OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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by Stephen Downes
Jul 13, 2015

Syrians see the limits of an education in refuge
Michael Pizzi, Al Jazeera, 2015/07/13


There are issues here that defy easy solutions. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has generally dealt with cases in Africa, and so only provided rudimentary education. But in a middle-income country like Syria, expectations are higher (and, honestly, they should be higher for Africa as well). And, "there is an urgency to these efforts, saying disaffected Syrian youths may be vulnerable to extremism," and this is true in any case where refugees are created, not just Syria. It seems to me online learning and online commerce should be able to help, but in the long run, I think we need to create a freedom of mobility, so people aren't trapped in dictatorships, impoverished nations, or refugee camps. As is always the case, education is a necessary, but not sufficient, solution to humanitarian issues.

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Updated E-Learning Definitions
John Sener, Online Learning Consortium, 2015/07/13

Useful set of definitions that will help people discussing e-learning. It focuses only on types of course (traditional, blended, online) and programs. " Our hope is that it will move us toward a set of shared, commonly understood definitions that will facilitate the sharing of research data and professional standards in our field." Via D'Arcy Norman.

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The battle for open-access information
Martin McKenzie-Murray, The Saturday Paper, 2015/07/13


I've been an AAAARG member for a long time, though in recent years it has become less useful (as people have been sharing citations, but not actual papers). AAAARG has survived legal cases, public opposition, and more, and I imagine it will survive this article, which wile it sounds sypathetic, ultimately insists that the site is doing something wrong, trotting out the old and well-worn argument to do so: “To state the obvious, most anti-copyright activists have never had to rely on [lending rights] payments or royalties to pay rent. More than that, it has always struck me as odd that many on the left support working wages for the poor, but not the right of authors to earn a living from their work, which is one of the things copyright facilitates." If royalties were the only way to pay authors, I would be in agreement. But they're not, and the way we do it now has resulted in the least efficient and most unfair system possible. Via Darcy Moore.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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