Square is an online payment service. Tidal is a music streaming service. They may seem like polar opposites, but what the combination could do is give artists and independent content producers a way to make money that doesn't depend on centralized services publishers and Patreon and other agencies that take an extra-large percentage. Streaming services don't really pay the bills, as any musician will tell you, but direct payments for concerts, merch, donations, and whatever might fill the gap. Educators - especially those aspiring to offer digital learning services - should watch this new offering closely. Meanwhile - is the world ready for an 'OLDaily' sweatshirt? Or how about one that says 'Free learning?'
This talks about journalists, but we could exchange the words 'educators' and 'journalists'. ": News outlets have been forced to reckon with the fact that their role is not just to be observers—or saviors—but stakeholders... The journalists we need today are not heroic observers of crisis—they are conveners, facilitators, organizers, educators, on-demand investigators, and community builders." It makes me think: I presented myself as an educator at a recent talk, and the question came up, "what courses do you teach" - fortunately I had a list, but still, we need to get past the idea that an educator is a person who teachers courses, just as we need to get past the idea that a journalist is someone who dispassionately observes. Image: WSJ.
Sometimes it feels to me that innovation in educational technology has been frozen for about ten years. That doesn't mean nothing has happened; quite the opposite, actually. But it feels to me that the idea we're working with today are the ideas we were talking about ten years ago. I think there's a lot behind the scenes that will change this, along with high-profile technology, like Zoom, that have had a wide impact. And of course, Coursera is launching an IPO with a multi-billion-dollar valuation today. So there's that. Still. So here we have digital badges, one of many ten-year old ideas that didn't real;ly take off. Does that mean it's dead. No. But there is, I think, a need to consolidate all these ten-year old ideas into a form where they actually work (p.s., that's not Coursera). As Bryan Mathers makes clear, our industry has a lot of chicken-egg problems right now.
This probably applies to learning as well: "Human communication is naturally “bursty,” in that it involves periods of high activity followed by periods of little to none... Those silent periods are when team members often form and develop their ideas... Bursts, in turn, help to focus energy, develop ideas, and achieve closure on specific questions." I'm definitely that way, and what works really well for me is to spend a lot of time working on whatever, and then engagement in the form of consulting sessions or presentations to focus and consolidate what I've discovered. Stowe Boyd uses an article from HBS by Christoph Riedle and Alice Williams Woolley to frame the discussion, and reflects on this in practice in the form of DropBox's Virtuak First toolkit. Via Mike Taylor.
I think it is well known that "active learning — where learners engage in debate, problem-solving, role-playing, product creation and so on — is much more effective than presenting and explaining content." But why is it better? Stephen Kosslyn explains. First, "what we remember often is a byproduct of simply paying attention and thinking." Working with something focuses our attention. Second, "learning is enhanced by paying attention to feedback," and active learning produces plenty of feedback. Third, providing more ways to experience (visual, textual, etc) provides more ways to remember. Fourth, active learning helps us group and organize what we learn. And fifth, active learning creates a frame and context for learning. Via Mike Taylor.
One prediction I've made is that as the pandemic eases there will be a rush to return everything, including education, to 'normal'. Now there are reasons not to want to return to where we were, but as this post highlights, there are reasons why we want to hold on to what we've built over the last year. Now not everybody can continue to work from their garage, as Thomas Forget does, or a 2,200-square-foot barn, the way Dale Haggith has, but we have each of us in our own way adapted the way we work, augmented our skills, and become more comfortable in the online environment. That's something we don't want to lose!
This is a commentary on the Praxis and the Indieweb post we covered here last week. Aaron Davis comments "the cost of connecting people has collapsed. However, what is overlooked is that there is still a cost." I don't think anyone has overlooked that, seeing that we're all paying costs for computers and phones, bandwidth, software, and services. We pay with money, with labour (to get access through our employers), and personal information. And yes, our home on the internet, our domain of our own, looks more like rent than ownership. But this is true generally, including for actual homes (try not paying your rent or your taxes or your utility bills and see what happens). It costs money to live in society, and you can't live outside society, and this leaves us all in a perpetual state of need. The hope of the Indieweb is to reduce that need, but the issue isn't cost. Not really. No, the issues are (as I think the original Praxis post said) design and inclusivity.
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