Elearnspace

Starling Murmuration

Have a look at this video (a few static images kick off the video, but the fun stuff begins shortly after):

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

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7 Things you should know about MOOCs

EDUCAUSE publishes short papers on 7 things you should know about… that provide an overview of emerging topics and trends. Their most recent publication is on 7 things your should know about MOOCs (.pdf). From the paper: “But perhaps the most significant contribution is the MOOC’s potential to alter the relationship between learner and instructor and between academe and the wider community by potentially providing a very large and diverse forum and meeting place for ideas.

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Why #Occupy will fail

Anytime individuals get together to reclaim social justice and fairness or to empower themselves in the light of gross inequalities, I’m heartened and encouraged.
I’ve been following the #Occupy movement with tremendous interest. The inequalities in society are increasing. The small % control the majority.

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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 having a desire to communicate but lacking the ability to speak. This isn’t a huge liability – as long as you have access to people who can translate your ideas into code. Or apps. Or something digital. You need to be part of a team that covers your weaknesses.

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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 I was engaged in paying the consequences of a particular act in the form of a solid tongue lashing from a judge, I remember this odd feeling of “I’m not like that…I’m a pretty good person”. But, in reality, people can’t evaluate us by our thoughts.

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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 and cognition. Or, as Gardner Campbell states: “Current NGLC/NCLB paradigms create great risk of analytics-generated edu-hell.”

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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 to push back.

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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 a smaller range of tools today than I did five years ago. And the reason is simple: companies are in a landrush to create platforms that will tie together previously disconnected activities and tools.

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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.

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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 and frustrating as a MOOC organizer.

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