As Audrey Watters would inform us, the answer to this question is "no". But Goldie Blumenstyk makes the best case she can for "yes" in the light of work by the Education Design Lab. "I recognize the potential value of badges that students from all sorts of institutions could use to prove their abilities in communication, critical thinking, resilience, and other so-called soft skills that employers claim to want," she writes. " But I still think the real revolutionary value of badges won't be realized until they can serve as a direct signal to employers — especially for students who, as deLaski put it, aren't already "networked" through family connections or the brand name of their colleges."
There's a long history of trying to rank things according to the credibility of the source, and an equally long history of these systems being gamed, being too diffocult to use, or being fundamentally unreliable, and then failing. Even the most trusted publisher may run advertising. Even the most respected celebrity will accept money to endorse a product. This article suggests Facebook is giving this approach another attempt. The probability of success is low.
Simple is rarely more efficient, and is not accomplished by seeking efficiency. This is a great lesson drawn by Dave Truss from Picasso and applied to lesson planning. Truss writes, "Picasso didn’t do his final drawing by asking, 'How can I use the least amount of lines to draw a bull?' In each drawing he took away the non-essential components, leaving behind only what was necessary." An excellent point. Additionally, I would note that you get to the six-line bull only after having created and abstracted from the original bull. Simplicity is not equivalent to efficiency. Further, what counts as 'essential' is likely to vary from person to person, circumstance to circumstance. Picasso, Rodin and Dali may each draw the same bull in different, but equally essential, ways.
I really like the first part of this article: "the only viable literacy solution to web misinformation involves always checking any information in your stream" before you believe it or share it or whatever. No doubt, and he makes the case convincingly. Where I disagree is with how you should check. Verify URLs to make sure the site isn't spoofed? Yes, this should be second nature. Make sure the site is a reputable publication? Not enough. Any time you read some significant claim, look for a second source. That's how the professionals do it. Don't trust the source. Trust the web.
This is an opinion column discussing the plan whereby "a student pays a set rate per semester, and has unlimited access to new copies of the latest books provided by that publisher." Matt Reed's main criticism is that "this publisher only carries what it publishes. It would be as if Netflix only carried content provided by Fox Studios." Moreover, the subscription model tends to promote a single-publisher monopoly at an institution (because using any other materials creates an extra expense). This invariably results in subscription price increases. There's also a longer piece in Forbes about the program (but beware the spamwall and popup video).
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