The Pedagogic Architecture of MOOC: A Research Project on Educational Courses in Spanish
Elia Fernández-Díaz, Carlos Rodríguez-Hoyos, Adelina Calvo Salvador, International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 2017/09/25
The latest issue of IRRODL has this item studying "the pedagogic architecture of MOOC on pedagogic/educational subjects in Spanish over one academic year" (ie., last year). The study includes courses from Coursera, Miriadax, EdX, Eco and Educalab. The results aren't surprising (or, as I suppose I should say, the results provide some data consistent with my prior intuitions). "All of them (the courses) used traditional methodological strategies (100%), followed by applied strategies (61.10%) and lastly dialogic strategies (55.56%)... videos are present in all of the cases (100% of the courses), the next most used educational resource are forums (82.38%) followed by teaching guides and background reading (both 69.45%)." The courses were, in other words, almost completely traditional content-based courses. The best part of the article is the discussion on the varying use of forums in the different courses, including in social media.
So here is what Silicon Valley finders are spending their money on in a bid to disrupt education. "The Global Learning Xprize will help prove that with the right resources, children can teach themselves to read, write and do arithmetic." Here are the finalists:
Each team is getting a $1 million startup grant. The winning team (ie., "the team whose solution enables the greatest proficiency gains in reading, writing and arithmetic") will get a $10 million Grand Prize. It's hard to be impressed with any of these proposals. I don't know why the organizers thing that short-term success with a test group will scale globally.
Interesting article exploring the reasons why Beall's List of predatory journals was shut down. The answer, in a nutshell: publishers began complaining to the University of Colorado at Denver, where beall works as a tenured professor, and the university, which had originally defended Beall, change tack and launched an investigation into academic misconduct. Beall, meanwhile, works in "a small cubicle similar to a student’s study carrel." Nice. The list, meanwhile, has resurfaced in Europe at a new site.
Duribg the Monsoons in Balgladesk a third of the country is flooded, making school attendance impossible. Flipping virtual learning on its head, a fleet of solar-powered floating schools has been launched to address the need. "Each morning, the elementary schools travel to different communities, picking up children along the way. The boats then docks and teach up to 30 children at a time. The boat schools also train adult villagers on children’s and women’s rights, nutrition, hygiene and other practical issues." This is the prmise of From Virtual to Reality. "While some first world countries have brought virtual reality into classrooms to study subjects like science, art and history, other schools are taking their classrooms into the forests or other natural settings."
Those of us in education have experience no end to the moral panics about this and that over the years. This article is an extended take on moral panics in the media over sales of charcol, suphur and saltpeter on the internet. These, of course, are the ingredients to make black powder, a favourite of hobbyists worldwide. It reminded me of my own efforts to make rockets when I was a kid. These were not successful; the most notable result was an inch-deep hole gouged in the neighbour's porch (which truly was impressive). But of course, the panic is not just about black powder, it's about cryptography and algorithms and technology in general. "The real story in this mess is not the threat that algorithms pose to Amazon shoppers, but the threat that algorithms pose to journalism.... Moral panics like this one are not just harmful to musket owners and model rocket builders. They distract and discredit journalists, making it harder to perform the essential function of serving as a check on the powerful." Right. Via Doug Belshaw.
The four methods are listed about half way through the post, and seem reasonable to me:
The idea here, as I see it, is to fund personalization in such a way as to target those most in need, and to have that funding follow that need through direct investment in learning support, as well as investment in those providing that support. This is quite a contrast from what we usually see in personalized learning, where efforts go to fund initiatives directed at thoe who already have significant advantages.
To understand why Bell is calling for ISPs to block infringing sites without any sort of judicial review (and to criminalize commercial copyright infringement) we need to understand that the telecom company is also a content publisher, Bell Media, owning dozens of television stations, radio stations and websites. As Michael Geist argues, "the company’s position as a common carrier representing the concerns of ISPs and their subscribers is long over." This is why carriers and content providers should be separate companies. The carrier should not be responsible for enforcing censorship, especially when the carrier has its own content it is trying to sell. These proposals are about eliminating competition, in my view, and have nothinbg to do with protecting content creators or fostering innovation.
This is an excellent article, and while Nate Silver talks about presidential elections, the article really has nothing to do with them. And, interestingly, it begins with hurricane forecasting. The article is an extended discussion of probability that should be required reading for any educator or journalist. The presentations of alternatives as simple on-off or right-wrong decisions is a misrepresentation of a complex world. "properly measuring the uncertainty is at least as important a part of the forecast as plotting the single most likely course." And "most experts — including most journalists — make overconfident forecasts." Things to remember when reading my work, or anyone's.
After the collapse of its traditonal business in 2007, African Book Collective (ABC) bounced back as a virtual bookseller. "Rather than restricting access it placed the books in as many channels as it could find. In print the books were published in paperback so prices remained competitive... Discoverability drives sales and access can drive sales of printed books; one channel has not consumed another and the market for African published scholarship is healthy." This is having a beeficial effect generally. "Research output in Africa is on the increase.... By working together to bring down the barriers of access to scholarly books in Africa they can fill an important gap in the market and increase their own options."
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