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by Stephen Downes
Jul 01, 2016

Business Leaders Have Abandoned the Middle Class
Umair Haque, Harvard Business Review, 2016/07/01


It's so nice to see Umair Haque emerge from the shadows, so to speak. And isn't this true of education? "The truth is that today’s business leaders have failed in the simplest, starkest, hardest terms... business needs to play a more active, engaged role in creating the kind of thriving, vibrant economies that inoculate societies from self-implosion... The backlash from people who’ve been left behind by a broken model of prosperity is too sharp, too fierce, and too destructive. Just as it will be when climate change really accelerates, when the next financial crisis rolls around, when unemployed, education-debt-burdened young people reach their breaking point, and so on... There will come a point when abandoned people are willing to see the whole playing field burn down, so that it can be level again. And they might burn you down with it." (p.s. Haque says the 'middle class' - it should not be forgotten that they abandoned the poor and indigent a long time ago.)

[Link] [Comment]

Can a Classroom Be a Family? Race, Space, and the Labour of Care in Urban Teaching
Kathleen Gallagher, Canadian Journal of Education, 2016/07/01


"Does the idea of 'family' as a pedagogical compass get a classroom more efficiently from one idea to another, or safely through the sometimes turbulent seawaters and challenging relationships of an urban classroom?" asks  Kathleen Gallagher. "I arrive ultimately at a qualified yes," she writes. "For better and for worse, the logic of the family and the 'bond of obligation' in the classroom holds us to account and serves to raise the stakes on classroom relations and possibly widen compassion for human frailty." This is a lot to draw from a single case, but I get the fact that Gallagher is trying out an analytic strategy linking broader theoretical themes with specific practice. The family analogy, though, doesn't resonate with me. There are many different conceptions of family, and many different experiences of family. The term is being used here as a vague catch-all to describe an atmosphere of caring. In this particular case, it works. In many cases, it would not. See more articles from the special issue of CJE on Reflecting Canadian Diversity.

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What media companies don’t want you to know about ad blockers
Trevor Timm, Columbia Journalism Review, 2016/07/01

I've made this case before but this article substantiates with data and examples the three major benefits of Ad Blockers:

As I've said before, news media need to find a new business model, a new advertising model.

[Link] [Comment]

What does a CBE course look like?
Karen Yoshino, Blackboard Blog, 2016/07/01

Pretty basic but if you don't set out a baseline it's hard to progress. So here's what would probably be regarded as a basic framework for competency-based courses (all quoted, as usual):

Now you could go a couple of ways here. You could say this description omits this or that, which is fair enough. Or alternatively you could ask what problem is solved by this framework as opposed to some other. This is where I lean - it's an awful lot of overhead to reach results that could have been obtained without that overhead.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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