by Stephen Downes
Apr 01, 2015
Learning the Netflix way
Technology Enhanced Learning Blog,
I came back from my trip last night to find my Netflix payments had expired. This puts me into the mode of questioning whether I want to renew. I'm not so sure I do. I'm learning that access to programming on Netflix is ephemeral - I discovered this at the end of the first year when a number of old westerns disappeared, then more recently when I discovered I could no longer access Xena. Dozens of other shows are also gone. And I still can't watch Battlestar or the last few seasons of Weeds via the Canadian service. And that's not the sort of model I'm interested in promoting for learning. You never know when you'll need those old trigonometry lessons again, or how to build a Stirling engine.
3 Important Shifts in Education
I honestly don't think any of these three shifts is a real thing. I could be wrong of course. But they have the air and feel of representing things that (some) people would like to happen, rather than what's actually happening. Here are the shifts:
- from 'digital citizenship' to 'digital empathy'
- from 'student voice' to 'student leadership'
- from 'growth mindset' to 'innovator mindset'
It's not that I actually oppose any of these. But I'd really want to reframe them, because they feel like a marketing campaign looking for a product. I just don't think they address core issues. Indeed, they seem to me like ways to avoiding core issues.
Audrey Watters takes on Kevin Carey's book The End of College and does so with what is, I think, exactly the right tone, which is to say, distrust, scepticism and outright hostility. "The University of Everywhere is the response, led by venture capitalists and ed-tech entrepreneurs, to 'ancient institutions in their last days of decadence,' Carey argues. And we are to believe that an end will come soon for the oppressive regime created by colleges and universities, as he personally has numbered the days until they either 'adapt' or become extinct." Universities are lots of things, but they are not oppressive; they are indeed liberators, which is why admission to them is so valued, and why the forces of oppression target them for control and dismantling. Yes we need to fix education, but we need to be very careful to preserve what we value in education. Carey's vision does not do that, and indeed, undermines it.
Twitter is accepting applications to use Curator. "Curator enables media publishers to discover, curate and display the best Twitter content on any screen." I put my name in but I probably don't qualify. Via Robin Good. Some related items from his list: EpicBeat, a relevant content finding service. A curation tool for apps: Stacks. Create your favourite topic: Hubub. Here Robin Good's Facebook Page.
Career ready: Towards a national strategy for the mobilization of Canadian potential
Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE),
The core of the message is in the headlines: cut university enrolment and expand colleges. It is a shot across the bow. "Canada needs to become more effective in matching skills, training and education with workforce requirements," writes Ken Coates for the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE). "Canada needs to shift away from this open-access approach — based on the idea that everyone 'deserves' a degree, or at least the chance to try to earn one — to one that is based on achievement, motivation and compatibility with national needs." How should the education system respond? Canadian companies do not invest a lot in learning; they "look to public institutions and government programs to prepare the workforce," and then complain about the result. In my view, educators should demand corporations vote with their dollars. The less corporations pay toward sustaining the system of education, the less say they should have in the outcome. See also: CBC Coverage. Also, see the CCCE skills website.
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