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Michael K Barbour
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Associate Professor of Instructional Design for College of Education and Health Services, Touro University, California
Associate Professor of Instructional Design for College of Education and Health Services, Touro University, California

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Michael K Barbour commented on a post on Blogger.
Darren, I'm sorry it has taken me over a week to get around to responding to this entry. While I know that the creations of COOLs would help the supplemental programs by finally recognizing them in a formal way within the education system, it will hurt them more in the long run. I've seen this kind of model passed in numerous jurisdictions here in North America, and in almost every case I have seen those successful supplemental programs support the measures taken because while they have concerns in the end it helps them too. And it does, in the short run. But the fact of the matter is that the Pearsons of the world have a much greater ability to market than the existing small supplemental programs, they have much more manageable economies of scale than you do, and in the end you'll have an online sector - much like you do in most US states - where online learning is seen as a poor model of education, a corrupt system designed to line the pockets of the corporate providers.

The funny thing is that there didn't need to be that much in the way of tinkering with the existing system to build upon the system - both the recognized brick-and-mortar system and the unrecognized supplemental online system - that would have made a huge difference and closed the door to this ulterior motive that the current NZ government seems to be pursuing on the education front.

For example, the CORE Education report that Derek and I authored called for the creation of a national repository of online course content, coupled with a funding model where the body that provided the student's education received that portion of the funding for that student (i.e., a student enrolled in a school in Westport takes three courses from their local school and two from NetNZ, the local school would get 3/5 of the funding and NetNZ would get 2/5 of the funding). This is a hybrid of the Ontario and British Columbia models that exist currently in Canada. Even without the national repository of online course content, the funding model would require that all providers have a school identification code from the Ministry, which would allow you to be funded for the education your provide and also able to generate transcript and diplomas. This would simply be an application of the British Columbia (Canada) or Florida (US) model.

Both of these alternatives would not disrupt the current system (both recognized and currently unrecognized) that much. It would build on the success of the supplemental programs. But more important it would close the door on the potential privatization that the current government is intent on implementing. It is funny that research has consistently showed that the neo-liberal agenda towards education has been a failure in the US, UK, and Australia (the three jurisdictions which have gone down that road in the most substantial ways), yet this current NZ government seems intent on going down that same road. And it is disappointing to see the supplemental programs scrambling to get some of the crumbs, when they should be trying to fight for the larger meal instead.

For my academic colleagues, anyone have a free project management software/website that they'd recommend?

For my ed tech colleagues... Looking for a recommendation for a free LMS that I could use to develop a new online program.

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Okay, this is kind of funny!

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While a few people already know about this, last month I accepted a position as an Associate Professor, Instructional Design for the College of Education and Health Sciences at Touro University California in Vallejo, CA. While I am sad that my time at SHU has come to an end, I am excited about possibilities that this new position holds. Lisa and I will be moving across the country at the end of August.

Anyone in my network have a subscription to Shutterstock?

Anyone in my network have a subscription to Shutterstock?
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