by Stephen Downes
Jul 24, 2015
Well I wouldn't start from here anyway!
One of the arguments against the longterm success of MOOCs, and of of online learning generally, is that it does not provide the two major things college students are looking for when they enrol in college: first, a mechanism for finding a husband or wife of the same demographics and social standing as them; and second, a method of signalling to future employers that you can get into a 'good' college, which demonstrates not simply academic ability but also background and pedigree, wealth and social standing. My first reaction is that if this is the real value of post secondary education, then we should reconsider funding it at all. But second, I'm not so sure a MOOC can't serve those functions. Certainly if eharmony and match.com can become viable dating sites, then mooc.ca could do even better! I doubt that MOOCs can fix the second point, though - and I think you'd need a major overhaul of society to prevent the ultra-rich from self-identifying and forming mutual support networks. Not saying it shouldn't be done - just that MOOCs might not be sufficient to do it. See also Jason Potts of RMIT on "Why MOOCs will fail".
LinkedIn quietly removes tool to export contacts
You may think you own your own identity, but LinkedIn has very quietly underlined the fact that no, you don't. "LinkedIn has removed the option to export your contacts. Instead, the company is asking users to request an archive of their data, but that process can take up to 72 hours to complete." This is again a warning to be sure not to depend on LinkedIn - or any of the social network platforms - for anything critical. This includes customers of lynda.com, which was recently acquired by LinkedIn.
Georgia sues Carl Malamud, calls publishing state laws "terrorism"
Each paragraph gets more outrageous. "The State of Georgia claims that its statutes are a copyrighted work, and that rogue archivist Carl Malamud.. committed an act of piracy by making the laws of Georgia free for all to see and copy." Why? "The state makes a lot of money vending the 'Official Code of Georgia Annotated.'" But it gets worse: "Georgia claims that if Malamud is allowed to make copies of the law available, they will no longer have any incentive to make good laws, because they won't be able to profit from them." Please let this be a parody or an Onion article. See also TechDirt.
Ed Tech's Funding Frenzy
Inside Higher Ed,
It used to be the case that there was no investment money in Ed Tech. This has changed. If you build something worthwhile, the money is there to take it to the next level. "Between January and June, investors poured $2,512,803,700 into ed-tech companies, eclipsing the record high $2.42 billion invested in all of 2014 -- the first year investments broke the $2 billion barrier." This is based on a white paper from market research firm Ambient Insight.
Join the Nano Open Online Courses (NOOCs) Adventure!
Zaid Ali Alsagoff,
The idea of a nano-MOOC is that it is a very short MOOC. Zaid Ali Alsagoff writes, "Instead of having to do the whole course, I can now focus on the juice (I want), get assessed, and be certified (or Badged) on it. Yes, a NOOC is more granular, chunked, digestible, meaningful (evidence) and juicy!" My question is, can we build a meaningful network around a course that is an hour or two long? Or does it just become another way to present content?
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