OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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November 18, 2013

The Five Content Archetypes
David Armano, Logic+Emotion, November 18, 2013


Educators love taxonomies and here's one I'm sure will appeal to all: the five basic types of content. The presentation is from a business point of view, but with a little imagination I'm sure we can recast them in educational terms, as follows:

  • curated
  • co-created
  • original
  • student-generated
  • board or department

David Armano adds, "It's time to move the "brand as media" discussion into more actionable territory. As attention shifts to newsfeeds and mobile streams—the stories we tell there need to be all the more compelling." Educators, take note.

[Link] [Comment]

Facebook Open Academy: Bringing open source to CS curricula
Press Release, Facebook, November 18, 2013


Audrey Watters summarizes, "Facebook has launched Open Academy, a partnership with 22 universities that will set up a special class where students can get college credit for contributing to open source projects." TechCrunch reasons, "A perfect GPA isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? Advancing an open source project." So what is the source of this brand new innovation in learning? You guessed it. "After a successful pilot at Stanford last year, Open Academy is expanding to a total of 22." Sigh.

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State of the Anglosphere’s Higher Education LMS Market: 2013 Edition
Phil Hill, e-Literate, November 17, 2013


The latest update to the LMS market, this time expanded to reach beyond U.S. borders to encompass 'the Anglosphere' (loosely construed). Corportae learning management is still not included. The story the graphic tells will be familiar to OLDaily readers, though: Blackboard keeps contracting, while Canvas, Moodle and Desirfe2Learn keep growing. The MOOC systems appear, but seem more like a blip on the overall market. "The only new potential system of interest this year," writes Phil Hill, "is OpenEdX."

[Link] [Comment]

The Failure of Udacity
George Siemens, elearnspace, November 16, 2013

George Siemens's take on a Fast Company article describing a Udacity "pivot", which I echo, is that Udacity has admitted its failure. "No one did more of a disservice to MOOCs than Thrun through his wild proclamations ('we have found the magic combination for online learning' and 'in the future there will only be 10 universities', digital learning manifestos, and so on) and self-aggrandizing," says Siemens. And now, after all that, Thrun says, "We were on the front pages of newspapers and magazines, and at the same time, I was realizing, we don’t educate people as others wished, or as I wished. We have a lousy product." Yeah.

So now Udacity will abandon the effort to educate the people of the world and purn to corporate learning. "Make no mistake," says Siemens. "This is a failure of Udacity and Sebastian Thrun. This is not a failure of open education, learning at scale, online learning, or MOOCs. Thrun tied his fate too early to VC funding. As a result, Udacity is now driven by revenue pursuits, not innovation. He promised us a bright future of open learning. He delivered to us something along the lines of a 1990′s corporate elearning program." In corporate learning, Udacity is probably no match for established competitors that get real results. The VCs who backed Thrun are going to lose most of their money.

Related: Rolin Moe says "Shifting models means never having to say you’re sorry." Also, Audrey Watters: "Why We Shouldn't Celebrate Udacity's 'Pivot'" And Michael Caulfield, "Thrun Enters Burgeoning Sieve Market." More: Inge de Waard, "Annoyed by genius @Thrun on education, me on a rant." And Alastair Creelman, "Staying the Course." And Bonnie Stewart, "In the wake of MOOC hype, what shall we talk about?" And Martin Weller, "Stop me if you think you've heard this one before."

[Link] [Comment]

MOOCs, Norway, and the ecology of digital learning
Tony Bates, online learning, distance education resources, November 16, 2013

Interesting summary of a conference in Washington DC organized by the Government of Norway "to inquire into the possibilities and challenges that accompany the development of MOOCs and similar offers." I've given two talks on MOOC-related subjects over the last year and a half or so, so I was particularly interested in this report. On my reading, two major themes emerge:

  • First, universities are perceived as slow and expensive, prompting legislators to latch on to MOOCs (or anythiong calling itself a MOOC) in an effort to address this
  • Second, there is a general lack of awareness of the Canadian contribution to MOOCs, and a lack of a Canadian presence at elents like this in general

Obviously there's a lot more in the article and I encourage a good read.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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