by Stephen Downes
Jun 24, 2016
Stephen Downes, Jun 24, 2016.
I understand the feelings of the people who voted in favour of the Brexit. They are Europe's Americans. The situation of the UK and Europe is in many ways the inverse of Canada and the U.S. And I would not vote 'yes' to a union of Canada and the U.S.
I think you can view this article on LinkedIn without signing into LinkedIn - if not, please let me know. Kathryn Chang Barker writes, "LinkedIn can and should be in every secondary and university classroom in the world, but it needs to add one more tool – an ePortfolio." I have no doubts about the benefit of an ePortfolio - or, morewidely construed, a Personal Learning Record - but does it have to be on LinkedIn? That said, the appeal for Microsoft has to be undeniable. "Already Sony is working on an education and testing platform powered by blockchain. Already Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg have produced personalized learning systems with algorithms. Already machine learning is managing our curriculum and careers. This is a chance for LinkedIn and Microsoft to create an innovative space in the middle of these innovations."
One of the criticisms of traditional testing and credentials is that they represent only a narrow part of a person's learning. This post summarizes a discussion by Ryan Craig, managing partner of University Ventures, who made the following points (quoted):
The result is an emerging picture of credentials that are at one more all-encompassing and more up-to-date. "It will take radical shifts in all of our systems – the alphabet soup of linked (or sometimes not) software that we use to track students fiscally, academically, and out into their time as alumni.È
From the intro: "The Guide is designed to raise general awareness amongst policy makers in developing countries as to how Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) might address their concerns and priorities, particularly in terms of access to affordable quality higher education and preparation of secondary school leavers for academic as well as vocational education and training. With very few exceptions, many of the reports on MOOCs already published do not refer to the interest and experience of developing countries, although we are witnessing important initiatives in more and more countries around the world." Here's the direct link (102 page PDF).
Coursera is launching a new format today. You will recognize it as "what we had before MOOCs". Here it is: "we will begin piloting a few courses in which all content is available only to learners who have purchased the course, either directly or by applying for and receiving financial aid." It may be time to rededicate myself toward creating a genuinely open-only course framework, based to a large degree on the work I did with gRSShopper. Of course, that will require funding....
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