by Stephen Downes
Jun 13, 2016
Good post on an essential difference. Quoting none other than Richard Nixon: "It was obvious that no plans could have possibly been devised to cope with such unpredictable conduct. Yet without months of planning … I might have been completely dismayed and routed by his unexpected assaults."
I don't think Canada needs any lessons on supposed 'visa fraud' from the Times of London, participarly when the only evidence offered seems to be the way we run our decentralized education system: "the process for granting degree-awarding powers is determined by each provincial government, which she said 'can allow more room for corruption'." If there is any evidence that fraud actually has been committed by Canadian institutions, THE ought to come out and say so instead of making insinuations. By contrast, I guess, British institutions, which can charge $18K in tuition, aren't likely to defraud their students at all! Crumpets!
It appears to be a fuss about nothing - or maybe it was a trial balloon - but though there are reports that Coursera is clamping down on free access to courses, there's no real evidence to back that up. Nonetheless, Dave Weinberger is sounding a caution. "MOOCs are here to stay," he writes, "But we once again need to learn the danger of centralized platforms. Protocols are safer — more generative, more resistant to capture — than platforms. Distributed archives are safer than centralized archives." But of course the platform created at Stanford and catering to exclusive universities was always going to be centralized. The question is why we pay so much attention to Coursera than to the dozens of other MOOC platforms.
The second power of open, says David Wiley, is the use of open materials to support a better pedagogy. "Perhaps we should start talking about open pedagogy as the 'second power of open,'" he writes. "Perhaps that language, which has a clear and specific referent, would help a broader group of people understand that there’s even more to open than they realized." I'd like to think so, but that's what we did with MOOCs, using open resurces to create a new pedagogy, but there wasn't really a great opening of the eyes as a result.
This is not universally true, of course. Sometimes they have other less legal means. What they don't have is a special 'character' that makes them entrepreneurs (much less better than you or me). “Many other researchers have replicated the finding that entrepreneurship is more about cash than dash,” University of Warwick professor Andrew Oswald tells Quartz. “Genes probably matter, as in most things in life, but not much.”
Last week, I got an email telling me to change my password because the LinkedIn database had been hacked. Today, Microsoft is buying the company. No, I'm not saying the events are linked. It's just surprising that a company with 500K members could leave passwords exposed. Anyhow, I'm now waiting for another email about my LinkedIn account, since apparently now Microsoft will be able to read all my personal data. Remember: in our field, companies buy customers, not technology.
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