by Stephen Downes
Oct 05, 2015
From MOOC to Personal Learning
Stephen Downes, Oct 05, 2015.
The cMOOC, is based on connection rather than content, looks more like an online community than a course, and doesn’t have a defined curriculum or formal assignments. What makes a person able to function in such an environment? What constitutes the literacy that is missing in such a case? What type of learning design or learning technology is best suited to support learning in a free-form community-based environment? These are the questions intended to be addressed in this paper. It describes the basis for a personal learning architecture and outlines the elements of the ‘learning and Performance Support System’ project being developed to implement this architecture.
Social media history could provide alternative to credit checks
I still get sceptical looks when I talk about using social media and network connections to evaluate a student (instead of the usual tests and assignments). My reasoning is that we can use the willingness of other people in the field to engage with a person (say) to evaluate his or her academic credibility. OK, it may be out there - but the same sort of idea has occurred to other people, including the people proposing to use social media to replace credit checks. "Facebook recently secured a patent for a technology which, among other things, could help determine your credit-worthiness based on the friends you keep on the social network."
The 'no-tech' school where screens are off limits – even at home
Doug Belshaw shared this item this week (in his newly and inappropriately named 'Thought Shrapnel' newsletter). It's a paean from the Guardian to a school that has banned all screens and electronics at home and in the classroom. The parents are concerned about the impact of technology; I would be far more concerned about the lack of it. But don't take my word for it. Belshaw also recommends "this eviscerating takedown by Laura Hilliger." She writes, "Teaching kids how to think about technology and be digital citizens is not going to become outdated. There are literacies to be explored, we have to teach people how to live and participate with new technologies. In 50 years the only thing that’s going to be outdated is the idea that you can get by in this world without some basic understandings about tech, networks, human communications."
Towards an inclusive global knowledge society
University World News,
I think this assertion is correct: "a chief aim of higher education should be to cultivate higher degrees of personal agency within students. As a result, the demands placed on higher education institutions have become much more complex." The reasons for this are myriad, but stem essentially from the fact that it is not possible to identify a single set of competencies (beyond the very basics) that will ensure successful lives for graduates. The environment just changes too often and too quickly. And I agree with this: "access to and participation in meaningful lifelong educational opportunities is one of the chief human rights issues of our generation."
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