Miscellaneous

Special Report on the Role of Open Educational Resources in Supporting the Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education Challenges and Opportunities

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 09:17

Rory McGreal, International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, Dec 03, 2017

Rory McGreal hghlights the role of OERs and MOOCs in supporting the sustainable development goal and outlines Canada's contribution to the field. "Canadian OER supporters must continue to increase awareness of OER among learners, teachers, administrators, and most importantly, among provincial education officials who are in a position to support open policies," he writes.

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Striving Toward Openness: But What Do We Really Mean?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 09:05

Vivien Rolfe, International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, Dec 03, 2017

We may be working toward openness, but "evidence shows that these ambitions are far from mainstream, and levels of awareness in institutions is often disappointingly low," writes Vivien Rolfe. To get at the reasons why, she strives to "explore the voices often unheard, those of the teachers and professional service staff with whom we are engaging." The formalization of openness as being related to open resoures may serve to lessen the emphasis on open practice. But this is the level that speaks to practitioners. "Those interviewed who were university lectures spoke of openness and how it had enhanced their teaching practice. For them, this related to the widening of pedagogic choice and providing flexibility in lectures and laboratory classes, and not being confined within the digital platforms offered by the institution."

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On Transformations

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 09:42

Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, Dec 02, 2017

In a recent Twitter micropost Alan Leven commented that the 'broken' internet has allowed him to meet with, and have experiences with, people around the world, including during his current trip to Australia. He has always been a leading proponent of the benefits of sharing online, and his is certainly a model worth eulating. In this post he shares the text of a recent talk to  the International Specialised Skills Institute Fellowship Awards Ceremony. In the background, instead of slides, he showed a rotating set of 383 photos from the 60,000 he has posted online over the years (he also shares the bash script he used to extract them). 

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Business Models Associated with Distance Learning in Higher Education

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 09:28

Shouhong Wang, Hai Wang, Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Dec 02, 2017

This article desxcribes the existing (and expensive) provision of textbooks in distanc e education and recommends a model based on open educational resources (OER) as a replacement. I like the diagrams of the contrasting models. "Recently, many commercial textbook publishers have applied another strategy by bundling a textbook with online academic services for distance learning," write the authors, " this bundling strategy makes the textbooks much more expensive than ever."

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Draft: Introduction to the IEEE LTSC Technical Advisory Group on xAPI's Forthcoming Technical Report

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 06:32

Shelly Blake-Pock, LinkedIn, Dec 02, 2017

I'm helping with this, though not nearly as much as I should (NRC withdrew support for work in e-learning effective today so the work I do on things like this is pro bono). This is "an early draft of the introduction to the Technical Report on xAPI being written by the IEEE LTSC Technical Advisory Group on xAPI.," which is being led by Yet Analytics' Shelly Blake-Pock. "As an open source project, xAPI has been very successful in bringing together a wide community of developers, researchers, and business users across industry, academia, and government."

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Mastering the Learning Pyramid

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 06:10

John Hegel, Edge Perspectives, Dec 02, 2017

John Hagel is a business writer, so we shouldn't expect his analysis of learning to be deep, and it isn't. But he does capture an important concept: that as you drill down through the levels of learning effectiveness, beyond skills, knowlege and capabilities, you get non-cognitive factors such as passion. "I've written about herehere and here," he writes. "This form of passion has three components – (1) a long-term commitment to achieving an increasing impact in a particular domain, (2) a questing disposition that seeks out and is excited by new challenges and (3) a connecting disposition that actively seeks to connect with others who might be helpful in addressing these new challenges."

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One of the net's most important freedom canaries

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 06:00

Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing, Dec 02, 2017

I don't normally abbreviate headlines from the posts I'm covering, but this is a three-liner which states, in full: "One of the net's most important freedom canaries died the day the W3C greenlit web-wide DRM; what can we learn from the fight?" What we can learn, according to Cory Doctorow, is that separating the side effects of DRM from DRM is a powerful argument against DRM. "We proposed a membership rule that would allow members to use DRM law to sue anyone who infringed their copyrights -- but took away their rights to sue people who were breaking DRM for some other reason, like adapting works for people with disabilities, or investigating critical security flaws, or creating legal, innovative new businesses... This was devastating.  We made those companies address our concerns, and swept away the piracy smokescreen."

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A positive moment of uncertainty for universities?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 05:54

Jonathan Grant, Wonkhe, Dec 02, 2017

The point of departure for this article is the John Ralston Saul's idea that there is “interregnum” an “in-between time” following the collapse of globalism in which there is “short positive moment of uncertainty …[where] it becomes possible to emerge into a less ideological and more humanitarian era." This moent comes at a time when universities, like most other institutions, are being challenged. "Perhaps the 'positive moment of uncertainty' for universities is a chance to re-think their public purpose, creating parity of esteem between education, research and service," writes Jonathan Grant. It would be a step in the right direction. Even in the government, the idea of 'service' has taken a back seat to making money and supporting companies. I'd like to see at least some institution trying to give back to the society that supports it.

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New post

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 04:30

Amit Bhattacharjee, Jason Dana, Harvard Business Review, Dec 01, 2017

The outcome of this discussion is of course directly relevant to the future of education. Here's the contention: "American adults who took our surveys for pay consistently indicated that they expect harmful business practices to increase profit." The authors argue in response that actual data suggests the opposite. "In the sample of firms we used, KLD scores were positively correlated with firms’ incomes. Better behaved firms tended to be better rewarded." There are all sorts of ways this can be questioned. Do we trust Kinder, Lydenberg, and Domini (KLD) Research & Analytics ratings, for example. But more to the point: why would be believe the graph is a straight line? Companies at both ends of the scale - the very profitable, and the barely surviving - resort to unethical means. Those in the middle - companies that could make more, but choose not to, and don't need to, can behave ethically.

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Buzzword Decoder: Kirkpatrick Levels of Evaluation

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 04:18

Pamela Hogle, Learning Solutions, Dec 01, 2017

You'll hear this quite a bit especially in corporrate learning, where it is common currency. At one of my recent project locations it's simply referred to as assessment 'levels'. The Kirkpatrick scale describes different levels of assessment, from Level 1 (reaction, for example, student surveys at the end of a class), Level 2 (learning), Level 3 (behaviour, "are employees doing things differently at work"), and Level 4 (results). A fifth level, Return on Investment (ROI), is typically added to the scale. Anyhow, this is a good short introduction you can hand out to people new to the discussion.

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Trademark Announcement Sparks Conversation About Microlearning

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 04:01

Ave Rio, Chief Learning Officer, Dec 01, 2017

So here's something else being ruined. According to this article, "The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has given Grovo a registered trademark on 'microlearning.'" Actually, according to a comment, Grovo is merely trying to register the trademark, and hasn't yet been successful. 'Microlearning' is a term that has, of course, been in wide use for a number of years by a large number of practitioners. The people in the commercial learning sector are trying to be diplomatic. "Mosher said Grovo’s trademark opens up an interesting conversation about the difference between a discipline and a product. The industry needs to decide whether microlearning is a product, a modality or a methodology, he said, and he hopes Grovo’s definition will accelerate the discussion." Yeah. The way a hand grenade accelerates the discussion.

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New pThe Cyberlearning Report goes to schoolost

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 03:52

Judi Fusco, The Educators Corner, Dec 01, 2017

The point of this post is to encourage people to onload the Cyberlearning Report (covered here last October) and to describe its use in a class at Pepperdine University. "Because technology use is so common in K16 classrooms," writes Judi Fusco, "I like to think with my students about how learning theories can help them use technology in deep ways to support learning. I don’t want technology just to be a substitute for pencil and paper."  Fusco also takes pains to assert that "a teacher is irreplaceable and knows so much about how to help each student." I wish it were that clear and simple. 

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Directories for Domains: a Community Approach

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 03:40

Jim Groom, bavatuesdays, Dec 01, 2017

I'm always watching Jim Groom & Co's Domain of One's Own project, and in particular how they approach content aggregation (a long-time interest of my own). Historically they have been using FeedPress (in WordPress) but in this post Groom describes a new approach using the WordPress API. It's still a work in progress and Groom is careful to note that the approach has been built on partnerships and an iterative approach. It differs from my own approach in its dependence on WordPress. But we share, I think, the difficulty in that it is difficult to propagate the model. The world still needs a good stand-alone aggrregator that will feed (in a smart way) into applications like WordPress and others. RSS is becoming depreciated (sadly) and APIs are being used more frequently, making this task all the harder.

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Has everybody lost their damn mind?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 16:37

Alex Usher, Higher Education Strategy Associates, Nov 30, 2017

I don't always agree with Alex Usher, especially when he's attacking unnamed opponents, but he's exactly right with this one. The incient concerns a TA who showed a news report about a controversial subject in class. A student reported offense, and the TA was berated by the course professor. I'm agreed with Usher here: the case is one of bad mangement and over-reaction, and not always fair-minded over-reaction.

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The End of Ownership

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 14:13

Calum Marsh, Pacific Standard, Nov 30, 2017

I see these advertisements every time I go to see a movie: "Add a SuperTicket to also own a digital copy for $19.99." They actually stress the word "own" in the theatre. But of course it's a lie. You don't own it. That's what this article discusses. "'Look, there's a mismatch between what people think they're getting and what they are getting," he says. 'We need to be more clear with them when explaining what they're getting for their money.' The short-term solution would be to clarify the language at the point of purchase—to stop using words like 'buy' when what's really meant is 'acquire a time-limited, non-exclusive right to use.' The long-term solution would be to actually let people 'buy these things in some meaningful sense,' as Perzanowski says."

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Unblock Docker for Windows Firewall Issues with Host Volumes

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 23:30

Simon Williams, Kajabity.com, Nov 29, 2017

We're not yet where stuff runs out of the box. This is a case in point. I spent all day on this issue, and it's basically Norton Firewall blocking access to shared volumes (ie., shared files) between my Windows system and a Docker container. I followed the instructions here (didn't need to execute the PowerShell command at the end) and now it seems to work, at lease with kitematics hello-world-ngnix. Source for this container isn't available, so I'm still trying to find a sample working Dockerfile or compose to make volume sharing work. See also this thread.

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Virtual infant BabyX prompts question: how do we feel about AI that looks so much like us?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 15:52

Ramona Pringle, CBC News, Nov 29, 2017

While educators persist in the belief that AI can't create relationships with us, AI's begin to forge relationships with us. This we see the example of 'BabyX'. Right now we sense a feeling of unease, known as an 'uncanny valley', because the AI's responses aren't quite right. But, "Walters suspects the feeling of uncanny valley will disappear over time as people grow more accustomed to interacting with humanoid robots and simulations." The key issue here, though, is not whether we will form attachments with these AIs. We will. It will be the question of whether these AIs will be benign. I saw on CBC today (no link yet) a story about a doll that talks with children and sends the data back to its manufacturers. This is data that can be (and therefore will) be misused. 

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Free White Paper - Cracking The Mobile Learning Code: xAPI And Cmi5

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 14:22

Steven Westmoreland, eLearning Industry, Nov 29, 2017

I downloaded this so you don't have to. My advice? Don't. eLearning Industry will require that you sign in with your LinkedIn credentials, then require additional information if they're not satisfied with what LinkedIn provides. Then you'll get a 32 page PDF (a far cry from the book that appears in the illustration). The first 11 pages cover a well-worn path outlining mobile learning in general. The explanation of xAPI and cmi5 is minimal and consists mostly of a case study. Yes, xAPI is not the new SCORM. Yes, cmi5 was originally designed as AICC's replacement for SCORM, but is now an xAPI profile. The case studies are: PDF and annotation in the cloud; videos and microlearning. This could be a perfectly good white paper but don't be oversold by the marketing and don't overpay with the LinkedIn permissions.

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Can Learning Really Happen With Crowdsourcing?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 14:13

Roy Saunderson, Training, Nov 29, 2017

It's not easy managing crowdsourcing in support of learning outcomes, writes the author. "Crowdsourcing, in general, tends to be a unilateral, one-way experience used for social computing, problem solving, and creative product development." The question is, how can crowds give individuals high-quality feedback? The crowd itself has to be able to learn, which requires some for of scaffolding. " Learning is incremental and expands as the crowd becomes more familiar and experienced with the framework and language used to give feedback."

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Udacity’s Blitz.com, A Freelancing Platform for Nanodegree Alumni, Shuts Down

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 13:53

Dhawal Shah, Class Central, Nov 29, 2017

The program appeared to be successful, but was closed. Why? The story seems to be this: "it seems Udacity doesn’t really need the job guarantee program anymore to attract new Nanodegree students, and that may be one of the reasons why Udacity has decided not to pursue Blitz further." A second reason could be that it cot too much for Udacity to operate, as it had to set up agreements with companies to hire the graduates.

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