OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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by Stephen Downes
May 27, 2014

Defending Commencement Protest
Michael Rushmore, Inside Higher Ed, May 27, 2014

I have never attended any of my graduation ceremonies and have no idea who spoke at them. I would probably have disapproved; I think that universities often celebrate the wrong people (the selection for this year's University of Calgary speakers makes my point: the outgoing Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, a science journalist, the CEO of the Calgary Stampede, and an executive in the grain and energy industries). But simply skipping graduation is not an option for many students, and given that they're being dragged into association with the speakers, they do have, they believe, the right to make a statement about that selection. But in fact, they don't - and in a complete reversal of roles, they are being told that objecting to this sort of arbitrary association is somehow a denial of free expression. What poppycock. If anything, I think former student Michael Rushmore should have taken a stronger stance  defending the students' rights to protest.

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Who Gets to Graduate?
Paul Tough, New York Times, May 27, 2014

So this is part of what we're up against when we're trying to support a more egalitarian system of education: "whether a student graduates or not seems to depend today almost entirely on just one factor — how much money his or her parents make.... it will always be the case that the kids who have need are going to have been denied a lot of the academic preparation and opportunities for identity formation that the affluent kids have been given." I can speak to that from experience.

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Why Unizin is a Threat to edX
Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, May 27, 2014


e-Literate a week or so broke a story on Unizin, an initiative from the Indiana University designed to, as Michael Feldstein says, "run the table" on online learning technologies. In this post he adds more; it's an oddly personalized look at the initiative: "If you want to understand Unizin, you really have to understand Brad Wheeler.... Unizin has his fingerprints all over it." Well, maybe. "The LMS + MOOC pitch explains why these universities might be interested in a coalition, but it doesn’t fully explain the interest in the Learning Object Repository and analytics system." Really? We couldn't understand these without understanding Brad? Anyhow, do ready these articles - the field of education technology is in a rapid state of flux right now.

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CNIE session on campus engagement
D'Arcy Norman, D'Arcy Norman dot net, May 27, 2014

From the recent CNIE conference D'Arcy Norman shares "some of the campus engagement stuff we did as part of our long LMS replacement project. I tried to stay away from the technology itself, and focus on the engagement process. Full slide deck is available online, and fuller reports describing the engagement and findings are still available online, as well as the GitHub repository of LMS RFP requirements1." I know that the CNIE conference came and went recently - is it me or is this conference beginning to change focus? It was seeming less relevant in recent years but the current one in Kamloops actually seems to be talking about technology and related issues.

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BoardThing, May 27, 2014

BoardThing looks like an organized person's Pinterest: "Create cards with text or images.Move and arrange cards with collaborators on a shared board. Organize cards into groups.Export your board as HTML, plain text, or outline (OPML)." It's still in private beta; I've asked for an invite and if it proves interesting I'll report back.

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The psychology of open: On wrestling your inner MOOC
Mariana Funes, doublemirror, May 27, 2014

You can't be half open, says Mariana Funes, but it's a process, and you can adapt to it. "Work at your own pace, do not let anyone force you into openness online  faster than you are ready for it. Ultimately in becoming an open educator your are making a choice to relinquish some of your privacy and control of where your work goes in order to share it with others." Good longish post - summary notes for a MOOC presentation - that delves into the experience of being open. Via Alan Levine.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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