What would we lose if we lost open and distance universities? This question was posed at a panel hosted by EDEN last week and available as a video here. Sir John Daniel suggests we would lose the inclusiveness agenda, the idea that higher education should be offered wiodely across society. There's also the research in new modes of learning conducted by these universities, says António Teixeira. The instititions are facing challenges from traditional universities offering their own online programs and changing demographics featuring both younger students looking for their first job and older students needing lifelong learning. Panelists also faced questions about the indistrial model that characterizes large open universities ("perhaps we should change from cabs to Uber"). This may require unbundling courses or involving the entire community in a learning network.
The four tools are: 'missional sifting', consisting of "core ideals, practices, values, or philosophies"; 'transitional technologies' that "aid in progress toward what is usually a completely new mental and cultural construct", 'predicting the future', "a feel for key factors allows seeing educational technologies and innovations develop from a distance" (this is probably the strongest part of the article); and 'options for approaching the future', a combination of ignoring, preparing, predicting or creating the future. As a framework this article is fine but it would benefit the reader a lot more were the magazine to take the time to explore these in depth.
This post chronicles - and laments - the rise of the student experience industry on campus. " This industry brings together a conglomeration of staff, services, resources, programs, initiatives and facilities designed to enhance the student experience and guarantee students’ satisfaction." Jonathan Finn argues that this new emphasis detracts from the educational experience. "In the current university environment, a student’s experience is being prioritized over their education," he writes. "Once students arrive on campus, they are encouraged to join a host of clubs, teams, groups and activities to contribute to their overall university experience." As a result, he says, students report a high rate of anxiety and depression. "It’s an experience feedback loop." What Finn misses, I think, is that the clubs, teams, groups and activities are a key part of the student's education. That's why they are valued. And he needs to learn to live with that, and work with that.
The main message in this article seems to be complains that it's really hard to comply with new laws protecting student data. "You have a lot of school systems spending time, money and certainly lots of legal fees trying to get the various busing companies, catering companies, and app developers together and convince them to sign off on a very strict law that goes beyond what the vast majority of states require." This, of course, is one of the hidden costs of the privatization: ensuring compliance. Because we know that unless there are contractual penalties, busing companies, catering companies, and app developers would be selling student data even if it's against the law. And on the bright side, "best practices around student information are being solidified, breach notification procedures are being put into place and both parents and teachers are more aware of the data being collected."
The least interesting thing about this post is that there's some startup doing something. Far more interesting is the question the project poses: if your brain is perfectly preserved, that is, all neurons and connections remain intact, then if it's restarted again, have you survived? Our first instinct is to say 'no', but there are cases where ringworms are completely frozen, later thawed, and demonstrated the same memories it had before freezing. So in theory it's possible. Oe another approach: " A connectome map could be the basis for re-creating a particular person’s consciousness, believes Ken Hayworth." This involves preserving all the connections in a brain, without necessarily preserving the physical material. Anyhow, " Nectome has been honing its pitch for Y Combinator’s demo days..." - I imagine the first part of the process works fine, but I want to see the second part, which has historically proven to be the hardest. If they can accomplish that, they won't need VC funding.
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Copyright 2018 Stephen Downes Contact: email@example.comThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.