Toward a Distributed OER Network
Stephen Downes, Jun 11, 2019, ICOE “Smart Education” Webinar , Beijing, via Adobe Connect
This short presentation looks at some of the problems inherent in traditional OER repositories and describes the first steps in the creation of a distributed OER network, called Content Addressable Resources for Education (CARE).
There's a lot to digest in this report published by the British Department for Education on online learning and artificial intelligence education (AIed) (102 page PDF). The authors appear relatively happy with the online learning market, but find weaknesses in the AIed market (that is, the application of AI to online learning products and services) suggesting that the demand (so far) is low and research investment is high. It's also hard for producers to differentiate themselves, since the benefits are hard to articulate. The best new markets appear to be in convincing employers to provide access to courses. They also recommend that online learning courses should include collaborative learning environments and tutor communication. This Jisc summary, meanwhile, highlights the recommendation that the government fund testbeds, and underlines the idea of the '4th industrial revolution'.
Having co-opted the term 'MOOC', the commercial platforms have essentially rendered the term meaningless. That's the main takeaway from this MOOC conference, at least as I read this summary. "Already, the term 'MOOC' seems a bit quaint," writes Laurie Pickard. "Most MOOCs are no longer massive or open. None of what we call MOOC platforms refer to themselves in those terms." Maybe these platforms should abandon the term entirely and give it back to the people working toward open online education. Meanwhile, "MOOC platforms have also converged on a common business model, as described in Dhawal Shah’s Six Tiers of MOOC Monetization. With few exceptions, the top three MOOC providers have adopted all of the features of this model, in which free content attracts users, who are monetized with paywalls for course content and certificates, microcredentials, degrees, and corporate subscriptions."
The bit by Freeman Dyson to start this video transcript is brief but rich; the discussion that follows is interesting but not to the same level as the introduction. "Our brains are spectacularly quick," says Dyson, "transforming two tasks essential to our survival: recognition of images in space, and recognition of patterns of sound in time." We do this, he says, by comparing maps. Strictly speaking, this is at best a metaphor - but I think it's a better metaphor than one based in linear digital processing, inference and reason.
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Copyright 2019 Stephen Downes Contact: email@example.comThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.