Miscellaneous

Internet Radio as an educational intervention

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 02/12/2015 - 10:00
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Angela Rees, Ange's Scribbles, Feb 12, 2015

I love the idea of internet radio, which is why I want to post this link, but I found the presentation here really off-putting. Maybe it's just me. But, for example, this  Future Facilitators' Guide steps me through one short page after another with bit garish headlines and almost no information. If I opt to take the course, it  throws up a login before even showing me the course contents.  Choose your area takes me to unordered blog posts. And the  Curriculum Grid is a mess. It's one thing to offer unstructured course materials. But there's an art to it. This site putates to offer several paths through the material. But none of the paths work. That's why I find it off-putting.

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British Columbia Economy Losing Billions due to Skills Shortage

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 02/12/2015 - 10:00


Press Release, Conference Board of Canada, Feb 12, 2015

There are still questions being raised as to whether the skills gap really exists, but this Conference Board report says it's real and costing the economy of one province, British Columbia, billions of dollars. “ There is a disconnect between the education and skills that employers need, and those that employees and graduates have... Skills gaps and mismatches in B.C. cost the provincial economy up to $6  billion in foregone GDP, and $785  million in provincial tax revenues, annually."

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Lifelong learning in the digital age: A content analysis of recent research on participation

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 16:00
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Alison J. Head, Michele Van Hoeck, , Deborah S. Garson, First Monday, Feb 11, 2015

According to the abstract, "This paper presents results from a cross-disciplinary content analysis of 185 recent research articles, published between 2008 and 2013." Nothing from me, or Wiley, or Levine, or Conole, and only one item from Siemens (from 2006), and exactly two paragraphs of discussion of MOOCs, in the introduction, all of which suggests some issues with the methodology. So what did they focus on? Major themes included organizational climate, learner characteristics and attitudes, market forces, and underserved populations. To me this looks like a reading list from the 80s and 90s. The discussion of trends (worth reading) that follows reinforces that perception. And as the authors note, "studies on participation in online learning were very much in the minority in our dataset." This is the one really big trend in the period they've studied, and they appear to have missed it almost completely!

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Ad hoc encounters with big data: Engaging citizens in conversations around tabletops

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 16:00
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Morten Fjeld, Paweł Woźniak, Josh Cowls, , Bonnie Nardi, First Monday, Feb 11, 2015

I think we can all agree that "interactive tabletops will allow users to explore data in familiar places such as living rooms, café s, and public spaces." So how will we use these when they become commonplace? "Instead of convincing citizens to leave pubs, bars, and café s to attend meetings in dedicated discussion spaces, mobile tabletops could create arenas for interactive, improvised deliberation. These can take place around the table already being used, with personal devices playing an active role in the discussion." The idea is that, with the right technology, any tabletop can become an interactive tabletop.

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A Typology of Web 2.0 Learning Technologies

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 16:00
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Matt Bower, EDUCAUSE, Feb 11, 2015

The 2015 Typology of Web 2.0 technologies on their website published by EDUCAUSE includes 212 tools arranged into 37 categories and 14 clusters. Can you imagine how powerful it would be if they all worked together seamlessly? Good list; few pictures, but many links.

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The best way to win an argument

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 16:00
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Tom Stafford, BBC | Future, Feb 11, 2015

As Doug Belshaw summarizes, "Basically, get your 'opponent' to explain step-by-step how their position would work in practice (and avoid doing likewise)." In my case, however, all you'll get is a detailed explanation of how it would work and why I'm right. Because I have thought it through. :) So this is yet another one of those posts in which the author is describing something he thinks will work on 'other people'. And not, of course, himself.

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Chinese expert Yong Zhao warns standardized testing 'destroys schools'

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 17:00
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Tamsyn Burgmann, CBC News, Feb 10, 2015

What caught my eye in this headline was the phease "Chinese expert," making it one of few to acknowledge that such a thing exists. But of course it would be far more surprising if they didn't! Just as interesting is the message, that we should do away with standardized testing, and that the basics or 'core'of learning should come only after a passion for the subject has been generated. "My extreme advice, we should do away with all of (standardized testing)," Zhao said, "It's a waste of money, very little value, destroys parents, destroys schools too, and puts students and teachers in a bind for high-stakes testing." Instead, as summarized by Academica, "He suggested instead that the education system should pursue personalized learning to allow each child to pursue his or her passions."

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The Next Internet Is TV

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 14:00
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John Herrman, The Awl, Feb 10, 2015

"What was even the point of websites, certain people will find themselves wondering. Were they just weird slow apps with nobody in them?? Why?" This is from an article on the Awl that is making the rounds.  Steve McCarty wrote me to say that it was "dangerous if not delusional." He adds, "if the Net were more like TV, a centralized monopoly of few-to-all broadcasting, would it not be a regression from the increasingly participative Net?" The problem with apps, in my mind, is two-fold: first, access to gated app marketplaces is limited; your app must be 'approved'. And second, the apps do not form a seamless network the way the web does, but instead creates a gazillion incompatible silos. So I'm hoping the web remains relevant.

Interestingly, some related writing:  The Web is Dead (Wired, 2010),  The Mobile Web is Dead (Business Insider, 2014),  The Web is Dying (Wall Street Journal, 2014),  Why the Web is Dead (TEDx, 2014),  The Corporate Website is Dead (Forbes, 2014),  Firefox Creator Says the Web is Dead Meat (ReadWrite, 2011),  The Mobile Website is Dead (ZDNet, 2014),  The Web is Dead, Long Live the Cloud (Big Think, 2010),  Is the Web Dead? (NY Times, 2010), The Web is Dead? No (Pew, 2012),  Don't Pull Out the Coffin Just Yet (TechCrunch, 2010), The  Web is Dead, Long Live the Web (Gartner Symposium, 2012). There's a pretty persistent desire in some parts of the business press to kill the web. Not surprisingly. But the web is resilient. 

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Creativity and ingenuity know no bounds at UofTHack

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 14:00
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Ashley Huffman, ITBusiness, Feb 10, 2015

It's not really online learning, but it is learning with technology, and the experience-oriented and project-based approach is one I enthusiastically support. Also, it's Canadian. "During  UofT Hacks, a hackathon held at the University of Toronto, more than 480 students from high schools, colleges, and universities across Ontario gathered from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 to flex their hacking skills – and to prove some of their ideas can become businesses in themselves, not just projects to be graded and then swiftly forgotten."

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MOOCs in Workplace Learning - Part 3: Launching a MOOC

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 02/08/2015 - 23:00
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ID and Other Reflections, Sahana Chattopadhyay, Feb 08, 2015

This is a continuation of the series on MOOCs and focuses principally on launching a MOOC. I liked this bit (quoted):

  1. A MOOC is  NOT  an on-line course with a discussion forum and a couple of other "social features" tagged on to it. 
  2. A MOOC is NOT a linear program (though xMOOCs do give that feeling) with a neat start and en end.

There are reasons for these criteria. MOOCs approach learning differently because they define learning differently, and they reflect the understanding that knowledge is not something that is copied and transmitted, but rather, something that is created anew by each person through their learning activities.

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Standards Based Grading Gamified With Badges

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 02/08/2015 - 23:00


Kyle Pearce, Tap Into Teen Minds, Feb 08, 2015

This is quite an interesting article that will reward careful reading and will reward even more following the background reading and working with the samples yourself. But be prepared to spend some time on it. In a nutshell, it basically takes standards-based student data reports and awards badges based on their achievements. It also proposes a mechanism of 'titles', rather than simnple badges, indicating levels of achievement: "what if we had hierarchical titles that can be earned as you get more badges? Like how some games start you off as a 'townsperson' and move up to “ King” or how in one of Alice’ s classes you begin as a 'Noob' and move up to 'Super Genius'" You can use Jon Orr’ s Master Spreadsheet to try this out yourself. Via Doug Peterson.

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Coursera sets sights on universities

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 02/08/2015 - 23:00
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Tim Dodd, Financial Review, Feb 08, 2015

According to this article, " Coursera was rebuilding its ­ platform “ from the ground up” to allow  students to commence courses “ on demand” and to give university ­ instructors access to student data on progress and performance." To me what this sounds like is that Coursera is going to take on the LMS market directly. The big change will be that Coursera supports 'on demand' course access so people don't have to wait for the next class to start. Single-course certification will be popular, according to the article, because "there is a growing trend toward ­ micro-credentials."

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Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Better Listener

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 02/08/2015 - 23:00
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Sarah Green, Harvard Business Review, Feb 08, 2015

This explains in part why lectures are so ineffective. "In a study of thousands of students and hundreds of businesspeople, they found that most retained  only half of what they  heard — and this immediately after they’ d heard it. Six months later, most people only retained 25%." Why is this? They're bored! "The human mouth plods along at 125 words per minute, while a neuron can fire about 200 times a second." I read five times faster than that, which means that when I'm listening I have lots of time to think about other things. I stay engaged by giving myself another task to do, like  taking notes - if the person is slow enough, I actually create whole  sentences and paragraphs as they speak. Yes, it takes time to develop this skill; I learned in university, and my philosophy notes are often mini-essays of the lecture. But like I say, I have lots of time to think during a lecture, and this is more productive than worrying whether I left the stove on. 

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Managing Open Access Publication: A System Specification

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 02/08/2015 - 23:00
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Charles W. Bailey, Jr., DigitalKoans, Feb 08, 2015

This is interesting. The document describes the management of administrative data related to open access publications, and in particular (quoted):

  • Describe the scope of such a system and the workflows it should support
  • Describe an appropriate data model given the scope and workflows
  • Provide illustrative wireframes for a user interface (UI) to such a system

Straightforward and to the point; it should be sufficient for a developer to work from. It's a 19 page PDF.

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MOOC Workshop

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 02/08/2015 - 12:00
[Slides][Audio]

This is a three hour workshop on creating MOOCs. The audio seems to have failed on the video recording, making it possibly the worst video ever. But I did record backup audio, and while the quality isn't as good, it at least exists. In the workshop I went through major aspects of creating a MOOC, including technical support, design, content and pedagogy, and success measures.

Education Technology Strategies, Toronto (Seminar) Feb 05, 2015 [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

What Does Success Look Like?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 02/08/2015 - 12:00


Feb 08, 2015

Click on the link to edit the page.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Deep Learning

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 02/08/2015 - 12:00


Feb 08, 2015

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Let's Talk about Open

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 02/08/2015 - 12:00


Feb 08, 2015

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Curriculum and Content

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 02/08/2015 - 12:00


Feb 08, 2015

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Supporting a MOOC

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 02/08/2015 - 12:00


Feb 08, 2015

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Categories: Miscellaneous
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