Sunday, November 23, 2014

News Round-Up: November 23

So, I'm trying a new system at Inoreader for tagging the items that I want to include in each week's news round-up, and I'm really happy for how this is helping to complete the circuit here in my curation strategy. More about that later... meanwhile, here is some stuff I found online that mattered to me this week; more news round-ups here. And since a ton of this has to do with Connected Courses (naturally!), I'll tag this for #ccourses too.

Letting Faculty Drive. Here is a very persuasive response to the Inside Higher Ed faculty survey about the need for faculty to design and own their online courses. I agree absolutely! I published my response to the IHE survey at Medium: Devotedly Digital - Why I Love Teaching Online.

Guess the percentage of cable news education guests who are actually educators. So depressing! Just as faculty should own their courses, educators should be the ones commenting on education... but not so on cable news shows!

Structure is Not Sacrosanct: A Pedagogical How-to. I really like this piece by Rolin Moe, and I just do not understand why OU is investing millions of dollars in yet another lecture-quiz-discuss closed learning management system ( when we could be doing something OPEN instead. As Rolin says: "the openness is necessary, and when seen from a place of opportunity rather than obstacle, it is liberating in terms of knowledge creation, communication and collaboration."

If Freire Made a MOOC: Open Education and Critical Digital Pedagogy. Beautiful slideshow from Jesse Stommel, and here's the corresponding article at Hybrid Pedagogy.

Critical Digital Pedagogy: a Definition. Another really important contribution from Jesse Stommel: "Education (and, to an even greater extent, edtech) has misrepresented itself as objective, quantifiable, apolitical. Higher education teaching is particularly uncritical and under-theorized. Most college educators (at both traditional and non-traditional institutions) do little direct pedagogical work to prepare themselves as teachers."

12 Steps for Creating a Digital Assignment or Hybrid Class. And another piece by Jesse, not a new one - but new to me. Great advice here, especially as I review my assignments prior to spring semester!

A Misapplication of MOOCs: Critical Pedagogy Writ Massive. Here is what Sean Michael Morris has to say about the paradox of what MOOC has come to mean: "Like any tool in the wrong hands, MOOCs can become agents of continued oppression — of the learner or the teacher, in a pedagogical sense or in a poli-economic one." I don't think we can save the M or the C, but I am all for defending the O and the O! I love open, and I love online.

More Thinking about the Open Education Infrastructure. More thoughts from David Wiley, following up on his earlier, very important post: The Open Education Infrastructure, and Why We Must Build It.

State of the Commons. Nice infographic from Creative Commons, and you can read the report online: "At its heart, Creative Commons is a simple idea. It’s the idea that when people share their creativity and knowledge with each other, amazing things can happen."

Using Digital Resources: How do we get past Google as default?. A nice piece on the Digital Public Library of America, a resource I plan to spend a lot of time with this summer. Excited for the new opportunities it will offer!

Why I Teach in the Wild. A wonderful piece by Mandy Lupton about abandoning the LMS to "teach in the wild" using social media, seeking to practice the art of teaching more fully.

Automation Makes Us Dumb. Yes, it's Nicholas Carr, the king of anecdote, but he does have some good anecdotes here, and I really valued this remark about medical diagnosis: "These highly constrained tools are optimized for data capture but at the expense of sacrificing their utility for appropriate triage and diagnosis, leading users to miss the forest for the trees. Medical software is no replacement for basic history-taking, examination skills, and critical thinking." That is how I feel about all this big data hoopla in education: I don't need "big data" about my students — I just need to make sure I create opportunities to be aware of what my students are learning, and also what they want to learn.

Ideas on #bigdata and #education? Share your help. So excited to hear that Inge is taking on the challenge of standing up to the juggernaut of big data. I contributed my reflections on the dreaded Lexiles and the disaster of trying to rank reading "difficulty" by "grade level."

WCET2014 Student Panel. Listen to students commenting on their online course experiences in this panel led by Phil Hill. Re: the earlier post about data, THIS is the kind of data we need. And we need to be just talking with all the students, listening to them, and sharing what we discover as a result. That would be big data worth having!

10 Reasons Students Say They Prefer Learning Online. More thoughts from students! I was pleased at how much overlap there is between the students' top 10 reasons here and the top 10 reasons I listed for myself.

What Makes a Great Teacher? Here's another fascinating student input experiment, having both students and teachers rank the "attributes of top business teachers" — some overlap, but also some illuminating differences: "For example, “Communicates and presents material in a way that is easy to learn” was the fifth highest ranked attribute by students and was ranked nineteenth by faculty."

Five Rules We Impose on Students That Would Make Adults Revolt. Likewise, putting ourselves in the students' place is a great thing to do. I'm really enjoying my new Google Site project for Inoreader because that will help me do a better job supporting students with their Google Sites.

My Computer Romance. Great piece by Gardner Campbell about the beginnings of his computer romance back in the early 1980s.

@Cogdog, Ticker tape, Gandalf, Lazarus, and I. Likewise, here is wonderful piece by Simon Ensor about a computer life; he was hooked 1982ish.

It’s About Time. Great piece by Michael Stephens at LibraryJournal. I love the final paragraph especially: "One of my favorite songs reminds us that “time makes you bolder,” and maybe that’s a good thing to remember when someone requests a bit of your time. Be bold and try that new process, new learning opportunity, or new idea. Another line from that same song? “I’ve been afraid of changing….” Don’t let that happen to you."

The Battle Between Perfectionism and Productivity. A great way to gain more time is to give up on that quest for perfectionism. On this important topic, I'm also interested in reading Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress and Lead by Example by Steve McClatchy (helpful review at ProfHacker). We've got at OU now! I was very pleased to see that in addition to all the tech content, there are some writing-related videos, with great video navigation and good transcripts. I'm looking forward to exploring this over break to see what I can find for my classes!

A Domain of WithKnown. I really enjoyed reading Ian O'Byrne's thoughts on curation. That is something I have been working on a lot now too (witness these news round-ups!). It's fascinating to hear how each person approaches this exciting but challenging process!

Blogging is the New Persuasive Essay. Wonderful post from Shelley Wright about why we need to put blogging ahead of traditional essay writing: "We need to teach blogging as a skill."

Co-Learning requires Confronting Fear, Taking Risks, Embracing Error, and Encouraging Agency. A great piece by Howard Rheingold, and I wanted to share the lovely graphic from his post too:

I also love this shot from the NIACE Digital Learning Conference: agree!

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