Conversation with the EdStartup Facilitators

David Wiley, EdStartup, Aug 29, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

So I attended the first #EdStartUp class today, not because I want to create an Ed StartUp, but because I wanted to see how it's run. A couple of observations. First, the use of Twitter for live-session dialogue is a bad idea - I like to chatter during live sessions, but my responses don't just go to people in the session, they are sprayed across 5,298 followers, 99.9 percent of whom are not in the discussion. The experience is like some guy talking too loud on a mobile phone. "Harry... yes... Harry... Harry? ... no, I've got it, be right down.... no, it's a waterford. (etc)." And you need a channel with the video, so you can follow both, and where the course facilitators can place URLs for resources as and when they're discussed.

Another thing. One of the speakers said subscribing to EdSurge constituted mandatory reading in the course. This is the first I have seen of this site, which is "a team of journalists, educators, and technologists dedicated to accelerating the adoption of outstanding and appropriate education technology." They obtained funding form the likes of the Washington Post (also known as Kaplan Education). Here's a back issue. Because of the speaker's remark I thought they were associated with the course, but maybe not. Anyhow, someone from OpenSesame - an online course provider - wrote to recommend EdSurge. All very good - but their funders have spent a lot of money just to recreate OLWeekly, IMO. And as Audrey Watters commented, it raises "interesting journo-ethics too about how a VC-backed pub can cover startups that are also funded by that VC fund," prompting Justin Yantho to respond, "imagine what will happen when News Corp Amplify really gets going."

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