Elearnspace

Sometimes, you suck Canada

I was 8 years old when I officially became a Canadian citizen. For our family, moving from Mexico, Canada was a land of opportunity. Literally. It was an opportunity for a quality of life that was not accessible to us in Mexico. My parents, as with most immigrants, were hard working. I remember my dad working full time during the day and evenings until 2 am. He would go weeks, months, with 3-4 hours of sleep a night. For my mom, the experience was similar (I have five siblings, so you can imagine that parenting alone was a full time job, never mind her actual full time work).

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Innovation in Education: Companies outside of USA?

Innovation in education is getting attention globally. Entrepreneurship may well be the force that finally brings structural change to higher education after 800 years. The epicentre of edtech innovation is the USA. At least, that’s the impression I get from the blogs and news sites that I follow. In particular, Audrey Watters is an excellent source for what’s happening in startups. EdSurge is helpful in detailing startups and funding.

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Call for Papers, Journal of Online Learning and Teaching

Valerie Irvine, Jillianne Code, and I are editing a special issue of Merlot’s Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (.pdf). The journal theme: massive open online courses (MOOCs). Extended abstracts of ~500 words are due Nov 15, 2012. Full papers due January 31, 2013. Please consider submitting if you’ve taken a MOOC, taught one, or just generally hate them.

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Future of Higher Education

On Monday, Oct 8, we kick of the Current State/Future of Higher Education open online course. This course will run for six weeks, covering these topics. We’re using Desire2Learn as a platform, in addition to the gRSSHopper software (developed by Stephen Downes and used in our open courses since 2008). If you want to join, registration is open: http://edfuture.net/blog1/registration/.

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Writing a book: xEducation

Bonnie Stewart, Dave Cormier, and I have signed on to write a book on MOOCs and other such trends in education. The book will be published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2013. Unfortunately, and I recognize the irony, the book will not be open. So we’ve set up a blog as field notes for the book: xEducation. A bit more background.

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The challenge of coherence

Slides from recent presentation:

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Never teach alone

Teaching is a solitary profession. Obviously students are involved and social processes are needed for discussion on important topics, but the *act* of teaching is solitary. Part of my interest in open online courses is the prospect of the internet thinning classroom walls and reducing barriers to teaching and learning opportunities. Educators need to get past the isolating view of teaching as a one-to-many activity.

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MOOCs, Learning Points

Carol Edwards from BCIT recently shared a document detailing her experience participating in massive open online courses. She concludes: “Based on the Report Card generated above, MOOC’s are a failure, both as an educational product and as a business model.”

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Openness in Education

It’s a busy fall with open online courses. I’m involved in several, including Current State/Future of Education (non-credit).

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