observe this trend just beginning in the U.S. because it has been the norm in Canada for many years. The trend is to have students pay, via a levy, for student media (generally the newspaper and radio station). When I was editor of the Gauntlet in the 1980s we received some $10 or $15 per student, which gave us a budget of a couple hundred thousand. Student levies are the norm in Canada. Most of our costs were in printing, but we also had money for equipment, photo processing, typsesetting, and the like. The Gauntlet has had a digital edition for many years now (so, again, it's surprising to read about the U.S. newspapers just beginning to convert). Just one warning to our U.S. counterparts, though - when you have a student levy, you have the foundations for a free student press. Student unions, professors and administrators won't always like what they read. But this, for us, was the point.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Canada]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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