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Creativity In Instructional Design

Connie Malamed, eLearning Coach, Nov 18, 2021

I found the process described in this article useful, and it's interesting to layer the creativity loop over the instructional design process, but I wish the author had used some other word than 'creativity'. That's because, in this context, creativity is defined as "the generation of novel and useful ideas." I bristle at the requirement that the ideas be useful. My best creative ideas and acts have had no utility whatsoever. I am a fan of people like Geng Shuai and Matty Benedetto and Simon Giertz who specialize in inventing useless things. Now I suppose that if someone is paying the bills and expects an outcome, utility might be a requirement. But the day we constrain creativity to commercial application is the day we break it. Via Clark Quinn.

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Goodbye, Google! Part I

Jason S. Todd, CAT FooD, Nov 18, 2021

If you want to truly appreciate the meaning of 'lock-in' consider the case of an entire institution migrating its cloud presence from Google to Microsoft and the implication it has on individual employees. In theory almost everything will survive the transitions (except videos, which will become undead). As Jason S. Todd discovered, migrating personal content to a personal Google Drive account is a bad idea - not only might the migration never actually finish, it could eat large amounts of personal user space. However, as I've personally discovered, using Google Takeout to download resources is fraught with difficulties. My advice: always keep a local copy of any resource you create in the cloud, so that if an online service disappears, you're not left in a crisis situation.

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Additional Points on 2U's Acquisition of edX

Phil Hill, PhilOnEdTech, Nov 18, 2021

This is a good look at there 2U and the online program manager (OPM) market in general are going, at least in the United States. Quoting Michael Feldstein, Phil Hill observes "MIT and Harvard betrayed their commitment to their partners and to the ostensibly public-good mission of EdX," but notes, "And yet . . . no institutions have left the edX program, and we’re already seeing 2U partners joining edX." I wonder whether this isn't just institutional short-sightedness. What happens when 2U decides it has enough leverage over educational institutions that it can start essentially acquiring them? Ah - but maybe that's what the business-minded boards have in mind. But probably not so the professors.

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Pandemic Pedagogy in Canada: Lessons from the First 18 Months

Randy LaBonte, Michael K. Barbour, Joelle Na, Canadian eLearning Network, Nov 18, 2021

This report (68 page PDF) is a comprehensive overview of Canada's response to Covid with respect to the educational system, providing an overview and then a province-by-province analysis. "This report goes further than previous reports, describing the face-to-face, online, remote, and hybrid learning options provided across Canada." It will be most helpful, I think, for those working with international agencies needing data for country reports on the e-learning response to Covid.

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Alex Usher, Higher Education Strategy Associates, Nov 18, 2021

Alex Usher looks at the oft-touted strategy of mobilizing university resources to develop a regional innovation cluster. It involves a process of working with the local business community, identifying opportunities, and committing resources to developing expertise in that area. However, as Usher comments, "who is “business” in this case?  Is it new businesses, upstarts coming out of nowhere in new fields of endeavour?  Or is it existing businesses, pillars of the community, which tend to be in well-established industries?" And therein lies the problem. It's the same problem I've faced when we've been given a mandate to partner with industry. They uniformly resisted developing something genuinely new, because it would threaten their existing business model. As Usher says, "serving the economy of tomorrow rather than the economy of yesterday should get more policy attention than it does."

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Democratisation of Knowledge Through Open Educational Resources: Opportunities and Challenges at a South African University

Vusi Mncube, Emmanuel Olawale, Connie Bitso, Global Education Network (GEN) Conference, Nov 18, 2021

Open educational resources (OER) help "to combat discrimination and illiteracy" as well as to "promote education with compensating measures in the fields of special education, migrant education (and) minorities‘ rights to education." Using the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model, this study (14 page PDF) investigated the use of OER at "a traditional university in South Africa" and argues that "those perceived benefits cannot be realised unless university lecturers effectively use such resources to supplement their courses." More generally, the authors write, "universities must seek to address underlying inequities in the creation and democratisation of knowledge."

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