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» Napster, Udacity, and the Academy Clay Shirky

» Napster, Udacity, and the Academy Clay Shirky
Fifteen years ago, a research group called The Fraunhofer Institute announced a new digital format for compressing movie files. This wasn’t a terribly momentous invention, but it did have one interesting side effect: Fraunhofer also had to figure out how to compress the soundtrack. The result was the Motion Picture Experts Group Format 1, Audio Layer III, a format you know and love, though only by its acronym, MP3. The recording industry concluded this new audio format would be no threat, because quality mattered most. If Napster had only been about free access, control of legal distribution of music would then have returned the record labels. How did the recording industry win the battle but lose the war? The story the recording industry used to tell us went something like this: “Hey kids, Alanis Morisette just recorded three kickin’ songs! The people in the music industry weren’t stupid, of course. We have several advantages over the recording industry, of course. But you know what?

Essay critiques the ideas of Clay Shirky and others advocating higher ed disruption Clay Shirky is a big thinker, and I read him because he’s consistently worth reading. But he’s not always right – and his thinking (and the flaws in it) is typical of the unquestioning enthusiasm of many thinkers today about technology and higher education. In his recent piece on "Napster, Udacity, and the Academy," for example, Shirky is not only guardedly optimistic about the ways that MOOCs and online education will transform higher education, but he takes for granted that they will, that there is no alternative. Just as inevitably as digital sharing turned the music industry on its head, he pronounces, so it is and will be with digital teaching. And as predictably as rain, he anticipates that "we" in academe will stick our heads in the sand, will deny the inevitable -- as the music industry did with Napster -- and will "screw this up as badly as the music people did." His views are shared by many in the "disruption" school of thought about higher education.

Three Kinds of MOOCs By Lisa, on August 15th, 2012 We are so into MOOCs now that it’s too much for me. Gotta apply Ockham’s Razor 2.0 to this stuff. At the Ed-Media conference, I attended a session by Sarah Schrire of Kibbutzim College of Education in Tel Aviv. Each type of MOOC has all three elements (networks, tasks and content), but each has a goal that is dominant. Network-based MOOCs are the original MOOCs, taught by Alec Couros, George Siemens, Stephen Downes, Dave Cormier. Task-based MOOCs emphasize skills in the sense that they ask the learner to complete certain types of work. Content-based MOOCs are the ones with huge enrollments, commercial prospects, big university professors, automated testing, and exposure in the popular press. So I’m rejecting both the Good vs Bad MOOC model, and the million-points-of-MOOC approach, and going for a triad.

Why Things Matter The Ecologies of Yearning #opened12 (with image, tweets) · audreywatters Ecology of ideas -- Bateson Bateson's Hierarchy of Learning Zero learning: "receipt of signal." No error possible Learning 1: "change in specificity of response by correction of errors of choice within a set of alternatives." Learning 2: learning to learn; premises are self-validating (trap at this moment because of this) Learning 3: meta-contextual perspective; puts self at risk; questions become explosive; this is not just adaptation, habitation -- strategies where you can choose to adapt or not; this is where we become most human, says Bateson. Learning 4: "probably does not occur in any adult living organisms on this earth" The hierarchy is discontinuous communication can be magically modified by communication there's something about a double bind that is a prison and the way out "transcontextual syndrome" beyond access and cost not merely open education but opening the possibility for networked transcontextualism. Don't fake the double-take The global open access brothel of non-learning

MOOC: lancement de la plate-forme nationale, ça va être FUN Coup de théâtre dans le milieu académique français. Mme Fioraso, Ministre de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche, annonçait mercredi matin le lancement de la plate-forme nationale pour MOOC dans le cadre du programme France Université Numérique (ouverture courant octobre, site de présentation à cette adresse). Ce nouveau site dédié aux établissements français est destiné à héberger dès janvier prochain ses premiers cours. Les MOOC, pour Massive Open Online Courses (aucune traduction française ne fait consensus), sont des cours gratuits organisés entièrement en ligne et pouvant accueillir un nombre non limité de participants ; l’audience des cours américains se compte en général en dizaines de milliers, parfois en centaines de milliers pour les plus populaires. Le choix de la plate-forme américaine de la part de Polytechnique est on-ne-peut-plus logique compte tenu de la visibilité qu’elle apporte.

Openness, the double bind, and ecologies of yearning. » EdTech@VCCS I’ve seen my share of conference keynotes, some tedious, some exhilarating, many forgettable. But I have never seen a keynote quite like the one delivered by Gardner Campbell on the morning of the first day of the OpenEd Conference. In fact, calling it a keynote is a disservice. For me, Gardner’s remarks, titled Ecologies of Yearning and the Future of Open Education, articulated the sense of vague discomfort I currently feel regarding the mainstream adoption of open learning. What we are seeing are developments in the higher education landscape that appear to meet every single one of the criteria we have set forth for open education: increased access, decreased cost, things that will allow more people than ever, on a planetary scale–1 billion individual learners at a time customize their education, fit it into their busy lives, earn a paycheck, find a path to a glorious vocational future. He answers quoting T.S. I hope you’ll take some time to watch the recording. Like this:

Elite education for the masses They included Patrycja Jablonska in Poland, Ephraim Baron in California, Mohammad Hijazi in Lebanon and many others far from Baltimore who ordinarily would not have a chance to study at the elite Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They logged on to a Web site called Coursera and signed up. They paid nothing for it. These students, a sliver of the more than 1.7 million who have registered with Coursera since April, reflect a surge of interest this year in free online learning that could reshape higher education. The phenomenon puts big issues on the table: the growth of tuition, the role of a professor, the definition of a student, the value of a degree and even the mission of universities. “Massive open online courses,” or MOOCs, have caught fire in academia. “I can’t use another word than unbelievable,” Caffo said. For universities, the word for it is revolutionary. MOOC students, for the most part, aren’t earning credit toward degrees. But it is alluring. Giving it away

Osez la MOOR La première conférence européenne d’envergure (sur les MOOC, on s’entend) est organisée en février à l’Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. Nous assisterons à la première grand-messe de la communauté européenne. Recherche, pratique, politique, technologie, c’est une véritable kermesse. En ce qui me concerne, il est absolument vital que je parvienne à publier un article dans cette conférence. La deadline pour la soumission de l’article était initialement prévue pour ce soir, mais a été repoussée de deux semaines suite à de multiples protestations. Je propose ni plus ni moins à ceux qui le veulent de travailler avec moi de façon crowdsourcée à la finalisation de cet article, et de découvrir ensemble la M.O.O.R, ou Massive Open Online Research. Mais tout d’abord, retour sur mes problématiques de recherche… Engagement au sein du cours, personnalisation, scénarisation, fédération des communautés d’apprenants, etc. Qui sont les participants ? La question de l’engagement

The Crisis in Higher Education A hundred years ago, higher education seemed on the verge of a technological revolution. The spread of a powerful new communication network—the modern postal system—had made it possible for universities to distribute their lessons beyond the bounds of their campuses. Anyone with a mailbox could enroll in a class. Frederick Jackson Turner, the famed University of Wisconsin historian, wrote that the “machinery” of distance learning would carry “irrigating streams of education into the arid regions” of the country. Sensing a historic opportunity to reach new students and garner new revenues, schools rushed to set up correspondence divisions. The hopes for this early form of distance learning went well beyond broader access. We’ve been hearing strikingly similar claims today. The excitement over MOOCs comes at a time of growing dissatisfaction with the state of college education. But not everyone is enthusiastic. Is it different this time? Rise of the MOOCs Professor Robot Big Data on Campus

Learner Weblog | Education and Learning weblog Second Week Reflections: Social Learning in a MOOC | Vandy Maps | Vanderbilt University Posted by Derek Bruff on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 in Meeting Notes, Reflections. Our discussion on Monday of the social aspects of learning in a MOOC was an interesting one. It’s clear that many of us are benefiting from the interactions we’re having with our local study group, although I wonder what our study group members who weren’t present on Monday would say about that. For those who do benefit from the local group, I posited on Monday that it was the smallness of the group that mattered more than its localness. But perhaps, as Todd indicated, it’s the persistence of the relationships in a learning community that is more important than its size. There’s a motivational piece to social learning, but there’s also a cognitive one. Dani’s unfortunate experience with peer assessment in another MOOC points to the challenges of matching students at random to provide feedback to each other. Thanks for another stimulating discussion this week!