by Stephen Downes
Dec 22, 2016
This is an entrant into the single-signon arena, and it does so by offering easier access to open educational resources (why anyone would need to sign on to access open educational resources is not explained). And it's not clear to me how all if this is "simplified". "Knovation maintains a collection of thousands of online lessons and learning objects for use by teachers, which are maintained in its Content Collection, searchable via netTrekker and organized and shared with icurio." Related: ISKME partners with Clever which offers - you guessed it - single sign-on for OERs.
Wouldn't it be interesting if libraries and museums took over the bulk of the educational responsibilities we currently assign to schools? That's not exactly what Barry Joseph is suggesting here, but it seems like a logical consequence. He does make the case that "that museums are unique and influential informal learning institutions that can be powerful spaces for young people to learn, connect and create digital media." Why then would you also need schools and lessons and such. Oh sure, there's a scheduling and management problem, but young people could explore different fields of interest at different facilities over time.
the use of digital textbooks in academia has faced two related problems: first, the textbooks are still more expensive that other options, such as buying and reselling physical textbooks, and second, students are in increasing numbers simply not buying the required texts. While Ryan Petersen and Jared Pearlman suggest that this may herald a new model for textbook publishing, it's not clear the solution they describe will be greeted with open arms. The model, called "Inclusive Access" offers a radical solution: force everybody to buy the digital materials, and add the cost to their course fees. Its a model only a publisher would love, and does nothing to address the core issues.
This resource (169 page PDF) is in Spanish. Don't let that deter you. The actual list starts on page 43 and in the pages following there's a lot to explore. If you do read some Spanish it's also worth looking at the first 27 pages where they offer major themes and the lay of the land in educational technology. "Estamos seguros de que los resultados de este esfuerzo serán una herramienta que permitirá difundir un conocimiento que consideramos de gran valor para toda la comunidad educativa y la sociedad en general."
This no doubt will attract criticism from the usual sources. "Rather than asking that students simply 'know' the science of reproduction, the NGSS requires that they 'develop models to describe' its processes." It's a constructivist approach; rather than simply being given models, students need to build them for themselves. The reason (in my mind) is that each student's cognitive environment is unique, and models developed from this environment - you can't simply impose it from above. Aligned with this, the NGSS creates "three dimensional learning" (3D learning). "in 3-LS1-1, the basic Core Idea is reproduction, the SEP is use of models, and the CCC is patterns of change."
This is a pretty basic issue in our household. The targets set by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission - at least 50 megabits per second and upload speeds of at least 10 Mbps - are five time download (and 10 times upload) what we are currently able to reach here in Casselman, a rural community roughly half way between Montreal and Ottawa. There's no excuse for it, not when telecommunications companies made $8 billion in profit last year. Related: Michael Geist column.
Fun toys: a list. I like the one where you saw your own balsa wood planks and build stuff. "We noticed an important shift in Maker Education. Once driven by STEM and makerspace in a box types of kits, we are seeing much more of an emphasis on open-ended exploration and stocking makerspaces with materials that foster that. "
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