OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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May 29, 2013

He who laughs last…
Patrick Masson, CIOh-no, May 29, 2013

Overview of a presentation by the author and two colleagues on "The University as an Agile Organization (see presentation PDF here)" which showed "how the organization and operation of a college or university might be enabled–and benefit–through the principles behind the Agile Manifesto." There's a lot in common with my own thinking on the matter, and in particular, "a “university as a networked complex adaptive system is permeable (no formal admissions process); consists of voluntary and self-organizing associations of teachers and students [and] consists of a self-organizing and intellectually fluid curriculum." Remarks the author, "we (and Staley particularly) were ridiculed by our peers. Several folks poo-poo’ed our session in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s article, 'What if we ran Universities Like Wikipedia?'" To which I respond: get better peers.

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Fighting Facebook, a Campaign for a People’s Terms of Service
Woodrow Hartzog, The Center for Internet, and , Society, May 29, 2013

There's a strong similarity between a "people's terms of service contract" and Creative Commons - both are initiatives intended to move complex legal processes from the darkness of lawyer's offices to the light of common usage. Some of the terms that would be highlighted are laudible - the idea that such agreements could not be arbitrarily changed, that producer data collection practices would be transparent, that companies would respect user copyright, and that industry standard data security measures would be in place. But I question whether I want yet another commercial mechanism invading my private space. I was happier just ignoring terms of service. We know that companies with deep pockets will simply ignore these provisions, just as they ignore Creative Commons. The primary impact will be on the non-commercial sector, and it will simply create more overhead, forcing us all to be a little more commercial, a little colder and a little meaner.

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The Anti- IPA Position Paper: A reply from an Educator to the International Publishers' Association Position Paper
Rory McGreal, Athabasca Landing, May 29, 2013

The International Publishers' Association has released a short position paper on open educational reosurces (OERs) that makes the arguments you might expect, "sceptical however about the capacity of OERs to provide high quality content in core curriculum subjects in the longer term." Rory McGreal has responded, saying "publishers and Open Educational Resources both have value and are not mutually exclusive." He points out that the same challenges facing OERs - sustainability, quality, and efficacy - are also challenges for commercial content. He notes especially that there are "few recognisable quality assurance procedures associated with commercial content and these are controlled by private interests."

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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