by Stephen Downes
Mar 09, 2017
Open Learning, Open Networks
Stephen Downes, Mar 09, 2017, SUNY Open COTE 2017, Syracuse, New York
Open online learning entered the mainstream with the growth and popularity of MOOCs, but while interest in open online courses has never been greater MOOCs represent only the first step in a broader open learning infrastructure. In this keynote Stephen Downes will describe several key innovations shaping the future of open learning: distributed social networks, cloud infrastructures and virtualization, immersive reality, and personal learning environments. The talk will outline the challenges this evolving model will pose to learning providers and educational institutions and recommend policies and processes to meet them.
I used to warn people that unless we in public institutions didn't get our online learning act together, companies like Disney would move in and do our job for us. This advertising content (advertorial) from Disney in HBR s a case in point. "at Disney Institute," says the text, "we believe an organization must cultivate internal customer service with the same intentionality as it cultivates external customer service. Providing great customer experiences is not a single department’s responsibility; it’s everyone’s." It's learning, but it's also a certain perspective on work and learning.
Rob Watson: "We still seem to be dominated by ‘instruction’ as the main form of learning practice, especially when it comes to learning how to use media technologies and applications. This limits the focus of learning, in my experience to a ‘transactional’ approach... we might be serving the learners better if we can offer them opportunities to discover something about themselves in the process of learning." Yes.
Someone said to me today that TED would be a good platform for me. This led to a conversation about how TED is careful not to offend rich people (and indeed, to make them feel good about themselves). Why is why TED will never feature, say, the organizers of Occupy Wall Street. Or me. Case in point, this year's TED. The source of the "ideas worth spreading": "the co-creator of Siri, the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, a Nobel-winning researcher who helped discover how we age, the head of the World Bank, and one of the greatest athletes of all time." Yeah, let's keep telling people they deserve their wealth
Dood article providing an overview of the two major Arabic-language MOOC platforms, Edraak and Rawaq. "In the Arab world, as universities struggle to reach thousands of students with few qualified professors, many educators feel that MOOCs still have potential. But the number of available courses is relatively small."
Some of you may recall my photo set from the Metcalfe Fair last October. What struck me at the time was the participation of young people in the events. In a rural community like Metcalfe, to 'make' is to raise a calf, grow a crop, or restore an antique. As this story says, "Rural districts might already be offering a maker program and not realize it. Organizations such as 4-H and Future Farmers of America teach agricultural education skills that involve a lot of 'making.' Students might be designing, programming and learning about technology under the auspices of such a curriculum." I grew up in Metcalfe, and maybe this is why I don't see 'making' as a new thing.
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