by Stephen Downes
Mar 08, 2017
I know competences are the next big thing and that a lot of time and money i being devoted to competency-based education, but I can't help feeling uneasy about them. This article identifies some reasons why. First "is the myth that employers always know best... the problem with employers is that they tend to look to the present or the short term future in defining skills requirements." Second is "the relationship between ‘competence’ and knowledge and how to define performance to meet such competence." Finally, "I would be deeply suspicious of just what they mean by 'tuition model is subscription based'? This seems like just another attempt to package up education for sale in nice chunks: a step forward in the privatisation of education."
It used to be the case that students left China to study abroad. This continues, but a new trend is that students are traveling to China to study. "More than 440,000 international students were enrolled in China last year, an increase of 11.4% over 2015." This would over time be accompanied by increased enrollments in Chinese online learning classes. This poses a challenge to countries like Britain and Australia who have developed an overseas education market. Image: Wikipedia. Related: cultural experience is a primary motivator of overseas study.
Introduced today at the SUNY COTE 2017 conference I'm attending. From the website: "This course is designed to introduce you to teaching online – the concepts, competencies, pedagogies, and practices that are required to plan, develop, and teach an online course. Along with introducing you to these key topics, this course will showcase the perspectives of students, faculty, and instructional designers who have a wide range of experience teaching and learning online." It's still a work in progress, so be kind to the authors.
OntarioLearn "is a consortium of Ontario’s 24 public colleges who partner to share more than 1,200 online courses and several online programs to make them accessible to students across the province and beyond. In 2015-16, there were over 70,000 registrations in their shared online courses." This article provides an overview of OntarioLearn describing recent innovations, benefits, and challenges.
I recently covered the Shattered Mirror report, which suggests (among other things) that young readers still trust media. I think that it is an outlier, and I'm seeing more studies with the current conclusion: young people (and people in general) find it very difficult to trust media. The cherry-picking of a single study to make the opposite point is a case in point. It's not false news, fake news, or even a lie, exactly, but it's very misleading, and it happens all the time. No single study says anything. I wish news media would learn that, and I'm hoping that young people are learning that as they become much more media-savvy than their parents.
The second part of this series is now available (I covered the first part here) and it directly relates to some of what I will be talking about tomorrow. The first part described how to build a serverless static site generator; this one covers a serverless content management system (CMS). This ties in to the idea that everybody will (eventually) have their own web presence. This is the mechanism that frees us from the hands of Facebook and Twitter (and puts us into the hands of AWS and Azure).
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