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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Emoji Are Ruining Grasp of English, Says Dumbest Language Story of the Week

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To put Geoffrey Pullum's cogent argument into a nutshell: " Haven’t these hyperbole-mongers noticed that young people today write to each other more than young people have ever done in all of human history? Their texting, tweeting, WhatsApping, Snapchatting, Facebooking, and Instagramming may have psychological downsides (like cyber-bullying), but dropping the occasional pictographs into their prose is not going to strip them of the capacity to form sentences. Anyone who believes emoji are having even the slightest effect on English syntax is an utter 🤡." Also worth nothing, because this dumb headline came to us courtesy of traditional print media: "it’s survey-takers working for a company that just happens to host thousands of brush-up-your-grammar videos!" Ah, the incorruptible press.

Today: 80 Total: 80 Geoffrey Pullum, Chronicle of Higher Education, 2018/04/25 [Direct Link]

The State of Innovation in Higher Education: A Survey of Academic Administrators

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I'm not sure administrators are the best people to ask about innovation at educational institutions, and they'll say typical things like "Administrators often discuss a top-down approach — the president and provost setting the tone and directive for innovation at the institution — as creating the most success in innovation" (I find that consultants say this sort of thing as well, maybe because they are marketing their services to administrators). But the survey also recognizes "this approach must be carefully balanced and include a bottom-up component in which faculty, staff, and other constituents can drive the innovation process on their own." (44 page PDF)

Today: 100 Total: 100 Andrew J. Magda, Jill Buban, Online Learning Consortium, The Learning House, Inc., 2018/04/25 [Direct Link]

The new geo-politics of higher education

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This paper argues the case for the global network of world class universities (WCUs). "The outcomes of higher education are not confined to, or even primarily, the creation of private economic and status benefits for graduates. Institutions of higher education generate many other individual and collective benefits, on both the local/national and the global planes." Fair enough. But the problem is (in my view) is that the people they most benefit is themselves. To be fair, the authors recognize this. "Networked WCUs are naturally disposed to secure mutual positive sum benefits (but) the contribution of WCUs to the common good is variable... (and) is articulated by two factors. The first is the polarity between social inclusion and exclusion in WCUs, which exclusion mostly wins... The second factor is (where) global practices of WCUs escape national constraints."

Today: 113 Total: 161 Simon Marginson, Centre for Global Higher Education, 2018/04/24 [Direct Link]

World-class systems rather than world-class universities

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It's just coincidence that this article appears as I am focusing on much the same sort of question while here in Colombia. But the author makes an argument with which I am largely in agreement. " In highly stratified systems, a major share of national resources is swallowed up by universities identified as world class. These universities are tasked with a research and prestige mission that is often diametrically opposed to enhancing equality." These universities, and the institutions that fund them, should be tasked with developing world class systems with an explicit intent to benefit all the people of a country, not just an elite. See also Jose Manuel Restrepo Abondano  on how universities can help to build lasting peace.

Today: 120 Total: 169 Rajani Naidoo, University World News, 2018/04/24 [Direct Link]

In “EdTech”, “Ed” comes before “Tech”: A National Louis University/Acrobatiq Case Study

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Updated with correct link. I'm sure that the series this article introduces will be valuable, but my purpose here is to be a bit pedantic, but in so doing, allow me to illustrate the difference between my perspective and Michael Feldsteins. The pedantic point is that you can draw inferences about what ought to be done on the basis of quirks of language. Yes, 'Ed' comes before 'Tech'. But there isn't some 'Tech Ed' which is about the use of technology first in education. Rather, 'Tech Ed' means something completely different. So it means nothing that 'Ed' comes before 'Tech'.

But it's significant in the sense that the article points out that the university "modeled what universities need to do before they select courseware, from designing a business/sustainability model that enables them to provide appropriate cost of an education to thinking about educational goals to figuring out where courseware does and doesn't fit into that overall model." They did the 'Ed', then they did the 'Tech'. But I see it very differently. I look at 'Tech' and imagine what 'Ed' could be. I don't start with the presumptions of a university. And not surprisingly, where I end up looks very little like one.

Today: 114 Total: 181 Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, 2018/04/25 [Direct Link]

Falling Into the Belief Gap

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This reads more like a first-person story instead of the piece of advocacy journalism it is, and it's a style I really don't like very much, but it raises a valuable point that should not be overlooked: " The skill of self-advocacy is crucial for everyone, but especially for young people confronted by steep challenges." I've seen some people who can overcome this by themselves, but for most people, the task of believing in themselves requires the help of someone else who believes in them.

Today: 130 Total: 191 Beth Hawkins, The 74, 2018/04/24 [Direct Link]

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