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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Ria #17: Dr. Jason Osborne On Data Cleaning

In this episode, Jason talks about his book Best Practices in Data Cleaning.

Today: 225 Total: 1505 , Ecampus Research Unit | Oregon State University, [Direct Link]

The seven year olds who are learning how to code


Why shouldn't 7-year-olds learn to code? "They learn the basics by dragging and dropping simple instruction boxes into blocks of code that tell a computer what to do. And the toys they work with show them an immediate, tangible result from their commands. "

Today: 83 Total: 1021 Sunny Freeman, Toronto Star, 2016/07/25 [Direct Link]

Reactor Core founder: short-term programs, not four-year degrees, are the future of tech education


The story is in the headline rather than the content, but there's an important undercurrent. "Reactor Core, which currently has about 210 students on multiple campuses and online, offers 12-week programs in software engineering and mobile app development." So far so good. But they are one of several organizations asked to cease and desist. "The primary concern so far has been that bootcamps have not been sufficiently transparent about student outcomes."

Today: 66 Total: 742 Scott Matteson, Tech Republic, 2016/07/25 [Direct Link]

European guidelines for validating non-formal and informal learning


This document (64 page PDF) is more of a framework than a final statement on the topic of recognizing individual achievement, but as such it's a great start and will likely become a document of reference in the field. The structure constitutes the areas most people can agree on (for example: the four stages of validation are identification, documentation, assessment and certification) while the questions it leaves open are precisely those that need to be solved at a national or even a domain-specific level (for example: how is the credibility of the authority/awarding body assured?) The section on the centrality of the individual goes a bit further than the rest, and correctly so: "Validation aims at empowering the individual and can serve as a tool for providing second chance opportunities to disadvantaged individuals... The individual should be able to take control of the process and decide at what stage to end it."

Today: 86 Total: 1840 Cedefop, 2016/07/22 [Direct Link]

Does Our Social Contract for Education Need a Reboot?


The idea of the social contract was introduced by Thomas Hobbes in the 1600s as a means of justifying the continued rule of the monarchy. Without the stern rule of the monarch, he wrote, we would return to the state of nature where the lives of men were "solitary, poore, nasty, brutish and short." The myth of the social contract persists to this day, and is used for the same purpose. This is important, because when authors of articles like this one reference the unequal access to educational technology, and education, in terms of the social contract, it has to be noted that the prevailing social contract in western democracies is that there will be two-tiers, indeed multi-tier, access to everything. And there is no appeal against the social contract - as Locke said, you have two choices: rebellion, or emigration.

Today: 30 Total: 1150 Lindsey Tepe, Pacific Standard, 2016/07/22 [Direct Link]

Share This or My Blog Will Self-Distruct: A mini-lesson on digital citizenship


As you can see, I wasn't willing to see Heather Ross's blog self-destruct. More to the point, I wanted to share her thoughts on digital citizenship, thoughts which go well beyond digital literacy. She cites Mike Ribble’s list of the Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship, a list which includes digital access, digital commerce, digital communication, and more. She ends with "video about the 'filter bubble' that explains why you see a lot of what you as an individual see online." I don't really experience the filter bubble - there are days when I wish I did. But this isn't one of the posts I'd filter.

Today: 30 Total: 1876 Heather M. Ross, McToonish, 2016/07/22 [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.
Sponsored this month by: Rory McGreal