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Here's the teaser: "Arts-based research is beginning an investigation without expectations and remaining open to all possibilities. Now imagine asking a ninth-grade class to deconstruct and recreate a Happy Meal. Now I wouldn't want a ninth-grade class to ever be in the same room as a happy meal. But I get the point; I remember at SXSW a decade ago watching participants take café offerings and turn them into nouveau cuisine. "Arts-based research, a methodology of inquiry promoted by Professors Shaun McNiff and Elliot Eisner, asks the researcher to begin an investigation, not with a predetermined sense of what is useful, but by remaining open to all possibilities for diving in." That's how I like to do my work, but it's far from universally accepted.[Link] [Comment]
I like the argument. And I think it's more right than wrong. "There is no particularly good reason why ballet or basketball should be taught through apprenticeship while science and math are not. As any scientist will tell you, our profession is as much a matter of hard-won skill as piano or tennis. In graduate school, where we really teach science, we use the same methods as a chef or a tailor."[Link] [Comment]
This podcast discusses an experiment whereby the history of discussions was run through natural language analytics. "When they did that, they discovered two things: what kind of arguments are most likely to change people’ s minds, and what kinds of minds are most likely to be changed."[Link] [Comment]
Voice-activated WiFi kettles are still in the realm of future technology (and, I would think, about as safe as a Galaxy Note 7) but this nightmare scenario still draws out an important lesson for the internet of things (IoT) and technology integration in general. But gthe best line in the article has nothing to do with the kettle: "Well the kettle is back online and responding to voice control, but now we're eating dinner in dark while lights download a firmware update." These are all the sort of things that can't happen with household appliances. We tolerated it for decades with software because, well, software, but when the toaster won't toast we're going to begin fighting back.[Link] [Comment]
As the title suggests, learning and development are becoming more agile. By this, what they mean is that there is a much greater use of freelancers. The article draws from an Accenture study (14 page PDF) on outsourcing that suggests "HR will need to redefine its mission and activities— and perhaps create new roles and organizational structures to maximize the extended workforce’ s strategic value... the best HR organizations of the future will offer learning opportunities to extended workers." The article quotes Patty Woolcock, the executive director of CSHRP, the California Strategic HR Partnership, says: "The future of learning is three 'justs': just enough, just-in-time, and just-for-me." So we're looking at technology-supported peer learning, bringing together customers and providers, and focusing on development (growth) rather than deficiencies (or gaps).[Link] [Comment]
I'm preparing for a talk on Thursday on learning communities and encountered this excellent study from 2010. This is a fairly large study, as the title suggests, and the report (153 page PDF) provides a comprehensive overview, including these observations:
Additionally, the authors recommend curricular integration supporting active and collaborative learning, including collaboration with faculty and student services, with the objective of promoting student engagement.[Link] [Comment]
This is an excellent article that takes a deep look at the concept of merit and 'the achievement gap' in education. In a nutshell, the argument begins with the observation that cuurent programs operate on a 'deficit model' of learning - students are judged to be deficient, and then it is the task of education to address that deficiency. But this system perpetuates the gap "because the paradigm reinforces and reproduces educational and social inequity by design." Yong explains: "The ideal of meritocracy is built on four assumptions. First, a society/authority can correctly identify the merit. Second, there are ways to accurately measure the merit. Third the merit is only individuals’ innate potential plus their efforts. In other words, it has nothing to do with their family background. Fourth, everyone has the same opportunity to develop the merit. None of these assumptions is true." Keep this article in your citations list; you'll be referring to it again and again. Also posted at the National Education Policy Center; Journal of Social Issues Vol. 72, No. 4, 2016, pp. 716– 735. Download the PDF version.[Link] [Comment]
Facebook is launching an enterprise version of its software called Workplace in a bid to replace emails in the office. Everybody wants to replace workplace emails, of course, but there is a wide range of products already in the marketplace that already do that. The sector is called 'enterprise social' or 'enterprise collaboration' and includes well-known products and companies such as Jive, Yammer from Microsoft, Chatter from Salesforce, Hipchat and Jira from Atlassian, Slack, and more. Facebook, frankly, feels like a toy when compared to these products. But against that, there's this: "Facebook has become a de facto platform for billions of consumers globally to communicate with each other in the digital world, and now it is aggressively moving to be the same in the working world." More from BBC, Fortune, Engadget, Recode, CNet, CBC.[Link] [Comment]
Transcript of an excellent talk by Michael Caulfield. He begins with a historical perspective, first with a description of some of his own projects from the 90s, then a more general account of web history, leading ultimately to MOOCs and open learning. The point of his talk is to question the typical argument for OERs, specifically, that we can create a learning resource once and then reuse it over and over. For practical reasons, this doesn't really work - the 'human core of open', he says, is based on belonging, relevance and diversity of experience. Simply showing a video from Yale won't satisfy these needs. What does resonate, though are what he calls 'choral explanations'. We covered these in July. These support "what we called 'loosely-coupled coursesl — courses that were connected not in this lockstep we-read-everything-on-the-same-day way, but through mutual meaningful activities," he writes. "These loosely-coupled courses did a lot better at engaging connected classes."[Link] [Comment]
I get that Clark is trying to be cute, layering the objections to diversity into a series of objections to diversity training. Had he given his writing a bit more effort and thought this intent may have shone through. But it did not, and I am not convinced that he cared. Clark is free to oppose diversity. If he wants to align with the likes of Elizabeth May and Nigel Farage, he should just say so. This little dance around diversity training is a sham not worthy of the little effort it took to write.[Link] [Comment]
I'm not sure whether I have enough data collected to achieve the same result, but I have a lot, especially if we include all the paper notes from the first half of my life still collected in cardboard boxes in the basement. For what, you ask? A digital avatar built using a neural network and stocked with all my writings, comments, emails, talks, and, of course, OLDaily posts. "Someday you will die, leaving behind a lifetime of text messages, posts, and other digital ephemera. For a while, your friends and family may put these digital traces out of their minds. But new services will arrive offering to transform them — possibly into something resembling Roman Mazurenko’ s bot." What I wonder is: could my avatar earn a living? Would it have to, in order to stay switched on?[Link] [Comment]
One of the things proponents of internet media have long said is that people will read more than they ever have before. This was to allay fears on the part of older generations that too much screen time would make children illiterate. Now while it appears the older generation may have been speaking from experience, we see that the younger generation turns to text, not video, when learning about the news. "Younger adults are far more likely than older ones to opt for text, and most of that reading takes place on the web." The problem with video news is that you have to sit and wait for it. That's find if you're in a receptive consuming mode, but if you're engaged and active online, you want the news now.[Link] [Comment]
One of the longstanding criticisms of self-managed learning is that students are unable to generate the motivation or technique to accomplish their goals. This may be true in cases where traditional instruction is simply converted into online delivery, but well-designed instruction (as we have seen for decades in things like computer games) supports students quite well. This contention is confirmed by the present study, which evaluates the use of 'spoken tutorials' to teach the Java programming language. Researchers have been reporting on large-scale uses of this method for several years. In the current study, "the performance of college students who self-learned Java through the Spoken Tutorial method is found to be better than that of conventional learners." Audio cues and visual examples guide students through the tasks, where students actually perform the actions (for example, author lines of code) for themselves.[Link] [Comment]
The Effects of Captioning Videos on Academic Achievement and Motivation: Reconsideration of Redundancy Principle in Instructional Videos
Cognitive load theory tells us that presenting the same message in different modalities reduces students' ability to learn. This is known as the 'redundancy principle'. But this paper (10 page PDF), released today, presents disconfirming evidence. "The findings indicated that, in contrast to the suggestion of the redundancy principle, motivation and achievement scores of students do not vary according to the instructional video type under investigation (captioned vs. non-captioned)."[Link] [Comment]
I'm no fan of Paul A. Kirschner but I was curious as to what a guest post featuring an interview with him would look like (those of us who write blogs are quite familiar with the never-ending stream of 'guest posts' being offered by this or that source - they're always trying to promote something). It's not a bad interview, and it assures us that Kirschner's intentions are honorable. And it linked tho this guest post by Kirschner and Mirjam Neelen, which in turn links to their blog, which was new to me. I've signed up, so now I'll be passing along things like this useful discussion on feedback as well as pondering the basis for things like this ad hominem attack on unnamed proponents of self-directed and self-regulated learning. Some things never change, I guess.[Link] [Comment]
I took the test and discovered I would have rejected all five of the comments (they would have allowed three). Of course I've never really had the fine-line judgements to make on my own site (it was either well-considered criticism from a regular reader or someone selling free essay services - nothing in between). But in some previous incarnations - most notably the 'NewsTrolls' site I co-founded in 1998 - these questions came up. My attitudes have hardened a bit since those days. I don't care (much) what people wrote on their own sites, but if it's going to show up on my site (or in my news stream) I care a lot. When I reopen comments on downes.ca they will be strictly moderated (I've thought a lot about how to do this over the years, and it's going to take some tech I still need to write).[Link] [Comment]
I have resisted the urge (so far) to blast OLDaily to subscribers through What's App and Messenger. But I could - and I could even make it interactive - send me some indication of what you're interested in, and I could keep you up to date. Your wrist would tingle and you'd get a new note any time something happened in the world of, say, MOOCs. But should I do this? Goodness, no. I probably shouldn't even have a Twitter channel (and I have shuttered as useless my Facebook channel). But I want to be useful - a stark contrast from advertisers, who want to be in your face, no matter what. Privacy, security, trust - these elude the world of social media, and will continue to so long as we depend on centralized platforms like Facebook.[Link] [Comment]
This is a video of a presentation by Genevieve Bell from Intel at O’ Reilly’ s AI Conference. D'Arcy Norman comments, "I don’ t think of AI as trying to invent an artificial human, but it’ s extremely important to think about the cultural, moral, racial, and gender biases that get baked into code through histories of projects." We are reminded of Microsoft's attempt to create a chatbot that went terribly wrong. It's a dilemma. If you want society to get bnetter, your AIs have to do more than merely draw what they know from society. But 'guiding' these AIs then becomes a position of great responsibility, and who exactly is well-placed to take this on? Besides me, I mean.[Link] [Comment]
'Deep Learning' is the use of neural networks to do smart things, like grade papers or make recommendations. This article addresses the "commoditization" of deep learning, that is, the trend toward making the data and algorithms available for free. That's why you could use an open source library like Tensor Flow to do neat things with open data. It still takes some smarts, but it's getting easier. The point of this article, though, is that it still takes computing power - quite a lot of it - and that's what companies like Amazon and Google really want to sell you. And they can charge more for it if the complementary products - data and software - are free. And it gives them a market advantage, because while anyone can produce data or write algorithms, it takes a large enterprise with a lot of resources to set up data and computing centres. So that's the play.[Link] [Comment]
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