Elearnspace

Blackboard’s identity crisis, Desire2Learn’s optimism, and Instructure’s coolness

Since Blackboard announced its acquisition of several Moodle partners, numerous voices have chimed in to explore what it means to education.

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Distributed research lab: request for feedback

One of the things that I like most about blogging and social media is the ability to share partially-formed ideas and open them to critique. As I stated in a previous post, I recently had a mild disappointment in enacting a research project. And it got me thinking about why important research is often not conducted because granting agencies are actually not horribly innovative.

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This kids, is why hallucinogenics and the internet don’t mix

I had to do a quick double take on this article (first, to determine if it was April 1, anywhere in the world): Evolution Unbound: Blackboard embraces open source. This is what I imagine the experience would be like if one dropped hallucinogenics and browsed the web – a feeling of incredulity and weird confusion that can only come from time and reality being featured in a will it blend video.

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What does a disrupted education system look like?

A group of us (Clark Quinn, Jay Cross, Stephen Downes, Grainne Conole, Martin Weller, and numerous others) are in New Dehli this week at the EDGEx conference. The event is being streamed live. Some great resources on Indian education can be accessed here (bottom tab on left-side menu)
Slides from my presentation this morning are here:

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MOOCs for the win!

Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are getting attention on various blogs and news sites. I’ll try and synthesize the conversation over the last few weeks and describe the role of MOOCs in education.
The Conversation so far…
Clark Quinn kicked of the current conversation in MOOC Reflections where he explores the distinctions between the current generation of Coursera/Standford open online courses and the connectivist model that Stephen Downes, Dave Cormier, and I have offered. Clark states:

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Connected Learning: What have they done with Alec, Will, Vicki?

If I was Alec Couros, Will Richardson, Vicki Davis, Steve Hargadon, or any of the thousands of K-12 educators that have been pushing for networked/connected learning for years (in Will’s case, more than a decade), I’d be fairly irritated to have been written out of the vision of connected learning that is now emerging from DML.

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Follow the Sun: Global online conference

In case you are urgently looking for opportunities to learn something online, have a look at the Follow the Sun online conference. Great group of keynote speakers. It’s open, free…sign up here.

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Massive open online courses as new educative practice

Interest in open online courses – and startups see this as an opportunity to automate and scale education. In a recent interview by Tamar Lewin for NYTimes, I stated that while you could call Udacity, Coursera, and Codeacademy examples of MOOCs (Massive open online courses), they are largely instantiations of existing educational practices. Their primary innovation is scaling.

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The best learning of my life

I’m currently involved in three open online courses: Change, CCK12, and LAK12. Altogether, I’ve facilitated about a dozen of these courses, with about 15,000 participants being involved in various ways. Some participants, such as in the current CCK12 iteration, take the courses for credit. The vast majority do so for other reasons (and I’m not sure what those are – personal interest? desire to connect with others? general curiosity?).

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Rejected: On being disappointed, sorta

I’ve never really actively “looked for work”. In my late teens, my brother and I started a series of restaurants (we owned and operated seven in total). The hospitality field is very hard, however, on families and relationships as it consumes an enormous amount of time. Eventually, for a variety of reasons, I left the industry and started working in training and development and returned to University of Manitoba as a student.

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