Miscellaneous

The Era Of Content Delivery Integrated In LMS Is Upon Us

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 07:15

Moodle News, Dec 09, 2017

This post references an announcement that "Beginning with up-and-coming LMS like Degreed, Digital Chalk, Cornerstone OnDemand, and Docebo, LinkedIn Learning will now let users access their vast repository, made mostly of video lessons." This makes the case in the headline, that we are now entering an era where the LMS will import and display external content. On the face of it, this is good for both producers and students, however the leveraling of exclusive deals will begin to mitigate against the advantages. Unlike 'net neutrality', there is, after all, no such thing as 'LMS neutrality'. This article could be longer and more informative, but sadly, it isn't.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Against the 3A’s of EdTech: AI, Analytics, and Adaptive Technologies in Education

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 07:10

Maha Bali, Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec 09, 2017

"I agree with all of Audrey Watters‘, Chris Gilliard’sAutumm Caines’ and Benjamin Doxtdator’s critiques on these topics (also: it’s scary how my Google docs app immediately recommended their websites when I started inserting the links here)," writes Maha Bali. She adds, "there tends to be a reduction of what a teacher’s role is." Teaching "is about helping learners express themselves clearly and effectively with other human beings. What value is there in a machine giving students feedback?" She also expresses concern about inherent bias in AI and about human agency being replaced by AI-decision-making. And she's concerned that computer scientists are forging ahead without regard to ethical discussions about their technology.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Fraud and Misconduct in Research

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 06:56

Nick Roll, Inside Higher Ed, Dec 09, 2017

Summary of a book that "serves as a look at how (academic)0 fraud, and the response to it, has changed over the years" followed by an interview with the authors.  "Fraud in research reflects a systemic problem and does not reflect only an individual level," they write. "One of our conclusions is that fraud in research probably reflects an iceberg phenomenon (e.g., we know only of a small fraction of the cases) rather than a bad apple one." Lovely.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Educators Question AltSchool’s Pivot: Where Does Silicon Valley’s Philanthropy End and Profits Begin?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 06:49

Jenny Abamu, EdSurge, Dec 09, 2017

This is another story where a Silicon Valley technologist convinces investors to offer millions of dollars to reshape schools only to see them flounder in search of a business model. A big part of the reason is that while they may be well-connected and while they may even understand technology, they don't understand schools and have no background in the history of educational technology. Now if I had $175 million to spend on educational technology.... 

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

The world’s slowest, most boring bus simulator finally has a VR version

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 07:44

Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, Dec 08, 2017

Stuff like this is what makes the internet great. "After roughly 22 years, one of the worst video games of all time, Desert Bus, finally has a sequel. In very good news for anybody who hears "notorious game's sequel" and flinches, this new take, dubbed Desert Bus VR, is now completely free to own for PC gamers, whether they own a virtual reality headset or not... You drive forward for quite some time, with nothing in the way of turns or oncoming traffic to deal with. If you wanna add some "pizzazz" to the gameplay, you can reach with your hands for a latch that opens the bus's door, or you can drive long enough to see things like the sun go up, the sun go down, and the occasional bug colliding with your windshield." Yeah! And you can't just let it run on its own; it will go off the road. You have to sit there and drive the bus.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Is Private Education in Africa the Solution to Failing Education Aid?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 07:36

Danish Faruqui, Sudeep Laad, Mary Abdo, Priyanka Thapar , Stanford Social Innovation Review, Dec 08, 2017

The answer the author provides is "yes". But the actual answer is, of course, "no". Let me explain how private education offers a "solution": it charges fees to prospective students. This means that it avoids the messy need to teach the really poor; it teaches those who can afford to pay. Read this article and tell me that this isn't what they're proposing! But this is no solution at all! For one thing, those who actually receive an education pay more than they would have otherwise. But worse, a large number of people receive no education at all, perpetuating the economic issues that have kept the country from progressing. Even worse, this article suggests that this is the approach charities should be taking. Let there be no mistake: societies progress as a whole, not by privileging an elite.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Citations and the fallacy of division

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 07:29

Cameron Neylon, Wonkhe, Dec 08, 2017

I've seen various promotion criteria worded "candidates will need 100 publications..." as though that were a measure of anything real (it also demanded a certain H-index as well). But there is no correlation between citations and academic merit. "Not only are the statistics flawed but no rigorous and comprehensive theoretical link can be made between what we are measuring and what we want to evaluate."

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

How to reach high achievement through listening skills

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 07:06

Jennifer Abrams, eSchool News, Dec 08, 2017

Listening is a type of literacy and one I didn't learn properly (if at all!) until adulthood. t was part of a self-study course I took at Texas Instruments in 1981 (the same one that taight the feel-want-willing style of communications, called "On the Way Up"). It promoted "active listening" where I would respond by testing my understanding by repeating back, in my own words, what I was hearing. This article discusses some of the "set asides" people use incorrectly, including autobiographical listening, dishing the dirt listening, and solution-oriented learning.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Stewardship in the “Age of Algorithms”

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 08:03

Clifford Lynch, First Monday, Dec 06, 2017

Suppose we wanted to preserve the content in Facebook as it exists right now. What would it take? We might think that if we save the database, that would be sufficient. Not so, argues Clifford Lynch. Without the training data Facebook relies upon, and the algorithms that process that data to show you what you see, we haven't preserved Facebook. But this may be beyond our reach, not simply because Facebook won't release it, but because it may be impossible to capture. The best we can hope to do, maybe, is to document output, via "robotic witnesses", or "new Nielson families." These, though, would be small, labour-intensive, and partial attempts.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Get Ready for the AWS Serverless Application Repository

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 12/02/2017 - 09:08

Jeff Barr, Amazon Web Services, Dec 05, 2017

I wanted to address the topic of serverless aplications in my talk on Friday but left the discussion out because of a lack of time. But it's an important dimension to next generation virtual learning. Here is an announcement from AWS that frames the concept nicely: "we followed up with the Serverless Application Model (SAM) to further simplify the process of deploying and managing serverless applications on AWS. We have also published serverless reference architectures for web apps, mobile backends, image recognition & processing, real-time file processing, IoT, MapReduce, real-time stream processing, and image moderation for chatbots." The challenge for developers of open learning is to ensure that these applications (and more) remain accessible. See also AWS Cloud 9, a web-based IDE for application code developers.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Containing the Future of OER

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 12/02/2017 - 08:28

Jim Groom, bavatuesdays, Dec 05, 2017

Jim Groom summarizes my talk from last Friday. In doing so he adds that "getting a sense of how this all works and what it might mean is important for educational technologists" and scans the horizon looking for other people doing similar work.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Note On My Emerging Workflow for Working With Binderhub

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 12/02/2017 - 08:21

OUseful Info, Dec 05, 2017

Tony Hirst writes about "the public reboot of Binder / MyBinder (which I first wrote about a couple of years ago here), as reported in The Jupyter project blog post Binder 2.0, a Tech Guide and this practical guide: Introducing Binder 2.0 — share your interactive research environment." The idea is that Binder notebooks can be shared ion GitHub. Hirst writes, "I’d love to see the OU get behind this, either directly or under the banner of OpenLearn, as part of an effort to help make Jupyter powered interactive open educational materials available without the need to install any software."

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

“...to crush a 14-year-old would appear to be a step too far.”

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 10:09

Kotaku, Metafilter, Dec 04, 2017

This story essentially involves a large company suing a 14-year old for cheating on a video game. Actually, it's not clear to me that it's 'cheating' - he simply used a piece of software to automate some activities. But the main argument here revolves around the use of licensing agreements and terms of service contracts. I personally don't recognize their validity, first, because nobody reads them, second, because they are deliberately obscure and misleading, third, because they often contain terms that are not enforceable (because, for example, they may violate charters of rights, or other legislation), and fourth, because we are not in a position to comply (we may be minors, we may be working in organizations, etc.). I recognize that some courts may disagree with me. But I have long since given up on the fairness of the courts in matters such as this; no matter what the document actually says, in the main, the party with the most resources will win.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Towards an Ethical Framework for Open Recognition

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 08:57

Serge Ravet, Medium, Dec 04, 2017

Though I think this project is a good idea, I am always wary when people use the phrase 'ethical framework', as there is no universal ethical perspective on which we will all agree. So this raises the question of what "an ethical framework for Open Badges in support of Open Recognition" would look like. For example, what are we to make of Alfie Kohn's remark in the context of open badges?: "Pitting students against one another for the status of having the best grades takes the strychnine of extrinsic motivation and adds to it the arsenic of competition.” I personally prefer to define a legal framework rather than an ethical framework. This defines the conditions required to live in a society together, while leaving morality as a matter of personal concern.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

The reproduction fee hustle

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 06:33

Bendor Grosvenor, The Art Newspaper, Dec 04, 2017

This is an example of the phenpmenon of 'enclosure', which I have talked about in the past. The copyright on these paintings has long since expired, so they are in the public domian, however, by restricting access and threatening legal action, museums demand licensing fees. "For an academic to use a single image from the Tate in a single, free lecture, the fee is £20. A whole lecture could cost hundreds of pounds." 

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

The Surgeon Who Wants to Connect You to the Internet with a Brain Implant

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 16:12

Adam Piore, CC BY, Dec 03, 2017

According to this article, "Eric Leuthardt believes that in the near future we will allow doctors to insert electrodes into our brains so we can communicate directly with computers and each other." He is based in the U.S., so the surgeon probably doesn't want to do it unless you pay him a lot of money. But the idea, whether supported by public health care or not, has intriguing possibilities. "What you really want is to be able to listen to the brain and talk to the brain in a way that the brain cannot distinguish from the way it communicates internally, and we can’t do that right now,” Schalk says. “We really don’t know how to do it at this point. But it’s also obvious to me that it is going to happen." Some great photos with this article.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Digital Debt, Personal Online Sustainability, and an Archive of One’s Own

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 15:47

Jim Groom, bavatuesdays, Dec 03, 2017

The number one reason to blog: "I’m really lucky I start blogging 12 years ago, because I could not imagine the fresh hell of having all of these memories strewn across third party social media services without the overarching organizing archive of my work that is the bava—it’s a mess, but its my mess."

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Three Slack Bots to Try

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 15:38

Prof. Hacker, Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec 03, 2017

This was a fun read. I likes especially Anamak bot: "Occasionally, a student will have a question that, for whatever reason, they don’t want to ask. Not because they fear they’ll get in trouble, but sometimes because they feel embarrassed. Simply, AnamakBot allows users to ask anonymous questions of other users. Yep, that’s it." Related: The Church of the Subgenius Finally Plays it Straight. "For some of us, Slack is not actually sitting around watching TV with a beer in hand. For some of us, Slack is doing the work, but the work we wanted to do."

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Why You Left Social Media: A Guesswork

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 15:32

Sofia Samatar, Catapult, Dec 03, 2017

"Sometimes at night I’ll spend an hour or more on social media, not posting, just looking, drifting through people’s feeds. I attach myself momentarily to certain personalities. They’re so clever, funny, observant, wise. I just want to be near them. Someone else." 

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Applications, Algorithms and Data: Open Educational Resources and the Next Generation of Virtual Learning

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 09:38
[Slides][Audio] The next generation of OERs will take a step beyond traditional media and classroom support and begin to take advantage of the unique properties of virtual learning. Using examples such as virtual containers and actionable data books, I sketch the future for the next generation of OERs as a distributed and interactive network of applications, algorithms and data. Education Ouverte: Ressources Educatives Libres et Ingenierie de Formation, Hammamet, Tunisia (Keynote) Nov 30, 2017 [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous
Syndicate content