OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

[Home] [Top] [Archives] [Mobile] [About] [Threads] [Options]

February 5, 2014

A New Pedagogy is Emerging... and Online Learning is a Key Contributing Factor
Unattributed, Contact North, February 5, 2014

This is an updated version (first posted here last year) of one of Contact North's most popular articles. It describes a 'new pedagogy' that is emerging as a result of internet-enabled education. It mostly resembles connectivism, but without the theoretical underpinnings, and with elements of traditional learning, such as blended learning and collaboration. Major elements include:

  • A move to opening up learning, making it more accessible and flexible.
  • An increased sharing of power between the professor and the learner.
  • On the student side, this can mean an emphasis on learners supporting each other through new social media, peer assessment, discussion groups, even online study groups but with guidance, support and feedback from content experts.
  • An increased use of technology not only to deliver teaching, but also to support and assist students and to provide new forms of student assessment.

[Link] [Comment]

Data-driven policy and commerce requires algorithmic transparency
Alex Howard, Tech Republic, February 3, 2014


Just for the record: the next phase of VC-backed MOOCs is going to meet the same comeuppance as the first phase. See where they say here and here where 'big data' will save education. Their lesson comes via this post from Tech Republic. If you're depending on big data, how do you know the game hasn't been rigged, that you're getting results instead of advertising, that your inferences are reliable? "Our world, awash in data, will require new techniques to ensure algorithmic accountability, leading the next-generation of computational journalists to file Freedom of Information requests for code, not just data, enabling them to reverse engineer how decisions and policies are being made by programs in the public and private sectors. To do otherwise would allow data-driven decision making to live inside of a black box, ruled by secret codes, hidden from the public eye or traditional methods of accountability." See also a recent post on Inform.Ed, Big Data in Education: Big Potential or Big Mistake, via Marco Molinaro.

[Link] [Comment]

Going Back To Basics Is Still Going Backwards
Chris Betcher, Betchablog, February 2, 2014

Our local newspaper gives us the 'back to basics' lecture in its editorial every so often. But I'm inclined to agree with Chris Betcher's criticisms of proponents of 'back to basics':

  • They actually have no idea how to move forward. 
  • They have no idea that the world has changed.
  • They have no idea what our kids actually need.

"Continually improving our students ability to read, write and add up is important, but so is their ability to sing and dance and play and paint and draw," he writes. As for adapting to the new economy: you can't learn pattern recognition from STEM alone, and you can't learn communication and empathy from any of the basics.

[Link] [Comment]

This newsletter is sent only at the request of subscribers. If you would like to unsubscribe, Click here.

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter? Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list. Click here to subscribe.

Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.