Miscellaneous

Yes we can greatly improve the teaching of creativity in Australian schools and yes we can measure it

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 06/25/2018 - 18:12

Anne Harris, Leon de Bruin, Australia Association for Research in Education, Jun 28, 2018

The main claim is here: "E. Paul Torrance’s research into intelligence and creativity in school children established clinical links between fluency, flexibility, original thinking and the ability to elaborate on thoughts as markers for creativity." I don't think it's quite that simple. A 50-year study of the Torrence Test "showed that TTCT scores were moderately correlated with personal, but not with public, achievement." I think that the best we can say is that we can measure for proxies of creativity. Anyhow, the authors write that "we are offering new Australian research and practical tools built from the 600+ teachers, principals, and students expressed needs for improving creativity in their classrooms."

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The Machine Fired Me

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 06/25/2018 - 17:26

Ibrahim Diallo, ID, Jun 28, 2018

It takes a while to figure out what actually happened, as this employee found himself fired with no person having actually done the firing. Hence the title. In fact, his contract had been allowed to elapse by a laid-off employee and an automatic termination routine had kicked in. So he found himself fired with no explanation. The fact that there was a simple and mundane explanation, though, didn't really make up for the fact that the firing was all-encompassing and without appeal. This is the sort of scenario we need to avoid in the automated education and work environment.

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Programming Paradigms and Beyond

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 06/25/2018 - 16:31

Kathi Fisler, Shriram Krishnamurthi, Brown University, Jun 28, 2018

This is a really good but conceptually difficult essay with an important point to make: there's no one best way to teach computer programming. There's no natural ordering of concepts from foundational to advanced. What we may think are basic concepts are actually very complex. The choice of computer language can impact a student's mental model of what computing is (their 'notional machine'). "The overarching take-away for researchers is to think more deeply about linguistic assumptions and how they interact with pedagogy of prior and current courses. For teachers, we must remember that we choose not just the syntax and IDE in which we will teach; we also choose the pedagogy, problems, and notional machine through which students experience our chosen language." Image: UCL, The principle programming paradigms.

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Better Together: Why Networks Are the Future of Learning

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 06/25/2018 - 15:18

Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart, Jun 28, 2018

This post is marketing for a book, so be forewarned. The reasonable point it makes is that " Requiring (and even allowing) individual teachers and schools to develop new learning models is a lousy way to do R&D. We can’t and shouldn’t rely on individual teachers building and delivering lessons for diverse groups of learners." This is something I think we already knew. The article lists some networks - Future Ready Schools, the League of Innovative Schools, New Tech Network or NAF (this list isn't random and at least one is associated with the book author). Here's the thing - a network isn't the same as a group. You can both allow individual teachers to develop their own working models and have them work together in a network - indeed, it works better than way, where you're not trying to coordinate them. And individuals, not organizations (like schools) should be the members of a network.

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Digital learning: distraction or default for the future?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 06/25/2018 - 13:35

Microsoft Australia Education, Jun 28, 2018

This post is about the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in the classroom. The article references a survey from Barnes and Noble College saying "over 51% of students learn best through active participation, while only 12% are able to listen and learn well." It doesn't follow, though, that being able to "turn and study a model to their heart’s content" results in better learning. Being able to "do" something is not the same thing; it implies narrative, purpose, objectives, challenges or some such thing requiring the student to not only study but to actually practice creating or doing something.

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The End Of The Internet As We Know It…Could It Happen?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 06/23/2018 - 22:31

Deirdre O’Donnell, Evolving Science, Jun 26, 2018

Over the years news media publishers in Europe have tried repeatedly to end the practice of people linking to their stories. Their reasoning (I think) is that readers should come to the newspaper websites directly. Currently legislation being proposed is the closest yet to accomplishing this. " Article 11 of the proposal would require anyone who wants to share a link, even containing a short line from a news story or headline, from a publisher who provides such content, will need a specific license from the said publisher before doing so." Obviously that's not possible for me with OLDaily. So I'm hoping the legislation is unsuccessful. More: ZDNet explores the impact of the proposelaw on open source.

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