by Stephen Downes
Dec 11, 2015
Relating the Learning Ecosystem to other Ecosystems
In the Middle of the Curve,
This is just a snapshot, some thoughts in the process of being thought, illustrating the sort of thinking people should be thinking in today's learning environment. "Identity, Document and File Management, Communication and Business Intelligence Roadmaps all impact the tools we have at our disposal... The HR and Academic Roadmaps help me stay in alignment with the goals and direction of our primary stakeholders. Through those roadmaps, I am able to see what is important to them, where this ecosystem needs to connect to their ecosystem, and what direction they plan to head."
Making Space for Inquiry-Focused Maker Spaces at School
Camille Rutherford writes, "the maker movement in education is founded upon inquiry-based learning within a hands-on focused environment. Consequently, maker education should be considered an evolution of constructivist philosophy that views learning as a highly personal endeavor that is student-driven and requires educators to act as inquiry facilitator rather than simply a disseminator of knowledge." My question would be: would it be true that the more it resembles a constructivist mode of enquiry, the less it resembles the original makerspace? Maybe it's more about how to "help students develop the self-regulation, critical thinking and cooperative skills" that it is about making things?
2016 – the year of MOOC hard questions
The Ed Techie,
Martin calls these "hard questions" for MOOCs, but to me they're an indication of how deeply the concept of open online learning has been co-opted. Consider:
- "Now we are seeing pricing models for MOOCs, it turns out that in order to amass enough credits for a degree, you’d end up paying quite a lot."
- "Surprise! They’re not that cheap, particularly because unis often want them to be showcase products..."
- "iTunes brand trumped the University one effectively.... I think a similar ‘MOOC platform trumps university brand’ battle may arise with MOOCs."
- "the typical demographic of MOOCs being highly qualified, independent learners from a well off background."
So, maybe all these re issues. Or maybe they represent a certain story that was told about MOOCs by a few VC-backed entrepreneurs, stories that were at odds with the stories being told by practitioners of open online learning who have been around for a couple decades or more. Honestly, I don't care wither the Coursera or even the FutureEd model of MOOCs lives or dies. I do care whether individuals can access open online learning. And this is a much wider world than the pundits would have you believe.
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