Miscellaneous

IndieAuth.com: Sign in with your domain name

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 09/28/2018 - 19:39

Oct 10, 2018

It's a bit complex but it's simpler than OpenID was. I'm still looking into it. " Instead of logging in to websites as "you on Twitter" or "you on Facebook", you should be able to log in as just "you". We should not be relying on Twitter or Facebook to provide our authenticated identities, we should be able to use our own domain names to log in to sites everywhere." Here's the IndieLogin test page.

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OwnYourGram

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 09/28/2018 - 19:30

Aaron Parecki, Oct 10, 2018

Pretty simple concept: "Sign in with your domain, connect your Instagram account, when you post to Instagram, the photos will be sent to your site!" Signing in with your domain requires IndieAuth (the modern-day answer to "whatever happened to OpenID?"). The code for OwnYourGram is open source.

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Second Draft: A Continuum of Personalized Learning

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 09/27/2018 - 20:45

Larry Cuban, Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice, Oct 10, 2018

This is one of those articles where a diagram would have helped a lot. Well, mostly because it would have shown how the idea of a 'continuum' here is incoherent. But still. Here's Larry Cuban's description of the continuum: "At one end of the continuum are teacher-centered lessons within the traditional age-graded school.... At the other end of the continuum are student-centered classrooms, programs, and schools." OK, so what's in between? Cuban clusters questions concerning the 'how' of personalized learning with the teacher-centered lessons. He positions the 'what' with the student-centred classrooms. There's nothing where students aren't in classrooms, there's no sense where the 'what' might be found in teacher-centered lessons, and when we start talking about competencies and modalities it becomes apparent that we have a jigsaw puzzle, not a continuum. You create a continuum when there's only one variable that changes; when you have multiple variables you build a matrix or a graph.

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How do Virtual Teams Collaborate in Online Learning Tasks in a MOOC?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 09/27/2018 - 20:25

Annemarie Spruijt, Amber Dailey-Hebert, Herco Fonteijn, Geraldine Clarebout, Daniëlle Verstegen, International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, Oct 09, 2018

This is a fairly narrow study but I like the question and the issue of collaboration in MOOCs has certainly been raised as an issue before. This MOOC was called Problem-Based Learning: Principles and design. Students at the centre!  which meant that they couldn't get away without doing problem-based learning, which in turn pretty much requires the formation of collaborative groups. The authors observed 21 self-formed groups during the course. The results were organized along five themes: team formation and composition, team organization and leadership, task division and interaction, use of tools, and external factors. Based on the commentary I'd say the teams were a limited success, but the authors draw some recommendations for successful team formation in MOOCs.

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Defining OER-Enabled Pedagogy

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 09/27/2018 - 20:19

David Wiley, John Levi Hilton III, International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, Oct 09, 2018

I really think this is last year's issue, and that most people have moved on, but I would be remiss if I didn't document David Wiley's definition of OER-enabled pedagogy in this article. "We define OER-enabled pedagogy as the set of teaching and learning practices that are only possible or practical in the context of the 5R permissions which are characteristic of OER." As the authors note (in the very next sentence), pedagogy is not usually defined in terms of copyright. But the point here is that students learn by doing, and copyright rules (as amended by open licenses) define what you can (or cannot) do.

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Surprising Ways AI Can Improve eLearning Accessibility

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 09/27/2018 - 11:44

Pamela Hogle, Learning Solutions, Oct 09, 2018

I don't thing the solutions are particularly "surprising" but I think the linkage between AI and accessibility is a good one. Pamela Hogle describes how AI can help with authoring, with translation and transcribing, with vision assistance (including reading and recognition), with voice commands, and with eye tracking to improve the VR experience, for example, through foveated rendering.

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Scientific Facts — Are they like Myths, Told through Fairytales and Spread by Gossip?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 09/27/2018 - 11:32

Anita de Waard, The Scholarly Kitchen, Oct 09, 2018

This paper caught my imagination despite myself, and then convinced me that the answer to the question in the headline is "yes". The key is in understanding the semantics in articles: "In stories and rhetoric, a statement exists not as a separate entity, but plays a role in the overarching narrative." When we look at scientific papers, this role is often signified by tense. In conclusions, the results are typically qualified ("It appears that..." or "One explanation may be..."). Over time, and in the wider community, this hypothesis is accepted. Then, in citing papers, the qualifiactions are dropped, and the conclusion is simply stated as a fact. "In short, scientific facts are based on a game of telephone between cited and citing authors. Besides being pulled from its experimental context, claims are often validated (and turned into ‘known facts’) by the simple act of being cited."

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The mutating metric machinery of higher education

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 09/26/2018 - 17:58

Ben Williamson, Code Acts in Education, Oct 09, 2018

"The narrative," writes Ben Williamson, "is that HE has been made to resemble a market in which institutions, staff and students are all positioned competitively, with measurement techniques required to assess, compare and rank their various performances." It's an unsettling narrative, he writes. "The sector as a whole is expanding rapidly with the emergence and evolution of ‘the data-intensive university’." This article assesses these developments in terms of ‘metric power’, a concept from David Beer that provides a useful framing, says Williamson. While the organizationms involved "are not necessarily uncritically pursuing a market-focused neoliberal agenda," nonetheless, " these sector agencies are all now part of an expanding data infrastructure that appears almost to have its own volition and authority, and that is inseparable from political logics of competition, measurement, performance comparison, and evaluation."

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The MIT Press and the MIT Media Lab Launch the Knowledge Futures Group

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 09/26/2018 - 17:42

MIT Press, Oct 09, 2018

While I'm sure the people at the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) are supportive of any initiative to get research into the public sphere, I'm sure they would be surprisaed to learn that MIT's new Knowledge Futures Group (KFG)  initiative is "a first-of-its kind collaboration between a leading publisher and a world-class academic lab to transform how research information is created and shared." Maybe MIT means "first in the US" or perhaps "first at MIT". After all, PKP has been opening access with projects like Open Journal Systems since 1998. Anyhow, this article describes some KFG like PubPub, an open authoring and publishing platform, and Underlay, an open, distributed knowledge store. These are worthy projects. But don't say these are world firsts. It gets old.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

BrainNet: A Multi-Person Brain-to-Brain Interface for Direct Collaboration Between Brains

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 09/26/2018 - 13:22

Linxing Jiang, arXiv, Oct 08, 2018

This article (15 page PDF) presents "the first multi-person non-invasive direct brain-to-brain interface for collaborative problem solving." It's based on passive "electroencephalography (EEG) to record brain signals and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to deliver information noninvasively to the brain." The potential here is that "future brain-to-brain interfaces that enable cooperative problem solving by humans using a "social network" of connected brains." Of course there's no way this technology could go wrong, or be used to influence elections or decision-making in the future.

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The Future of Jobs Report 2018

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 09/25/2018 - 23:20

World Economic Forum, Oct 08, 2018

I wouldn't necessarily expect 300 executives from the world's largest companies to have any special insights on the future of work (because they're pretty insulated from reality) but this report (147 page PDF) makes for surprisingly interesting, and occasionally insightful, reading. Some key points:

  • "When determining job location decisions, companies overwhelmingly prioritize the availability of skilled local talent as their foremost consideration"
  • "71% of total task hours are performed by humans, compared to 29% by machines. By 2022 this average is expected to have shifted to 58% task hours performed by humans and 42% by machines."
  • "Global average skills stability—the proportion of core skills required to perform a job that will remain the same—is expected to be about 58%, meaning an average shift of 42% in required workforce skills over the 2018–2022 period."
  • "Those most in need of reskilling and upskilling are least likely to receive such training."
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Categories: Miscellaneous

One Thing Missing in Most E-learning Courses

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 09/25/2018 - 22:55

Tom Kuhlmann, The Rapid E-Learning Blog, Oct 08, 2018

I've been working on the design of my upcoming E-Learning 3.0 course, so I'm paying a bit more attention to instructional design articles than usual. So what's missing in most courses? It's a bit of a clickbait headline, isn't it? "What tends to be missing," writes Tom Kuhlmann, "is the more complex decision-making interactivity." By this he means activities that prompt hypothesis-formation and testing. I'm not sure it's that rare. But it's true that you won't find it in most rapid e-learning page-turners. " The obvious reason why we don’t do more of this in our courses is that it takes more time to build. The reality is that most clients seem satisfied with basic click-and-read type content." And that right there is the problem with a lot of corporate e-learning.

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When Education Research Training Is Like Giving a Power Saw to a 5th Grader

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 09/25/2018 - 22:50

Frederick Hess, EducationNext, Oct 08, 2018

I've had my issues with education researchers too, but I don't think I've ever taken my criticism to this level. The issue, writes Frederick Hess, is that "Too many grad students are training to be education policy scholars in programs that cultivate expertise in research methods but not in the stuff of education." He should know, I guess. He studied at Harvard. "Putting impressive-sounding, attention-getting analytic tools in the hands of education researchers who don’t understand education is like putting a power saw in the hands of a fifth-grader. That saw is more likely to lead to an emergency room visit than to elegant carpentry. Competent education policy researchers need expertise in both methods and substance."

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Designing for Open Learning: An Interview with Gráinne Conole

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 09/25/2018 - 12:05

Stefanie Panke, AACE Review, Oct 08, 2018

Brief interview with Gráinne Conole describing her approach to her new position in Dublin. "I have been lucky over the years in being involved in a wide variety of interesting research initiatives, but I am now keen to have a role where these research findings can make a difference in practice," she says.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Where Will the Current State of Blogging and Social Media Take Us?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 09/25/2018 - 11:55

Jacky Alciné, jacky.wtf, Oct 05, 2018

This post wanders a bit and never really gets around to making its main point, but the core message is that it's better to own your own online presence (and, therefore, your own stuff) than it is to be forced to rely on content silos like Twitter and Instagram. I'm less about centralizing all your stuff in one single place (except, of course, in your offline backup storage, which you absolutely must have) and more about having your own node in a web of interconnected services. For example, I store 30,000 of so photos on Flickr, rather than my own website, but I can easily access them and use them on my website as needed, so, no problem. The other neat thing about this post is its use of a full range of #indieweb services. We'll see if my gRSShopper webmention shows up (might, might not).

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Categories: Miscellaneous

“Your Child Is the Product”: The Cost of Opting Out of Edtech

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 09/25/2018 - 11:30

Henry Kronk, eLearning Inside, Oct 05, 2018

This article came out the same day as another on Why I'm Done With Chrome, which complains about the Google browser's new policy of automatically signing you in when you land on Google services. There's no opting out with Chrome, according to the article, and there's a high cost to students who opt out of G Suite for Education: "it goes without saying their child doesn’t have a personal Gmail account. They don’t use Google Docs, don’t have a YouTube account, don’t store files on Google Drive, don’t use Hangouts, and certainly don’t use apps downloaded from Google Play." The reason (in my view) why this becomes such a hardship is because, as I've found, the bad actors - the spammers and the spoofers and the scammers - make it impossible to run these services outside the major silos. Even something as simple as email is now very difficult to manage outside the major service providers.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

A n analysis of the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 2013 - 2017

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 09/24/2018 - 21:28

Katja Buntins, Melissa Bond, Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, Oct 05, 2018

It's rare enough that journals in education look at themselves reflectively, so this is an occasion to be noted. This article from the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology doesn't offer any real surprises, but there are three things to note: first, the highest-cited articles continue to be interpretative and inferential; second, after the change in editorial policy in 2013 "to focus on higher education research and on improving journal submissions" mixed-method studies rose in number; and third, the journal has become more student-centered in that time. Also, maybe it's just me, but I found the citation counts for those years to be quite low: 189 for the top article, 88 for the next, and down from there, as counted by Google Scholar.

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