OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

[Home] [Top] [Archives] [Mobile] [About] [Threads] [Options]

December 17, 2012

files/images/Ibague_Rainbow.jpg, size:  bytes, type:
Ibague, Colombia
Stephen Downes, Flickr, December 17, 2012.

I may have deleted my iPhoto pictures library, and then emptied my trash, a "permanent action that cannot be undone," but as this photo set from Ibague, Colombia, shows, nothing is final, not even deletion. Enjoy (and as always I recommend the slide show).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

Share |

Openness is still the only superpower
Mike Caulfield, Weblog, December 17, 2012.

I think Mike Caulfield gets the basic premise right here as he writes of a "lurry of anti-MOOC, anti-Cousera columns in the Chronicle recently." Caulfield writes, "I love a good fight over pedagogical techniques and scalable architecture, but I’m less concerned about that than whether in the course of this argument we are producing open, reusable course elements. As long as the argument produces reusable course elements, our options are multiplied in moving forward. More things become possible." I agree. It was always openness that was at the heart of the MOOCs George Siemens and I created, and it was this openness that triggered the innovation and massive response to the Stanford AI course. A lot of MOOC-work since then has been dedicated to putting the genie back in the bottle. Ultimately, such efforts should fail.

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

Share |

The Dark Side of StraighterLine’s Professor Direct Program
Josh Boldt, Copy & Paste, December 17, 2012.

Since I posted an item about StraighterLine I've been hearing about poor reviews and even suggestions that the service is a scam. I can't comment, as I haven't looked at StraighterLine in enough detail. But a lot of the negative publicity is of the 'wrong in principle' variety. Josh Boldt, for example, writes, "Despite the spin StraighterLine is attempting to place on Professor Direct, this program has nothing to do with empowering the teacher and everything to do with applying free market principles to higher education." This, he argues, pushes down the price, and consequently, instructor wages as well. Perhaps - but this to me points to the need for public support for open education. There's no reason why freelance professors have to be paid directly by tuition. They can be paid well, with a mandate to support open learning.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Online Learning, Tuition and Student Fees]

Share |

Are MOOCs becoming mechanisms for international competition in global higher ed?
Kris Olds, Inside Higher Ed, December 17, 2012.

The buzz surrounding MOOCs continues apace in this pair of articles from Inside Higher Ed. The first article looks at the use of MOOCs to brand online learning for national education systems. This is in light of the recent announcement of a British MOOC platform. The second looks at the transition from MOOCs to that they call MOCCs - Mid-Sized Online Closed Courses. Of course, this is what academic institutions have been doing for more than a decade, so it's hard to see the new here. "As various players, from companies to individual professors, try to monetize the MOOC phenomenon, in the end we may not actually be left with true MOOCs anymore." This is of course the end-game for commercial education providers. The sooner open learning can be converted into something people have to pay for, to these providers, the better.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Branding, Great Britain, Online Learning, Academia]

Share |

Lemmings-548x391.jpg, size: 80458 bytes, type:  image/jpeg
Online learning in 2012: a retrospective
Tony Bates, Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, December 17, 2012.

Tony Batesis as always well worth reading, including this take on the year that was. He writes, "The media love to focus on the ivy league universities to the almost total neglect of the rest of the system (the cult of the superstar). Here is an appalling irony. The top tier research universities have by and large ignored online learning for the last 15 years. Suddenly though when MIT, Stanford and Harvard jump in, all the rest follow like lemmings. MOOCs are seen as an easy, low risk way for these universities not only to catch up, but to jump into the front line. But they are hugely wrong. Moving from broadcasting to learning is not going to be easy."

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

Share |

Next Steps: NonCommercial and NoDerivatives Discussion
Timothy Vollmer, Creative Commons, December 17, 2012.

Creative Commons has taken the 'next steps' in its discussion of the non-derivatives (ND) and non-commercial (NC) variations of its licenses. I have posted my objection to any changes, and especially changes that would brand the NC license as 'non-free'. As I point out, the majority of resources licensed under Creative Commons are NC resources. And as I have argued at length elsewhere, NC licenses are at least equally 'free', if not more free, because they preserve cost-free access for users.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Branding]

Share |

slider_stacks-3a3b2bd785cbaddf5ec423e267ff2d13.jpg, size: 68002 bytes, type:  image/jpeg
OpenStax College
Various Authors, Website, December 16, 2012.

In the wake of Flat World Knowledge's change of business model, Frank Lowney recommends we look at Rice University's  "OpenStax College offers students free textbooks that meet scope and sequence requirements for most courses. These are peer-reviewed texts written by professional content developers. Adopt a book today for a turnkey classroom solution or modify it to suit your teaching approach. Free online and low-cost in print, OpenStax College books are built for today’s student budgets." Rice has a good history of promoting free online learning resources; it is also the home of the long-lived Connexions project.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Connexions, Books, Project Based Learning, Online Learning]

Share |

This newsletter is sent only at the request of subscribers. If you would like to unsubscribe, Click here.

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter? Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list. Click here to subscribe.

Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.