Miscellaneous

Mathematics for Machine Learning

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 03/25/2019 - 06:37
Marc Peter Deisenroth, A. Aldo Faisal, Cheng Soon Ong, Cambridge University Press, Mar 25, 2019

There are many many reasons why I would recommend this book (421 page PDF). But what makes me link to it here is the simple introductory paragraph on page 12: "The goal of machine learning is to design general-purpose  methodologies  to  extract  valuable  patterns  from  data... To achieve this goal, we design that are typically related to the process that generates data... Learning can be understood as a way to automatically find patterns and structure in data by optimizing the parameters of the model." Another 409 pages explaining this concept follow. Not light reading. This Reddit thread has some other suggestions as well.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Philosophers On a Physics Experiment that “Suggests There’s No Such Thing As Objective Reality”

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 03/23/2019 - 03:37
Justin Weinberg, Daily Nous, Mar 22, 2019

MIT Technology Review recently published an article entitled “A quantum experiment suggests there’s no such thing as objective reality. Of course, the suggestion fell far short of a proof, but that didn't stop people from speculating. I personally fall into the 'no objective reality' camp, but not because of quantum physics. Anyhow, what's interesting about this set of short articles is that they make clear how important is the interpretation of any objective evidence. No data, no matter how concrete, speaks for itself; what it means depends on what we recognize it to be.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

EthicalML/xai

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 03/23/2019 - 03:37
GitHub, Mar 22, 2019

From the website: " XAI is a Machine Learning library that is designed with AI explainability in its core. XAI contains various tools that enable for analysis and evaluation of data and models. The XAI library is maintained by The Institute for Ethical AI & ML, and it was developed based on the 8 principles for Responsible Machine Learning." This may all seem pretty esoteric, but I can imagine a  student assignment of the (far) future: use your AI to automatically generate a response to a Reddit discussion and them employ the AI to explain the reasoning for your AI-generated response.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Could Remixing Old MOOCs Give New Life to Free Online Education?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 03/23/2019 - 03:37
Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge, Mar 22, 2019

Remixing open educational resources has been invented by a Harvard professor. As EdSurge reports, "The idea comes from Robert Lue, a biology professor at Harvard University who was the founding faculty director of HarvardX, the college’s effort to build MOOCs. He’s leading a new platform called LabXChange that aims to let professors, teachers or anyone mix together their own free online course from pieces of other courses." Until this point, we have not really had any idea what to do with our old MOOCs, and could only rebuild them from scratch. Thanks to a $6.5-million grant from the Amgen Foundation, that's all changed.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Scientists rise up against statistical significance

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 03/22/2019 - 03:37
Valentin Amrhein, Sander Greenland, Blake McShane, Nature, Mar 21, 2019

I am definitely of the same sentiment as these authors, especially when it comes to the 'proofs' of non-hypotheses (like: there's no such thing as learning styles) to which we have been subjected over the years. Here's what the authors say: "We’re frankly sick of seeing such nonsensical ‘proofs of the null’ and claims of non-association in presentations, research articles, reviews and instructional materials." Underlying this is a reaction against the idea of a statistical 'proof' of an all-or-nothing statement. "Inferences should be scientific, and that goes far beyond the merely statistical...  eradicating categorization will help to halt overconfident claims, unwarranted declarations of ‘no difference’ and absurd statements about ‘replication failure’ when the results from the original and replication studies are highly compatible."

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

How do you do that online thing?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 03/22/2019 - 03:37
Laura Ritchie, Mar 21, 2019

You start either with an audience to speak to, or something to say. From there, you either tailor your message to your audience, or (better) you find an audience for what you have to say. Most of this video interview is focused on the latter, and people teaching students how to connect online will find this video, and the post its attached to, to be quite a useful resource. Having watched the video, I now see how I could maybe have been more useful, for example, by referring to something i wrote ages ago, How to be Heard. I will say, though, that Jonathan Worth has provided the right advice.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

The New Social Network That Isn’t New at All

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 03/22/2019 - 03:37
Mike Isaac, New York Times, Mar 21, 2019

It's a bit funny to be posting a reference to this article in an email newsletter that has been publishing for almost two decades, but there you have it: "My new social network is an email newsletter," writes Mike Isaac. "Every week or so, I blast it out to a few thousand people who have signed up to read my musings." This is part of the trend away from sharing on public platforms, he writes. " Now, more of us are moving toward private modes of sharing: a Slack group instead of a tweet; an encrypted Signal message instead of a status update." Of course that might be because most newsletters (including mine) are redirected into oblivion by platform-based (and ad-supported) algorithms.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

This is What I Keep Trying to Say…

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 03/21/2019 - 02:37
Tony Hirst, OUseful Info, Mar 20, 2019

Tony Hirst outliners how to set up a remote desktop environmnent in a Docker container that can be distributed to students, relieving everybody of the need to do things like install Java for the desktop. "We could ship a single container that would allow students to run notebooks, the Genie web UI application, and the DaisyWorld Java application via a browser viewable desktop from a single container and via a single UI," he writes.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Using Linked Data for Discovery and Preservation

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 03/21/2019 - 02:37
Sayeed Choudhury, EDUCAUSE Review, Mar 20, 2019

The idea of linked data has been around almost as long as the web itself, but the uptake has not been nearly as rapid. Part of the reason for this is that it hasn't been nearly as easy to adopt linked data as it was to adopt HTML. But as this article notes, this is beginning to change with more lightweight approaches to linked data, such as RMap, and with more tools able to take advantage of it, such as Archaeology of Reading and the Arches project. The author urges galleries, libraries and museums (GLAM) to adopt linked data for their collections, lest the be invisible to the wider community.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

How MOOCs Make Money

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 03/21/2019 - 02:37
Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, Mar 20, 2019

My MOOCs, of course, don't make money at all, but that's not true of other MOOCs. In this article Class Central founder Dhawal Shah is interviewed on the subject of MOOC business models. Shah reports that " Coursera generated about $140 million in 2018; Udacity earned $90 million for the year; edX took in about $57 million for fiscal year 2017; and UK-based FutureLearn made about £8.2 million." According to Shah, "the market is sort of settled now and the focus is more on the big-ticket items, like online degrees and corporate training." As for the free courses that launched MOOCs into the mainstream a few years ago, Shah is more cautious. "As a student who likes free courses, sometimes I get nervous."

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Google’s Stadia Streaming Platform is an All-Out Invasion of Gaming

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 03/21/2019 - 02:37
Michael Crider, ReviewGeek, Mar 20, 2019

There will no doubt be a flurry of articles from the usual sources talking about how Google's Stadia service may be used in education. To be sure, there's something there - the idea of Stadia is that you can play a game in basically the same way you watch a YouTube video. The game is streaming, live, can be multiplayer, and interactive. So there will no doubt be educational applications - quests, simulations, collaborative co-creation, more. Don't worry about being first out of the gate - it's going to take years for the ecosystem to settle in, for the required bandwidth to be more widely available (25 mbps), and for game (and educational application) development to ramp up.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

CC Search: A New Vision, Strategy & Roadmap for 2019

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 01:37
Mar 19, 2019

In a project that may well impact the world of open educational resources (OER), Creative Commons (CC) is engaged in developing a new search service, releasing a new roadmap for the project today. "The vision centers on reuse," writes Jane Park. " CC will prioritize and build for users who seek to not only discover free resources in the commons, but who seek to reuse these resources with greater ease and confidence." This means a change in emphasis on the content side. "CC will shift from its “quantity first” approach (front door to 1.4 billion works) to prioritizing content that is more relevant and engaging to creators."

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

What’s good ‘evidence-based’ practice for classrooms? We asked the teachers, here’s what they said

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 01:37
Nicole Mockler, Meghan Stacey, EduResearch Matters, Mar 19, 2019

This article doesn't go into a lot of detail but it does raise a core issue in our (or any!) profession: what counts as good evidence? "Too often, calls for ‘evidence-based practice’ in education ignore the evidence that really counts," write the authors. "Narrow definitions of evidence where it is linked to external testing are highly problematic." Looking at what teachers actually value as evidence in their practice, we see things like teachers' own classroom observations ranked at the top of the list and standardized test results (such as Australia's NAPLAN) at the bottom. So how do we support teachers with evidence? From where I sit, it seems to me that support helping teachers create their own assessments would best address the need. If teachers depend on their own observations, let's help make sure those observations are good ones. Via Aaron Davis.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Crypto Canon

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 03/19/2019 - 00:37
Sonal Chokshi, Chris Dixon, Denis Nazarov, Jesse Walden, Ali Yahya, Andressen Horowitz, Mar 18, 2019

I've read a lot of these papers in my own research on blockchain but this list is well-presented and is more neatly formatted. On the other hand, my list contains a lot of excepts that indicate what the resource actually says. But this list is probably more canonical. I'll be running through it to make sure I haven't missed anything. For more, see their blog.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

MOOCs as Tool for Development of 21st Century Skills

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 03/19/2019 - 00:37
Miro Puhek, Zvezdana Strmšek, European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, Mar 18, 2019

The goal of this paper was "to analyse MOOCs in the field of business and management in comparison of their overlap with lifelong learning skills for 21st century." The skills defined are the usual set: "problem solving, creativity, analytic thinking, team work and communication." The authors looked at 829 MOOCs on 39 different platforms, though the top 6 contained 84% of all MOOCs studied. The authors state that the study "clearly presents the capability of MOOCs to step aside the formal education by providing users with the skills for 21st century."

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Higher Education – the Last Bastion?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 03/19/2019 - 00:37
Gilly Salmon, Tya Asgari, European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, Mar 18, 2019

This article explores the "problem of defence and stasis in the university sector despite the huge drivers for change" and "ways in which learning with and from the future can be encouraged." The authors find the cause of the resistance in the histories of the disciplines. "The history of a discipline is overwhelmingly powerful, and dominates academics’ thoughts, arguments and practice since the norms and traditions of disciplines or professions creates their identities."

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

UK online pornography age block triggers privacy fears

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 03/19/2019 - 00:37
Jim Waterson, The Guardian, Mar 18, 2019

There are two parts to this story: first, that people would need to register as authorized users by proving their identity (and specifically, their age), and second, that certain types of content for non-authorized users would be blocked. I put it in general terms like this because once such a system is established it would be very hard to resist using it for purposes other than the stated purpose. So the question is also has two parts: if we have to register as internet users, what do we want that to look like, and if we are to block certain content, how are we to decide what to block? It's hard to imagine satisfactory answers to either sort or question.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

DIB Guide: Detecting Agile BS

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 03/19/2019 - 00:37
U.S. Department of Defense, Mar 18, 2019

This is an excellent 5-page document the purpose of which is to advise "how to detect software projects that are really using agile development versus those that are simply waterfall or spiral development in agile clothing ('agile-scrum-fall')." It's part of a much longer work on software development authored released this week by the U.S. Military. The short document was released back in October and recently became vial on Reddit.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Big data, learning analytics and language learning / teaching

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 03/16/2019 - 03:37
Philip J. Kerr, Adaptive Learning in ELT, Mar 15, 2019

This is a very real possibility in learning analytics: "But, for the data and analytics to be of any value in guiding language learning, it must lead to actionable insights. Unfortunately, as Jørno & Gynther (2018: 198) point out, there is very little clarity about what is meant by ‘actionable insights’. There is a danger that data and analytics ‘simply gravitates towards insights that confirm longstanding good practice and insights, such as 'students tend to ignore optional learning activities … [and] focus on activities that are assessed.'" Image: IMS Caliper Analytics.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Do Neural Networks Show Gestalt Phenomena? An Exploration of the Law of Closure

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 03/16/2019 - 03:37
Been Kim, Emily Reif, Martin Wattenberg, Samy Bengio, arXiv, Mar 15, 2019

This paper posted to arXiv by some Google researchers shows that neural networks can be studied from the perspective of Gestalt psychology. In particular, the authors show that neural networks demonstrate the law of closure, that is, how "the human visual perception system has a tendency to 'close the gap' in order to perceive whole objects when only fragments are visible." It's based on the old connectionist principle of pattern recognition (see p. 48 of this excellent outline of connectionism). Anyhow, it seems to me that things like this show that as time goes by we are seeing a gradual convergence of psychology, artificial intelligence, and learning theory.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Categories: Miscellaneous
Syndicate content