Miscellaneous

Education as Self-formation

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 17:00


Stephen Ball, The BERA Blog, Apr 25, 2017

What do you get when you combine education and Foucault? For Stephen Ball, it's a type of learning as self-care. "education, the teacher and pedagogy are articulated not as skills and knowledges but as the formation of moral subjectivity, a form of politics, and a relation to ethics rather than to truth. This is not liberation but activation." I can't say I agree with this perspective, but I do see in it reflections of things like the duty of care and new feminist epistemologies.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

The Omidyar Network and the (Neoliberal) Future of Education

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 17:00


Audrey Watters, Hack Education, Apr 25, 2017

I want to say at the outset that this is excellent work and that I encourage Audrey Watters to keep digging into this subject. Having said that, I want to suggest a realignment of focus. Her focus is on the origin and purpose of funding for "companies and organizations that work in and around education technology." But  everyone is investing in technology. What characterizes these companies is not their investment in technology, it's their investment in entrepreneurship and privatization. There is a lot of good work happening in educational technology being done by people working to achieve social and economic equity. Let's not lump those people in with the red-in-tooth-and-claw neoliberals.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Heresy?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 17:00


zudensachen, Apr 25, 2017

This post raises the question of whether "what works" really reduces to "what can be measured", and whether the maximization of "cleverness" is replacing other (and possibly more significant) aspects of education. For example, "setting by ability means setting by socio-economic group, and there isn’ t very much mobility between these groups." So maybe the question of  social mobility should be regarded as equally important, even if more difficult to assess. "To ask the question about what our educational aims really are is to raise the possibility that there might be good reasons for preferring and applying mixed ability teaching even if, in terms of the maximisation of cleverness, we had established that it did not ‘ work’ as well as setting." Via Doug Belshaw.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

How We Know

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 17:00


noreply@blogger.com (Stephen Downes), Half an Hour, Apr 25, 2017

It's like recognizing a person. Your mother walks through the train station and you pick her out of the crowd. This recognition is not based on any particular rule or principle, not based on any essential features, not based on any inferential process.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Spying on Students: School-Issued Devices and Student Privacy

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 17:00


Frida Alim, Nate Cardozo, Gennie Gebhart, Karen Gullo, Amul Kalia, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Apr 25, 2017

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)  has released a longish (49 page PDF) on student privacy. The report (like the EFF) is mostly focused in the United States. After noting that students and schools "are using technology in the classroom at an unprecedented rate" the EFF reports that "educational technology services often collect far more information on kids than is necessary and store this information indefinitely." Additionally., "We investigated the 152 ed tech services that survey respondents reported were in use in classrooms in their community, and found that their privacy policies were lacking in encryption, data retention, and data sharing policies."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Net Neutrality Alive and Well in Canada: CRTC Crafts Full Code With Zero Rating Decision

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 17:00


Michael Geist, Apr 25, 2017

Last week we saw an important ruling  in Canada on net neutrality, and as the headline suggests, it was a good ruling. In essence, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) "has crafted a reasonable, pro-net neutrality framework that provides carriers with guidance and users – whether innovative businesses or consumers – with assurances that net neutrality is the law of the land." 

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Amazon Launches Self-Service Marketplace for Subscription Providers

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:27

Press Release, Amazon, Apr 28, 2017

It's hard not to believe that this will have a significant impact on the viability of subscription-based publication models. "Subscribe with  Amazon  is a new way for subscription businesses to sell on  Amazon, offering them targeted customer exposure through popular discovery features such as search and recommendations while also providing customers with a simple way to purchase and manage their subscriptions." It's not quite turnkey; you have to apply to be an approved vendor. But that's actually a good thing, I think. It's also available only to U.S. vendors, which isn't a good thing. See also: CNBC, the Next Web.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales launches Wikitribune, a large-scale attempt to combat fake news

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:16

Laura Hazard Owen, Nieman Lab, Apr 28, 2017

What's interesting is the model: "it’ s a hybrid of the paid and volunteer models. 'You have an operational command structure that’ s based on full-time staff. The pro journalists and editors provide the supervision on how the story moves forward. The crowd does the heavy lifting on a lot of the combing, sifting, searching, checking. You let the crowd do what the crowd is good at.'" But if you're going to pay journalists you have to raise money, and the  crowdfunding campaign  isn't going to be sufficient over the long term. See also: the Guardian, Russia Today, Engadget, BBC, Trusted Reviews, Product Hunt, TechCrunch.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

People Don’t Want Something Truly New, They Want the Familiar Done Differently.

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:07

Nir Eyal, StartupGrind, Medium, Apr 28, 2017

This is a familiar argument: "the graphical user interface, a milestone in the popularization of the personal computer, used familiar visual metaphors like folders, notepads, windows, and trash cans to appeal to mainstream users." Just so, we had the electric icebox and the horseless carriage. This post introduces the idea with a nifty example (the California roll) and a new product ("the rebranded Apple Wallet helps users feel comfortable with the technology by making payment options look just like mini credit cards").

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Categories: Miscellaneous

We The Educators

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 11:50

We The Educators, Apr 28, 2017

Launching May 3, the purpose of 'We The Educators' is "to start a new conversation about the future of public education...  stimulate a rich public dialogue —  and greater professional scrutiny —  around the relationship between the datafication of education systems and the (de)personalisation, privatisation and standardisation of student learning."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Platforms: A commons-based approach to global collaboration

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 21:04

Alek Tarkowski, Claudio Ruiz, Creative Commons, Apr 27, 2017

Creative Commons is meeting  in Toronto later this week and while I won't be there (I'm not funded for this sort of work any more) I'll be following with interest. This post sets out an ambitious agenda for Creative Commons to devise and deploy a model for collaboration, shared goal-setting, and mobilizing action. These are called 'platforms' and there will be specific sessions  on platforms  related to the  Open Education PlatformCopyright Reform  and  Open GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums). 

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Marching for Science Internationally

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 20:00


Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, Apr 24, 2017

Let's do this thing. "We want to speak out against the muzzling of government scientists, we want to advocate for evidence-based policy making, we want to see better and more inclusive STEM education. We also want to send a message that science is not and must not be mischaracterized as partisan.” My science is not based on my political views. My political views are based on my science.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Novel initiative Teach Out: Fake news detecting

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 20:00


Inge de Waard, Ignatia Webs, Apr 24, 2017

A 'teach out' is a lot like a MOOC except that it is a lot shorter and more concentrated. It is (quoted):

  • an event – it takes place over a fixed, short period of time
  • an opportunity – it is open for free participation to everyone around the world
  • a community – it will be joined by a large number of diverse individuals
  • a conversation – an opportunity to give and take ideas and information from people

"What is really interesting is the philosophy behind the teach out, and the history behind the teach out events." It reminds me of the 'teach ins' from my activist days. With any luck, Pepsi won;t turn it into a commercial, and learning companies won't turn it into a product.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

xAPI Profiles

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 20:00


Data Interoperability Standards Consortium, Apr 24, 2017

Background information and updates on the xAPI profiles project. Follow the  orientation link to the background document on Google Docs. "The Experience API (xAPI) Profiles Specification is a technical document that aims to improve practices for creating Profiles as defined in the xAPI Specification. The xAPI Profiles Specification lays out a structure that describes profiles uniformly, describes how profiles can be discovered and reused, and how profiles can be published and managed."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

The metamorphosis of the OLPC programme

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 20:00


Gitura Mwaura, The New Times, Apr 24, 2017

This is an account of how the One Laptop Per Child evolved over time in Rwanda. "Rwandan government’ s partnership with Microsoft to roll out digital education has re-energised the debate by local and international observers on the progress of technology-enabled learning in the country."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

MOOCs Started Out Completely Free. Where Are They Now?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 14:00


Dhawal Shah, EdSurge, Apr 24, 2017

It really is a sad story. "The fact that MOOCs were free sparked widespread interest in them... But once the hype died down and MOOC providers tried to monetize, they found it difficult to do so without charging for content... Every MOOC provider has expanded their product lines to target multiple price points from tens of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars." That's why I become unhappy when the venture capitalists get involved and when a provider of 'free' learning starts to hive off bits and pieces of 'premium' services.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Maplesoft Releases Online Courseware Environment for STEM

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 04/23/2017 - 17:00


Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology, Apr 23, 2017

Acxcording to this report, "Maplesoft today released Mö bius, a hands-on learning tool focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education." Yes, it's Canadian, sort of (subsidiary of a Japanese company). Instructors using Mö bius can create lessons that incorporate "interactive explorations, illuminating visualizations, meaningful assessment questions, and guided active slideshows, which incorporate narration, exploration and self-assessment elements," according to a press release. 

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Categories: Miscellaneous

What are social groups? Their metaphysics and how to classify them

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 04/23/2017 - 17:00


Brian Epstein, Synthese, Apr 23, 2017

At a  webinar yesterday we had some fun with different terms for groups of people (herds, swarms, flocks...) and this let to a but of a discussion of the considerations behind the naming of different types of groups (and objects). Here's a longish paper (49 page PDF) that thoroughly explores this sort of question. Worth noting: "Ritchie proposes... organized groups must have collective intentionality.... But according to most prevailing theories, many organized groups do not have them." Indeed, in my own 'groups versus networks' work the former has collective intentionality while the latter does not. The result of the paper is a four-element typology based on construction, anchor, extra essentials, and accidentals profile (see p. 41).

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Categories: Miscellaneous

An Open Textbook for Introduction to Philosophy

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 04/23/2017 - 14:00


Christina Hendricks, Daily Nous, Apr 23, 2017

Though I'm not sure open philosophy needs a 'textbook' per se I still think this is a useful initiative that may grow. Christina Hendricks notes that "We are working with an organization called The Rebus Foundation, a Canadian non-profit that is made up of wonderful people who are doing great things with digital publishing and open textbooks." I've signed up to the  Rebus Community and have looked into the philosophy textbook. Note this: "it is free of cost to students. There is no price tag." That is what I call open content. Here's  more information on the Rebus textbooks project.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Facebook’s algorithm isn’t surfacing one-third of our posts. And it’s getting worse

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 04/23/2017 - 11:00


Kurt Gessler, Medium, Apr 23, 2017

I left Facebook at the end of last August for several reasons. The final straw was advertising designed to defeat ad blocking tools in my browser. But this was on top of increasingly irrelevant content. And it was because my own posts - both personal, and also those from OLDaily - simply weren't being delivered to followers. Remember, followers were people who specifically wanted my posts, but Facebook decided to sent them garbage from content mills instead. I was not alone, obviously, and the Chicago Tribune has been tracking similar results. Imagine a telephone system designed this way. You hear Alex Jones shouting in your ear instead of the person who actually called you.

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Categories: Miscellaneous
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