I work in the Learning and Performance Support Systems program at the National Research Council, a multi-year effort to develop personal learning technology and learning analytics. I am one of the originators of the Massive Open Online Course, write about online and networked learning, have authored learning management and content syndication software, and am the author of the widely read e-learning newsletter OLDaily.


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Robin DeRosa’s great Ignite Talk DML2016 on open education.


Clint Lalonde highlights a talk by Robin DeRosa on the relation between open education and public education. "In 5 short minutes she connects the various strands of open education (open access, open educational resources, and open pedagogy) to the broader societal mandate of our public institutions, which is to serve the public good." Short (as promised) video arguing we should make a case for public education using the case for open education.


Today: 264 Total: 264 Clint Lalonde, 2016/10/19 [Direct Link]

K–12 Computer Science Framework


A document called the K–12 Computer Science Framework (307 page PDF) led by the Association for Computing Machinery, Code.org, Computer Science Teachers Association, and the Cyber Innovation Center. The frameworek "promotes a vision in which all students critically engage in computer science issues; approach problems in innovative ways; and create computational artifacts with a practical, personal, or societal intent." It organizes the discipline into a set of 'core concepts' and 'core practices' (pictured). Interestingly the framework also weaves four major themes through the concepts:

  • Equity. Issues of equity, inclusion, and diversity are addressed
  • Powerful ideas... can be used to solve real-world problems and connect understanding across multiple disciplines
  • Computational thinking practices such as abstraction, modeling, and decomposition
  • Breadth of application: physical systems; the collection, storage, and analysis of data; and the impact of computing on society.

I think it would be productive to compare this framework with the various accounts of 'digital literacy' that circulate through the educational community. Via and with commentary from Mark Guzdial and Alfred Thompson.

Today: 286 Total: 286 Association for Computing Machinery, 2016/10/19 [Direct Link]

College Students: 'Please Personalize My Learning'


This is one of those surveys (47 page PDF but you might have to sign up for spam) that I think puts words in people's mouths. According to the report, 89 percent of respondents say "digital learning tech should respond and adapt to my unique way of learning." What students says "my unique way of learning?" And actually, personalization isn't the big draw. 89% agree or strongly agree that "Digital learning technology should respond and adapt to my unique way of learning." (p. 29) But 65% of them say "I like being able to study anytime, anywhere" while only 21% say "I like technology that responds and adapts to my unique learning style." (p. 27) The survey plays fast and loose with the words and concepts here, conflating between "learning style", "adaptive learning" and "my unique way of learning". Campus Technology reports what the report says, but should take a more critical stance in its journalism.

Today: 230 Total: 230 Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, 2016/10/19 [Direct Link]

Facebook’s Social VR Coming Sooner than you Think


It's easy to forget that Oculus Rift and Facebook are the same company. We shouldn't. "According to RoadtoVR, Facebook’s Social VR platform for Oculus Rift is coming sooner than you think... maybe not this year, but 2017 sounds like a real possibility." Basically the technology combines VR scenes and individual avatars. The article notes "Quartz has a comparison of the avatars from F8 in April 2016 and OC3 in October."

Today: 202 Total: 202 Emory Craig, Digital Bodies, 2016/10/19 [Direct Link]

The Learner is the Winner


Short summary of the University of Pennsylvania’s Business Education Online Learning Summit on September 19-20. "The key takeaway," writes Anne Trumbore, "is that future of post-graduate business education is global, micro-credentialed, accessible, individualized, and empowering. And the learner is going end up the winner." MOOCs get a lot of criticism - but they did open up a new world of open online learning for students.

Today: 212 Total: 212 Anne Trumbore, Ed Tech Digest, 2016/10/19 [Direct Link]

Immersive Virtual Reality: Online Education for the Next Generation


A fairly light read with a decent number of links, this short article touts the potential of virtual reality (VR) to reshape education. Of course, if past experience is any guide, instead of creating simulations of ERs and submarines, educators will use VR to simulate the typical college lecture theatre. Anyhow, some references to projects here include: Project Sansar, a VR creation platform; High Fidelity open-source VR platform; Facebook’s social VR, and much more. See also CBC, In VR and AR, Computers Adapt to Humans.

Today: 123 Total: 633 Peter Merry, ConVerge, 2016/10/18 [Direct Link]

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.