There's a lot going on in this post from Lorna Campbell consisting of the transcript and slides from her keynote at the FLOSS UK Spring Conference in Edinburgh. It's a pretty good overview of open education and open educational resources (OER). Some quibbles: she says "the principles of open education were first outlined in the 2007 Cape Town Declaration," which can't be true (especially given that OER themselves were defined by UNESCO in 2002). Also, she describes the first MOOCs as "being run by the Universities of Athabasca and Prince Edward Island in Canada," which is wrong; that "Udacity now focuses primarily on vocational courses," which is also wrong (it focuses on corporate learning); and she also references "the original social constructionist MOOCs," while in fact none of them were social constructivist (they were connectivist, which is very different). I think that any discussion of open data has to address data integrity (you can't simply modify data), and while I think that participation and co-creation are important, the key to open is cost-free access to content.
Good diagram (one page PDF) outlining the General Data Protection Regulation being implemented in Europe. It's complex but rewards a closer look. The important bits are to the lower left, in the green box, where the specific user rights (or actions) are listed, including the right to be forgotten, the right to object, and the right to disallow automatic processing. There are also limitations on data portability and copying, as well as on downstream uses of the data. The user also has the right to access the data.
For any measure of educational outcomes there is a ready-made body of literature suggesting that increasing spending to support free primary education (FPE) will not increase outcomes. I have my doubts about this research and always keep my eyes open for counterexamples. This paper, while noting the other literature, finds the opposite. With increased funding in Kenya, retention rates increase, and outcomes (including gender parity) also increase. It's not automatic, though. "The assumption that the poor will always benefit from such interventions such as FPE in Kenya may not be true if the channels of that subsidy are the limited public schools and there is a ‘scramble’ for them."
I think this was probably a necessary step in the development of a badge infrastructure. The idea of Pathways is that badges can be combined (some say 'stacked', as in 'stackable credentials') to add up to higher-level credentials. They write, "Because Badgr Pathways is based on our proposed new Open Pathways standard, Pathways can be stacked across organizations allowing the creation of data-driven bridges between the programs offered by education institutions, employers, and organizations that provide alternative credentials." As suggested in the comments there's some overlap with BadgeList but this looks to be the more robust of the two to me.
This topic is on my mind a lot as I work through the various permutations of what a learning network might look like. Not like Facebook. Not like Twitter. This article mentions Mastodon, which is one of my current social networks of choice. It's not perfect either but it's better, mostly because it's not centralized and (therefore) not owned by some large corporation intent on monetizing our conversations. But also (as the diagram here shows) you are shown posts organized not by some algorithm but rather by how you are connected to different Mastodon instances. I have long said (and yet people still resist this idea) that people are the AI that should be selecting and filtering posts. That's why RSS was great - you choose who you follow. But that's also why commercial interests have tried to kill RSS, and why it's so hard to sustain a viable alterntive to Facebook and Twitter.
So this is pretty cool. Speech interfaces for educational technology are advancing rapidly (as I guess shopuld not be surprising in the age of voice assistants such as Siri and Alexa and Google). This interview of Patricia Scanlon from SoapBox Labs "focuses on their new cloud-based API to improve children’s aural/oral interactions with their smart toys and gadgets via voice recognition and behavior." This is what developers like: "use our technology by simply sending an audio file to our API and our systems responds in near real-time." The bad news? The API is proprietary so it can only be used with the one engine. What we will need is a standard (and open!) speech interface API, something Mozilla is working on.
A lot of this may be familiar to those already steeped in e-learning production, but it's a good quick read and will help managers (and employees!) very quickly determine whether a production process is on track or in danger of becoming bogged down. I expecially liked this: "by doing things in this order you will meet your learning objectives halfway through the process. This is key. There is no possibility that you will hand over a finished product that does not already meet its goal. With this approach, you can simply “refine until deadline” and quit when you hit it." Also this: "we started with the exam. Before we wrote the scripts, we made the test. When the last step of the Learner’s process is the first step you take, all the SME and legal and marketing approvals are identified and engaged upfront."
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