by Stephen Downes
Apr 19, 2017
Why doesn't educational technology have something like CodePen? Our field seems to be obsessed with the consumption of content. What we need is a great open application like this that lets people find and work with learning content. "Here's an incomplete list of things I didn't get a chance to tell you about: searching for external assets, tidying your code, analyzing your code, exporting, sharing (gasps for air), global assets, keyboard shortcuts, or all the different views!" Gasps for air indeed!
This is an interesting way of phrasing the dilemma we seem to be in today: “We are losing empathy, compassion, truth-telling, fairness, and responsibility and replacing them with all these machine values,” Bugeja says. “If we embed ourselves in technology, what happens to those universal principles that have stopped wars and elevated human consciousness and conscience above more primitive times in history?” Now, for the record, I can't recall any time we managed to stop wars, but there is nonetheless a shift to what I guess can be called "machine values". But it's not just 'machine': it's an ethos that favours counting over context, that favours competitive edge over compassion. Despite what the author asserts, 'machine values' are not created by machines. They are created by humans behaving like machines.
This is a set of slides delivered by Christian M. Stracke (newly appointed ICDE Chair in Open Educational Resources (OER)) at the International Lensky Education Forum in Yakutsk. It offers a look at open learning that extends beyond a narrow definition based on the licensing of resources, and considers such things as open pedagogy, open schools and open environments. It also links openness directly with quality. It's a longish presentation and you might just want to download the slides (SlideShare has become really quirky and slow ever since being acquired by LinkedIn).
Michael Feldstein offers a slanted perspective on the discussion around Lumen Learning. "If the goal is to increase student access through lower and more transparent pricing, then this deal could help," he writes, "If, on the other hand, the goal is to drive all large commercial interests out of education, then this deal will not be helpful." This is a misrepresentation. It's just red-baiting. The objective is to provide students with free access to education. If a government contracted a corporation to do that, I'd be pretty happy. But I'd be a lot less happy if the corporation then turned around and started charging students mandatory fees for access to this 'free' education. And that's what's happening here.
More on Lumen Learning. "The $10-$25 per course that Lumen-Follett is collecting to provide the 'packaging' for free OER courses is a steep price," writes Dan McGuire. "The 'packaging' is essential to good open educational practice and not really 'packaging' or 'added value;' it's essential value."
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