Author Archives: morgan

Reading: An Ode to ‘Desperate Don’

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It’s not an ode. More of a note towards grappling with reality. Would have been more effective as an ode, but trump doesn’t deserve one.

it is when Trump lies out of desperation, out of the fear of being found out, blamed, reprimanded, possibly even abandoned, that most people can relish it. It is in those moments that Trump is most human and our ire toward this liar is most vindicated and validated.

Reading: Daring Fireball: All Podcasts Are Shows; Not All Shows Are Podcasts

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“Luminary is not alone in trying to usurp the term “podcast” for proprietary audio shows … “ but it sure is pushy. A dead-end. Signified by the need to appropriate the term.

“These companies are trying to usurp the word podcast for one simple reason: people love podcasts. What I think and hope they are missing is that part of what people love about podcasts is the openness. It’s one of the last remaining areas of the internet that works exactly as the internet was intended to work.”

Reading: Education in the Corporate Oz | ACADEME BLOG

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Online Ed is a swindle. MnSCU endorses it. Corporate culture endorses it. Some faculty endorse it. Even students endorse it when it serves them to side-step a requirement. Part of the swindle has public ed selling off public resources to corporate interests under the guise of filling a gap. But the gap is between solid face to face education and lower quality DE. It can’t be filled, but there is money to be made in selling filler.

This swindle lies behind Carey’s essay. To save money, many universities are moving more heavily than ever before into online education, charging as much, sometimes, for their new courses as they do for their more costly (to the institutions) on-campus courses. Even public institutions are involved: They charge the same for online and hybrid (partly online and partly classroom) courses as they do for classroom-based ones, though it costs much less for the institutions to offer such courses. This saves so much money that the colleges and universities are loathe to signal that they are providing a lower-standard product through their online and hybrid catalogs. So, they maintain the fiction by charging the same for both. They want to keep that money coming in; they don’t feel they can afford to admit, through a separate pricing structure, that the online and hybrid courses are not on the same level of instruction as what goes on when the focus of education is at least three hours a week of personal “interface.”

Reading: Academic Freedom in a Triangle of Threats | ACADEME BLOG

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We’re looking at you, d2l. Learning environments threaten and constrained academic free speech.

EdTech aimed at producing a personalized experience for students undercuts the values of core curricula and education as a collective experience.

Correspondingly, education is reduced to content and professors to content deliverers, and students have less opportunity to stretch beyond their own perspectives and acquire awareness of others’ differences. Student data is mined for profit by private industry and various incentives and constraints put pressure on educators to adopt EdTech for the purpose of generating this profit. The schools themselves don’t profit, but the false economy of whiz-bang automated efficiency makes EdTech difficult for most schools to resist.

More on the point,

Dr. Hearn predicts that postsecondary educators will “increasingly be asked to prefigure course content in advance to make it more amenable to datafication and coding.” She concludes by warning that “the current free speech debates provide a familiar distraction from what is, in fact, an unprecedented assault on university autonomy by educational technologies and their proprietary, black-boxed forms of data extraction.”

This has been happening for years, with standardized templates for course descriptions and learning objectives that assist admins and data kids.

Resist.