Miscellaneous

Building a RSS Viewer With Vue: Part 1

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 8 hours 10 min ago

Raymond Camden, CSS-Tricks, Jun 18, 2018

I do like stuff like this. "In this article, I'm going to explain how I put it together and also what's wrong with it. I knew getting into this that I was going to make some compromises, so the plan is to follow up this version with a nicer one in a follow-up post."

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

The Make to Learn Electric Motor Design Sequence

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 8 hours 28 min ago

Glen Bull, Joe Garofalo, Michael Littman, Matthew Hoffman, Register Login International Journal of Designs for Learning, Jun 18, 2018

I like this idea."The goal of the project is for students to gain fluency in the process of invention and to understand related science concepts embodied in the inventions." They do this by having students make not just one but a sequence of progressively more advanced electric motors. "Kits have been developed for three types of motors in the electric motor sequence: (a) the Davenport Rotary motor, (b) the Charles Page Solenoid motor, and (c) a contemporary linear motor based on a 20th-century design." I never got to do anything like this when I was in school. I wish I had. 13 page PDF. From the just released current edition of International Journal of Designs for Learning.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Predator and Prey

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 8 hours 49 min ago

Mike Bostock, Observable, Jun 18, 2018

Nicely described in O'Reilly thusly: "a really nice demo of the "what if we didn't publish static text and images, but instead you could interact with the explanation?" You can continue on and look at other examples of Explorables, though note that they get complex quickly. De Casteljau’s Algorithm, for example, is a mind-bender. But the benefit of something like Explorables is that you can see what the equations are describing. And you can see how practical some algorithms are, as in for example this bit of centerline labeling on a map of California. Here's the Observable platform, where you can make stuff like this.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

https://github.com/o1lab/xmysql

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 9 hours 1 min ago

GitHub, Jun 18, 2018

I'd rather have a jmysql - a one line JSON api. But still, this is a pretty cool concept. "Generating REST APIs for a MySql database which does not follow conventions of frameworks such as rails, django, laravel etc is a small adventure that one like to avoid .. Hence this." Use with caution, though. Related: AWS SAM CLI -- a CLI tool for local development and testing of serverless applications.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Has Consciousness Lost Its Mind?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 21:46

Tom Bartlett, Chronicle of Higher Education, Jun 18, 2018

This review of the Science of Consciousness conference, held recently in Tucson, illustrates everything that is wrong with academia. The Chronicle of Higher Education seems offended that people outside the orthodoxy of what he styles as the "field of consciousness studies" would gather and discuss the topic in a serious way. I get that he thinks a lot of the content is nonsense. A lot of the content in most conferences is nonsense. But if it's approached earnestly and carefully, it sometimes turns out that this nonsense is valuable. And that's why people have conferences like this, and hatchet jobs by Chronicle reporters do far more harm to scholarship that people thinking hard about the idea of consciousness out there in the desert.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Virtual memory palaces: immersion aids recall

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 13:02

Amitabh Varshney, Eric Krokos, Catherine Plaisant, Virtual Reality, Jun 18, 2018

The research being cited (15 page PDF) is about a very specific technique: memory palaces. The idea of a memory palace is to create an image in your mind, and to then associate each element of the image with something you want to remember. In the study, virtual reality is used to create a memory palace. This story says "people recall information better when it is presented to them in a virtual environment, as opposed to a desktop computer." Donald Clark says "This points towards possible improvements in efficacy, compared to 2D screens and tablets." All true - but we need to remember that the recall of a list of facts is a very minor part of learning.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

At E3, video gaming's bigots have lost

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 12:51

Dave Lee, BBC News, Jun 18, 2018

This is how an institution gets better. Four years ago, Gamergate ricked the gaming industry. It was a harassment campaign intended to drive women out of gaming. It failed. "What were once referred to as the 'thinly-veiled' elements of Gamergate are now fully visible. But it no longer matters. As I leave Los Angeles, with another E3 behind us, it’s clear that the Gamergate way of thinking has lost. The industry has stepped up - and video games will be all the better for it." There will be longer term impacts as well. The rise of male-only gaming was followed by a male-only technology industry. It may be that we're seeing the end of that as well. Long overdue.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

https://medium.com/hci-design-at-uw/information-wars-a-window-into-the-alternative-media-ecosystem-a1347f32fd8f

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 12:22

Kate Starbird, Medium, Jun 18, 2018

This is a detailed and compelling look at the alternative media ecosystem. Educators should pay close attention because there is a parallel underground effort to create an alternative education ecosystem. The core purpose is to prmote an anti-gglobalist and pro-nationalist agenda ("e.g. anti-immigration, anti-Western imperialism, anti-corporation, anti-media") and the tactic is to use botnets and alternative news sites to spread disinformation and sow confusion. Elements of mainstram thought are co-opted as needed (the way the term 'fake news' was adopted and turned around against traditional news media). It doesn't help that our institutions - government, corporations, media, universities - are such easy targets. People need to pay attention to what's happening, and to look at these institutions, fix them, and create a credible alternative to the disinformation being spread today. Because "a society who learns it cannot trust information can be easily controlled."

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Management alone can’t drive open culture change

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 16:08

Laura Hilliger, Jun 18, 2018

All this is true: "targeted learning around how a non-hierarchical governance model practically works in a global organisation is required. This, in and of itself, is a learning expedition that needs to be highly personal. We have to be retrained to fail forward and without fear. We have to learn to criticize constructively, even our bosses. We also have to rethink things like typical management activities, job security and career pathways. Above all, we have to feel safe inside our organizations and that requires trust." It's the kind of culture change we need in  our offices (and that, I think, I

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Defining the IndieWeb

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 15:56

Aaron Davis, Read Write Collect, Jun 18, 2018

I consider myself very firmly in the camp of the indieweb. But I wouldn't exactly say that I'm part of the indieweb community. And definitely not a citizen. So I don't define indieweb as a community. It see it more as an attitude and a loose set of values a number of people have in common (I won't say 'shared values' because that implies some sort of order). I see digital literacties as important. And some of these other things as important - owning your own data, making tools for yourself, open source, data agnosticism, plurality and fun.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

How to Get Your Students Thinking Deeply With Photography

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 15:45

Raymond Yang, The Art of Education, Jun 18, 2018

People don't think of the camera as a type of technology, but of course it is, especially these days, and it has been an important tool in my learning technology toolkit for many years. So I appreciate this post on how to use photography to encourage students to think deeply about identity. I'm less a fan of the list of "the eight primary categories" listed. OK, so I resonate with some of the - age, social class, ability - but when I use the camera I see identity very very differently. And I look not only at individual identity but also collective or community identity. Place matters. One's relationship with nature matters. Food, history, architechure, commerce - these are all far deeper aspects of identity than the superficial properties listed in this post. And that's what I try to photograph.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Dank Learning: Generating Memes Using Deep Neural Network

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 15:09

Abel L. Peirson V, E. Meltem Tolunay, arXiv, Jun 18, 2018

I have a longstanding interest in memes as alternative forms of communication, and this paper demonstrating AI generated memes takes the conversation forward another step. The researchers fed the AI a series of images and associated captions, and the AI generated new captions. They are hard to distinguish from the original. Memes follow a set of implicit rules, and the AI learned the rules without explicitly representing them. So what's next? The AI will be about to generate memes at a rate far greater than humans can, and the AI could be tweaked to tilt the memes in a certain political direction just as social media has been tweaked in the last few years. Students will need to learn to read memes just as they read social media, and to be able to detect bias in both.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Post-Soviet Higher Education

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 20:15

Alex Usher, Higher Education Strategy Associates, Jun 18, 2018

I think there's a really important insight buried in this look at post-Soviet educational institutions: " a market-driven system does not necessarily lead to a differentiated system; in fact, it may be the opposite... Though subject to market competition, in all countries institutions became more homogenous." Once enterprises reach a certain size (larger than a family business but smaller than a college) specialization makes them vulnerable to competition. And "specialized institutions may not be very resilient in the face of economic shocks.  Avoiding specialization is thus a hedge against uncertainty in future demand."

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Advocates are becoming journalists. Is that a good thing?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 20:06

Mathew Ingram, Columbia Journalism Review, Jun 18, 2018

The way to read this post is to replace the word 'journalists' with the word 'educators'. So. Would it be a good thing if advocates became educators? Fopr example, consider a potential educational program about Amazon’s marketing of a controversial facial recognition software product to US law enforcement as provided to schools by the American Civil Liberties Union. Is this OK? What if the funding agency were the Koch brothers. Matthew Ingram argues "the world of journalism and the world as a whole are probably better off now that there are activist organizations that are trying to use the tools of modern media to tell stories." But the line between education and journalism and propaganda is a thin one.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Does Higher Education need blockchain?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 19:51

Chris Fellingham, Medium, Jun 18, 2018

As the Class Central report suggests, this article reminds us of Audrey Watters's outline of blockchain in education dating from April of 2016 (where she wrote "One Bitcoin is currently worth about $415" - heh). "Decentralised trust systems may well be the future but I don’t see that it solves a core problem," writes Chris Fellingham. "Edtech...  does not have a problem of trust in its credentials — it has a problem of credibility in its courses." It may be that the decentralization blockchain enables might be valuable, he writes, but it may come with a cost, just as decentralization of news media brought with it the scourge of fake news.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Propositional Content in Signals

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 19:32

Jeffrey A. Barrett, Brian Skyrms, UCI School of Social Sciences, Jun 18, 2018

I cut my teeth on Choice and Chance by Bryan Skyrms, so I was naturally interested in this article on information and meaning. It's nice and clear and will give the reader a good sense of some of the issues involved in determining the informational content of a signal (and especially the informational content of a signal when the signaler is lying or deceiving). Personally, I don't think signals have informational content (that puts me very much in the minority). Or, if I had to say it a different way, I'd say the information is the signal. How can you say an animal crying a false warning in 'intending' to deceive? The signal is just what it does; the effect is to scatter the rest of the animals, allowing the animal access to the food. We don't need a parallel information-theoretic account to describe or explain what happened.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

The Existential Question: Why Do We Measure?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:59

David Vance, Chief Learning Officer, Jun 18, 2018

My interest in measuring things is pretty minimal, but that's probably because my interest in the six reasons outlined in this article is pretty minimal. The six reasons are: 1) to answer questions, 2) to show results, 3) to demonstrate value, 4) to justify our budget (or existence), 5) to identify opportunities for improvement and 6) to manage results. I don't focus on questions, I focus on discovery. My results are of the "it works or it doesn't" variety. Value is in the eye of the beholder, not a number. Budget (and price, for that matter) is based on willingness to pay, not value. I focus on improving affordances, not filling gaps. And I'm not a management person. That doesn't mean we should never measure. It just means it is vastly overrated.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Cryptocurrencies Make Their Way to Campus, Bringing Flexibility and Risks

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:34

Erin Brereton, EdTech, Jun 18, 2018

The headline pretty much says it all. The big risk (aside from wildly fluctuating currency values) is currency-mining malware. "If ransomware was the scourge of 2017, cryptocurrency mining could be the problem to watch this year — especially in higher education. In a recent Vectra analysis of the five industries showing cryptocurrency mining attacks, higher education had the majority of activity by far (85 percent)."

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Educational and Occupational Credentials should be in schema.org

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 11:36

Phil Barker, GitHub, Jun 18, 2018

The current effort to match credentials to competencies, and digitize credentials, is ongoing. This is a discussion thread on GitHib addressing the question in the title. Of note is the most recent post in which Phil Barker outlines recent work done in the field by a W3C Community Group . There's also an earlier posts that lists a number of websites showing various educational and occupations credentials. Barker adds, "There is a draft on appspot with more details of the changes we would make, i.e. term definitions, ranges etc."

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Concentric Sky Announces BadgeRank - a New Search Engine for Digital Badges

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 20:22

Cision, Concentric Sky, Jun 17, 2018

Quoted, with useless adjectives removed: "Following the release of the digital badge stacking tool - Badgr Pathways - BadgeRank allows anyone to explore the digital badges published by Open Badges compliant systems around the world." According to the release, "BadgeRank indexes over 100,000 digital badges from around the world and ranks them based on signals such as Endorsements by external organizations and Outcomes for credential holders" (their pointless capitalization).

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Categories: Miscellaneous
Syndicate content