In February, 2006, I presented a paper to OECD in Malmo on models for the sustainability of open educational resources in which I concluded that the only truly sustainable model was based on a community development model. Today I read for the first time Yochi Benchler's Common Wisdom: Peer Production of Educational Materials, which David Wiley says he commissioned in 2005. Benchler's answer to the question of whether the community-based peer production model could be used for OERs was: it depends. In particular, if you're looking for something structured and subject to external criteria, then probably not. Wiley takes Benchler's conclusion and runs with it, arguing that "the problems associated with the need to modularize and the need to integrate are just as real now as they were back in the early 2000s.... There’s a good argument to be made that a community based production model for learning content isn’t actually possible." And would respond that it depends what you're trying to produce. If you want to replicate existing managerialist models of resource production, then yeah, a community probably won't support that. But why would we want to do that? Image: M.U. Paily.
It's always interesting to see the same concept approached from two very different directions. Here we have a short post from Clark Quin describing how he is currently creating an activity map (he says, "Whether a course, or interactive ebook, or whatever, I want to create a flow. And I realized an activity map might make sense. I haven’t done this before (I’ve used storyboards and diagrams)"). By contrast, I was also looking at the W3C's "activity vocabulary" this morning; it's intended to be used with activity streams "and provides a foundational vocabulary for activity structures, and specific activity types." Contrasting the two, I see that Quinn's matrix is laden with semantical terms - 'emotions', 'stories', 'tools' - that may or may not be relevant, while the W3C focuses more on structure, with the only real semantics being the inclusion of 'intransitive actions'.
I've run a few posts on GPT-3 and it makes sense to include this item to put it into context. First is its size; "it’s an entire order of magnitude larger" than the previously largest model. "Loading the entire model’s weights in fp16 would take up an absolutely preposterous 300GB of VRAM." What this means is that GPT-3's language models are "few shot learners" - that is, they can "perform a new language task from only a few examples or from simple instructions." That's why it can create a Shakespeare sonnet after being given only the first few lines - it recognizes what you're trying to do and is able to emulate it. Now we're not quite at the point where artificial intelligence can write new open educational resources (OER) on an as-needed basis - but we're a whole lot closer with GPT-3.
A product manager is the person responsible for orchestrating all aspects of the development process in toder to realize the vision imagined in a product. They connect the needs expressed by the eventual users of the product with the work undertaken by the development team to meet those needs. This article outlines what makes a good product manager (and it's worth reading in contrast with Audrey Watters's most recent talk). "Yopu should know the game you’re playing (your vision for the product, your product’s value to the customer, your competitive advantage, and how you’ll win) and how you’ll keep score: What does winning mean? How will you measure success? ( Credit to Adam Nash for this framing, see here for his fantastic article)." Image: Career Karma.
In her most recent argument against surveillance ed-tech tools Audrey Watters implicitly draws the connection between this issue and the recent movement to defund the police by drawing on a term coined by Jeffrey Moro back in February. Writes Moro, "I define 'cop shit' as 'any pedagogical technique or technology that presumes an adversarial relationship between students and teachers.'" Moro defines the term broadly, basically including anything that tracks, measures, assesses or rewards. "Cop shit is seductive. It makes metrics transparent. It allows for the clear progress toward learning objectives... and—” here’s the key, “I will presume that you will attempt to flout me at every turn." Wattrers, in her talk, offers a series of responses to it: do not collect data, turn off the cameras, rethink 'openness', trust.
Silvana Temesio writes, "Accessible open educational resources (AOER) constitute OER adaptations that suits to different needs and preferences (in) student profiles." This article offers a conceptual framework for AOER and proposes "a minimal accessibility metadata set, taking into account the IMS model." Librarians, she writes, "can participate in adaptation processes, particularly in terms of accessibility, and collaborate in teacher training to produce accessible OER."
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