I'm a fan of employee-generated learning (aka 'working openly'). Of course there will be no end to the concerns that actual employees might not produce very good content. That's what consultants are for! But still, there are ways they can improve their content, and they're far more likely than university professors to actually try to improve their teaching methods (this isn't just me being snarky, that's what the data says). Interestingly the first method suggested is to give credit (or blame) where it's due: "Make sure the name of the author is clearly visible in the course." Also, think of publishing it someplace other than your (closed) corporate LMS, because feedback is essential, and the closed corporate LMS is, well, closed (that's why I look at things like Fastpages, even if they're not yet easy).
This article profiles a recent Microsoft-sponsored IDC report (47 page PDF) on the role of AI in education. IDC surveyed 509 U.S. institutions; 78% public, 22% private, talking to 215 management and 294 staff. It might be better to take the time to read the actual report, as the summary is full of stuff like "Microsoft believes this..." and "Microsoft is doing that..." which have nothing to do with the research. The report itself is based on an AI-readiness model to match the (reported) "goal of increasing
competitiveness, funding and innovation." Because those are what matters in universities these days.
P.S. New policy announcement - from now on I will assume that reports with no authors, or bogus author names like 'Microsoft Education Team', were written by a robot. Want readers to take you seriously? Have a real person write, and take credit for, your content.
I do love podcasts (and I don't like Spotify), so this works for me. That said, I've been using Player FM for a while now and this doesn't motivate me to switch. But it's nice to have options, especially when a player like Spotify is trying to close down the podcast ecosystem. All of that said, it's getting harder for individual podcasters to get their content into these players. You can't just give our RSS feed addresses any more; you have to go through an intermediary.
I will admit that I'm not really a fan of theory, not even my own. They always seem like unnecessary (and usually inaccurate) abstractions of complex phenomena. But this article makes the point quite well that theory has its place. John Spencer beggins with a look at his own study of motivation theory in education. The main message is that "the more you immerse yourself in theory, the more painfully aware you are of how much you don’t understand." And that's true. What follows is a quick list of the ways theory can be useful to researchers and practitioners. And while I'm not completely sold on theory (especially those that do nothing more than categorize or posit a series of steps or levels) I really do value the part where I learn how much I don't know.
A quick example, just to make the point: I was doing background reading for my ethics and analytics paper, which took me to Tom Beauchamp and James Childress (1985) Principles of Biomedical Ethics, which has a lovely section on autonomy. Now I've thought quite a lot about autonomy, and felt I had it pretty much in hand, but this set me straight (it's not that I am suffering historical amnesia, it's just that you wouldn't really expect to find a core concept for education so well documented in a book on biomedical ethics).
This is an overview of a number of different decentralized identity systems and doesn't go deep into any of them. We've encountered a number of them in this newsletter over the years. It's useful to see them all collected and organized here. "In addition to standards and specifications, there are a number of ongoing open-source projects built to demonstrate the impact of a truly decentralized, interoperable ecosystem.
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