by Stephen Downes
May 07, 2015
LMS Is The Minivan of Education (and other thoughts from #LILI15)
I get the analogy. But it's wrong. Phil Hill explains his thinking: "Everyone has them and needs them, but there’s a certain shame having one in the driveway." Well, OK. But of course the LMS is more like a bus than a minivan - someone else is driving, it only travels on a pre-arranged route, the bus is often late but you still have to be on time because it won't wait if you miss it. But in a deeper and more important sense, he's right (and least for his community): "the LMS is important and ubiquitous, but we all know we need better options. Despite this, take away the LMS and see if students like a different method to submit assignments or check grades for every class." See also this post for a discussion of the rapid progress in Caliper.
A Path to the Future: Creating Accountability for Personalized Learning
Anne Hyslop, Sara Mead,
This reflects our experience developing a personal learning environment: "as personalized learning models become more widespread, practitioners are increasingly encountering tensions between personalized learning and state and federal accountability structures." 49 page PDF. The paper is directed toward policymakers to help them understand how to look at personalized learning while maintaining accountability frameworks. It focuses on: tensions in equity - personalized learning may advantage the already advantaged; tensions in philosophy - personalized learning opposes the idea of a single standard set of outcomes for all; and differing perceptions of risk. It recommends moving away from end-of-year standardized testing and toward mastery testing geared to individual timetabled.
LPSS White Paper
National Research Council,
They're not available on the NRC web site yet but I can share our first LPSS white papers (English, French) describing our system under development in more comprehensive terms in an accessible format. LPSS is the name of the program developing our personal learning environment software and related products. It is slowly coming together in the demonstration site at http://lpss.me
Knowledge is Not a Tree
Short post from Metafilter illustrating how we're advancing conceptually: "Piggydb and Oinker.me: Non-hierarchical information tools from Japanese designer Daisuke Morita. Piggydb is a Java-based open-source personal knowledge manager, similar to a wiki. However, entries in Piggydb are connected with a network structure rather than a tree structure. So, the topic 'Snake' could be filed simultaneously under 'Reptiles,' but also under 'Biblical Symbols' and under 'Hopi Clans.'" Also under 'Simpsons characters'.
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