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Ed Webb

Free Online Courses, at a Very High Price - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 3 views

  • A success for college-made free online courses—except that Mr. Ziegler, who works for a restaurant-equipment company in Pennsylvania, is on the verge of losing his job. And those classes failed to provide what his résumé real ly needs: a college credential.
  • the recession and disappearing grant money are forcing colleges to confront a difficult question: What business model can support the high cost of giving away your "free" content?
  • David Wiley, open education's Everywhere Man
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  • The education oracle offers another prophecy for open courseware. "Every OCW initiative at a university that does not offer distance courses for credit," he has blogged, "will be dead by the end of calendar 2012."
  • ventures around the country are seriously exploring new business strategies. For some, it's fund raising à la National Public Radio; for others, hooking open content to core operations by dangling it as a gateway to paid courses.
  • "Given that exclusivity has come to be seen by some as a question of how many students a university can turn away, I don't see what's going to make the selective universities increase their appetite for risking their brands by offering credits for online versions of core undergraduate courses,"
  • the unbundling of higher education.
  • MIT, where students pay about $50,000 a year for a tightly knit package of course content, learning experiences, certification, and social life. MIT OpenCourseWare has lopped off the content and dumped it in cyberspace. Eventually, according to Mr. Carson's take on the unbundling story, online learning experiences will emerge that go beyond just content. Consider Carnegie Mellon University's Open Learning Initiative, another darling of the movement, whose multimedia courses track students' progress and teach them with built-in tutors—no professor required.
  • "Social life we'll just forget about because there's Facebook," Mr. Wiley says. "Nobody believes that people have to go to university to have a social life anymore."
  • Peer 2 Peer University
  • University of the People
  • Western Governors University—a nonprofit, accredited online institution that typically charges $2,890 per six-month term—where students advance by showing what they've learned, not how much time they've spent in class. It's called competency-based education. It means you can fast-forward your degree by testing out of stuff you've already mastered. Some see a marriage of open content and competency-based learning as a model for the small-pieces-loosely-joined chain of cheaper, fragmented education.
  • much open courseware is "lousy,"
  • "There's a pretty significant fraction of the population that learns better with instructor-led kinds of activities than purely self-paced activities,"
  • "It doesn't shift what's happening in some of the very stable traditional institutions of higher education. But there are huge numbers of others who aren't being served. And it's with those that I think we'll begin to see new forms."
  • The model boils down to six words: Do you like this? Enroll now!
  • a Korean university where students competed to produce open lecture notes. The prize was an iPod and lunch with the university president.
  • Carnegie Mellon is trying a different model. When its courses are good enough, with other colleges assigning them as e-textbooks, it asks students to pay a fee as low as $15, says Joel M. Smith, vice provost. "That would be a very, very, very cheap textbook," he says. "If it were used by a large number of colleges and universities, it could sustain the project."
  • the free courses taught him one thing, something important when you've been out of school so long: He can do it. He can follow a Yale class. He has nothing to fear.
Ed Webb

Gin, Television, and Social Surplus - Here Comes Everybody - 1 views

  • television watching? Two hundred billion hours, in the U.S. alone, every year. Put another way, now that we have a unit, that's 2,000 Wikipedia projects a year spent watching television. Or put still another way, in the U.S., we spend 100 million hours every weekend, just watching the ads.
  • The physics of participation is much more like the physics of weather than it is like the physics of gravity. We know all the forces that combine to make these kinds of things work: there's an interesting community over here, there's an interesting sharing model over there, those people are collaborating on open source software. But despite knowing the inputs, we can't predict the outputs yet because there's so much complexity.
  • The normal case of social software is still failure; most of these experiments don't pan out. But the ones that do are quite incredible
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  • It's better to do something than to do nothing. Even lolcats, even cute pictures of kittens made even cuter with the addition of cute captions, hold out an invitation to participation. When you see a lolcat, one of the things it says to the viewer is, "If you have some sans-serif fonts on your computer, you can play this game, too." And that's message--I can do that, too--is a big change.
  • media is actually a triathlon, it 's three different events. People like to consume, but they also like to produce, and they like to share.
  • Here's something four-year-olds know: A screen that ships without a mouse ships broken. Here's something four-year-olds know: Media that's targeted at you but doesn't include you may not be worth sitting still for. Those are things that make me believe that this is a one-way change. Because four year olds, the people who are soaking most deeply in the current environment, who won't have to go through the trauma that I have to go through of trying to unlearn a childhood spent watching Gilligan's Island, they just assume that media includes consuming, producing and sharing.
roland legrand

academhack » Blog Archive » The University and the Future of Knowledge - 0 views

  • My central claim is that the organization of the University is based on a factory/print broadcast, model of knowledge creation and dissemination, and thus is ill prepared (or perhaps cannot make the transition) into the new knowledge landscape.
Ed Webb

The 'Web Squared' Era - - 0 views

  • Web 2.0, the name we gave this phenomenon in 2004 when we named our new conference, turns five on Oct. 5
  • Web Squared is another way of saying "Web meets World."
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  • collective intelligence applications are increasingly driven by cascades of sensor data being thrown off by devices, often without explicit human intervention. Today’s smartphones contain microphones and cameras, as well as motion, proximity, location, and direction sensors. They have their own eyes, ears, and sense of touch. Revolutionary new applications connect those senses to cloud databases and programs running on massive server farms.
  • Where the Web Squared world gets really interesting, though, is when applications use all the senses of a device, coordinating them much like the human brain coordinates our senses, to draw conclusions that would be difficult with one sense alone.
  • our world will have "information shadows." Augmented reality amounts to information shadows made visible.
 Lisa Durff

Here we are…there we are going « Connectivism - 0 views

  • Learning consists of weaving together coherent (personal) narratives of fragmented information. The narrative can be now created through social sensemaking systems (such as blogs and social networks), instead of centrally organized courses. Courses can be global, with many educators and participants (i.e. CCK08).

    Courses, unlike universities, are not directly integrated into the power system of a society. Can decentralized networks of autonomous agents serve the same function as organized institutions?

    But who loses, and what is lost, if the teaching role of universities decline?

    •  Lisa Durff
      So learning is developing a story from one's schema of a thing!
    •  Lisa Durff
      "But who loses, and what is lost, if the teaching role of universities decline?" My concern surrounds the word teaching. Who said that is their primary role? Isn't it licensing, formally sanctioning persons so they can enter the world of work with the "proper" credentials? Did you learn anything in your college days?
    •  Lisa Durff
      So what really needs to change is not the university, but the culture it serves...
  • The virtues that a society finds desirable are systematized in its institutions. However futile this activity, it helps society, and media, to hold people accountable, to devise strategies, and create laws so people feel safe. Similarly, results that are desirable (financial, educationally, etc) are systematized to ensure the ability to manage and duplicate results. I shared some thoughts on this systematization last year as a reason for the currently limited impact of personal learning environments (PLEs). Quite simply, even revolutionaries conserve.
  • Teaching is what is most at risk. Can a social network - loosely connected, driven by humanistic ideals - serve a similar role to what university classrooms serve today? I hope so, but I don’t think so. At least not with our current mindsets and skillsets. We associate with those who are similar. We do not pursue diversity. In fact, we shy away from it. We surround ourselves with people and ideas that resonate with our own, not with those that cause us stress or internal conflict.

    Secondly, until all of society becomes fully networked (not technologically networked, but networked on the principles of flows, connections, feedback), a networked entity always risks being subverted by hierarchy. Today, rightly or wrongly, hierarchy holds power in society.

    • Gina Minks
      What if the social network serves to exlude information from other groups? Who can fight against disenfranchisement if no one can see it any more because its filtered away?
    Oh, George, so gloomy!
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