OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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November 12, 2012

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Coalition of thinkers vow to fight marketisation of universities
Shiv Malik, The Guardian, November 12, 2012.

While on the one hand, I am sympathetic with the argument posted by these academics to the effect that education should not be commoditized and commercialized. On the other hand, I am not sympathetic to the proposition that they should simply continue educating the children of rich people. I'm sorry they feel dissatisfied and are of low morale; believe me, I feel this. In a time of challenge, however, the best response is not to retrench, but instead to take the course of action that promotes the most good.

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

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Educational Technology and Related Education Conferences" for January to June 2013
Clayton R. Wright, Stephen's Web, November 12, 2012.

Clayton R. Wright makes available his list of "Educational Technology and Related Education Conferences" for January to June 2013. He adds a cautionary note to the current list: "from time to time I encounter what I will refer to as "phantom conferences and academic journals" (similar, but not identical to phantom faculty). Their purpose is not to collect money, credit card information or passwords as would occur in phishing, but rather to obtain ideas and benefit from the efforts of others. When a paper is submitted, it disappears into a 'black hole'. The paper is then modified, and often but not always, translated and published in local journals. Those who 'borrow' ideas from others and build on their sweat equity, obtain local credit at their institution - they receive credit for new ideas presented in a scholarly publication or at local conferences. Thus, I encourage all to perform due diligence when submitting to an organization or group which one is unfamiliar with. One should be just a little suspicious if the website does not provide actual names, professional affiliations, addresses, and e-mail links to specific individuals who can be contacted for additional information. Ideally, the website should direct viewers to the webpage of the previous conference, a recently published journal, and/or individuals who sit on the review or editorial board."
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[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Academic Journals, Academia, Academic Publications]

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President launches low-cost Aakash-2 tablet
, Times of India, November 12, 2012.

The almoast constant refrain in discussions of e-learning internationally is "students cannot afford computers." Answering that is the 1130 Rupee ($20.50) Aakash 2 computer, launched yhesterday by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee. The first hundred thousand devices will be distributed to students of engineering colleges and universities. The computers will cost about twice as much on the open market; the Indian government is covering half of the $41 student price. "22 crore (220 million) students will get the device across the country in the next five to six years. By coming Monday alone, 20,000 devices are expected to reach out to the students."

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

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Sexist or Silly?
Lee Kolbert, A GeekyMomma's Blog, November 12, 2012.

Lee Kolbert reacts negatively to a worksheet on gender stereotypes distributed by a teacher to a third grade class. Students were given a list fo activities and asked to classify them as activities for boys, girls, or both. The intent is obviously to identify existing stereotypes as a lead-in to a dicussion about what they are and how they were formed. instead, the assignment flared up into a social media tempest and a Huffington Post article. I agree with the parent's description: "A situation where there was seemingly good intention and just naive/poor execution." And it's an example of where online open educational resources would be really useful. Istead of trying to come up with something on her own - which is really typical of in-person teaching - the teacher should have been plugged into a community that shared resources.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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