I work in the Learning and Performance Support Systems program at the National Research Council, a multi-year effort to develop personal learning technology and learning analytics. I am one of the originators of the Massive Open Online Course, write about online and networked learning, have authored learning management and content syndication software, and am the author of the widely read e-learning newsletter OLDaily.


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Australian Copyright Scandal Points to the Need for Greater Oversight of Copyright Collectives


As Michael Geist reports, "The Australian copyright community has been shocked by a scandal involving the Copyright Agency, a copyright collective that diverted millions of dollars intended for authors toward a lobbying and advocacy fund designed to fight against potential fair use reforms." I'd love to think that this is an isolated instance, but of course, it's not.

Today: 91 Total: 223 Michael Geist, 2017/04/28 [Direct Link]

Perspectives on Open Pedagogy


First of all, if you haven't reads this history of open pedagogy by Tannis Morgan, go there first. OK. Now, on o the discussion. Devon Ritter characterizes 'open pedagogy' as "the ability for learners to shape and take ownership of their own education" (which is very similar to what I call 'personal learning'). This is similar to the account given by Claude Paquette in 1979. But even here we need to make the leap from traditional school to a truly open pedagogy. It's not just "make their own teaching plans for a subject (which may not have originally been designed to be taught using an open pedagogy) open and available to any and all students." It's leaders and experts and, yes, teachers, sharing how they learn with others. Follow my model or not; it's your choice. 

Today: 89 Total: 216 Devon Ritter, Saylor.org, 2017/04/28 [Direct Link]

SCORM and Moodle: A Long Relationship That May Last Forever


What is not mentioned in the headline, but which becomes abundantly clear as you read the article, is that this is a dysfunctional relationship. SCORM never fit easily into Moodle and developers faced a lot of "backwash" from poorly implemented packages from other LMSs. "Prominent cases of interoperability failure where SCORM was involved did not help its cause." Meanwhile, loss of traction raised "the question of whether anyone other than the US DoD really needed a learning specification." Also, "the IMS Global Learning Tools Interoperability and now Caliper have opened the world of content and activities to Moodle sites and classrooms without the need to transfer files or other information between systems." Now we're moving to xAPI, which promises more interoperability - but maybe some of the same problems.

Today: 116 Total: 249 Moodle News, 2017/04/28 [Direct Link]

New publication analysing LRMI metadata on the web


This is a really interesting conference paper (10 page PDF) on the use of the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) vocabulary through schema.org on the open web. The quality of the metadata is generally poor, with some sites (Expedia, MIT, Stanford, MERLOT) containing tens of thousands of errors. Lesson one: "terms that have a specific meaning within the learning, education and training field are construed in their more generic meaning." Lesson two: " the strong inverse relationship between sophisticated data structures and amount of usage." For example, "the AlignmentObject: potentially very expressive, but either it solves a problem no one has (which I don’t think is the case) or it is so complex that few people understand it well." 

Today: 93 Total: 222 Phil Barker, Sharing, Learning, 2017/04/28 [Direct Link]

Our biggest report yet: State of the Commons 2016


Yes, you will want to have a look at the 2016 State of the Commons page because it gives you a dozen or so great stories of open resource projects from around the world, with numbers of resources varying from a few thousand to the millions (it made me reflect on my own contribution to the domain, which totals some 50,000 resources). The one thing we might want from the State of the Commons report, though, is a report. The page is more of an infographic, and while some impressive numbers are displayed, we have no idea how they were obtained. Last year I had some criticisms of the report, but at least last year we had data; this year we have none. So unless we get some news, last year's creticisms hold; Creative Commons is manipulating the numbers to make it seem like there are many more CC-by resources than there actually are.

Today: 107 Total: 236 Ryan Merkley, Creative Commons, 2017/04/28 [Direct Link]

Presentation Advice from 14 of My Favorite Presenters


Some of the advice in this post is pretty good, but not all of it (though to be fair it's a matter of perspective). Some speakers have a single presentation they rehearse and hone over time. But my own style (and to be frank, the style I prefer to watch as well) is to create a new presentation every time. This is where some of the best advice in the post comes in. Like any speaker, I have a large supply of ideas, explanations, stories, etc (comedians would call them 'bits') and I draw on these as needed. But every presentation needs a single 'big idea' and this I think is the thing that should be different, where possible, for each talk. 

Today: 70 Total: 210 Dan Meyer, DyDan, 2017/04/28 [Direct Link]

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.