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March 22, 2012

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The Economics of Open
Paul Stacey, Musings on the EdTech Frontier, March 22, 2012.

Paul Stacey compiles the business case for open educational resources:
- "Open enables rapid market entry, market penetration, and market share.
- "Open generates revenue through advertising, subscriptions, memberships, and donations.
- "Open generates revenue through services.
- "Open generates revenue through direct and indirect sales
- "Open Makes Better Use of What We Already Have
- "Open works don’t end, they expand and evolve on and on through others."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Membership, Marketing, Subscription Services]

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Are Things Really Broken or Is This How Change Really Feels?
Rob Reynolds, The Learning Lot, March 22, 2012.

A good point about the online videos: the critics on Khan Academy videos are missing the point. "Maybe we're asking these videos to be more than they actually are -- individual tutorial snippets designed to help someone studying a particular subject gain a better understanding. Again, I have never seen this content as stand-alone but rathe as supplemental. As such, I think it's both significant and extremely innovative. Maybe we're trying to make it more than it really is?" Maybe indeed. If you're from the perspective that online learning ought to be full-fledged content and scaffolding and community, then you're not going to get it from the videos. But if you see this content - as I do - as the McGuffin, something provokes learning, but which isn't

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video, Online Learning]

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A report on online learning and educational productivity: disappointed!!!!
Tony Bates, online learning and distance education resources, March 22, 2012.

files/images/Productivity_Report.PNG, size: 47479 bytes, type:  image/png I couldn't help but chuckle after reading this review by Tony Bates of Bakia, M., Shear, L. Toyama, Y. and Lasseter, A. (2012) Understanding the implications of online learning for educational productivity (Washington DC: Department of Education Office of Educational Technology). The authors conclude, "a review of the available research that examined the impact of online learning on educational productivity for secondary school students was found to be lacking. No analyses were found that rigorously measured the productivity of an online learning system relative to place-based instruction in secondary schools." However, as Bates notes, the absence of any evidence at all does not prevent the authors from listing nine ways to improve productivity, including broadening access, peronalizing learning, increasing student motivation, and more. As Bates writes, the main take-away here is that "it’s not a good idea to set up such a rigorous standard for the design of research that the research can’t be done – especially if the taxpayer is paying for it." You can find the report here.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Research, Online Learning]

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James Gee: What Do Video Games Have to Do with Project-Based Learning?
David Ross and John Larmer, Edutopia, March 22, 2012.

David Ross and John Larmer converse about learning and games before and after a video on the subject from James Paul Gee (the video is embedded in the article; well done). "John: What surprised me, and I think many of the people who attended, was that James' message was not 'video games can be used to teach science, history, math, etc.' but 'education should be more like a well-designed video game.'" Right.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Gaming, Video]

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MOOCing about with SaaS
Andy Powell, E-Foundations, March 22, 2012.

Andy Powell is messing around with a MOOC on SaaS (Software as a Service) and Ruby on Rails in particular. The course is offered on Coursera. He writes, "In general, MOOCs are premised on the idea of connectivism as a pedagogic approach which I'll summarise somewhat trivially by saying, "you may not know the answer but in a large enough social network you'll probably know someone who does". I suspect this works particularly well in what I'll call "softer" disciplines - for example, where homework submissions take the form of essays. As it happens, it has also worked quite well for this course, not because people have directly given away the answers in the discussion forum but because the general discussion around problems and issues (with all aspects of the course) has been incredibly useful."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Connectivism, Traditional and Online Courses, Ruby, Networks, Discussion Lists]

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The Emerging Landscape of Educational Delivery Models
Phil Hill, e-Literate, March 22, 2012.

Two parts (thus far; Part One, Part Two) of a series by Phil Hill on new educational delivery models. "Why does it matter that we describe these educational delivery models with finer granularity than just traditional and online? Because the aims of the models differ, as do the primary methods of how these models are created and delivered. As an example, there are really two variations of MOOCs with quite different approaches – witness the Stanford and MITx version vs. the rhizomatic version. Given the changing landscape, the judgment of how successful these models will become, as well as how well learning platforms help solve the associated problems should differ as well."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Online Learning]

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Project Fedena - Sampoorna
Various Authors, Project Fedena, March 22, 2012.

This came in through my email: "Fedena is the first open source school ERP based on Ruby on Rails developed by people like you! It is a one stop solution for all school management related issues and helps you manage student databases and all other activities online." It's not something I can test firsthand, clearly, but I would be interested to know what people think of it. Meanwhile, "Sampoorna is the implementation of Fedena by Government of Kerala, India. Details of around 7million students from Standard 1 to 12, in over 15,000 schools in the State, will now be easily accessible to school authorities," so you can contact people who have tested it.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Accessibility, Project Based Learning, Ruby, Open Source, Online Learning, Student Record Systems]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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