I lead 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.


  • Association of Medical Educators of Europe (AMEE) E-Learning Symposium, Glasgow, Scotland, September 6, 2015.

  • Ghent, Belgium, March 30, 2015.

  • Chang School Talks 2015, Ryerson University, February 23, 2015.

  • Hackademia, Online, to Brazil, March 16, 2015.

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Examining ethical and privacy issues surrounding learning analytics


Tony Bates reviews Drachsler, H. et al. (2016) Is Privacy a Show-stopper for Learning Analytics? A Review of Current Issues and Their Solutions Learning Analytics Review. The problem stems when individuals who provide data "are unable to specify who has access to the data, and for what purpose, and may not be confident that the changes to the education system which result from learning analytics will be desirable." My own response has been to focus on personal analytics, but this has been a hard sell. As Bates notes, a European Commission project called LACE (Learning Analytics Community Exchange). has proposed an eight-point framework (really badly) named DELICATE - it's described in Drachsler, H. and Greller, W. (2016) Privacy and Learning Analytics – its a DELICATE issue. From my perspective, it seems to me that a complex framework like DELICATE is full of loopholes, and therefore, no real protection for individuals.

Today: 398 Total: 398 Tony Bates, online learning and distance education resources, 2016/06/23 [Direct Link]

Work Changes Culture


Nothing is more true than this. "Work changes culture, not words.... Creating new value requires people to do more than communicate. They must work in new ways." Simon Terry is talking about the future of work, but I'm thinking of work more generically, in the sense of taking action rather than merely thinking about it or talking about it. How many times have I met people who want to lead change without actually creating anything, who want to tell people how to do things without actually doing things themselves?

Today: 199 Total: 199 Simon Terry, 2016/06/23 [Direct Link]

Of OER and Free Riders

David Annand writes, "Incentives need to discourage ‘free-riders’. Otherwise, a valid competitive strategy for institutions... would be to wait and merely use without cost the OER resources produced by others." Heather Ross asks, "Is the idea of 'free-riders' really a concern in OER?" David Wiley replies with an emphatic "no" and then, more usefully, takes Annand to task for his presumed model of OER production. "If our only model for creating the OER necessary to replace traditional textbooks is to spend $250k of government or philanthropic funding for each and every course offered at each and every university, there is literally no path from here to there. We need to enable and facilitate alternative development models if our vision of universal OER adoption is to become a reality. (It’s no secret that I believe that these future models must be significantly more distributed and stigmergic than current models.)" Quite so.

Today: 286 Total: 286 David Wiley, iterating toward openness, 2016/06/23 [Direct Link]

Part 2: Draining the Semantic Swamp of “Personalized Learning” : A View from Silicon Valley

Continuing from Part One, covered here earlier this week, Larry Cuban continues his exploration of “personalized learning spectrum,” as anchored in the tangled history of school reform (he says) and now subject to more recent developments. In a nutshell, "those efficiency-minded school reformers, filled with optimism about the power of new technologies to 'transform' teaching and learning, have appropriated the language of 'whole child' Progressives."

Today: 374 Total: 374 Larry Cuban, Larry Cuban on School Reform, Classroom Practice, 2016/06/23 [Direct Link]

10 amazing ways Blockchain could be used in education


These are all ways blockchain could be used in education (though a lot of detail would have to be added) but I'm not sure I agree with the context. Introducing the piece Donald Clark says he created a Napster like system for learning resources in 2001 but "the public sector organisations just didn’t like innovation and stuck to their institutional silos." He predicts a similar reaction to blockchain. "The biggest obstacle to its use is cultural. Education is a slow learner and very slow adopter. Despite the obvious advantages, it will be slow to adapt this technology." Why would he expect these new systems to work within traditional institutions? I did the same sort of thing in 2001, but by not waiting for institutional approval helped create the first MOOC. It is only after an idea is demonstrated that it will change culture and be adopted by institutions. The same is true for business and enterprise software. It has nothing to do with education or the public sector, and everything to do with large organizations and culture in general. Image: Cable Green.

Today: 154 Total: 1074 Donald Clark, Donald Clark Plan B, 2016/06/22 [Direct Link]

Open Innovation and the Creation of Commons


Interesting article. You can probably skim the first five paragraphs, but slow down when you get to this: "Today, a broader conceptual framework for open innovation is embedded in an integrated approach to openness. It is a vital element of the open movement and should not be taken out of this context. Open innovation is transcending the boundaries of traditional knowledge production and fosters cross-fertilization of knowledge. It can serve both as a trigger for change towards openness and a cross-connector of multiple segments of the open movement."


Today: 129 Total: 911 Katja Mayer, Creative Commons, 2016/06/22 [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.
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