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Open Access fees are exorbitant

After signed another publishing agreement, and I was, once again, taken aback by the exorbitant OA fees that publishers charge.

Publishing open access with us (gold OA) lets you share and re-use your article immediately after publication.

The article processing charge (APC) to publish an article open access in Educational technology research and development is:

Article processing charge (excluding local taxes)
£2,290.00 / $3,290.00 / €2,590.00

Some organisations will pay some or all of your APC.

If you want to publish subscription, instead of open access, there will be an option to do that in the following steps.

I know, I know, we probably shouldn’t have submitted to journal that isn’t gold and free OA by default, *but* the system is structured in such ways that my junior co-authors would benefit from being published in this journal.

While not a solution to this problem, it’s worth noting the terms in the publishing agreement around sharing the article. This is in the terms:

The Assignee grants to the Author (i) the right to make the Accepted Manuscript available on their own personal, self-maintained website immediately on acceptance.

This is the approach that I use for nearly all my papers, but it’s worth remembering that what this really does is suggest an individual solution to a systemic problem, which will do little to solve the broader problem of lack of access to research.

There are other statements in the terms around placing one’s article in an institutional repository, but author self-archiving is generally the first and immediate option available to individuals. And perhaps google scholar will index the author’s personal website, making the article available, as shown below. Google scholar’s approach of identifying articles and placing publicly-available versions in search results is a systemic solution to the problem. Unpaywall is similar in that respect.


[To be clear: this post isn’t about ETR&D. It’s about the publishers & the publishing system]

Reflections: 100 Year EdTech Project design summit

Last week, I was at the 100 Year EdTech Project Design Summit in Phoenix AZ, and I thought it might be worthwhile to post some raw reflections here, captured throughout the days, and unedited. At the event

“Leaders, educators, futurists, designers, students, lifelong learners, visionaries –  all will be invited to explore the last 50 years of technology’s impact on education, observe where we stand today, and imagine the future of education for generations to come.”

I appreciated the event starting with a student keynote panel. Some ideas I heard included attention to equity, excitement about the role of AI (i have lots and lots of thoughts on this, including how much space these conversations are taking and concern around the kinds of conversations it’s displacing), the inevitability of technology, the limits of our imagination (e.g., a comment made around how X years ago “my concern was about walking to the library and spending hours looking for an article, and so no i couldn’t have imagined the progress of tech”), emphasizing community, expanding access to tech (e.g., broadband for all), and sharing wealth and resources.

And because I’m obviously reflecting on these from my own perspective: These conversations are somewhat similar in Canada, but there’s a stark difference: The starting point there, or at least in the conversations I was part of, was typically decolonization, conciliation, indigenization, equity, and inclusion. The starting point here, or at least at this event, is technology in the service of similar ends… in other words, there’s a more pronounced technosolutionist stance at this event. Granted, that’s the focus of the event, which makes solutionism a difficult pattern of thought to escape/resist.

The slide below from Kiran Budhrani recentered some ideas around the broader issues, that don’t have to do with tech, but shape education nonetheless

This was punctuated by Bryan Alexander highlighting climate adaptation, and especially climate migrants and the impacts of that impending reality. I say reality because I’ve reached the conclusion that climate collapse is more likely than otherwise. I hope I am proven wrong.

A great question from a medical professional was the following: what do medical professionals need to know when patients (all of us) come to them with some basic knowledge of their ailments? The focus here was  on skills and knowledge relating to empathy and communication on the medical professional’s part, as well as the ethical issues around AI systems that will invariably support patients (e.g., what data were they trained on? how trustworthy are they, etc etc). I also think this area relates to patients navigating the flood of information/misinformation circulating online and their use of various technologies to make sense of their ongoing and new ailments. This reminds me of Dave Cormier’s book, which argues that we ought to be preparing people to navigate uncertainty at a time of information abundance.

Much of the event focused on small group discussions around approaches that might address certain challenges. I thought that framing the role of edtech in the future in terms of scenarios was grounding and valuable. The discussions in my group were rich, and there lots and lots of thoughts and ideas about our topic.

Finally, it was great to catch up with Philippos Savvides, fellow Cypriot at ASU, who partners with and supports edtech startups around the world. I also appreciated a short tour of EdPlus (ASU’s internal-focused OPM) and learning more about their work. Rather than outsourcing online program management, like so many other institutions, EdPlus focuses on innovating and scaling ASU offerings. I believe that  operations integral to the institution (and OPM is one of them) ought to stay within the institution and ought to be cultivated. I like what ASU is doing here. And through luck or foresight, it’s perhaps avoiding the entanglements of an OPM market in turbulence.


Update #1: The paper “Climate imaginaries as praxis,” showed up in my inbox a few hours after posting this, and I wish I had read it prior to the summit. Abstract reads: As communities around the world grapple with the impacts of climate change on the basic support systems of life, their future climate imaginaries both shape and are shaped by actions and material realities. This paper argues that the three globally dominant imaginaries of a climate changed future, which we call ‘business as usual’, ‘techno-fix’ and ‘apocalypse’ – fail to encourage actions that fundamentally challenge or transform the arrangements that underpin systemic injustices and extractive forms of life. And yet, to meet the challenges associated with food production, energy needs, and the destruction of ecosystems, people are coming together, not only to take transformative action, but in doing so, to create and nurture alternative imaginaries. This paper presents empirical findings about how communities in north and south India and south-east Australia are pre-figuring alternative futures, locally and in most cases in the absence of broader state support. An analysis of communities’ actions and reflections indicates that their praxes are altering their future imaginaries, and we consider how these local shifts might contribute to broader changes in climate imaginaries. At the heart of the emerging imaginaries are a set of transformations in the relational fabric within which communities are embedded and how they attend to those relations: relations within community, with the more-than-human, and with time.

Open for Public Comment: Minnesota’s Computer Science Strategic Plan

My colleague Cassie Scharber shared this with me and I am passing it along for broader input. Please share widely and submit comments!
The draft of the Minnesota state plan for K12 computer science education is now open for public review and feedback (Feb 1-Feb 16). This plan contains recommendations for teacher licensure, academic student standards, and professional learning. More information can be found on MDE’s website

How to Provide Comments on the Plan

1.       Review the CS State Plan Draft

2.       Share Your Thoughts: We encourage you to share your thoughts, suggestions, and concerns through the online comment form.

3.       Attend Virtual Feedback Sessions: Join our virtual feedback sessions where you can engage directly with members of the CS Working Group and share your insights. Sessions will be held via Zoom for one hour each. Register for one of the sessions using the following links:

4.       Help us Spread the Word: Help us reach more stakeholders by sharing this information with your colleagues, friends and community members. The more variety of voices we hear, the stronger and more inclusive our strategic plan will be.

Postdigital Research: Transforming Borders into Connections [interview]

Petar Jandrić, Alison MacKenzie & Jeremy Knox edited two books on postdigital research: “Constructing Postdigital Research” and “Postdigital Research: Genealogies, Challenges, and Future Perspectives.” When they invited me to intervuiew them about the books and bring my understanding of digital learning and the postdigital to their ideas, I knew that they would be very gracious in answering my questions. Here’s the resulting interview, but more than that, read the books: They’re rich, diverse, and unique in their approaches and sensibilities.

Are education and learning engineering problems?

Audrey Watter’s begins her latest post with this insight: “Much of what I wrote about with regards to education applies to this sector [health and wellness] as well, in no small part because everything for Silicon Valley (1) is an engineering problem: a matter of optimization, individualization, and gadgeteering (that’s B. F. Skinner’s word, not mine).”

In a similar fashion, in his 2023 chapter The future of the Field is not Design Jason McDonald notes that in pursuing the mission of transforming learning and teaching, the field of Learning and Instructional Design Technology has ” become too fixated on being designers and applying the methods of design thinking. As valuable as design has been for our field, it’s ultimately too narrow an approach to help us have the impact we desire because it overemphasizes the importance of the products and services we create. To be more influential, we need approaches that focus our efforts on nurturing people’s “intrinsic talents and capacities” that are ultimately outside of our ability to manage and control.”

I am nodding along with this, and I am also reminded that both silicon valley edtech efforts as well as LIDT efforts overwhelmingly focus on the individual student and the individual teacher,  and much less on the environments, systems, policies, and structural issues that surround our efforts (or in Berliner’s 2002 work, the contexts that surround us).

Southern New Hampshire University’s efforts with generative AI

Much of the work around generative AI happening in higher education to date focuses on individuals, centering on policies, workshops, exploration of  how individual faculty and students can/should/ought to use generative AI in teaching, learning, and research. Explorations at the system level are rarer, which is why SNHU’s efforts to explore what higher education looks like with AI as a feature rather than an add-on is unique. We need such explorations because a higher education system that serves its citizens well and addresses the kinds of complex societal challenges that we face today requires experimenting with different approaches, questions solutionism, and engages with the possibility that education futures aren’t prescribed.

I’m interested to see the results of this effort. SNHU is generally considered to be successful in answering the question “what does a university built for the digital age look like” while others have treated the digital as an add-on to operations they considered central. This is not to say that every institution should try to be a SHNU, in the same way that not every institution should try to be an Ivy. But we can all learn from a case study like this.

January 2024: Month ahead

It’s a new year, and I thought I’d try something new: posting a beginning-of-the-month broad and incomplete “to do” list, and revisiting it at the end of the month.

I expect this month to be one where I am going to be trying to find my new rhythms since it’s going to be my first full month at the Learning Technologies program at the University of Minnesota: This month, I plan to

  • Finalize the class I will be teaching (Foundations of Distance Education)
  • Start teaching.
  • Establish a tentative work from office/home pattern.
  • Establish a (3 x week) exercise pattern that works
  • Finalize my parts of “paper 3” which is a survey of the education futures that youth find hopeful (with Shandell)
  • Co-develop a survey instrument around education futures (with Shandell)
  • Finalize my parts of the ER paper, which is an analysis of the degree to which research is publicly available (with Josh).
  • Continue work on the special issue colleagues and I are co-editing
  • Begin work on a new online learning project (more on this soon)
  • Keep on top of all the things that need to happen during this month (webinars, trainings, admissions decisions, setting up my home and work office, connecting with people, figuring out how new workplace systems work, etc etc). I suspect that this will take up a lot of time.

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