Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

"The essay, I'm arguing here, no longer forces students to learn how to research," writes Dave Cormier. Consequently, "I'm increasingly starting to think that we need to re-evaluate what the basic epistemic skills are that we think people need to make meaning with all this abundance and all the GenAI out there." It's even worse than that. Cormier describes a process where he would "write down a bunch of possible articles/books on a piece of paper, go around the library and find said resources, settle in at a table to go through them. I had to read them." That's what I did. That's what I still do, only digitally (that's where OLDaily originated). But today people don't read the essays, they do a 'literature search' and pull out a set of articles essentially at random based on a keyword (or AI-supported) search. That becomes 'research'. Now, I don't think we 'make meaning' as suggested by Cormier. But I do suggest that the process is rather more than just search. But if educators don't do that, they can't describe it.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Feb 26, 2024 05:18 a.m.

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