Miscellaneous

Vacancy DOAJ Ambassadors

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 04/04/2016 - 17:00


Announcement, Directory of Open Access Journals, Apr 04, 2016

This is a nice opportunity for 8 to 10 individuals living in developing nations to work as open publishing advocates on behalf of DOAJ in a project funded by Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC). "The role requires knowledge of academic publishing, in particular online journals, editorial processes, best practices and publishing technology standards."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

An Animated Carl Sagan Talks with Studs Terkel About Finding Extraterrestrial Life (1985)

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 04/03/2016 - 19:00


Dan Colman, Open Culture, Apr 03, 2016

Carl Sagan is one of my heroes, extraterrestrial life would be really cool to find, so of course this item interests me. Not so much you? Oh well. "The conversation touched on some the big questions you might expect: the compatibility between science and religion; the probability we’ ll encounter extraterrestrials  if given enough time; and more."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

6 Reasons Platforms Fail

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 04/03/2016 - 19:00


Marshall W. Van AlstyneGeoffrey G. ParkerSangeet Paul Choudary, Harvard Business Review, Apr 03, 2016

These are some good lessons; here they are, with some comments from me:

  1. "Failure to optimize openness" - I see this a lot; the platform is 'sort of' open, but the developers hang on to key components of it (eg., 'we will only allow pre-approved content') which stifle the value.
  2. "Failure to engage developers" - I always think of that famous Steve Ballmer video. You have to engage the broader developer community to invest in it, otherwise it's a flop.
  3. "Failure to share the surplus" - everybody engaged in the platform has to win. If you favour one side over another in a buyer-seller marketplace, your platform will fail.
  4. "Failure to launch on the right side" - I'm not sure I'd say this the same way the article does. The problem is, if you have a pre-existing content monopoly, you have to find a way to break that monopoly, either by enticing existing producers into the platform (as Netflix did) or by providing viable alternatives.
  5. "Failure to put critical mass ahead of money" - I keep repeating the mantra here - companies don't acquire technologies nearly so much as they acquire audiences. If you're trying to sell a platform with no users, you have a real uphill battle.
  6. "Failure of imagination" - pretty much everyone I talk to is engaged in the existing platforms, and therefore see innovation in terms of those platforms, and as the article notes, fail to see the platform play at all.

Good article, worth the read.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Microlearning, millennials and successful companies

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 04/03/2016 - 19:00


Natalia Gan, teachlr blog, Apr 03, 2016

People are talking about 'microlearning' again. Today's learners, writes , "are equipped to research what they need to know and learn about it from various sources such as blogs, online courses, websites or YouTube videos." This, mocrolearning. "Microlearning is a method to teach and deliver educational content through short and concise segments that cover focused topics while fulfilling specific objectives." Try to ignore the hype and sensationalism (like, for example, "...has caused the attention span to fall to eight seconds (eight!)" or the broad over-generalizations about "millennials"). The main thing is to take the concept seriously, and maybe follow some of the links for more detail.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Stacking vs. Replacing LMS; Learner as Content Producer

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 04/03/2016 - 19:00


Elliott Masie, Elliot Masie's Learning Trends, Apr 03, 2016

Some tereminology from Elliott Masie: "we are seeing more 'Stacking', which means accepting the role of the existing LMS as the base system for the organization and then adding Stacks or Layers on top that will create added and more targeted functionality... In other words, some organizations are shifting from replacing their LMS to adding these technologies on top of the LMS. Some may be limited to a specific line of business or segment of learners.  Others are layered in almost as extensions of the LMS." No links, and not much content beyond this (because it's Masie) but I wanted to make sure I shared at least this.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

'Passing on the Right'

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 04/02/2016 - 11:00


Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, Apr 02, 2016

I think the difference between me and them is this: I am an educator and philosopher, who happens to be a socialist. My politics are derived from my science. He, on the other hand, is a conservative, who happens to be a professor. His science is derived from his politics. I'm aware that this is a bit of a caricature, but it seems in the main to be an accurate representation. I have no particular objection to his being a conservative, but I would have an objection were he unwilling to accept the primacy of reason and evidence.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Deep Learning with the Analytical Engine

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 04/02/2016 - 11:00


Adam P. Goucher, GitHub, Apr 02, 2016

Cool but challenging. "This repository contains an implementation of a convolutional neural network as a program for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine, capable of recognising handwritten digits to a high degree of accuracy (98.5% if provided with a sufficient amount of training data and left running sufficiently long)." See also  Neural Networks and Deep Learning, " a free online book by Michael Nielsen, which is almost certainly the best hands-on introduction to the subject of neural networks and deep learning. It gives a detailed and accessible introduction to how neural networks are structured, the details of stochastic gradient descent and backpropagation, and a brief introduction to convolutional neural networks."

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Categories: Miscellaneous
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