OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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October 30, 2013

Rebranding: "MOOC" to "CaS"
Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, October 29, 2013

"It is a losing battle to get people to stop conflating MOOCs with online learning," writes Joshua Kim, so "We need to change the language.   We need to rebrand... The thing formerly known as a MOOC will now be called a CaS.  CaS:  Course at Scale." Yes. Well. You can call what you are doing a CaS, but what I am doing does not need rebranding. And maybe it might be better to reflect on the forces that cause this rift from the original vision.

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Bullying is not on the rise and it does not lead to suicide
Kelly McBride, Poynter, October 29, 2013

Interesting counterpoint to what has become a leading media narrative. Kelly McBride writes, "There is no scientific evidence that bullying causes suicide. None at all. Lots of teenagers get bullied (between 1 in 4 and 1 in 3 teenagers report being bullied in real life, fewer report being bullied online). Very few commit suicide. Among the people who commit suicide, researchers have no good data on how many of them have been bullied. It is journalistically irresponsible to claim that bullying leads to suicide." I would also say: there are good arguments to be made against bullying without having to add that it leads to suicide.

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Announcing MERLOT II: Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching
YouTube, October 29, 2013


MERLOT has drifted a bit from the mainstream with all the hoopla over MOOCs, but the act of creating and sharing open educational resources (OERs) is still important, especially as MOOCs evolve. In this light a revised MERLOT II has been announced "to facilitate the MERLOT community’s discovery and sharing of its Open Education Resources" with this introductory video.

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The Tragegdy of L&D
nick shackleton-jones, Nick Shackleton-Jones, October 27, 2013


Although I think 'affective context' is a bit of a homonculus theory (nick shackleton-jones writes, "I propose that learning is the process by which people attach emotional (or affective) sense to information" - which makes me think of a MiniMe running around inside my brain 'tagging' information) there is an undeniable relation between emotional importance and retention of memories. So I agree when he says, "if you really wanted someone to care about something - and I accept that this is a noble aspiration - you wouldn't do it by dumping content on them." I think (as he does) that it needs to come up in context. Preferably a number of times. (I'm afraid his diagram, which has no scale or y-axis at all, is opaque to me). See also David Price’s book Open: How We’ll Work, Live and Learn in the Future, along with Will Richardson's commentary.

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The economy shifted years ago
Bruce Stewart, Personal Due Diligence, October 26, 2013

Some interesting points in this article. The premise is, 90 percent of the economy is based on small business. Half the people in Toronto work for themselves; their enterprise is the smallest possible size. OK, suppose that's true (I couldn't say one way or another). Two things become worth asking:

  • "Why... don’t [we] teach all of this in high school: how to run a business, how to set up a venture, how to examine situations and look for opportunities," and
  • "Small business life and honking big piles of debt left over from school don’t go together (you’ll need that for growing a venture)."

I remember Teemu Arina telling me that business development was a major part of his education. I know that it was a minimal part of mine. That's still OK - it was more important, in my case, to pursue philosophy.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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