OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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July 24, 2012

Berkeley Joins ‘EdX’ Effort to Offer Free Open Courses
Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 24, 2012.

It looks like EdX is seeking to expand in the same way Coursera has, by creating a consortium of universities. This appears to be the case after Berkeley's announcement it is joing the consortium, and the statement that "that more institutions will eventually be admitted to the exclusive group." I wonder whether partners in Coursera and EdX have an exclusivity clause, or whether we could eventually see the same university joing both, and more, online course consortia.

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

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YouTube Fights Horrible Commenters by Naming Names
Ryan Tate, Wired, July 24, 2012.

I've always felt one of the major objectives of Google+ is to get people using their real names online. This serves Google much better when marketing advertising, and can be used as the basis for a future e-commerce network, for example, by tying Google+ identities to existing mobile phone accounts. It will be marketed as something else, of course - in this case, it is being marketed as a way to make YouTube users accountable for their comments. YouTube comments are notoriously vile, but this may have a lot more to do with the immaturity of the commenters than to their anonymity. And I don't think Google cares about the contents of the messages as much as it does selling to - or for - their senders.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: YouTube, Video, Marketing, Google, Networks]

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Is the Academic Publishing Industry on the Verge of Disruption?
Simon Owens, U.S. News & World Report, July 24, 2012.

Interesting article on open access journals, prompted by a recent statement from Harvard University on the issue, that covers the ground pretty well but is kinder to publishers than I would be. Case in point: "'The argument that the taxpayer pays for it, and therefore the taxpayer should have it for free, is weak in my view,' said Martin Frank, the executive director of the American Physiological Society. ' ... You and everyone else can identify the fact that there's lots of stuff in our society that has been developed through taxpayer dollars that we still end up paying for.'" Me, I probably wouldn't have run this argument on the ground that it is incoherent.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, United States, Open Access]

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Global MOOCs, Enhanced Media and The Media Psychology Effect
Bernard Luskin, Psychology Today, July 24, 2012.

I think the diffusion of the 'MOOC' phenomenon through traditional media is worthy of a dissertation. Here we have a column from Psychology Today in which a former president of Mind Extension University argues that he was essentially the originator of the MOOC. MEU was a "basic cable television network devoted to interactive distance learning." Luskin writes, "At MEU we were criticized for 'MOOC-ing' a history course offered by then Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. Offering this history program as a course to thousands created a firestorm of controversy and I had to affirm our first amendment rights and Glenn Jones was called to testify before Congress." I would take the time to write to them that simply broadcasting some content doesn't count as a MOOC (otherwise the Academy Awards would be a MOOC) but it's not worth the time.

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

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Massive MOOC Dropouts: Are We Really Okay With That?
Audrey Watters, Hack Education, July 24, 2012.

Audrey Watters, like other critics before her, takes MOOCs to task for their high drop-out rate. But let's keep this firmly in perspective. If people quit work, moved to a new city, invested thousands of dollars to pay tuition, bought books and then attended a class, then yes, I would be concerned about high rates of drop-outs. But if a person fills in a form, reads a few posts, and perhaps offers up a comment, then the drop-out rate isn't anything like the same sort of problem.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Tuition and Student Fees]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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