David Wiley argues that we shoul revise the definition of 'open educational resources', changing the criteria from requiring 'free access to the resource' to requiring only 'free access to the rights to reuse the resource'. This allows the resource itself to be not available for free, and yet still be an open educational resource. On this model, he suggests, "the public will always have free access to the resource, but not that the public will have free access to every copy of the resource." It's a clever argument but has the unpalatable consequence that a resource might not be available to anyone and yet still, by this definition, be classified as an OER.
So far as I know, this is the first slime mold to hold a faculty position at a university. The faculty page says " Physarum Polycephalum, a plasmodial slime mold, researches important problems from a non-human perspective, and enhances intellectual life on campus by helping students and colleagues to think about the world without human biases." This Vox article fills in the details. "Slime molds are not actually molds. They’re much more like amoebas — single-celled microscopic sacs that move around by altering their shape... when two or more slime mold cells meet, they dissolve the cell membranes that separate each individual and fuse together in one membrane... there’s no limit to the number of individuals that can join the collective, called a plasmodium. Each cell of the slime mold is making decisions that ultimately benefit the whole collective."
Back in the days when people were debating whether online learning was as good as in-person learning I would make the argument that for many people the choice wasn't "online versus in-person", it was "online versus nothing". And for many people, as this article makes clear, that's still the choice. “You’ve got students whose parents are leaving at 6 in the morning to go to work in the fields, who maybe work two or three jobs. It’s just not realistic to assume our students can manage the transportation to community college,” Barajas said. “All of a sudden, we’ve got something that is extremely feasible we can offer our students, and all they need to be able to do is get online.”
Nice post from Bud Hunt on his experiences during a student protest against guns. "It’s easy for me to forget, in the humdrum of spreadsheets and TPS reports and invoices and administrivia, that there are real fights to fight, and real struggles of the head and heart and hands that require my, and many others’ attention," he writes. "I hope you’re finding ways, even really little ways, to practice being brave and strong and true. Not only will they make the world a better place – but they’ll make you stronger for the next struggle that’ll need the best you can bring."
I certainly agree with danah boyd when she suggests that the focus on using critical thing as a means to "find the truth" is mistaken. She suggests that this approach to critical thinking has been "weaponized". “Right now, the conversation around fact checking has devolved to suggest that there is only one truth. We have to recognize that there are plenty of students who are taught that there is only one legitimate way of thinking, one accepted worldview,” boyd said. This, of course, was never the purpose of critical thinking. As I wrote back in 1995, "The idea of logic is truth preservation. What that means is that if you start with true beliefs, your reasoning will not lead you to false conclusions. But logic does not generate true beliefs."
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