I come back to this story from time to time because people insist that we (promoters of free and open learning) should be supporting the existing system of higher education. The problem with that premise is that the existing system works mostly to promote itself and to stay true to its real mission: to "reward the inside game, and ensure that the advantages enjoyed in one generation can be passed safely onward to the next." And as we read today, "We expect the trend not to change dramatically until there’ s a significant change in the higher education model," said Pranav Sharma, an analyst with Moody’ s. "The gap will continue to increase and those who are not well endowed will continue to struggle." So let's change the higher education model.
Really good set of notes on the phenomenon of public shaming. "First, public shaming is in no way a new or online phenomenon," writes Bonnie Stewart. "We’ re not gawking because it’ s new. We’ re gawking because it’ s uncomfortable." Second, public shaming is used to exert control, either to force people to conform to the status quo, or to push back against the status quo. She writes, "We don’ t want a society entirely driven by shame. Those always turn out dangerous. But I am wary of the ways that pundits and media are lining up to denounce shame at this juncture, particularly when their words tend to sympathize with the risks that white, middle class Justine Saccos face in this 'mob morality,' rather than with the risks and shame that those #FHRITP guys were trying to inflame as they aggressively asserted their own right to complete and utter shamelessness."
As Canada's Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada announces the recipients of "$28 million in job-related training for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows" a Quebec physicist takes to the pages of University Affairs to criticize the agency's new focus on 'innovation' as opposed to 'discovery'. "I have a very different view, one that I suspect is shared by many, if not most, of your clients: that discovery, rather than being a component of research, IS research, while innovation is a completely different activity, one largely concerned with taking scientific discoveries and other ideas and developing useful products out of them."
Short article making the impoirtant point that the K-12 education market is a complex array of interplaying forces, including several levels of government, corporations, lobbyists, school boards, and finally, teachers and children. If anything, I think the diagram under-represents the complexity of the market. The diagram is focused on the U.S. system but I think that the schooling system in other markets is no less complex. This diagram helps us understand why reform in education is so difficult - it means aligning a wide variety of agencies, many of which are working to serve particular outcomes and interests.
About three weeks ago, Elsevier released a new policy governing open access publication. The response from the academic community was immediate and unfavourable, including this statement, signed by a couple dozen groups, criticizing the policy. More. SPARC argued that "Despite the claim by Elsevier that the policy advances sharing, it actually does the opposite." The Elsevier policy extends the embargo period to as much as 48 months, and requires that authors apply a "non-commercial and no derivative works" license to self-archived work. Elsevier responded to the criticism today. Meanwhile Emerald is going after harvesting itself, requiring authors agree that "I/We will not permit others to electronically gather or harvest and save to a separate server my/our Work." The backstory here is that publishers are facing a threat from services like Academia and ResearchGate, which harvest and store works from wherever they can be found, and compile a list of publications for each author. The aggressively seek to upload versions of the works, provide access only to versions on their own website, and do not link back to original copies. The perfect walled garden.
Whose responsibility is it to prevent hacking and to promote security? I have two stories in my inbox today - this one and this one - that suggest it's the user's responsibility. In one, " Jesse Hirsh makes the case for a deeper understanding of technology as a civic duty. He says 'hack or be hacked.' The choice is yours." The rest of the story is an advertisement for Kano, a $150 computer that you build yourself. In the other story, we are told "End users are widely seen as a weak link in the enterprise security chain." The argument is that employees should receive security training. Maybe. But end users are the "weak link" because they're trying to get their job done, whether than means teaching 6-year-olds or writing reports. Network security is often a problem they need to overcome, rather than a shield that protects them. There needs to be some accord here.
Privacy is really important to Americans, according to this Pew report based on two new surveys (which study only Americans), but they don't trust either governments or corporations to protect their privacy. "They have a pervasive sense that they are under surveillance when in public and very few feel they have a great deal of control over the data that is collected about them and how it is used."
Just for the record, if there's any term I like less than the term 'human resources' (or as it's abbreviated around here, 'resources'), it's the term 'human capital'. The term implies the commodification not only of the talents and skills people possess and can apply in the workplace, but of the people themselves. But that's what we get from the World Economic Forum. So now I haven't read the full 319 page PDF (I spent the day writing a quarterly report - yay!) but it's not the sort of report you read cover-to-cover anyways, as it's mostly a set of league tables comparing countries. They employ three major concepts: learning and employment outcomes, demographics, and a standardized 'distance to the ideal state'. Learning is measured by enrollment, literacy rates (tests like PISA and TIMMS are only available for a few nations), educational attainment and workplace learning. In demographics they look at economic participation, skills, and vulnerability. So who are the 'top 10'? In order: Finland at the top, then Norway, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
The EDEN Community (video) meets again in the inspiring city of Barcelona at the 2015 EDEN Annual Conference - #EDEN15!Networking and interactivity are core aspects of the conference experience, focusing on what you can learn from and with your peers.
In collaboration with: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Magical and innovative - Barcelona, the City of Marvels:
The latest #EDENChat was discussing Personal Learning on Twitter. Read the contributions archived here. The EDEN NAP Steering Committee continues the dialogue and develop #EDENChat. The online discussion returns live from the #EDEN15 Annual Conference in Barcelona Expanding Learning Scenarios on 10 June.
We invite all members of the educational community, particularly primary and secondary school teachers to discover the conference themes from their various points of interest. The registration to the conference is free of charge, but online registration is required.
As part of EDEN's development strategy, the Executive Committee recently voted the creation of a third vice-presidency with a portfolio for web presence and communication. I am delighted and honoured to be taking on this role and to be working closely with the EDEN president, António Teixeira, and colleagues at the EDEN Secretariat to develop and implement EDEN's communication strategy.
Visit the President's blog to read Deborah's guest post as well as other invited articles by Executive Committee members and former EDEN presidents.
Hear from Roger Schonfeld, director, library and scholarly communication program, at Ithaka. He tells us about the benefits available for universities who are signing up to take part in this year’s UK survey of academics and how you can get involved.
Operated by Jisc, the UK federation is the world’s largest federation for education and research, and their suppliers and service providers.
The UK federation offers its members’ users secure access to online resources and services through a single sign-on login, simplifying access to the services they need and protecting their privacy. It connects people from different colleges, universities and commercial providers not only in the UK, but on an international basis – linking up with federations in other countries – allowing them to share digital resources and services to authorised users.
The addition of Painless Security further emphasises the federation’s role as the largest and most diverse federation of its kind in the world. It saves its members money and creates opportunities for collaboration within the sectors served by Jisc, and between organisations in other communities, with common business interests.
Sam Hartman, principal consultant, Painless Security LLC said:
“In developing identity and access management software, Painless Security collaborates with researchers throughout the UK and Europe. By joining the UK Access Management Federation, we can gain access to collaborators' services without the cost or complexity of setting up individual accounts.
The UK Access Management Federation saves us money and time because we can leverage our existing accounts without setting up usernames and passwords and validating our organisational identity with each party we work with.”
In the UK 99.6% of universities and 86% of colleges are members of the federation. The federation is also leading in its adoption by commercial organisations, with over 240 businesses registered. These range from publishers, who use the federation to deliver their content, to providers wanting to provide special offers on services and equipment to students. Through Jisc’s leadership, the federation has made the UK a world leader in the use of this technology to support and drive the digital marketplace for the online goods and services essential to education and research today.
Mark Williams, service manager and outreach support - UK federation, said:
“Seamless and secure access to systems and services is paramount to the continued health of the education and research, which makes the UK federation vital to delivering effective access and identity management services.
To secure 1000 members is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates a healthy and growing access management federation, the largest of its kind in the world, and demonstrates Jisc’s global leadership in the field.”
North Warwickshire and Hinckley College became a member of the UK federation in 2013 and has seen considerable benefits. Lesley John, group learning resources team leader, said:
“Membership saves us a huge amount of time through not having to create individual user accounts for new students and troubleshoot problems with logins. The benefit of this can’t be underestimated. Another benefit was that we didn’t need to buy any new IT equipment throughout the implementation process and we are now saving £3,500 per year.
For our students improved accessibility has been a real advantage. They no longer have to remember multiple usernames and passwords and are able to access a broader range of information and services by using a single secure sign-on that will work at any college that is signed up to the federation. The barriers to learning they previously faced have been removed.”
The animation 'UK federation; what it is' was created to give an introduction to why the UK federation was created and the benefits of joining.
Myerscough College, a land-based further and higher education college in the north west, is one of the approximately 160 further education colleges in England to take additional connections to Jisc’s Janet network. Ian Brown, director of IT and MIS at the college, talks to us about why they’ve taken an extra four connections.
In the recent article “Simulating Learning Networks in a Higher Education Blogosphere – At Scale“, Fridolin Wild and Steinn Sigurdarson introduce into a simulation model built from the iCamp trial data and educational model assumption: they wanted to see what would happen, if trials are scaled up an order of magnitude. The simulation results are [...]
One year after we succesfully went through iCamp project’s last official review, we are wirting down a new post for wellcoming a new version of our Handbook. This is the time for its Spanish version, issued by Win-Win Consultores, with the financial support of the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Turism under its “avanza2” [...]
The iCamp partner AGH – the University of Science and Technology in Krakow, Poland, has published recently a Polish version of the iCamp handbook on how to use social software in education. Please click here to get the electronic version.
Since the iCamp experience was very successful in making use of new media for cross-cultural collaboration iCamp competes for the MEDEA Awards, respecively in the European Collaboration Award.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed!
We now received the final review report where our external reviewers commend us on our excellent work and our valuable contribution to European research in Technology Enhanced Learning.
Here are some quotes from the report, which can also be downloaded:
… In the opinion of the reviewers the products and outcomes of the project are of considerable [...]