The power of critical thinking in learning and teaching. An interview with Professor Stephen D. Brookfield.
Stephen D. Brookfield, Jürgen Rudolph, Eric Yeo Zhiwei, Journal of Applied Learning & Teaching, 2020/01/06
This article (15 page PDF) is a wide-ranging interview with the author of The Skillful Teacher and many other works. Brookfield leans a lot more heavily on critical theory than I would, and (in this interview at least) is heavily influenced by Foucault (for example: "because of reading Foucault, I started inserting into my syllabus things like ‘here’s what you can expect from me’ and when he "moved away from focusing on self-direction in the ‘80s to more into power dynamics," which of course we read a lot about in education more generally today." There are some good progressive bits (eg. "need to model my own commitment to discussion before I involve other people to be engaged") and some less-good bits, such as his commentary on MOOCs, which suffers, I think, because of a lack of knowledge.
This overview of researcher identity systems not surprisingly focuses on commercial publishing solutions, including ResearchGate, Clarivate and Elsevier. A couple of paragraphs are allocated to ORCID, which arguably has more long-term potential than any of the commercial systems. There is no mention of WebID or other decentralized identity systems.
"I have become increasingly worried," writes Michael Feldstein, "that, by going through with this particular sale at this particular time, there is a very high risk of destroying the company's value to customers and shareholders alike." Instructure doesn't have any viable products apart from its core LMS, and it seems to be stalled, writes Feldstein. "Until it has both a credible strategy and a leader who inspires customers to trust the company with their most pressing and complex problems—like fulfilling their ethical obligation to protect their students' privacy in an era of digital learning—it will be just another EdTech company that is toiling away in an unprofitable product category."
I don't want to linger too much on the Instructure sale, but on the other hand, the revelations can't be ignored. As Phil Hill writes, the Board has already decided to make it "a “Rule of 40” software company with a combined growth rate and profit margin of at least 40%." Additionally, "there is no view to show whether Bridge is dead or alive." And of course, "he size of payouts for the executive team seems remarkable, especially as most of that team was hired in the past year or two to improve the Bridge corporate learning market more than the Canvas academic market." None of this augurs good news for Instructure customers.
I wouldn't exactly call this educational technology, but it's worth noting as no doubt it will eventually be used to serve an educational function. "A New York school district has announced it will begin using controversial facial recognition software for school safety purposes, over the strenuous objections of civil liberties advocates." The district is using an application called AEGIS, developed by SN Technologies a Canadian-based company that sells similar systems for hospitals, retail, banks and casinos. So, um, yay Canada? Secutiry software is big business; the AEGIS system cost the district $3.8 million, and a similar product, the Raptor Visitor Management System, is installed in 32,000 schools across the U.S.
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