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May 31, 2013

MOOC - La résurgence de la communauté dans l'apprentissage en ligne
Stephen Downes, May 30, 2013, REFAD, Edmunston, NB

Downloads: full text in English, full text en français. Dans cette présentation, Stephen Downes aborde la question à savoir comment les MOOC (massive open online courses) influenceront l'avenir de la formation à distance. La présentation examine de façon détaillée la nature et l'objectif des MOOC comparativement à l'enseignement traditionnel à distance. Il soutient que les MOOC représentent la résurgence de l'apprentissage communautaire et décrira comment les institutions d'éducation à distance partageront les MOOC entre elles et renforceront les interactions en ligne grâce à des services et des ressources communautaires.

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Doug Johnson, Blue Skunk Blog, May 31, 2013

This is an important question: Should transliteracy replace language arts? Is "language arts ... due for an update to encompass literacy in all the media that students must navigate in our mediacentric society?" I would say "yes", and this is a major part of the thinking behind my own work on the critical literacies - "the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary needed to create a professional looking video, podcast, graphic, or game [and] the analytic skills to deconstruct these media as I would a poem, novel, or essay."

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Refactoring Coursera
Mike Caulfield, May 31, 2013

Now that we've had a year or so of 'disruptive technology' from the likes of Coursera, writes Mike Caulfield, it's time to take stock. The original premise of Coursera was massive enrollment, elite professors, streamlined technology, and open admission. And now? "Massive doesn’t matter, the elite lure will fade under remix and collaboration, publishers have better content and more mature production processes, LMS’s do platforms better, and Open Educational Resources provide the more useful kind of open." So what is Coursera? Just another educational publisher. And "the fake discussion we’ve been having about Coursera’s blue-sky “disruptive” business model and its fit with education can now move to a real discussion about the impact of Coursera’s actual business model." More on Coursera's business model from Michael Feldstein. And more from Micke Caulfield on Coursera as provider of courseware. Also, Martin Weller on MOOC vendors adopting such forward-looking modwls as 'hybrid innovation', on-campus MOOCs, etc. Maybe now they can give us back the term 'MOOC' and let us get on with our work.

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Your degree is not a waste of time
Maureen Mancuso, University Affairs, May 31, 2013

People who know my history know the priority I placed on educating myself. It's a common story (less common than it was) in which I gave up a good job to start my studies, worked and scraped and paid my own way through, and spent decades owning for student loans. Was it all a waste of time and money? No, not at all. Sure, I may well have become a success in life without a formal education, but I would not have become the person I am.

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Online Course Platforms Offer Paid Freelance Gigs to Professors
Steve Kolowich, The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog, May 31, 2013

Is this your new next job? "Udemy, an online-education company, offers anyone, including professors, the chance to design and teach an online course. Instructors set the prices for their courses, which tend to run from about $30 to $100 per student, and take home 70 percent of the revenue." Better run the numbers before you take the gig; a ten-week course means each student is paying $2 per day, which means you need 50 students just to make minumum wage. This is the sort of math that converted journalism from being a profession to being the worst job in the world.

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What you would do with $1 million to inspire change in the world
Morton Bast, TED, May 31, 2013

Not that I would ever fit into the TED mindset, nor am I nominating myself, but it's still an interesting exercise. Were TED to give me a million dollars, I would put it in the bank and live on the interest. This would enable me to leave my job and do what I'm doing now, without the overhead, writing, thinking and speaking on issues related to learning and access to education, and working on projects like PLEs and MOOCs and open learning generally (anyone else with a million dollars is free to contribute should TED not recognize the wisdom of my plan). (As an aside, because people ask: yes, I would speak at TED if asked, but I would speak on how projects like TED do more harm than good, about how rich people with cute ideas are the problem, not the solution, to world problems, and how community-sourcing supported by equitable income distribution is the most sustainable way forward. As Chris Anderson would say: not TED material.)

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VoiceThread, May 31, 2013

From a presentation today in Edmunston about the use of VoiceThread in language learning (a subject close to my own interests): "A VoiceThread is a tool for having dynamic conversations around media. Upload a collection of media, comment on it, and share it with others so they can participate in the conversation at anytime, anywhere." Basically, you can sync audio commentary with images or slides, and have readers comment on it. Here are the guides. I first posted about it six years ago!

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Theft of American Intellectual Property
Dennis C. Blair, Jon M. Huntsman, ,, Jr., National Bureau of Asian Research, May 31, 2013

Rory McGreal brings to our attention a new report "Theft of American Intellectual Property," the contents of which are as baldly overstated as the title suggests. It is authored by hitherto unknown group called the National Bureau of Asian Research and includes on its commission the president and CEO of the Council on Competitiveness - these are of course empty titles that can be given to any collection of staff writers to give them an air of gravitas. McGreal writes in an email, "If anyone had doubts about the need for OER, this report should help put discussion about sustainability and other OER problems in perspective."

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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