In this longish post David Wiley notes with despair a change in the definition of OER that happened as the public draft became an official UNESCO resolution (here). He says, "the characteristics required to make a license an 'open license' have been absolutely eviscerated." In particular, 'retain' (or, 'own a copy') has been replaced with 'access'. He's picking up on a December 3 mailing list post from Jane Jacobson - at least I think so, because the ellipses are in exactly the same position.
And that's kind of important. The ellipses hide what (to me) is the most important part of the definition: "Open Educational Resources (OER) are learning, teaching and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or are under copyright that have been released under an open license, that permit no-cost access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation and redistribution by others." This is a conjunction, meaning all of these permissions must exist. So by definition it's not possible for making copies of an OER to be illegal.
I know some people like the very tightly worded definition of OER and open license because it gives them lots of room to 'own' them and 'sell' them (under the guise of 'redistribution'). But their problems aren't my problems (nor are they the problems of the billions of people around the world who benefit from no-cost access to OERs).
Time isn't real. Or, perhaps I should say, insofar as time is real, it is nothing like what we think it is. Oh, I know I have cited J.E. McTaggert on this in the past. But it's not just a question of ontology. As a recent BBC report makes clear, we create the past (and use much the same tools to create the future). "As we lay down memories, we alter them to make sense of what’s happened. Every time we recall a memory, we reconstruct the events in our mind and even change them to fit in." Our memories aren't a recording of past events. Rather, they're a resource we create in order to predict the future. That's why our memories are selective, creative, and imaginative. So what should we say in response to Dave Truss here? Time doesn't pass faster or slower depending on age. It's your perspective that's altering that perception. A fear of loss, perhaps, that makes each moment seem as though it's fleeting.
I don't really do merger and acquisition coverage but this article offers a perspective on a market we don't usually see. Or at least, I don't. Anyhow, "PowerSchool was a simple little program for taking care of classroom clerical work. Of the e-gradebooks I was forced to use in my career, it was the last and the most usable." The it got acquired, then sold, by Pearson. Now that "they have finalized the purchase of Schoology, a learning management system that boasts a presence in over 60,000 schools," this makes nine acquisitions since 2015. The goal is “to connect assessment, enrollment, gradebook, professional learning and special education data services to its flagship student information system." Or, as the Peter Greene says, "PowerSchool is working on micromanagement and data mining in order to make things easier for the bosses. Big brother just keeps getting bigger, but mostly what that does is make a world in which the people who actually do the work just look smaller and smaller."
This article references Analytics Can Save Higher Education. Really., a joint statement from the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), EDUCAUSE, and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). It came out last July (at least, that's when the buzz begins) and was referenced this week in Ed Tech Magazine. The gist is that analytics will improve student outcomes (especially things like completion rates) and this will result in better revenues for higher ed. “For every semester we don’t do everything we can to ensure student success - including using analytics to increase student progress and completion - students leave our campuses without graduating, discouraged and more in debt than when they entered." See also Colleges See Equity Success With Adaptive Learning Systems from the same magazine.
Terry Anderson sent me this item (thanks Terry). It identifies completion rates as a problem for MOOCs, suggest that a response to that is to increase student interaction, and then suggests a Knowledge Stock Exchange (KSX) as a type of hgamification to actieve this result. On this model the 'stocks' being traded are ideas related to the course; students can purchase a share of the idea in order to edit it and improve the value of the idea, and then a period of judging creates the payoff. I have mixed feelings about the model; I've never seen the appeal of stock markets, virtual or otherwise. They just seem like legalized gambling, which to me is a poor foundation on which to base an economy (or incentive system generally). Still, the authors reported much improved retention.
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