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by Stephen Downes
April 24, 2014

What I learned from the Open Textbook Summit
Tony Bates, online learning, distance edcuation resources, April 24, 2014

(The retired?) Tony Bates attended the Open Textbook summit and came away with five lessons, including this most important one: "Adoption by faculty and instructors remains a major challenge. Diane Salter from Kwantlen Polytechnic University stated that there needs to be an institutional strategy for open textbooks and open educational resources, to raise awareness and get buy-in from faculty." I've had commentators (eg. Jonathon Rees (who has otherwise been very nice to me)) wonder aloud in the past why I sometimes appear so hostile to professors. Well, this sort of thing gets my goat - the overwhelming evidence that the professors don't care, not about student costs, not about institutional costs, not about anything, apparently, except their role as the leaders of academia.

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Partial Transcript: Richard Levin (new Coursera CEO) on Charlie Rose
Phil Hill, e-Literate, April 24, 2014

Very lightweight interview with Richard Levin by Charlie Rose, with transcript provided by Phil Hill. Maybe Levin is just being cagey, but it's not clear to me he actually knows what the product, the differentiators and the issues are. Like this: "EdX is open source software, which some of the computer science types like that – it means they can play with it, they can add to the features on their own. But we’re developing interfaces that will allow faculty to add features as well." Does he mean modules, apps, APIs (like Coursera just offered)? Does he even know?

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European Multiple MOOC Aggregator
Various authors, Open Education Europa, April 24, 2014


Worth a look: "EMMA will provide a system for the delivery of free, open, online courses in multiple languages from different European universities to help preserve Europe’s rich cultural, educational and linguistic heritage and to promote real cross-cultural and multi-lingual learning."

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Key Data Residency Requirements Global Organizations Need to Understand
Gerry Grealish, Cloud Computing Journal, April 24, 2014

"Perhaps it is a result of the often discussed 'Snowden Effect,'" writes Gerry Grealish, "but no one can deny that countries and regions are putting some strict guidelines in place to ensure privacy of sensitive data that is moving outside of their borders." This article looks at three such guidelines. Canada has additional guidelines. Businesses and educational services working internationally must take note. You can't just shove all your data into AWS and be compliant.

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With 24 million students, Codecademy revamps its offerings
Erin Griffith, CNN.com - Money, April 24, 2014

People forget about CodeAcademy when they talk about MOOCs, but it was earlier than most and, with 24 million users, larger than most. It has distanced itself (quite rightly) from the xMOOCs offered at Stanford and elsewhere. "The problem with MOOCs, according to Codecademy founder Zach Sims, is that they simply try to replicate the offline learning experience. The web presents the opportunity to learn in an entirely new way, he says." Quite so. This year it will begin monetizing, not by selling certificates to students, but by matching students with jobs (circumventing the whole certification process entirely). When you stop thinking that you're a university, a world of opportunity opens up to you.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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