OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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September 10, 2013

Bold innovations in openwashing
Brian Lamb, Abject, September 10, 2013

While George Siemens (below) simply finds the announcement "confusing", Audrey Watters unhesitatingly calls the announcement a case of openwashing. She tweets, "Udacity announces an Open Education Alliance because "open education" is now meaningless... Openly licensed content? Not mentioned. Open source? Not mentioned." So what does 'open' mean these days? Brian Lamb summarizes: "Open as in doors. Open as in hearts. Open as in 'for business'." I'm glad he's "plenty busy working with people here and elsewhere on approaches to using online technologies to extend, enhance and energize learning [where] we share what we do because it feels good, because it makes what we do better, because it represents a human-scale way of being, one with global reach."

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Sebastian Thrun confuses me: Thoughts on Udacity’s openness project
George Siemens, elearnspace, September 10, 2013

Georgen Siemens likes Sebastian Thrun (he writes; I've never met the man, nor am I likely to). It's "the other Thrun that confuses me," Siemens continues. "He says things like:

Most recently, writes Siemens, "pulled another confusing move in announcing Open Educational Alliance." Confusing because of "the lack of reference to or connection with the existing open education movement. This is a frustrating Silicon Valley attribute. Don’t learn from others. Learn it yourself." In the end, MOOCs may be signaling not the end of the relevance of university system, but the end of the relevance of Silicon Valley. Something to ponder.

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L.A. sheriff: Pay for preschool, not prisons
Lyndsey Layton, Washington Post, September 10, 2013


Best quote of the day: "'Either you have to pay now (for preschool), or you’re going to have to pay a guy like me later,' Baca said. He oversees a jail system with 19,000 inmates." It would be nice were the people who (shall we say) seek to economize on education funding consider the costs, measurable in very real dollars, of those decisions. It's like leaving the school roof without repair for 30 years - eventually you have to build a $27 million school, instead of sepending $1 million on the roof. (Photo, by me: Moncton High School, a stately old school whose roof repairs  were ignored, now being replaced for millions of dollars; the providical education department has meanwhile cut dozens of teaching positions from a system understaffed to begin with).

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Can the #MOOC format respond to the educational challenges #altc2013?
Inge de Waard, Ignatia Webs, September 10, 2013

As I write, I am at ALT-C in Nottingham and getting input and ideas - right now Ièm at a digital literacies seccion. I missed the session summarized in this post from Ignatia (it looks like it was interesting - but all I have to select sessions are paper titles and times (and thereès no clock in the venue, so even time gets tricky). The response to the question is, essentially, yes, MOOCs can address many of our pressing educational issues, but only if the form is tweaked to do so. "The format is now mature enough to be optimized for the challenges that we all – as global learners/teachers/researchers – are facing during these times of financial and educational crisis."

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New Jorum
Jorum, September 10, 2013

From my email: "New Jorum, with refreshed look-and-feel, and new search and reporting features, is now live: http://www.jorum.ac.uk/. We've been working towards this for a long time, and listening hard to our fabulous user community, so we hope you like it. You can read all about it here: A New Beginning for Jorum." According to the website, "Jorum is the place where you will find free open educational resources produced by the UK Further and Higher Education community."

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Desire2Learn Acquires Knowillage Systems, Inc.
Press Release, Desire2Learn, September 10, 2013

This is interesting. D2L has acquired "Knowillage Systems, Inc., the creator of an adaptive learning engine - LeaP - that improves grades by helping educators address the personal learning needs of every student. Knowillage LeaP uses language processing and analytics to determine gaps in a learner's skill set and then provides the right tools, content, and techniques to address those areas of weakness." Of course, if the engine can do that, then it stands to reason that an employer wouldn't need to rely on test results to determine competency. Neither too would educational institutions. Which in turn undermines the need to academic credentials at all. 

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Centre for Digital Philosophy
David Bourget, Centre for Digital Philosophy, September 10, 2013

In my email today: "the official launch of the Centre for Digital Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario...
CDP will advance research and education in philosophy through digital means. In particular, it will continue the development of PhilPapers, PhilEvents, PhilJobs, and other Phil* projects we have initiated. CDP will also support projects that aim to advance our understanding of philosophy and philosophical problems through technology or technology-centric methods." Nice.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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