by Stephen Downes
Jan 12, 2015
Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2014
In case you missed it, Audrey Watters top education trends of 2014. Here they are:
- The Business of Ed-tech
- School and "Skills"
- MOOCS, Outsourcing, and Online Education
- Competencies and Certificates
- The Common Core State Standards
- Data and Privacy
- The Indie Web
- Social Justice
There's a certain cynicism informing this list, which I think is unavoidable if you stary in the business of covering the field long enough. This, I think, is where my role is different: I not only cover the field, but I'm deeply engaged in building as well, which allows me to take hope in something, even if it's only my own efforts.
A simple proposal to fix the Internet
Arthur Fontaine's Blog,
The "simple proposal" is not so simple, but it's one I endorse and am working toward with LPSS. Arthur Fontain explains, "the Internet is designed so that user identity is owned by the service provider... My theory is that's all you need to fix. Below I will propose a free and open cloud service that lets you manage your own identity, and keep all your stuff private." The first attempt to do this was OpenID, but the idea of federated identity was simply swallowed up by the service providers. That's why the solution has to be more robust than simple identity provision. See also: Identity 2.0.
Doc Searles, David Weinberger,
I can't say I found a depth of insight and wisdom in the New Clues document, especially as it closes with the same message the Beatles sang to us all those years ago: All you need is love. The new document is far more flippant than the old, refers far more to Silicon Valley tropes ("Kumbiyah sounds surprisingly good in an echo chamber", "Google your topic. Take your pick", "Anger is a license to be stupid". But it's there, and you may as well enjoy it. See also the related Metafilter thread.
New modes of integration: Individuality and sociality in digital networks
Marian Adolf, Dennis Deicke,
This paper looks at the impact of the decline of mass media on community. It suggests that a two-part process takes place: first, the removal of individuals from traditional social structures and supports, and second, their reintegration into a new type of community defined by networked sociality. "The latter kind, typical for modernity, is based not on resemblance (or even kinship) but rooted in complex society’s ever increasing interdependency." Rather than being part of a traditional cultural group, in other words, we get personalized networks. This gives us "new modalities of social integration: a permanent process of addressing and referencing information is set in motion. Every link, every hashtag, every meme that is shared — representing media-borne information — embodies this notion." It's a good paper, though written in dense and heavy prose, but worth the effort to decipher. See also Colombo and Landri, Schools and Networked Sociality. Image, Galley et. al., from Conole.
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