Innovation or Replication?

June 1, 2013 § 1 Comment

Why those excited by the Stanford & edX open source platform collaboration (and many other “open” initiatives) don’t get it. It’s “reuse, revise, remix, redistribute,” not “reinvent, redo, redundant, replace.” The below article appeared just this week, in 2004 [May, 2014].

Sakai Project [EdX] launches groundbreaking open source collaboration

By Nancy Connell of News Service [Patrick Masson]

The Sakai Project [EdX], a landmark venture to create open-source course management tools and related software for the higher education community, has been launched by a consortium of four [three]universities, with U-M [Stanford] in a leading role.

The project—a collaboration of U-M with Indiana [Harvard University], the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford—will release its first software next summer. It has received a $2.4 [$60] million grant from the Mellon Foundation and $300,000 from the Hewlett foundation in funding, and it has attracted the interest of at least 13 additional colleges and universities since its launch in December [May of 2012], says Joseph Hardin [Anant Agarwal], director of the Sakai [edX] project.

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He who laughs last…

May 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

At the 2010 Educause National Conference, two colleagues, David Staley and Ken Udas, and I presented “The University as an Agile Organization” (see presentation PDF here). Within the session, we supposed how the organization and operation of a college or university might be enabled–and benefit–through the principles behind the Agile Manifesto, especially in light of various trends in technology, teaching and learning, and management emerging within not only education, but institutions of higher education as well.

In the session, David Staley, offered…

a “university as a networked complex adaptive system is permeable (no formal admissions process); consists of voluntary and self-organizing associations of teachers and students; consists of a self-organizing and intellectually fluid curriculum; does not offer tenure to professors (longevity is determined by the community), who move fluidly between the “real world” and the university; is governed by protocols based on community values and mores rather than on administrative rules and fiats; does not grant diplomas (but does grant certificates); encourages play (and even failure); is governed by “intellectual barter” and makes all knowledge created therein free to anyone; has a fluid temporal structure: there are no “semesters”; teaching and learning are ongoing activities.

I think this just may be the best description I have heard, not for MOOCs specifically, but the environment that has created and allowed MOOC’s (and the various MOOC-like organizations that have benefited from their rise, e.g. Coursera, EdX, Udacity), to emerge, not only as a platform, but as an educational development and delivery model.

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OSS Watch launches Open Source Options for Education Index

January 17, 2013 § 1 Comment

Mark Johnson recently posted to the Moodle Forums an announcement of the creation of the “Open Source Options for Education” index to compliment the UK Cabinet Office’s Open Source Procurement Toolkit.

I’d like a (selfish) vacation

August 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

I need to get away! OK, I know this is going to sound greedy (I am literally on vacation now–check out that 20+ lbs striped bass caught off Cape Cod), self-centered (I actually do love hanging out with the extended family and friends: 19 in total over the last two weeks) and probably lame (boring) to many, but I’d really like to find a “get-away” vacation for programmers. « Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve been in this really good MOOC for the past 20 years, it’s called “The Internet.”

August 1, 2012 § 12 Comments

I’d like to suggest a great MOOC that has been around for years. It is “massive” (nearly a half million members); it is open–as in free (no charge); it is open–as in anyone can participate (no enrollment requirements/restrictions); it is open–as in shareable/reusable (there is no copyright: all content by all contributors is in the public domain); it is open–as in community driven (topics and direction are self-organized by peers); it is open–as in transparent (all information is available to all); it’s online (www.linuxquestions.org), and it provides over 200 “courses” (tutorials, resources and related discussions) across a variety of areas:
– Applications / GUI / Multimedia
– Hardware
– LQ ISO
– Networking
– Programming
– Security

Some of the programming tutorials include: Beginning with Java; BSD Sockets programming in C with examples; Building C programs on Linux; Building C++ programs on Linux; Emacs for an IDE, etc.

There is even a process for credentialing where peers rate the activities of others in order to establish users’ reputations. Those who provide helpful insights are rewarded, while those who offer less helpful support get neutral or even negative reputations. This peer to peer assessment model is something many MOOCs are struggling with.

So why isn’t this recognized as a MOOC? The cynic in me says, well because MOOC’s are really marketing tools to promote a university’s “innovation,” garner financial support (e.g. grants, investment funding, etc.) and/or drive online enrollments (i.e. take a MOOC, then enroll in a “real” course). Why does every college or university need a MOOC or other OCW/OER initiative, rather than really take advantage of the openness of shared resources to enhance, contribute and redistribute?

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“Codesera” Offers Repository for Some of Higher Educations’s Most Common Programs

July 23, 2012 § 1 Comment

Last fall, two Stanford computer-science professors helped create an online code repository that opened some of the university’s locally developed software, interfaces and configurations to the entire world. Hundreds of thousands of developers enrolled free of charge. Their start-up, Codesera, which grew out of that effort, now seeks to give millions a taste of top-quality higher-education-oriented software by expanding its platform to other elite universities. « Read the rest of this entry »

Everyone has an opinion on the Blackboard move into Open Source… so do I.

April 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

This post was originally an email to the Educause CIO listserv, in response to Ethan Benatan, Vice President for IT & Chief Information Officet at Marylhurst University, specifically questions about the impact of various licensing options: I expanded the discussion.

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