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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2016 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey


This large (22,000 participants) report (35 page PDF) makes the impact of textbook costs clear: "The findings suggest that the cost of textbooks is negatively impacting student access to required materials (66.6% did not purchase the required textbook) and learning (37.6% earn a poor grade; 19.8% fail a course)." There's no end to the efforts to improve course quality in order to improve outcomes, yet so little effort to address really obvious problems like this.

Today: 291 Total: 291 Florida Virtual University, 2016/10/21 [Direct Link]

Peter Thiel and the Future (and Funding) of Education Technology


Audrey Watters on Peter Thiel: "At the core of the companies that Thiel has founded and funded is surveillance. Palantir. Facebook. AltSchool. The regime of data collection and analysis is framed as 'personalization.' But that’s a cover for compliance and control."

Today: 220 Total: 220 Audrey Watters, Hack Education, 2016/10/20 [Direct Link]

Use of Technologies at #IWMW16

If you haven't been watching it must seem like the entire world has changed. Here's the list of technologies used as described by Brian Kelly: Slack, Lanyard, Whova. The last is completely new to me. Whova (which sponsored the event) "allows your event to go mobile, and supercharges your attendee engagement and networking experience." It provides things like agendas, check-in, maps and links.

Today: 256 Total: 256 Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus, 2016/10/20 [Direct Link]

Why is Twitter no longer No 1 on the Top Tools for Learning list?

I was watching a item on the news this morning tracking Twitter reaction to some televised events and I thought to myself, "why track this if all the traffic is bots?" And that's part of the answer to the question in the title of this article. And as Jane Hart writes, "over the years the dark side of Twitter has emerged – in the form of the trolls – and this is something that has put off new users signing up to Twitter.  In fact, now that Twitter is up for sale, we can see that this is one of the things that is deterring potential buyers."

Today: 240 Total: 240 Jane Hart, Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, 2016/10/20 [Direct Link]

Rangatiratanga: How Tapping Into New Zealand’s Indigenous Concepts Sparked New Educational Gains


Rangatiratanga is a Maori concept for taking personal and collective control over your own future. It formed the basis for the treaty creating New Zealand's unique society. According to this article, it's also the basis for a school district renewal project restoring Maori education. I wish the article had focused more on how Rangatiratanga was practiced by the district, but the author talks mostly about paying for their educational costs and passing tests.

Today: 285 Total: 285 Patrick Snedden, EdSurge, 2016/10/20 [Direct Link]

Robin DeRosa’s great Ignite Talk DML2016 on open education.


Clint Lalonde highlights a talk by Robin DeRosa on the relation between open education and public education. "In 5 short minutes she connects the various strands of open education (open access, open educational resources, and open pedagogy) to the broader societal mandate of our public institutions, which is to serve the public good." Short (as promised) video arguing we should make a case for public education using the case for open education.


Today: 155 Total: 683 Clint Lalonde, 2016/10/19 [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.