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Monthly Archives: September 2013

What’s wrong with the Canadian conference circuit?

Conferences are the lifeblood of knowledge exchange in academic disciplines, business, and government. This really hit home for me a few years ago when I was interacting with colleagues from Senegal. While I generally have more conference options than I can attend (and certainly more than I can afford to attend), my colleagues informed me [...]

Special Issue: Massive Open Online Courses

Valerie Irvine, Jillianne Code, and I spent time over the past 8 months preparing a special issue of JOLT on massive open online courses. The issue is now available. From our intro: Higher education is entering a phase of dramatic change and innovation. Mainstream media often present massive open online courses (MOOCs) as both a [...]

Sebastian Thrun confuses me: Thoughts on Udacity’s openness project

Sebastian Thrun confuses me. He is without a doubt a very bright person, with a resume that includes Google, self-driving cars, and Glasses. He took a bold step early in the MOOC game when he left Stanford to start Udacity. When Coursera and edX aggressively signed up university partners, he actually contracted Udacity’s university affiliation [...]

Learning and creating knowledge in social networks

Networks are the underlying structure for knowledge, learning, and society. We live in networks. We experience them daily. This familiarity results, at times, in overlooking the significant value that connections provide in understanding the world. When a company has a failed product launch, networks and connections can explain why. When a company, such as Microsoft [...]

Done doing keynotes

I hope that this post doesn’t come across as excessively self-serving. I’m trying to communicate a change in my professional interest to a group of folks that have provided me with many opportunities. I’ve started, stopped, and deleted similar posts about half a dozen times in the last 18 months. Rather than trying to get [...]

How Large Systems Change

Proclamations of systemic change, particularly in higher education, are more hype than reality. In spite of growing enrolments and expansion of higher education systems worldwide, a small number of folks, generally untethered from reality, are proclaiming higher education as a system in demise. These fine folks haver rhetoric and anecdote as their main evidence. Fortunately, [...]