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gRSShopper in a Box
Stephen Downes, Aug 02, 2017.

The key question I'm looking at here is: to what degree can course resources provided by external providers (Coursera, EdX, etc) be presented in a gRSShopper environment. Again, I don't expect this to be easy - providers really want to you work in their environment, not yours. But I want you to work in one environment - your own - and access and work with external courses and resources from within your own personal learning context.

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Biological Teleporter Could Seed Life Through Galaxy
Brian Alexander, MIT Technology Review, 2017/08/02


We can now print life. "The device, called a 'digital-to-biological converter' was unveiled in May. Though still a prototype, instruments like it could one day broadcast biological information from sites of a disease outbreak to vaccine manufacturers, or print out on-demand personalized medicines at patients’ bedsides."

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Tearing Down Walls to Deliver on the Promise of Edtech
Stephen Laster, EDUCAUSE Review, 2017/08/02


More on next-generation learning environments, this time from  the chief digital officer for McGraw-Hill Education. This makes the description all the more remarkable: "The overarching theme? Everything must be open. If the promise of and the investment in edtech are truly going to transform outcomes in this new higher education world, they have to be delivered in a seamless, open ecosystem that prioritizes flexibility over structure." This is not a model comanies (nor institutions) have been comfortable with in the past.


An argument for the isolated classroom
Lisa M. Lane, Lisa's (Online) Teaching & History Blog v2, 2017/08/02


Here's the argument: "we should strive for neutral space, not full expression of multiple levels of identity politics, social agendas, and group think... we can create environments where the focus is on the work, whatever the academic discipline." It would be nice were classroom really like that, but in my own experience they are just as prone to baggage and posturing as any other environment.

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MOOC Adaptation and Translation to Improve Equity in Participation
Freda Wolfenden, Simon Cross, Fiona Henry, Journal of Learning for Development, 2017/08/02


This study shows why it's important to test hypotheses with different models and different user groups. It describes a MOOC in India offered first in English and then in Hindi, attracting more than 40,000 students in all, and achieving completion rates over 50%. "Our findings challenge previous research (Milligan & Littlejohn, 2014), which found little transfer of learning to on-the job practices for health professionals participating in MOOCs," write the authors. "Through the combination of the MOOC platform, contact classes and social media, the MOOC bridged local and distributed learning, creating a hybrid space focussed on a shared  ‘domain of practice’." So, yeah - not your typical xMOOC. If you take care to do what MOOCs do really well, you can achieve success, and more importantly, extend access to previously disadvantaged groups.

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Supporting Higher Education to Integrate Learning Analytics


According to the website, "the Supporting Higher Education to Integrate Learning Analytics (SHEILA) project will build a policy development framework that promotes formative assessment and personalized learning, by taking advantage of direct engagement of stakeholders in the development process." The project is supported by the European Union's Erasmus+ program. It uses something called ROMA - the Rapid Outcome Mapping Approach. The most recent result is a learning analytics report issued in April. Via InterLab.

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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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