OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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by Stephen Downes
Jul 26, 2014

MOOCs get schoolified: Two reports predict MOOCs will simply be absorbed
Mark Guzdial, Computing Education Blog, Jul 25, 2014

You have to actually read this to realize how silly this sounds. Here it is: "MOOCs are like free gyms, says Mr. Kelly. They might enable some people—mostly people who are already healthy and able to work out without much guidance—to exercise more. But they won’t do much for people who need intensive physical therapy or the care of a doctor." Well of course, then, MOOCs will just be absorbed by the syste... wait. What?

If we actually read this analogy, it is suggesting that the vast majority of us need constant and ongoing intensive physical therapy or the care of a doctor. If health and fitness worked that way, we would all die. But what is actually the case is that we only occasionally need these specialized services, can access a gym if we need, but for day-to-day purposes have a wide range of (generally free or low cost) games and activities, parks and recreation, or tools like balls, bats, bicycles, etc., which we decide how to use for ourselves. Oh yes, I can see the objection - "sports and recreation would never work in society - just think of all the training required just to learn the rules!" Yeah, it's a hurdle all right.

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I am a young person who solves crossword puzzles and maybe you should be one too
Boone B Gorges, Teleogistic, Jul 25, 2014

It's probably not for everyone but as Boone Georges says, crossword puzzles are great for augmenting pattern recognition skills. I don't solve nearly the number he does, but I enjoy my Sunday Times crossword - I save them and solve them on flights to Montreal or Toronto (which gives me about a two-hour window). I don't always finish them in that time but I usually do.

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Responses to Personalization and Monopolies
David Wiley, iterating toward openness, Jul 25, 2014

I'm not enthusiastic about David Wiley's definition of personalization (" personalization comes down to being interesting") but I think he shares a great example of personalization done wrong: " Imagine if your only option for watching movies was to login to Netflix and watch the movies it recommended to you, in the order it recommend them. Who wants that? Who would pay for that?" Exactly. That's why I use the term "personal" learning: to disassociate myself from systems like that.

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Help Joy help you. On the unusability of internal systems.
Leisa Reichelt, disambiguity, Jul 25, 2014


I went through SAP training a couple of weeks ago and now I inhabit the same world Joy does - working with a software system with a paper notebook by my side (I also took extensive digital notes, which means I will have two support systems). "You’ll find that notebooks like Joy’s are not uncommon. They’re everywhere." This is why we need integrated personal support systems - so the assistance we need is accessible seamlessly within the software we use.

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Ten useful reports on MOOCs and online education
Unattributed, ICDE, Jul 25, 2014

Like the title says. Some of these have been previously covered here; others are new.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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