OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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June 27, 2013

The Commoditization of Higher Education in Australia
Ken Udas, The Evolllution, June 26, 2013


As quoted on OERU mailing list today: "Recently, the notion of Micro Open Online Courses (mOOCs) has evolved from participation in the OERu, which brings together a strong commitment to open educational practices, micro-credentialing and opening the opportunity for scalability through networks rather than large-scale (massive) course delivery. Read more." Of course - networks! If only there were MOOCs based on networks! Ken Udas should know better - he's not unfamiliar with our work. OERu in general has heard of our network-based approach. So it would be odd to see USQ claiming to be developing it.

[Link] [Comment]

Why I Am No Longer a Sceptic
Stephen Bond, Stephensplatz, June 24, 2013


This essay makes a number of interesting points. Supporters of this or that sort of realism will not be buoyed by the author's rejection of scepticism - because what he is rejecting is not the sceptical stance itself, but the definition of knowledge and reason that makes him a sceptic. "The nerds won, decades ago, and they're now as thoroughly established as any other part of the establishment. And while nerds a relatively new elite, they're overwhelmingly the same as the old: rich, white, male, and desperate to hang onto what they've got. And I have come to realise that skepticism, in their hands, is just another tool to secure and advance their privileged position, and beat down their inferiors." Challenging. And I find myself agreeing with him. (See also: the cult of Bayes's Theorem).

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Can We Move Beyond the MOOC and Reclaim Open Learning?
Anya Kamenetz, DIY U, June 24, 2013

I'll classify this post under the heading of "irony": "Reclaim Open Learning is a small innovation contest, sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation, the Digital Media and Learning Hub, and the MIT Media Lab with a humble mission. We want to find the five best examples of innovation happening right now in higher ed." Really? These - along with Any Kamanetz - are the people who want to reclaim open learning?

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Is this the Education Revolution We’ve Been Waiting For? An Essay Review of The One World School House
Francis Schrag, education review, June 23, 2013

Good review of Salman Khan’s The One World Schoolhouse and of the educational ideas that spawned it. Khan, of course, offered thpousands of video lessons on math and physics for free on YouTube. Reviewer Francis Schrag dismisses criticisms of this project as a "groundswell of resentment, pointing out as well that the Khan videos were not meant to instantiate the Khan program of self-managed learning. "The Khan Academy modules do not aspire to be innovative." But Schrag has other criticisms to offer. He cites, for example, Karim Kai Ani’s to argue that the humanities and history do not lend themselves easily to programatic learning the way math and physics do. Additionally, he dopes not believe children can discover worthwhile pursuits on their own; "we will still want places where children can be initiated into worthy pursuits by adult mentors." But the review ends on a vaguely positgive note, so who knows?

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Firefox Web browser to move ahead plan to block tracking
Washington Post, June 23, 2013

So while Chrome and Safari interfere with RSS, Firefox is moving ahead with plans to enable users to block tracking cookies. I've been using an extension called "DoNotTrackMe" and as I checked it today, it reports "Marvelous! Your all-time total is: 51,667 blocked ." So I call that a success. But it will be better to have it built into the browser. See also coverage from Ad Age, NBC News, Consumer Watchdog,

[Link] [Comment]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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