by Stephen Downes
Oct 28, 2016
The website doesn't have many words, only the bare minimum to get the idea across. Campus Technology explains: "Learning Objects, a company owned by Cengage Learning, is out with a new platform that streamlines competency-based education (CBE) programs at colleges and universities." It's one of now many entrants in the field. The platform "is designed to support programs built around learning goals that map to assessments and learning activities." Actually, the Campus Technology article doesn't have many words either.
Richard Byrne summarizes: "Choosito is a neat search engine for students and teachers to use to find websites based on reading level.... Quick Key is a popular app that lets teachers quickly score formative assessments." We can see how the two would go together quite well. See also this article from ed Circuit.
Post about Cisco's announcement about the launch of a new Digital Education Platform from the show floor in Anaheim. According to the release, the product "integrates Cisco WebEx and Spark into existing Learning Management Systems (LMSs)." The illustration is the most interesting part of the announcement and speaks to Cisco's growing incursion into the traditional learning technology marketplace.
From the abstract: "This report is a pre-print that has been submitted for publication with UNESCO. It looks to answer the question: "why does open access matter?" We examined 100 stories of impact to produce a framework for describing the concrete benefits of open access for readers, authors and institutions. We aspire to move the open access conversation forward by making the case, backed by data, that the benefits of open access are real, widespread and significant." 27 page PDF. The article is mostly an overview, with each of the stories taking up about one paragraph.
The proposition is this: "If innovation is going to be the means through which we achieve growth and talent is the driving force behind innovation, let’s start by measuring this key input to growth correctly." For example, writes Nobina Robinson, "Canadian firms use individuals holding technologist designations, BAs, and Master’s degrees more than they use PhDs for R&D." So are we overproducing PhDs? The data don't tell us. What's key in drawing this sort of assessment is the explanation for what we are seeing. Maybe, for example, Canadian firms don't use PhDs for research because PhDs aren't available, or are too expensive. And over-reliance on data is a but like using stock market data the day before a market crash. In many models, what is happening now is far less important than our assessment of what is going to happen.
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