OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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by Stephen Downes
April 14, 2014

2014: The Year the Media Stopped Caring About MOOCs?
Steve Kolowich, The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog, April 14, 2014


Based on information about an unpopular UPenn seminar for media on MOOCs Steve Kolowich wrote this article about the possibility that media are losing interest in the story. I suppose a decline in interest in inevitable and I'm not surprised that the Chronicle's editors would want to pounce on that. But it may be premature; Kolowich wrote me asking if I had data, and thanks to the script I wrote for mooc.ca to extract news coverage of MOOCs I did have data, so I wrote up a quick script that extracted it. Here is the result. My own conclusion is that media coverage hasn't declined significantly.

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Drupal to WordPress Migration
Jennifer Maddrell, Designed to Inspire, April 14, 2014

Jennifer Maddrell has moved her blog from Drupal to Wordpress, and as a result, changed her RSS feed address. As Feedly reports that I'm the first subscriber to the new feed, it seems relevant to post the news here. (p.s. I totally understand the move from Drupal, and like her, find it so much harder to work with than necessary).

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Are Instructional Designers Making Themselves Irrelevant?
Dawn Poulos, Xyleme, April 14, 2014

Interesting question to which the answer may be 'yes'. Dawn Poulos suggests, "Being static means being stale, and for instructional designers, stale content is the fastest road to irrelevancy." In fact, the discipline is changing, as exemplified by this list of 'aha moments':

  • "Aha!" Moment No. 1: Reusing Content is a Game Changer"
  • "Aha!" Moment No. 2: I Can Share My Content Outside the L&D Organization"
  • "Aha! Moment No. 3: Collaboration Lets Us Deliver Better Content Faster"
  • "Aha! Moment No. 4: Yes, I Really Can Personalize Learning Content"
  • "Aha! Moment No. 5: Structure Provides Flexibility"

What do you get if you actually implement these five principles? I would argue that you get a cMOOC. But your mileage may vary. Here's the full report (you will have to pay for it with your social network information).

[Link] [Comment]

LMS Metaphors
Tom Woodward, Bionic Teaching, April 14, 2014

This is an interesting look at the metaphors used to describe the Learning Management System (LMS), including a reference to a fun paper from 2007 describing the ways people described Blackboard ("The metaphors of ‘tree branches,’ ‘7/11 store,’ ‘river of information,’ ‘fun game,’ and ‘light bulb revolution’ reveal the communication, information, educational, political, and philosophical aspects of Blackboard cyberinfrastructure implementation... the educational usage of Blackboard did not emerge as the most prominent rationality for Blackboard"). Tom Woodward suggests here that " the LMS is a fast-food franchise kitchen. It does exactly what it is meant to do. It is built for people with minimal skills to make cheap food quickly at scale. It isn’t meant to be a training ground so people can move up to gourmet cooking. These skills don’t transfer. You aren’t even meant to graduate to being a line cook at Friday’s." Heh.

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A Breakup Letter to Facebook from Eat24
Lydia Leavitt, Eat24, April 14, 2014

Part of the problem with social media is that being profitable and making money do not mix well together. Witness Eat24's breakup letter to Facebook: "Not to be rude, but you aren’t the smart, funny social network we fell in love with several years back. You’ve changed. A lot. When we first met, you made us feel special. We’d tell you a super funny joke about Sriracha and you’d tell all our friends and then everyone would laugh together. But now? Now you want us to give you money if we want to talk to our friends." Via TNW.

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All the passwords you should change because of Heartbleed, in one handy graphic
Harrison Weber, VB, April 14, 2014

*Sigh* "Heartbleed arose inside a version of open-source OpenSSL cryptographic software. Information sitting inside the memory of a server should be encrypted, but a little bit of data could be pulled out under an attack. Most recently, a report emerged alleging that the U.S. National Security Agency had known about Heartbleed for more than two years, and even exploited it. The NSA later denied the allegations." OLDaily and MOOC.ca users are not affected by the OpenSSL bug.

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Paying for publication
Danny Kingsley, Australian Open Access Support Group, April 14, 2014

The Australian Open Access Support Group has posted a good series of articles on issues related to paying for open access publication. On this model, commonly called the 'Gold Model', authors or institutions pay publishers fees up front to process and make available the article as open access (by contrast, the 'Green Model' proposes that institutions manage their own article repositories). Many funding agencies, including the NHMRC and ARC in Australia, require that outcomes be published as open access.

Topics covered in the series include "the cost of hybridaddressing double dipping, a discussion about whether open access funds support open access, and a look at what hybrid actually pays for. There is also an analysis of the membership model for open access publishing with a discussion of the attendant issues relating to managing article processing charges."

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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