by Stephen Downes
Feb 02, 2015
Fibbing for Rankings
Inside Higher Ed,
Wondering why students cheat? They learn it at school. "The University of Missouri at Kansas City gave the Princeton Review false information designed to inflate the rankings of its business school, which was under pressure from its major donor to keep the ratings up, according to an outside audit released Friday."
Is it Time to Change Tracks with Your LMS?
Social Learning Blog,
Sometimes I forget that organizations still have learning management systems (LMSs). But of course that's silly: beyond a certain size, they all have learning management systems. Sometimes they have several (in one case I studied, dozens!). But generally, they're not very happy with them. "Learning and development research firm Brandon Hall reports that, of 135 organizations, 58 percent want to replace their current LMS." But the question now in my mind is whether we just replace the current LMS with a better LMS, as this story suggests, or do we rethink how online should be provided? People who know me know I'm pretty firmly in the second camp. That's why LMS companies aren't calling me any more. But they should.
The Beauty of the Block
I blocked and unfriended someone yesterday for warmongering. He was only the latest of dozens - maybe hundreds - of people I've blocked in the last few months. I was like Audrey Watters: "I didn’t used to block. I’d unfollow. I’d ignore." But now I block because I don't want this in my life. And I don't block because it's simply unpleasant. I block to keep the images out of my mind. They are damaging and can sometimes hurt. Repeat something over and over enough, loudly enough, persistently enough, and people come to believe it (even if they know it's not true). That's how propaganda works. Wonder why we're raising a generation of misogynists? Look at the news, sports and other media they watch every day. And don't worry about having created a "filter bubble." As Watters says, "My blocking trolls doesn’t damage civic discourse; indeed, it helps me be able to be a part of it." Loudspeakers blaring lies at you over and over again isn't part of civil discourse. We can afford to block them, whether they are actual loudspeakers or social media trolls.
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