OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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March 20, 2013

There's no such thing as 'Formal Learning'
nick shackleton-jones, aconventional, March 20, 2013

"There is no such thing as formal learning," writes nick shackleton-jones. "Don't mourn its passing - it never existed." The case is pretty good. "People click through e-learning as quickly as they can, engaging in 'token learning' where they are required to pass a quiz; and recall next to nothing of classroom content....The archetypal case of formal learning - school - fares no better. Students sit wearily through lessons in which they often do little more than take notes." The social elements tha people value, and even cramming for exams, he argues, are examples of informal learning, the things people do for themselves.

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

Lumen Learning: A Red Hat for OER
David Wiley, iterating toward openness, March 20, 2013

I'm  a few days late covering this item (blame my day job, which takes up more and more of my time in the office these days) but I'm sure readers would be interested to know that David Wiley, one of the major voices in open content, has returned to the well again with another venture, this one called Lumen Learning. The model is a bit different this time, more like Red Hat than Flat Earth, with a strategy to "step into the deep pool of curiosity and caution around OER with the faculty training, academic leadership consulting, technical and pedagogical support, and other services necessary to put adopting OER within reach of a normal institution." I think this is a good model; it keeps open content open, the way it should be, but creates a market selling extras and services to the commercial sector.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Open Content, Leadership, Academia]

The Ever Changing State of the Learning Technology Industry
Josh Bersin, Bersin by Deloitte, March 20, 2013

Good overview of the evolution now happening in the learning technology industry. Learning management sstems were replaced by talent management systems, which were then integrated into information systems. Meanwhile, learners themselves began using social and cloud technology. In the $1.8 billion core learing technologies market, "today’s modern learning technology platform should manage formal courses, all forms of digital content, e-commerce, social features, employee profiles, competency-based learning, assessment, and often integrate with talent management." The market isn't simply moving to better technologies to teach stuff: it's about supporting a learning culture, sharing expertise, and building cvapacity as part of the core business. Good stuff which should be an easier sell in the corner office than it seems to be.

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

Teachers v. billionaires
Scott Mcleod, Dangerously Irrelevant, March 20, 2013

Scott McLeod quotes David Sirota making the point that needs to be made: "It simply strains credulity to insist that pedagogues who get paid middling wages but nonetheless devote their lives to educating kids care less about those kids than do the Wall Street hedge funders and billionaire CEOs who finance the so-called reform movement. Indeed, to state that pervasive assumption out loud is to reveal how utterly idiotic it really is."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools]

Small Open Online Communities
Keith Lyons, Clyde Street, March 20, 2013

keith Lyon reports that Danny Munnerley makes the point that the C in SOOC stands for Community rather than Course. A SOOC is a variant of MOOC, with the S standing for 'Small' (see slide 7 of this presentation). I've seen this sentiment a lot. And as Lyons writes, a few days earlier, Susan Blum wrote: "If our ultimate goal is to educate human beings, then we must focus not only on knowledge and information, discipline and surveillance as measured by tests, but also on non-academic pleasures, motivations, skills, and the full array of human engagement that sustains attention and meaning." Well I agree, but I would say this: courses have start ad end dates, and communities don't. So if your thing has a start and end date, it's a course. It may foster and support community, but it's something different.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Assessment, Academia]

Blackboard’s New Early Warning Analytics Product
Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, March 20, 2013

Michael Feldstein summarizes Blackboard's new "early warning system." As Blackboard CEO Ray Henderson writes, the system "gives critical insight on learning and activity gaps to instructors, within the LMS, that helps them quickly diagnose students that are falling behind. Pre-configured and automatic so they don’t have to hunt for it. No set-up: it automatically calls out students that are at risk while instructors still have time and space to do something about it." Basically the system measures logins, course activity, grades and missed deadlines. No doubt this information is useful, but that seems to be a pretty low bar to be called 'analytics'.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Blackboard Inc., Assessment]

Knowmad Society
John Moravec, March 20, 2013

A Knowmad is "a nomadic knowledge worker, that is, a creative, imaginative, and innovative person who can work with almost anybody, anytime, and anywhere." In this volume on the Knowmads, nine authors bring togethr their ideas on the future of work. Readers may be interested in John Moravec's thoughts on "the paradoxical co-existence of 'Education 1.0' in 'Society 3.0'." He writes, "In the knowmadic, 3.0 proto-paradigm of invisible learning, rote, 'just in case' memorization needs to be replaced with learning that is intended to be personally meaningful for all participants in the learning experience. Moreover, the application of knowledge toward innovative problem solving takes primacy over the regurgitation of previous knowledge or 'facts.' In essence, students become knowledge brokers."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Experience, Online Learning, Paradigm Shift]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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