by Stephen Downes
Jul 23, 2015
ds106: Open Pedagogy or Personality Cult?
Brainstorm in Progress,
Is ds106 a personality cult? Maybe. But as Geoff Cain notes, "It is not the personality that creates the success; it is the engagement of the instructor.... instructors who make regular videos, podcasts, send weekly emails, and comment frequently on student blogs are experienced by the students as an instructor who is present in the course." Jim Groom, meanwhile, says "ds106 is not a cult. It's a club." But that might be only because the top-level domain .cult is not available.
Pearson and the Financial Times
The key impact of Pearson's sale of the Financial Times may be in education: "We plan to reinvest the proceeds from today’s sale to accelerate our push into digital learning, educational services and emerging markets. We will focus our investment on products and businesses with a bigger, bolder impact on learning outcomes, underpinned by a stronger brand and high-performing culture."
Reddit and Weep
Inside Higher Ed,
Kudos to the headline writer for the best pun from the spate of articles surrounding the current controversy at Reddit. The website Reddit calls itself the 'front page of the internet'. Its stories are contributed by thousands of members, and readers can 'vote up' or 'vote down' the story. It's very popular, and recently attracted $50 million in VC funding, which is when things started to go south. The best short summary comes from Dave Winer, who suspects the first firing was due to the new board's desire to monetize the 'Ask Me Anything' feature (probably with paid placements). And former CEO Ellen Pao, once dubbed "Silicon Valley’s #1 Feminist Hero," seems to have left over the new crackdown on offensive content. Or maybe it was just that the trolls finally got the best of her. I would never defend Reddit's more offensive side. But sometimes Reddit was good. And corporate control tends to throw out the good with the bad - thus we see today Facebook throttling non-profits and activists. Bit by bit, the editorial freedom of the internet from commercial interests is being eroded. Image: New Scientist.
Are crows the ultimate problem solvers?
BBC / Youtube,
We were having a conversation yesterday about whether we need language in order to know things and to learn. We certainly need language of some sort in order to create models and representations. But to my mind, that's not how we learn. Consider this case from the BBC demonstrating a crow undertaking a complex eight-stage task. Crows caw, but they don't have a language. This is the sort of behaviour that any learning theory needs to explain. It's not enough to theorize how humans learn. We need to know how learning happens, no matter where it occurs.
This newsletter is sent only at the request of subscribers. If you would like to unsubscribe,
Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter? Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own,
you can join our mailing list. Click here to subscribe.