OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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August 7, 2013

Submit MOOC
Stephen Downes, MOOC.ca, August 7, 2013

I've updated the MOOC.ca site a bit and made it easier to submit MOOC and to find them. Of most importance is the new Submit MOOC page, an easy way to enter information about your MOOC and have it listed on the MOOC.CA website and also mentioned in the MOOC.ca newsletter (which has more than 5,000 subscribers). I've also updated other pages. Here's the full site:

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Jeff Bezos Bought The Washington Post For One Thing: Distribution
Gabe Stein, Fast Company, August 7, 2013

First, the mea culpa: apparently Jeff Bezos did not buy Kaplan, he purchased only the newspaper assets of the Washington Post. Which makes my comment from yesterday completely wrong and off base. I hate when that happens. Sorry for the misdirection.

So - anyhow, why did Bezos buy WaPo then? According to this article (see how I hedge my bets today?) it's for one reason: distribution. "Having conquered long-form, evergreen content (also known as books), he’s now interested in distribution mechanisms for short-form, timely, and topical content." I don't get why he wouldn't include online learning in this - so I think maybe he does, eventually, but doesn't see Kaplan as the vehicle for it, or doesn't want to move on it right away. One thing I can say is that there's an awful lot of people hpong he 'saves the newspaper business'.

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Jeff Bezos Mostly Bought Kaplan, not the Washington Post
Kinetically Persistent, August 6, 2013

Update: I was wrong. Why is Amazon's Jeff Bezos buying the Washington Post? Not, as so many pundits have claimed, to express faith in print media. No, it's to sell online learning. "Both Kaplan University, a for-profit college, and Kaplan Test Prep, which sells instruction and printed products for tests of all sorts, have turned large profits pretty recently. They’ve fallen on hard times in the last two years, as for-profit colleges everywhere have seen legislators, investigative reporters, and scam blogs turn on them. But they’ve got the potential to be moneymakers, especially if Bezos figures out how to leverage Amazon on their behalf."

I hate it when that happens.

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Nathan Hall, ELT Reflections, August 2, 2013


Doug Peterson points to this post, authored by Nathan Hall, which points to the importance of the concept of 'value' in our lives. To me, this reinforces how deeply the metaphor of life as commerce has permeated our vocabulary. I prefer to live in an existence (a personal, self-contain, existence, because society won't stand for it) where the concept of 'value' is reserved for its proper place, and where my vocabulary for pleasure, happiness, and the like, is expressed in terms of experiences, immersion and memories. I don't want to bring value to the world; I want to bring that feeling of perfect peace when you are in harmony with your environment to the world.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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