OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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September 3, 2013

Gary Hamel: Reinventing the Technology of Human Accomplishment
Gary Hamel, YouTube, September 3, 2013


Good video (in English) recommended for an upcoming management MOOC (in German). Management structures designed in the mid-1800s are no longer sufficient for the challenges of the new environment, says Gary Hamel in this University of Phoenix TED-style talk (I enjoyed the background graphics). The problems are:

  • exponential change
  • hyper-competition (and constant innovation)
  • knowledge as a commodity (which dissipates very quickly)

Companies that thrive in the future will be the ones that respond to these challenges. But how? One approach is 'reverse accountability', where 'bosses' report to employees, or at least, are held accountable to them. Another is to challenge traditional management concepts. More, innovation, says Hamel, comes "from the fringe" (or, as we used to say, from the edge). This involves taking not just the tools but also the deep principles of the web and applying them to organizations. See also the Management 2.0 hackathon results document.

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A cartoonist’s advice
Bill Watterson, Gavin Aung Than, Zen Pencils, September 3, 2013


You've probably seen this, but I'll link to it anyway, because it contains the words of my spiritual guide Bill Watterson. For those of you who don't know him, he is the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, the greatest comic strip of all time. In so many way, I am Calvin. Here's some more Watterson from Brain Pickings: "It’s surprising how hard we’ll work when the work is done just for ourselves.... I’ve found that the only way I can keep writing every day, year after year, is to let my mind wander into new territories. To do that, I’ve had to cultivate a kind of mental playfulness." See also Alfred Thompson.

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Dino 101
University of Alberta, September 3, 2013


Tomorrow marks the launch of Dino 101, a MOOC offered by the University of Alberta. I would think this course would be interesting to students, and especially younger students, the world over (because you can't go wrong with dinosaurs, right?). Jennifer Chesney provided me with some background on the course - "The UAlberta Digital Learning site sets the broader context of the UofA's place in the history of using technology to "uplift the whole people" (our promise statement) and lets people know about what we are doing beyond just the MOOC... the Coursera - UAlberta partnership news item here... Udacity posted a very nice post today... We have also built a Dino 101 hub that serves to help us improve Google PageRank in organic search results and gives us one place to collate and curate all the dinosaur-related news and research discoveries."

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A Star MOOC Professor Defects—at Least For Now
Marc Parry, The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 3, 2013

The word of the day in MOOCs is "franchising" - that's what Coursera wanted to do which caused Princeton professor Mitchell Duneier to pass on offering his introductory sociology MOOC a second time. "Mr. Duneier had received a twofold request from Coursera. One component was to 'license' his content to Maryland, free... The other involved the University of Akron, which was seeking to license materials 'in a very small test pilot.'" According to the article, Duneier "said no, because I think that it's an excuse for state legislatures to cut funding to state universities." I think it's more likely Duneier discovered that he was reproducible, at least in that format. No wonder he also says "I also have serious doubts about whether or not using a course like mine in that way would be pedagogically effective."

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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