by Stephen Downes
Nov 11, 2014
Federated Education: New Directions in Digital Collaboration
I think that this is quite a good proposal that has many merits. It begins by pointing to what is probably the central problem with Wikipedia: obtaining consensus within a very large community. "You go online to share it and you’re teleported past the personal and dialogic and suddenly find yourself having to defend the inclusion of this fact or this edit... And it gets worse, because if you lose that battle (notability, accuracy, citations, linked ideas — whatever the battle is) your contribution disappears." Caulfield then describes as an alternative the federated wiki, where an idea (or item about content) will migrate from person to person before a consensus is developed (if ever). My own approach would probably be less 'tribe' centered and less consensus centred. I don't think there's a whole lot of value in either. But the idea of a piece of content moving from person to person and growing and adapting (which a record of these changes) as a lot of merit, and is worth investigating further.
The Data on Diversity
Communications of the ACM,
Diversity is an asset in pretty much any working or learning situation, but diversity can be a challenge, especially with participants who are not accustomed to diversity. This can result in bias and stereotyping among members, causing them to misrepresent or filter what other group members are saying or doing. "Even a small bias can result in a large difference in the representation of minorities at the top levels of a company." To address these issues, some effective practices include: making data available, creating a critical mass, embracing of differences, and sponsorship of women and minorities. "An organization that says 'we value diversity' is more trusted than one that says 'we are color blind.'" Good article, very detailed, worth the read.
Managing Open Access publication
If you're reading this article and wondering what APCs are, you're not alone. There are dozens of things it could be, and the author doesn't even bother with a link, let along an expansion of the acronym. From the context, after a bit of sleuthing, I figured out that it probably means 'article processing charge'. But it's very unfriendly of the author not to tell us this. Don't do this! Having said that, I think the project being described is interesting and applies equally to open educational resources. The purpose is to "write a system specification for an application to support data and workflows related to the costs of OA publishing and/or funder mandates." I imagine that publication costs cannot be escaped, though I would personally place the emphasis on cost-effective institutional repositories rather than expensive publisher services. (p.s. the author attribution is a guess, because this information is also not provided).
Advantages and Disadvantages of SCORM 1.2 vs 2004
Erik T. Lord,
Any digital technology that lasts for more than ten years has to be considered a success. "Despite the growth and excitement around the xAPI (TinCan) spec, SCORM remains the most popular and supported method of ensuring a standardized communication between an online course and the LMS." The secret is, it just works. "There’s a reason most eLearning content is still built for SCORM 1.2…it simply works and generally satisfies the tracking requirements many organizations require."
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