Monday, November 9, 2015

Online Ed - Shirky, Cheating, etc.....

Clay Shirky posits that the digital revolution in higher ed has already happened.  Among the many key quotes, 'If you rank countries by rate of college enrollment, the U.S. is #1. If you rank countries by rate of college graduation, we’re not even in the top 10. This gap gives us the lowest graduation rate of any developed nation. We don’t have an admissions problem, we have a completion problem. Recognizing this means re-thinking who college is for.'

And, the Atlantic notes that Cheating in Online Classes is Big Business.  If you've got the money, there's no need to study.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In the interim

What's it like being an interim?  My brother died when he was 42.  My brother-in-law died when he was 60.   Surgeries, other health challenges, employment coming and going, teams readjusting, friends and family moving and growing and changing?  It's ALL interim.

Key quote, 'Life is what happens while we're busy making plans. The interim is forever, so perhaps it makes sense to make act in the interim as we expect to act in the long haul.'

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Post-Colonial MOOCs

A call for ideas and discussion:

I just returned from AAA and Maha's post prompted reflection about privilege, elitism and power in the academic world.   I attended two presentations about Massively Open Online Courses, and was struck by both the numbers of students enrolled (in the thousands) as well as the slickness of the courses.  Both benefited from instructional designers, professional-quality videos, but more so, from the market position of the well-established and well-known institutions who attached their brand name, their logos, and their prestige to the courses.  Neither of these two courses, or the people who taught them, really 'got' the notion of openness, sharing, broadly distributing content available to remix, reconfigure and redistribute.

When asked about the motivations to create and teach the courses, among the reasons the presenters cited was the notion that, if their institution didn't do this, someone else will, and it was a necessity to promote a comparative advantage that they had developed, a special expertise in a certain field, or to leverage their brand position, both expected reasons from a strategic business perspective.  But the decision to develop and distribute how they did also serves to reinforce and perpetuate a colonialist and even a paternalistic pattern of elite educators and institutions.     Maha's post is a welcome step in a different direction.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Hire good teachers, not subject matter experts

Edward Wilson on the meaning of existence, how we got to here and now, and the shortcomings of specialization....

Lots more here.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Rheingold on Digital Literacy in the Classroom

Essential literacies for today, per Howard Rheingold:

  • Attention to Information
  • Crap Detection
  • Participation
  • Collaboration
  • Network Know-How

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

More than Shareholder Value

A couple of posts caught my eye the other day.  Mike Caulfield wrote about remixing, repurposing and adapting in digital media as a way to expand collaboration and distribute ideas, notions and observations, using the ‘fluidity of digital media to have the sort of “conversation through editing” that digital media makes possible.’

Mike’s post led me back to David Wiley’s excellent blog,, and his piece, The Remix Hypothesis, riffing on the benefits of faculty adapting OER and that impact on curriculum design, leading them to to ‘rethink their assignments and assessments so that they maximize the learning-related benefits of openness to their students.’

Maha Bali’s post on Unbearable Whiteness discusses the notions and nature of privilege, and the ‘elusive nature of inclusivity.

And, finally, Dave Winer takes a broader perspective, addressing the Purpose of the Internet, which he describes as saving our species from self-destruction.   Maybe, or more to the point, a use of the internet is to facilitate the sharing, remixing and redistribution of ideas, notions, and perspectives, giving voices to many, to all of our collective benefit.