OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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by Stephen Downes
Jun 28, 2014

Principles for Rhizomatic Thinking
Jenny Mackness, Jun 27, 2014

"Deleuze and Guattari  (D & G) enumerate 6 approximate characteristics of the rhizome.  The principles are: 1. Connections – a rhizome ceaselessly establishes connections. 2. Heterogeneity - any point of a rhizome can be connected to any other and must be. 3. Multiplicity – A multiplicity is, in the most basic sense, a complex structure that does not reference a prior unity. Asignifying rupture. If you break a rhizome it can start growing again on its old line or on a new line. 5 & 6. Cartography and decalcomania – the rhizome is like a map and not a tracing."


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5 Things Researchers Have Discovered About MOOCs
Steve Kolowich, The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog, Jun 27, 2014

I think we've learned a lot about MOOCs. And as one of the academics gathered during the Texas snowstorm, I think I can say confidently that these five things are not among them. The five:

  • If you are isolated, poor, and enamored of the prestigious university offering the MOOC you’re taking, you are less likely to complete it.
  • Coaching students to have a healthier mindset about learning may not help in a MOOC.
  • Paired with the right incentives, MOOCs can help prepare at-risk students for college-level work.
  • Discussion forums in MOOCs are healthy places for the few students who use them.
  • We still do not know if doing well in MOOCs will help underprivileged learners become upwardly mobile.

Where does the Chronicle say this nonsense comes from? From an organization that should know better. It's not simply that these statements are false (though no doubt some of them are). It's that they're misplaced and emphasized the wrong things. Note that not one of them has anything to do with whether people learn, form communities, or make their lives better.



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Mean Tweets, Academic Style
Charlie Tyson, Inside Higher Ed, Jun 27, 2014

Professors read Twitter reviews of their courses in thsi video, a take-off on the mean tweets meme. "One professor read a review saying, 'She will mock your aspirations then cackle over the remains of your spirit.' Another comment was: 'Good lecturer, ugly shoes.' The camera panned to take in a row of Crocs." I would never wear Crocs while teaching. I would, however, wear ugly shoes.

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College Libraries Push Back as Publishers Raise Some E-Book Prices
Avi Wolfman-Arent, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jun 27, 2014

11 publishers are raising their prices all at the same time. "Publishers insist, however, that there was no conspiracy to raise prices and that the previous cost model for e-books wasn’t sustainable. 'We had absolutely no knowledge and we weren’t advised by the aggregator at all that other publishers were making a change at the same time,' says Rebecca Seger, director of institutional sales for the Americas at Oxford University Press." Not surprisingly, there is tension and mistrust between academic libraries and publishers.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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