by Stephen Downes
Jan 05, 2015
Musings on the Ed Tech Frontier,
In a longish post Paul Stacey examines the implications behind shifting his focus from making things 'open' to building a 'commons'. He looks at the structure and positional rules defining a structure, examines different types of commons, and finally, outlines a set of recommendations for developing the commons. In particular, he writes: "Winning means a change of state from accumulation of personal wealth, personal property, independence and autonomy to shared wealth, shared property, and creative collaboration with others.... Winning means distributed, networked collaborative production builds out common wealth and at the same time reduces the reliance on personal ownership." One might think of it as building social good not through redistribution, but through the creation of prosperity. I like that approach (but caution that we still can't trust bankers).
Koller, Thicke, and Noble: The “Blurred Lines” Between Traditional Online Courses and MOOCs
iterating toward openness,
David Wiley takes a look at MOOCs (well, xMOOCs) and concludes that the are really no different from traditional online courses, except for the branding. And the significant change, he argues, is that the platform not takes top billing while the institutions are second fiddle. "When institutional brands like Stanford, MIT, and Harvard are willing to be subordinated to platform brands like Coursera and EdX, at least in course marketing, what does it portend?" And, channeling David Noble's digital scepticism, suggests that it means "a future of a quality-eroding, profit-grabbing commercialization of higher education masquerading under the banner of 'widening access and improving quality.'" This is a bad outcome, no doubt. But the existing situation is no better. MIT and Harvard are every bit as involved in 'quality-eroding, profit-grabbing commercialization' as the rest of them.
Six Transformational Ideas for the New Year
Inside Higher Ed,
Steven Mintz comes up with six trends from last year, oh wait, I mean, for next year, or for 2004 or something. Anyhow, here they are:
- teach at scale
- adaptive course design
- flexible arrangements (such as) asynchronous online courses
- courseware (yes, seriously, he listed courseware)
- curricular alignment
Normally this wouldn't be worth the time of day, but the author is the Executive Director of the University of Texas System’s Institute for Transformational Learning. Where it is, I guess, still 1994.
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