OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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February 21, 2012

Don’t Whine, Compete! Posted on February 18, 2012
David Wiley, iterating toward openness, February 21, 2012.

David Wiley makes a good point and it should be clearly understood. Right now, the battle between traditional publishers and open (or free) publishers is over the same product - plain textbooks distributed as text-plus-images. And publishers need to realize that if they truly offer a better product they should innovate and compete. After all, if people can produce something of equal quality for free (or almost nothing), then they shouldn't have to pay for it.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Quality]

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European universities: re-form or die; but what about Canada?
Tony Bates, Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, February 21, 2012.

I'll begin by echoing Tony Bates about "the stupidity of severe austerity measures to pay off bad bets by banks and bad decisions by governments who wouldn’t face reality" and like him move on from there. Tony Bates talks about the production of graduates for whom there are no jobs, but as Daniel Lemire suggests, simply producing PhDs won't solve the math an engineering shortage either - you have to produce paying jobs, not newly minted graduates. And that it is these jobs that are in short supply, especially in regions practicing austerity. But not just that - "The current system is unsustainable from a financial and quality perspective." So there are going to be changes, even in Canada. more on this later.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: European Union, Quality, Canada]

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Nicholas Negroponte Talks About Learning by Yourselves
Christoph Derndorfer, One Laptop Per Child News, February 21, 2012.

Fifteen minute video from Nicholas Negroponte on the subject of personal learning. "He shared that the first 30 tablets with several thousand books on them had been distributed. Not too many other details were revealed and while Negroponte mentioned that "they read themselves" it's not quite clear for example what language these books are in. What is really exciting however is that he mentions a rigorous evaluation of these efforts and working with critics which I believe should make for some interesting results and discussions down the road."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video]

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Don’t Lecture Me: Rethinking How College Students Learn
Eric Mazur, Mind/Shift, February 21, 2012.

What strikes me is that, after the standard rejection of the lecture format, Eric Mazur talks about "the benefits of practicing peer instruction in class, rather than the traditional lecture." It reminds me of John Stuart Mill's autobiography, in which he comments that while he benefited enormously from the practice of teaching his younger brothers, his younger brothers gained rather less. So my question for Eric Mazur is why he would think having students instruct each other is any real improvement on lectures.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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How to stop your images from being pinned to Pinterest
Ben Werdmuller, benwerd, February 21, 2012.

Pinterest is the flavour of the month in ed tech (and other) circles, with everybody trying to a work a reference into their blog in order to benefit from some of the search engine interest (or simply to hop on board the bandwagon). By this time next year we will have forgotten about it. This item, though, is interesting, as it speaks to a wider issue: how to prevent your images from being reused. There are ways to disrupt sites from linking. But of course, as you can see from above, nothing is foolproof.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Web Logs, Linking and Deep Linking]

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Constitution 101
Various Authors, Hillsdale College, February 21, 2012.

Another open online course, "a 10-week online course presented by Hillsdale College. Featuring an expanded format from the 'Introduction to the Constitution' lecture series with Hillsdale College President Dr. Larry Arnn, Constitution 101 follows closely the one-semester course required of all Hillsdale College undergraduate students." This one shows another use for these open courses - while I got the reference from George Siemens I notice they ask whether I heard about it from Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or a similar commentator. So I'm expecting a certain political perspective here. Note that they ask for a donation, but you can skip past that.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Connectivism, Traditional and Online Courses]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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