According to this article, "More than half of all the refugee children in the world – 3.5 million – are not in school. In the last year alone refugee children have missed more than 700 million days of school, with this figure increasing by 1.9 million days every day." I have two views that have become more firm over the last few years: first, we should use the means at our disposal, including digital media, to ensure refugees do not miss out on an education; and second, we should not use refugee populations to experiment on or to promote our favourite learning theories.
"When we give our students real responsibility to tackle problems connected to their interests, they flourish." So says Matt Presser in this article. I think he maybe should have said "authority" instead of "responsibility" (students are quite used to being held responsible for the failures of those in authority). But the point is clear enough, and the substance of a valuable idea (which has been asserted many times in these pages and elsewhere) shines through. I can't be as enthusiastic about the rest of the article. I'm not sure schools should be learning lessons from Google - at least, not until the antitrust and discrimination lawsuits are settled. And while "a young men’s fraternity" at a high school may well have been inspired by Google, I'm not sure it's either innovative for forward-looking. Nor are, say, field trips. Oh, and Google ended the 20% program cited here back in 2013. Matt Presser seems to be working for the right things, but there's that whole "I'm from Google/Yale/Harvard and I've figured it out" attitude that can at times strike readers as really tone-deaf. As in this instance.
This is a short post (6 page PDF) with one-paragraph descriptions of innovations at open universities around the world. Together, the set provides others with a sort of menu of options they can follow. Most usefully, each one has a link you can follow. Some of the items aren't eactly innovations (such as the Switching from Moodle to Azure item). Others are more aspirational than innovative (such as the Use of Blockchain in credentials). It's hard to describe closing support centres (as at OU) as an innovation. One institution (Open Universities Australia, the former Open Learning Agency) simply names itself as an innovation, which seems a bit over the top. But in areas like libraries, accessibility, loyalty, mobile learning, assessment and community there are some genuine innovations.
Bill Rosenblatt returns a lukewarm review of the the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) recommendation issued Monday. "It’s not really a standard DRM scheme," he writes. "It has turned out to be a way to compromise the interoperability of web browsers by using CDMs to tie browsers to specific DRM clients; in other words, to use DRM as a way of bringing walled gardens into browser environments that are supposed to be interoperable via HTML." It's like a narrow version of Flash or Silverlight. More. The W3C's decision to side with content providers against the open web last led some to suggest that this may be beginning of the end - that we will no longer have a single World Wide Web.
WebRoom appears to be a loss leader for iteach.world, a service that offers (very) limited free hosting and commercial online learning services for business and individual teachers. It's based on WebRTC, which "provides browsers and mobile applications with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities via simple APIs." Here's the code on GitHub. What's interesting about WebRTC is that it enables connections without an internediary server, however this may create issues in intranets, where services such as STUN and TURN are used to find a browser's real internet address in real time. However, this may be seen as a security issue, so extensions exist to disable WebRTC in your browser, and your network provider may also have disabled it.
Centered in Pittsburgh, Remake Learning has spent the last ten years reaching out into the community to build a model of learning based on engagement. "Gone is the notion of a student passively receiving knowledge while seated in a classroom. Today, learning is an active, anytime, anyplace, lifelong experience that challenges both learners and educators to fulfill their potential," they write in their blog. To mark the ten years they have released two publications: the first is an eBook (29 page PDF) that "eports on the impact Remake Learning has made during its first decade, sharing examples of learning remade and tallying up what the network and its members have accomplished;" and second, a revised mission and values (8 page PDF) that redefines it as "a network that ignites engaging, relevant, and equitable learning practices in support of young people navigating rapid social and technological change." Via DML Central.
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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.