Against the “information ecosystem” [...]

The information ethic in this critique is based upon explicitly acknowledging that information systems are human creations, not natural phenomena. It follows the same argument that the free market is a myth; better said, the so-called “invisible hand” of Adam Smith is subordinate to institutions created by humans [34]. This does not deny the possibility of creating greener and friendlier information systems; instead it creates opportunities to emphasize the human role in these processes. (Source)

Tools aren’t Activism [...]

Here's a radical idea though: it's what you do with those tools and how you do it that defines whether you're activist. Are you using those tools to "promot[e] the quality of life in a community, through both political and nonpolitical processes"? Or are you just running student Tumblrs but now they're on WordPress? We need to be radically honest with ourselves about these things. It's hard, but it's necessary. (Source)

Platform Capitalism [...]

Subjecting workers to a national (or even global) reverse auction of wages and work conditions—where they are under constant pressure to perform tasks faster, and for less, than rivals will—is a recipe for exhaustion and poverty for those unlucky enough to be trapped in the platform matrix. Moreover, it is also a prelude to deflation and economic collapse, as precarious work provokes a twenty-first century revival of Keynes’s paradox of thrift. Why would anyone subject to the danger of constantly declining wages spent more than minimally? And as that frugality becomes widespread, how can whole economies avoid shrinkage? (Source)

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Entrepreneurial History [...]

History is barely even a story at all, let alone a painful or discomfiting one. Rather, history is a collection of analogies to the present, offering a comforting reassurance that all human endeavor—even all natural life—has led us to this moment. “Failure”—a popular Silicon Valley buzzword—is only a temporary pause in narratives of eventual triumph in which exploitation rarely figures. (Source)

Permissions Over Free [...]

From a messaging perspective, I continue to believe that OER advocates should place more emphasis on permissions because this is the aspect of OER to which publishers have no answer. Publishers simply have no response to the 5Rs. When someone starts talking about how small the difference is between free and affordable, just turn the conversation to permissions by asking a question like, “Am I free to make as many copies of the material as I like?” “Can I make word or paragraph-level changes to the content so that it speaks more directly to my students?” “Can I give away free copies of the material to my students?” “Can my students and I engage in the collaborative co-creation of new knowledge as we jointly revise and remix your materials with others?” (Source)

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The myopia of crowds [...]

Our results suggest that, rather than evaluate all available answers to a question, users rely on simple cognitive heuristics to choose an answer to vote for or accept. These cognitive heuristics are linked to an answer’s salience, such as the order in which it is listed and how much screen space it occupies. While askers appear to depend on heuristics to a greater extent than voters when choosing an answer to accept as the most helpful one, voters use acceptance itself as a heuristic, and they are more likely to choose the answer after it has been accepted than before that answer was accepted. These heuristics become more important in explaining and predicting behavior as the number of available answers to a question increases. Our findings suggest that crowd judgments may become less reliable as the number of answers grows. (Source)

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Norman’s Law of eLearning Tool Convergence [...]

> Any eLearning tool, no matter how openly designed, will eventually become indistinguishable from a Learning Management System once a threshold of supported use-cases has been reached. (Source)

Virtual K-12 Schools Don’t Work [...]

Crisis narratives undermine checks and balances and the natural skepticism that we should ordinarily apply to the interests of young children and to public expenditure. So you get millions of dollars spent on online charter schools that leave students a full school year behind their peers. (Source)

Personalization Defined [...]

Personalization, sometimes known as customization, consists of tailoring a service or product to accommodate specific individuals, sometimes tied to groups or segments of individuals. A wide variety of organizations use personalization to improve customer satisfaction, digital sales conversion, marketing results, branding, and improved website metrics, as well as for advertising. (Source)

Evidence-Based Education [...]

Using Dewey’s practical epistemology, I showed that research cannot supply us with rules for action but only with hypotheses for intelligent problem solving. Research can only tell us what has worked in a particular situation, not what will work in any future situation. The role of the educational professional in this process is not to translate general rules into particular lines of action. It is rather to use research findings to make one’s problem solving more intelligent. This not only involves deliberation and judgment about the means and techniques of education; it involves at the very same time deliberation and judgment about the ends of education — and this in a strict and conjugate relation with deliberation and judgment about the means. (Source)