Most of the suggestions in this article are pretty good, and some of them are just silly (and no, he didn't ask 2 million people, he polled them, and some subset replied). Anyhow, the points about being less polished (but still having great audio and video) are bang-on. Content isn't king, in my view, but good content helps (and bad content will create a snooze-fest). The same with short - if it isn't engaging, people will leave - but at the same time, people do sit through long content if it's engaging (just ask Leo Laporte). Interaction is vital - not necessarily breakout rooms, but definitely backchannels. Finally - free lunch and swag? Just plain silly.
One of the turning points of my life was watching a talk by Francisco Varela on connectivity. The key, he said, was to find a sweet spot - not too dense, otherwise the signals would overwhelm the network, and not too sparse, or the signal would never propagate. He was talking about immune networks, but it was clear to me that the principle applied more generally.
When we have an epidemic, the problem is that the signal - in this case, a virus - is spreading too rapidly. The basic reproduction number (R0) is used to measure the transmission potential of a disease. This number is based on the connectivity of the network - which is why we're applying social distancing. The same problems causing an epidemic, says this article, are the problems that cause misinformation. "The spread of misinformation is enabled by the structures of social networks. These structures reduce friction in sharing. They speed up flows of information and incentivise users to post things that will earn likes, replies and shares."
This is a structural problem. As Umair Haque said three years ago, "Social media has great economics: Facebook and Twitter and so on maximize incomes and earn fortunes. But it’s eudaimonics are profoundly unsuccessful: it makes people unhappy, unfulfilled, and more distant - and it’s a vector for misinformation and mistrust that’s eating away at the fabric of democracy." We need to value the local more - maybe not so much as suggested by Jenny Mackness, but in that direction.
We do this by making it harder to be too big. In an economy, it should be much harder (not easier, as it is to day) to generate more income if you already have a lot of income. In a social network, it should be more expensive to amass large numbers of users, by making it harder to finance through mass-driven economics like advertising. In media, each additional person you reach with a message should cost more, not less. And, as we already know, in a pandemic, we make it much harder for the disease to find large numbers of people such as are found at sporting events and concerts. When you hear me talk about decentralized and distributed technology for learning networks, this is why.
One of the reasons I support a universal basic income is that it would release a flourishing of creativity and personal development. I also believe it "is a policy of care, one that fundamentally rejects the notion that people in economic distress, communities in disrepair, and an environment in peril are the unfortunate but unavoidable collateral damage of a market economy." However, making it a job guarantee, rather than an income guarantee, eliminates the creativity and personal development and leaves people being required to work for no particular reason. Sure, there's beneficial work that could be done - but it should be organized on a volunteer basis, and be done by willing contributors seeking to expand their personal and social horizons.
It's definitely worth watching what Microsoft is doing in this space. If you add it all together, it's a considerable investment. "The combination of LinkedIn Learning, GitHub, Microsoft Learn, and Microsoft certifications are a massive investment in this market. In this announcement, the company offers to reduce prices, provide LinkedIn learning paths for free, donate $20 Million to upskilling programs, and new GitHub offerings. The goal is to 'upskill' 25 million people by the end of the year."
It takes a while to get to this point, but the interview eventually gets there: "When public funded institutions consider this as part of their mandate to share educational resources to public, the issue of sustainability becomes quite easy." The article has a number of links to good resources on OER, for example, the Global OERs Report 2017, and South Africa's national “White Paper for Post-school Education and Training”
One of the benefits of having a background in journalism and critical literacy is that when I look at a newspaper I ask questions like, "Why is this photo here?" In her public work entitled 'Counternarratives' Alexandra Bell demonstrates how the wording and placement of text, headlines and images convey biases and distortions. "What you give space to, and what you allow people to see, says a lot... it's so easy to ingest.... subliminal messaging about who should be valued." But, she says, it's not just the newspaper, it's also the reader, who needs to learn how to approach media, see what's missing, and provide their own perspective. Video here which you should watch, and also an article in Niemann. See also: Calling out white people for sexism can cut racism, too.
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Copyright 2020 Stephen Downes Contact: email@example.comThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.