Volkswagen Beetles roll off the assembliy line

The End of the Assembly Line

Please join us at the McLuhan Centre for Culture & Technology’s #cityasclassroom Workshop on Tuesday May 3rd, 6-9pm. We are bringing together a small panel of current and former U of T students to ask: What can U of T do to prepare students for the end of the assembly line How can we  better integrate city & university?   The End of the Assembly Line Tuesday, May 3rd, 6-9pm Coach House Institute, U of T   Hosts Christopher Penney // Joseph L. Rotman School of Management // Toronto Experience & Learning Lab Jeff Pinto // Center for Distance Education // Athabasca University Panellists David Morton // U of T 2006 Philippa French // U of T 2014, Queens 2016 Anthony Burton // U of T 2017 Note: We have sought to draw from a range of current and former U of T students but we recognize our small panel […]

Scientist pulls reluctant crash test dummy towards car.

Always Crashing in the Same Car – The Myth of Innovation by Procurement

Two years ago, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) began implementing a $1.3 billion plan to put an Apple iPad, preloaded with curriculum from Pearson, into the hands of every student . “This is going to level the playing field as far as what schools are doing throughout the district,” claimed Cynthia Williams, principal of a district school . Others were critical of the plan from the start. Issues included the price per iPad ($678 USD, more than in stores), the fact that Pearson’s curriculum software would not be completed before delivery and the district’s repeated preference for investment in technology rather than teachers . Problems began to materialize before a single iPad was delivered. Shortly after the original contract was signed, Apple unveiled a new iPad model . Superintent John Deasy, the project’s champion, diffused this situation by negotiating a change to the contract. Technical issues also began […]

Eating Your Own Dog Food

Eating your own dog food is the practice of testing out the product you’re selling by actually using it. It’s unclear how literal the phrase’s origins are, but we do know it was popularized by developers at Microsoft . Having spent the last 15 years of my career developing digital learning environments, pursuing an MEd online represented a bit of “dogfooding” for me. In this inaugural post, I want to share some of what I’ve learned about learning online in the last two years. In particular I want to share some of the emerging models of online, networked learning and some key obstacles to their success. In the process, my reasons for starting this blog should also become clear. But let’s start at the start. Why pursue an MEd? Having worked with eLearning startups for the last 15 years, I had become too aware of the fact that the guiding […]