OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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

February 26, 2013

The Higher-Education Lobby Comes to Madison
Sara Goldrick-Rab, The Chronicle: The Conversation, February 26, 2013

I'm not sure whether 'the higher education lobby' refers to the author of this article, or the speaker being commented upon. Not a good start. Sara Goldrick-Rab posts a 'conversation' where she restates the case for MOOCs advanced by Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council of Education (ACE), and then criticizes it. The case is the usual: economic pressurs are making a traditional education harder to obtain, at a time when it's needed more than ever. And concerns about quality can be addressed by organizations like ACE. Goldrick-Rab responds, "the picture Broad painted was not so much of higher education at a 'crossroads,' but rather a disturbing vision of colleges and universities frantically trying to pull up the drawbridge and create a new moat for their protection." Maybe, maybe not, but that's not the case for MOOCs. The case is the urgent need to extend education, and especially advanced education, to a much broader segment of society.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Push versus Pull, United States, Quality]

Share |

1TB of Google Storage? Buy a Chromebook Pixel Instead
Alex Chitu, Google Operating System, February 26, 2013

According to my version of the Play Store, it's not for sale yet. But the marketing behind this Chromebook is very interesting. "When you pay $1300 for the ultrabook, Google also offers 1TB of storage for 3 years. The regular price for 1TB of Google Drive storage is $50/month, so Google offers $1800 of storage for only $1300 and the hardware is 'free'." Given that I'm already paying for a gig of Google storage online, the offer is even more reasonable. The big question is, of course, what happens after three years - will they give me a new computer? Will prices come down? Still - it's interesting that the hardware is now the loss leader for the online service (and even more interesting that I find myself buying more and more online services). Speaking of which - isn't it time for the ball game to start?

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Google Chrome, Books, Marketing, Google]

Share |

School of Open will launch during Open Education Week
Jane Park, Creative Commons, February 26, 2013

Jane Park writes, "As promised, the School of Open is launching its first set of courses during Open Education Week, March 11-15, 2013. This means that all facilitated courses will open for sign-up that week, and all stand-alone courses will be ready to take then or anytime thereafter." She explains, "The School of Open is a community of volunteers developing and running online courses on the meaning and impact of 'openness' in the digital age and its benefit to creative endeavors, education, research, and beyond." You can sign up to receive announcements.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Traditional and Online Courses, Research, Web Logs, Google]

Share |

Too long? Read anyway.
L.M. Orchard, blog.lmorchard.com, February 26, 2013

L.M. Orchard takes an entire (long, delicious) article to get to his point: "Written language is essential to life as a modern day human being. Don’t expect others to pick up your slack in this area. Improve your reading, improve your writing, improve yourself." Seriously, the TL;DR culture is, as he says, dysfunctional. "Language is the ultimate technology," he writes. "In fact, I’ll go so far as to say: It’s not okay to fail at written language as a modern, technologically-empowered human being." Language is code, language is communication, language is expression, language is foresight. If you don't read the whole thing, whatever it is, you're less well informed and will pay the consequences.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

Share |

MOOC Paths directory – alternatives to a college programs of study
MyEducationPath blog, February 26, 2013

There's another MOOC directoryh, this one mapping the path to a degree via MOOCs. "In the directory there will be published paths to get education degree using MOOCs and online courses. We will publish paths that can be used as replacement of traditional college programs of study." It's an interesting approach, assuming (a) it's possible to get a degre via MOOC, which it currently isn't, and (b) people want to get a degree via MOOC, which sounds like a good idea now, but wait 'til they see the workload.

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

Share |

The 3 Ms, quality and instructional design of MOOCs
Sui Fai John Mak, Learner Weblog, February 26, 2013

A writer in the Association of Governing Boards magazine gets to the point of online learning in this article: Mission, MOOCs, & Money. It's a reasonably good overview (though I would question awarding somebody working in the 1970s the title of "father of the MOOC" (for the simple reason there was no online). Sui Fai John Mak, writing in the context of the Governing Boards article, focuses on the major question the boards face:

  • Why are we online? Is the movement to or expansion of online education consistent with the institutional mission? Does and will it serve and advance the institutional mission? Or is the key issue in the discussion about online education—including any conversations about MOOCs—money?
  • How do we assess quality—that of our own online offerings and those of others, including the MOOCs?
  • What will it take to achieve our objectives in terms of online learning

"In summary," he writes, "mission and money are now blended together when considering MOOCs under an institutional framework.  This seems to be a time where a critical mass of institutions and learners have justified the promotion and adoption of MOOCs in a global arena of Higher Education."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Quality, Online Learning, Blended 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.