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Monthly Archives: October 2011

A few simple tools I want edu-startups to build

Outside of taking courses in XML, programming logic, and Python, I am not a programmer. I understand the importance of being able to program. I can get by with HTML and CSS. There are few things more irritating, however, than having ideas that one is not capable of activating in a meaningful way. It’s like [...]

Humbleness and thanks

I don’t know how my writing comes across to others. When I was a teenager, I had a few general issues with the world (I know, likely the first teenager in history with this affliction) and very specific issues with authority. This attitude produced a number of difficult situations for me. At one point, as [...]

Transforming learning through analytics

Data, big data, analytics, and visualization are significant trends in education. We need to pay attention. There is much to be alarmed about with analytics, including the mechanization of teaching, learning, and assessment. Additionally, the data and analytics that are easy to collect and conduct risk becoming a simple veneer over the complexities of learning [...]

The open access debate

At the EDUCAUSE 2011 conference today, I had the pleasure of attending a lecture by Hal Abelson – founding director of Free Software Foundation and Creative Commons. He presented on the state of openness in education. While on the surface openness is gaining traction through scholarship and publication, content providers and journal publishers are starting [...]

The race to platform education

Across the full spectrum of education – primary, secondary, and higher – we are witnessing a race to develop platforms for content, learning, teaching, and evaluation. As liberating as the web is, tremendous centralization of control is occurring in numerous spaces: Google in search/advertising/Android, Amazon in books/cloud computing, Facebook in social networks, etc. I use [...]

Chronicle Interview: Why universities should experiment with open online courses

I did an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education on Why Universities Should Experiment With ‘Massive Open Courses’. Thanks to Jeff and Warren for the opportunity to share some of the work that Stephen Downes, Dave Cormier, Alec Couros, and a growing number of educators have engaged in over the last four years. The [...]

Why do synchronous web tools suck?

We are several weeks into the Change open online course. We have an outstanding speaker list. But, unfortunately, we’ve had issues every week with our live online sessions. We’ve looked at WizIQ, Vyew, and Big Blue Button. All have been terrible failures. So we tried FuzeMeeting today. Another horrible crash and burn. It’s getting embarrassing [...]

Scaling what was previously unscalable

For people who have been involved in online education for the past 15 years, or distance education for the past 40 years, the current hype and energy around learning at a distance must be a bit odd – like waking up to discover that your life’s work is suddenly being “discovered” by others and labelled [...]