Weekly Ed-Tech / Digital Scholarship Trends: February 20, 2013

Oxford Blocks Google Docs

This week, the University of Oxford took the extreme action of blocking access to Google Docs, due to security concerns. The block lasted two and a half hours because “the impact on legitimate business was greater than anticipated, in part owing to the tight integration of Google Docs into other Google services.” Subsequently, Oxford University Computing Services apologized to their users.


Weekly Ed-Tech / Digital Scholarship Trends: February 6th, 2013

Bill of Rights for Online Learners

Stakeholders in educational technology drafted a Bill of Rights for online learners, which then drew criticism from other stakeholders as published in the Chronicle of Higher Ed. That criticism prompted a thoughtful rebuttal from Cathy Davidson. As MOOC companies become more entwined with higher education, expect greater calls for transparency and unease regarding student data and revenue streams.

Coursera’s MOOC Meltdown

Speaking of MOOC’s, ironically, Coursera’s class “Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application” was cancelled due to difficulties with design and technology. A student from the class blogged about feeling cheated because of the course’s failure. It raises questions about the relationship between students and MOOC’s. What is the commitment from an institution to non-paying students? Are MOOC’s all just a grand experiment? What does it mean to be cheated out of something that is free? For those of you interested in teaching a MOOC, read Tucker Balch’s post “Teaching a MOOC: Lessons Learned & Best Balch Practices.”


Coursera Starts Career Services

Who cares about accreditation if you can connect students with employers?

This afternoon, Coursera launched career services, “with the goal of helping Coursera students find great jobs.” It’s an opt-in service for registered students. Once logged in, students can list their status from “actively looking for a position,” “not looking, but open to hearing about possibilities,” to “not looking.”


One Flew Over the MOOC-oo’s Nest

“If you don’t watch it people will force you one way or the other, into doing what they think you should do, or into just being mule-stubborn and doing the opposite out of spite.”
― Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

This is a story about failure. It’s a story about learning and lofty goals; but, still, it’s a story about failure. And, the failure is all mine.

In September, I wrote a post, Lifelong Learning: MOOC’s vs Liberal Arts Colleges, and stated my intention to experiment by enrolling in both MOOC’s and a real course. Right there, did you catch that? I said, real course, and that’s an issue with MOOC’s. Put another way, it’s a thought process that led to my failure.


Geography Intrudes

Marketplace recently did a story on massive online courses - nothing too earth shattering, but it did draw attention to the fact that some of the biggest players are for-profit…


Building the perfect MOOC

As proof that the idea of online education is (one might say 'finally') gaining traction in many disparate fields, a recent episode of Econtalk discussed the topic: Arnold Kling, economist…

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