Stephen Downes, Aug 25, 2017, Konferencja Pokazać – Przekazać, Warsaw, Poland
Objective: To present the core ideas of connectivism in both a learning and scientific context, in a sense unifying the ideas of discovery, interaction and education. Live stream: https://www.youtube.com/user/StephenDownes
This is an interesting concept thata makes the internet just a little bit more complex. The idea of a content delivery network (CDN) is that copies of web pages are sent to servers around the world, so when you access the page, you are sent to the server closest to you. That's great, but more and more pages are created dynamically from many different sources. You can send that through a content delivery network. But a content gathering network (CGN) can make the process a bit more efficient by gathering all the material clse to its source (say, in Palo Alto) and then sending the combined package in one simple delivery to your browser. This post is a summary of the original article.
This is a sea change in North America. As the author writes, "anyone can go to ModernStates.org, the way they go to Netflix, and choose a college course the way they pick a Netflix movie. There is no charge for the course and no charge for the online textbook that comes with it." Sure, this is a plug by the founder ans CEO of Modern States, and it's for the first year only (still quaintly called 'freshman year' in the article), and there's reason to be sceptical (other such programs tend to add costs one way or another). But more and more, as the concept of a free education is more widely distributed, people will increasingly come to expect it.
It's a good thing I didn't get to looking at this post until after my talk today - I would have wanted to add a section on consciousness or some such, and that woud have been too much (what I presented may already have been too much!). But hey, there's still the seminar on Monday. There's the video and then this: "Perception has to be a process of 'informed guesswork,'" says the TED Blog's accompanying notes, "in which sensory signals are combined with prior expectations about the way the world is, to form the brain’s best guess of the causes of these signals."
The proposition being defended by this article is a refutation of the "article of faith" among pundits that "America’s workers lack the skills employers demand." The 'skills gap' argument is in fact a global argument, not limited to American employers or workers. It has been challenged on numerous occasions and yet persists because the unemployment rate among lower-skilled workers is significantly greater than that for highly skilled workers. In this case, the author "looked for signs of hiring trouble in IT and clinical laboratory occupations" and found the skills gap does not seem to be manifest in the IT help desk industry. How this case becomes a refutation of the argument as a whole is a mystery. Still, this doesn't prevent the author from asserting that "instead of fretting about a skills gap, we should be focused on the real challenge of knitting together the supply and demand sides of the labor market."
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