OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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May 15, 2013

7 Million Moodle Courses Can Now Be Taught Via Eliademy
Joseph Fakayode, Eliademy, May 15, 2013


If you are using Moodle, maybe stuck in one of Blackboard's recent Moodle acquisitions, or just frustrated by the endless scroll of death, then you may want to consider Eliademy (this is not an endorsement; I'm just telling you it exists). Eliademy has just launched a campaign offering Moodle users an easy way to convert from Moodle to Eliademy. "Eliademy is backed by CBTec Ltd, a company founded by ex-Nokia veterans, who possess core expertise in Open Source Technology. Eliademy was built using Open Source Technology in cooperation with Finnish educators and learners and it is free of charge."

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Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers, May 15, 2013

From the email again (can you tell I'm catching up today?) comes this item on a new journal launching this summer, "the only publication dedicated exclusively to the development, design, and deployment of the game-changing Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)." Which I guess means that mooc.ca is not a publication. Also from the email: "Multidisciplinary in scope, this authoritative journal has a neutral bias. Its mandate is the critical evaluation of the MOOC components and modules that are essential in creating a global and sustainable system." The journal, of course, is closed access, with a $1400 sticker price for institutions. Here's the announcement.

[Link] [Comment]

The World Bank and Education: Critiques and Alternatives
Thibaut Lauwerier, May 15, 2013

The World Bank has a long history of developing educational initiatives and policy in developing nations around the world.The book reviewed in this post explores some themes prevalent in this involvement:

  • World Bank as advocate of neoliberal ideology
  • Instrumental vision of education quality
  • Self-referencing research from its staff or consultant
  • Transfer of best practices without regard to specific country contexts

These are all good grounds to criticize the World Bank. As the reviewer, Thibaut Lauwerier, says, "It is important to condemn the ideology spread by the World Bank because it takes little consideration of peoples’ actual needs." But the book, he writes, needs to be more grounded. "These criticisms could be stronger if there were evidence that the World Bank’s influence on education, notably through reports, has real harmful effects in specific countries and/or periods." Good overview and review of an important topic.

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Moonlyt, May 15, 2013


Here is an example of a marketplace linking tutors with students. PJ Reinemann writes to me by email, "Moonlyt is an online platform that allows parents and students to find, connect, and interact with the best tutors from around the world. Moonlyt was founded by two MIT alumni who believe that the tutoring market is large, fragmented, and inefficient. We hope that our technology allows more transparency and efficiency in the market and the eliminates geographical constraints of in-person tutoring. We encourage you to browse our list of tutors at www.moonlyt.com/moonlyters. Parents and students will benefit greatly from being able to find high quality tutors at affordable prices." Something like this is my retirement plan (or my next job, if I ever come to believe I could make a living by consulting).

[Link] [Comment]

MOOC war is it?
Leigh Blackall, May 15, 2013

Leigh Blackall suggests that the editing 'war' over MOOCs on Wikipedia is lamentably one-sided. "Who among us, that spend considerable time commenting on the commentary through our blogs, Slideshares, Youtubes and the like, take an hour out of each day to check and help improve the Wikipedia articles relating to our work?" This is a fair point, and I confess that I edit Wikipedia only occasionally (partly because Wikieditors have taken over, partly because it would seem self-serving, partly because I don't have the time). But Blackall makes the case, pointing to a number of Wikipedia articles related to the field and relating their sorry state of disrepair. "Remember," he writes, "MOOCs have become a manufactured consent."

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Connected Learning: A Learning Approach Designed for Our Times
Whitney Burke, Huffington Post, May 15, 2013


Whitney Burke writes in Huffington Post about "a new approach to learning, connected learning." It's based "a fourth R: relevance." Burke writes, "Today 'relevance' means preparing all young people for a rapidly changing, interconnected world where learning transpires long after the school bell rings and creative and critical thinking skills are in constant demand." In practice, "connected learning "connects academics to a young person's interests and daily life and affords opportunities for the learner to draw rich social support from a tight-knit group of mentors, teachers, parents and peers." The approach has its own website and is fostered by the The Digital Media & Learning Research Hub. Here's a report describing the approach in detail. Readers will be forgiven if the report reads point for point like it's describing connectivism and networked learning as we practice it, though as I suggest here, "It's much more communal and participation-oriented than the approach I take."

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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