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by Stephen Downes
Jul 15, 2014

Social media in education: ethical concerns
Unattributed, ALT Online Newsletter, Jul 14, 2014


This is a summary of a recent workshop on ethical concerns around the use of social media in education. Four major areas were highlighted: the need for a code of conduct or legislation, online harassment and bullying, intellectual property, and authenticity of voice. I don't consider these ethical issues as such, but rather, areas of concern where unethical or illegal behaviour might cause problems. The ethical we issues we face are things like the questions surrounding personal data collection, questions about whether what one reads on the internet is (or should be) true, what types of information fall beyond the bounds of legitimate posting (for example, whether we should block war photos, fail videos, and revealing photos, etc). It's an ethical issue, in other words, when we don't know the proper resolution of the question; simply saying something is bad and shouldn't be done is a management issue.

[Link] [Comment]

Peer Assessment for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
Hoi K. Suen, International Review of Research in Open, Distance Learning (IRRODL), Jul 14, 2014

This article examines the application of peer assessment in massive open online courses (MOOCs). The authors note that "perhaps the most glaring problem with peer assessment is how trustworthy the results are. After all, within peer assessment, the performance of a novice is being judged by other novices." The best bit is at the end where different approaches are considered, including connectivist MOOCs, calibrated peer reviews, Bayesian post hoc stabilization, and a credibility index.

[Link] [Comment]

Ministers and Key Partners Chart Path Forward for Education and Skills in Canada
Press Release, Council of Education Ministers, Canada (CMEC), Jul 14, 2014

The Council of Education Ministers, Canada (CMEC), met with "his week with more than 200 key business and labour leaders, academics, representatives of student organizations, and other stakeholders" l;ast weekend in Charlottetown, and recommended the following:

  • Education and training must empower Canadians to acquire the skills they need for success in the job market in a flexible and dynamic environment.
  • Partnerships and alignment with business, labour, education, and training providers are key to ensuring synergy between education and skills training systems and Canada's labour markets.
  • Access to accurate, relevant, and timely labour market and education data is essential to support Canadians to make smart career choices, as well as enable government and business to make evidence-based decisions in planning for the future.

This is the sort of conversation they were having just before they created the Canadian Council for Learning (CCL), a five-year $80 million program that released a number of reports and then disappeared.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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