OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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October 23, 2013

Traditional Education Beats Online in Key Areas, Opinion Poll Finds
Scott Carlson, The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog, October 23, 2013

Ah, is there any area of reserach that cannot be done better by opinion poll than by actually measuring outcomes? No, not accoridng to Gallup, nor i guess the Chronicle of Higher Education. Hence, based on the views of 1,000 average Americans, we are forced to conclude, "traditional classroom education is beating out online education on some of the most fundamental elements" and that the "raditional classroom education was still better tailored to the individual." Keeping everything in the language of faith and belief, the article continues, "evangelists for educational technology and online learning tend to hype the personalized and individualized elements of their products. 'The reality... is that that has not permeated Americans’ perceptions of what it can do.'" Why would they even run such an article? It boggles the mind.

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the story of education: a Grimm fairy tale
Bonnie Stewart, The theoryblog, October 23, 2013

So, yes, I write, still. I blog, still. I fired off a post this morning before my training session (yeah - I'm in a training session) on ePortfolios. Nothing big or long, just something to fulfill a specific need, which I blogged. Because - like any writer - I know that if I stop doing ti, I'll lose it. Being articulate has to be a hibut; if you stop, it's difficult to pick up again. The world moves on; your own internmal mental representation of jargon moves on. Here's Bonnie Stewart: "As the frequency of my blogs during 2013 declined, I increasingly became aware of being tongue-tied. Many times I would start with a title for a blog or a first paragraph only to lose interest or lose my way halfway through the second sentence." To which I say: write, Bonnie write (sung to the tune of Run Forrest Run (though I've never seen the film so I've probably misappropriated it). Write quickly, write forcefully, paint that map and plan a pushpin into it, stake a position, be wrong! But be clear about it. (Same advice applies to everyone else.)

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Jobs in Canada: Where, What and For Whom
Derek Burleton, Sonya Gulati, Connor McDonald, Sonny Scarfone, TD Economics, October 23, 2013


The headlines in Canada's newspapers yesterday state that this report "argues forcefully against the notion of looming economy-wide labour shortages". But on reading the report, it becomes clear that while the skills shortage isn't as bad as predicted, this is largely due to the recession, and though there may not be a "burning platform" right now, "there are inherent vulnerabilities in the labour market and skills development more specifically that are holding back the economy’s potential. Bold and complementary action across governments, employers, employees and educators is needed to ensure that living standards continue to grow." 54 page PDF.

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e-IRG Task Force Report on Legal Issues
Unattributed, e-Infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG), October 23, 2013

This reports comsiders "the legal and regulatory issues likely to arise from the increasing use of state-funded e-Infrastructures by non-state funded researchers and organisations." The following issues are identified:

  • state aid
  • procurement law
  • network regulation
  • data protection
  • infrastructure provider terms of use
  • software licenses

It's a short report, totaling 32 pages on a 17 page PDF, and worth a read for framing these issues generally.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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