This article should serve as a waring for education companies building technology that depends on surveillance to produce revenue from advertisers. Advertising-based media is in general under attack as sales decline and people rebel against social media marketing. This article looks at the impact on the news industry and makes the point that as funding models change, so will news coverage. "News media of the future could be as messy, diverse, and riotously disputatious as their audiences, because directly monetizing them is the new central challenge of the news business." That's also what's happening in education.
There are some good observations in what I think is the last (?) of Audrey Watters's ed tech trends posts. First is that "The most well-funded types of education company this year were those who offered tutoring. Tutoring, to be clear, here mostly means test prep." A lot of money went into tutoring companies. Additionally, "The growing reliance on OPMs is part of a larger trend of outsourcing and privatization." Quite true. Additionally, China is "hardly the only country willing to surveil, track, and punish students. The US excels at this too, no doubt. We have children in cages, and ICE monitoring schools." And finally, "philanthropists... fund education journalism to tell the stories they want folks to hear."
"Almost everything is propaganda," says this article. I agree. And if you're with me on this, then most of what I've had to say about truth and media over the years follows from that. For example: finding a 'trusted' media source means essentially finding a source that confirms your existing world view. For example: the terms we use to describe people (for example, 'horde' or 'migrant') are deliberate and intentional. Understanding this is why we have to seek out diverse, and first-person, perspectives. Depending on media for truth - any media - leaves you open to error. Related: Deep fakes videos are being weaponized.
This article argues that MOOCs need to be "decolonized", based on three arguments (paraphrased):
It's well and good to complain, but how do you decolonize MOOCs? Do you close Coursera and EdX? Of course not. You add to the 41 MOOC platforms existed in 2018. But the sort of public investment needed (as opposed to relying on the private sector) is just the sort of model publications like EdSurge favour least.
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Copyright 2019 Stephen Downes Contact: email@example.comThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.