Miscellaneous

Academic citation practices need to be modernized so that all references are digital and lead to full texts

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 11:00
Display


Patrick Dunleavy, LSE Blog, Nov 13, 2014

I have long been frustrated in academic research by the lack of URLs referencing the cite papers. This article argues for a change in practice to the effect that all papers would directly link to the papers they cite. I have less faith in the author in the utility of the DOI system for legacy content - these are just as often broken as others, as publishers and universities change the URLs of papers and do not update the registry. I also like the idea of 'source quotes' to ease searching for relevant passages: "Source quotes replacing page references do not have to be memorable, nor must they be especially salient bits of text, nor very long ."

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Harvard secretly photographed students to study attendance

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 11:00
Display


Matt Rocheleau, Boston Globe, Nov 13, 2014

The lede captures it nicely: "Harvard University has revealed that it secretly photographed some 2,000 students in 10 lecture halls last spring as part of a study of classroom attendance, an admission that prompted criticism from faculty and students who said the research was an invasion of privacy." We are drifting toward a surveillance society, even in (especially in?) academic environments. And institutions should know better apparently don't.

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

The times, they are (always) a-changin’

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 11:00
Display


Melonie Fullick, University Affairs, Nov 13, 2014

Melonie Fullick argues that calls for universities to change are misrepresenting the complexity (and reality) of change in the system. "Universities already have changed, over the decades and centuries. It’ s just that they’ ve never changed enough for the present moment... I’ d say the question is not whether universities will change – since this is ongoing – but what those changes will look like, how they will happen, and whose needs they will serve best." Interesting article with some valid points.

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Fall of the Banner Ad: The Monster That Swallowed the Web

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 12:00
Display


Harhad Manjoo, New York Times, Nov 12, 2014

The internet was originally a military and academic network designed for the free sharing of information and communications. As it began to be opened in the 1990s to allow commercial participation there was significant opposition to the introduction of advertising to the environment. These fears turned out to be well-founded, in my opinion, as much of what is bad about the web today can be traced back to the need to pursue clicks over content. I remember these first banner ads from Wired as I was a longtime member of the Wired online forums (called 'Hotwired Threads'). Today I am reading that sponsored posts  are providing significant returns for advertisers. This next great retreat from meaningful content and communication will be equally harmful. Me need so much to be able to move beyond advertising, but the commercial interest is pervasive, and nobody seems to know how to escape the trap we set for ourselves 20 years ago.

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Connectivism and Composition: Toward a Networked Classroom

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 12:00
Display


Jason Tham, Weblog, Nov 12, 2014

Based on the slides this looks like an interesting talk, capturing the core ideas of connectivism. I also like seeing someone else with a proper presentation page, one including slides, audio, and eventually, a transcript. My only significant criticism would be the obligatory invocation of collaboration, which is quite unnecessary and misses some core points of connectivism. Collaboration is about everybody working for a single objective, while in connectivism people work on diverse objectives, interacting and cooperating on points of mutual interest.

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Knowmad Society

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 09:00


John W. Moravec, Education Futures, Nov 12, 2014

Good diagram, overall. I don't know where it comes from, exactly; I found it on Facebook. I'm not sure how "not restricted by age" is a 'skill'. I would say "shares" rather than "invites sharing". I would say "cooperates and communicates" rather than "collaborates". I would say "investigates new technologies" rather than "purposively..." (dropping the 'purposively' to reflect the idea of exploration over dedication to specific outcomes). I would say 'disregards hierarchy' or 'eschews authority' or some such thing rather than 'thrives in flat networks'.

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

What Happened To Women In Computer Science?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 20:00


Steve Henn, NPR, Nov 03, 2014

It's worth looking at this phenomenon.  When I worked in computing in 1980 half the staff were women. "For decades, the number of women studying computer science was growing faster than the number of men. But in 1984, something changed. The percentage of women in computer science flattened, and then plunged." What happened? asks NPR. Well, many things. But mostly this: " The share of women in computer science started falling at roughly the same moment when personal computers started showing up in U.S. homes in significant numbers... marketed almost entirely to men and boys. This idea that computers are for boys became a narrative. It became the story we told ourselves about the computing revolution. It helped define who geeks were, and it created techie culture." Today, 20 years later, we reap the fruits of a dysfunctional misogynistic culture (p.s. don't bother with the comments unless you want to be depressed all over again).

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

The grassroots of learning

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 20:00


Ryan Tracey, E-Learning Provocateur, Nov 03, 2014

Good article looking at 'the earlier Cormier' and 'the later Cormier' on the subject of rhizomatic learning. Me, I'm not so sure that what Dave Cormier had in mind was the idea of following link to link to link - but he is in a better position to correct (or not) the author on this. At any rate, the post was engaging, which is good enough for me. P.S. don't miss the comments, beginning with Crispin Weston's criticism of the concept of content and of the dynamics behind group formation (good, informed comment, well worth the price of admission).

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Competency-Based Education: No More Semesters?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 17:00
Display


Anya Kamenetz, NPR Ed, Nov 03, 2014

OK, back in 1998 I  said that time would no longer be used as a measure of learning, "that time in online learning ceases to be an objective standard." I said things like "learning will be measured by the amount of information accumulated, not the amount of time spent in a chair" (I was less precise back then). Though I  supported such things as prior learning assessments I've never been keen on competencies. I learned working directly with teachers (eg. at the Brandon Adult Learning centre) that you can't just break down course content into a bunch of modules; more global variables come into play as well, and are captured by such artifacts as the term paper. Now where does that go on the test? Now in our current work we're deloping algorithms to detect competencies in expert performance. One perfectly acceptable result to me here is the null result, that is, a result showing that expert performance cannot be reduced to a set of necessary and sufficient competencies.

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

3rd Meeting of OERu partners

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 08:00
Display


Various authors, OERu, Nov 03, 2014

If I were one of those people who reads the tea leaves, I would say OERu and WikiEducator are heading for a split. Why? Here's the text of the email I received today from OERu: "The OERu is a flagship initiative of the OER Foundation and we are proud to host our planning and course development on WikiEducator as our preferred platform." Up to this point, in all previous correspondance, the two were basically synonymous. But now WikiEducator has been demoted to "preferred platform." Coincidence? Well, like I said, if I were to read tea leaves... but, ah, of course, I don't. So this is nothing more than a link to the event advertised in the email, the 3rd Meeting of OERu partners (register as a  remote participant here).

[Link] [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous
Syndicate content