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by Stephen Downes
May 28, 2014

Alexander the MOOC Lands
Guy M. Rogers, Inside Higher Ed, May 28, 2014


I know, it's just another MOOC story, which has been done, but still I can't help passing these sentences along: "Some critics of MOOCs have pointed to the fact that only a small percentage of those who register for MOOCs routinely 'finish' classes... it is true that about 6% of the students who registered for my class completed the final exam. But the total of 1162 students taking the final exam in this one course is more students than I have taught at Wellesley College over the past ten years."

[Link] [Comment]

The Future of Ed-Tech is a Reclamation Project
Audrey Watters, Hack Education, May 28, 2014

Quite a good talk from Audrey Watters a few days ago in Edmonton. This post is the (sparse) slide deck and the (rich) text transcript. The gist? "We can reclaim the Web and more broadly ed-tech for teaching and learning. But we must reclaim control of the data, content, and knowledge we create. We are not resources to be mined. Learners do not enter our schools and in our libraries to become products for the textbook industry and the testing industry and the technology industry and the ed-tech industry to profit from."

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Building a Knowmad Society in Ecuador
John W. Moravec, Education Futures, May 28, 2014


I think this is an ambitious plan and wonder how it will impact the work that follows: "The project seeks to encourage horizontalized, peer-to-peer exchange and the development of activities that will promote extending learning beyond formal education. Nine three-day workshops will cover each regional division of Ecuador. An online platform will facilitate further discussion, and the outputs from the workshops and online activities will be fed into a data analysis process that will inform the creation of a white paper on transforming Ecuadorian education for a 'knowmadic' society."

Do also read the comment that follows the article. A writer named Khuyana offers, "I would like to ensure that these great changes apply to ALL universities in Ecuador, not just the 'new and improved' universities like Yachay University or IKIAM, as it seems to be so far." It points to the difficulties of aiming at 21st century objectives in institutions struggling to meet 20th century standards.

[Link] [Comment]

The Best Laid Plans …
Frances Bell, Francesbell's Blog, May 28, 2014


Frances Bell has responded to my recent presentation on digital research methods. She writes, "A criticism of research that Stephen made was that it tends to find what it is looking for. This is a very valid potential criticism but I would claim that a combination of planning and flexibility can guard against this." Also don't miss a good comment from Roy Williams, who points to "The interesting (epistemological and scientific) point he always seems to duck... that while it is reasonable to accuse the social sciences of 'empty consensus' ... this doesn’t apply in the same way to the physical senses."

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Ergo, May 28, 2014

Most philosophy publications are closed-access, so I haven't really kept up, but this week markes the launch of Ergo, an open-access philosophy journal. "Ergo is a general, open access philosophy journal accepting submissions on all philosophical topics and from all philosophical traditions. This includes, among other things: history of philosophy, work in both the analytic and continental traditions, as well as formal and empirically informed philosophy." Interestingly, the articles in the initial issue are also being blog-commented in the Mod Squad group philosophy blog. None of the articles in the first issue really speaks to me, but I'm hopeful that over time that will improve. Via Certain Doubts.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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