Miscellaneous

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Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 16:36

Jun 14, 2017

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Categories: Miscellaneous

New post

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 16:36

Jun 14, 2017

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Categories: Miscellaneous

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Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 16:35

Jun 14, 2017

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Continuity and change: employers' training practices and partnerships with training providers

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 15:35

Erica Smith, Andrew Smith, Jacqueline Tuck, Victor Callan, National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Jun 17, 2017

This report (112 page PDF) from Australia makes the point that employer training practices haven't changed a lot over the years. They recognize the value of training, especially with respect to the major drivers: to improve the quality of the product or service, to adopt new technology, and to meet increasing regulatory requirements. That said, they probably wouldn't do it without government funding: "The availability of government funding remains a key reason for employers making use of nationally recognised training, and changes in funding over recent years at both Commonwealth and state levels have complicated the picture." They also need help: "A key element in the use of nationally recognised training by employers is the existence of a ‘navigator’, an organisation that can guide the employer through the complexities of the vocational education and training (VET) system." [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Ethically Aligned Design: A Vision For Prioritizing Wellbeing With Artificial Intelligence And Autonomous Systems, Version 1

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 15:19

Ieee, Jun 17, 2017

This report (138 page PDF) was released last December and a second version is now in process for release in late 2017. Here's the blurb from the website: "The purpose of this Initiative is to ensure every technologist is educated, trained, and empowered to prioritize ethical considerations in the design and development of autonomous and intelligent systems. [This document] represents the collective input of over one hundred global thought leaders from academia, science, government and corporate sectors in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, ethics, philosophy, and policy." The document is based on the following general principles: "1. Embody the highest ideals of human rights. 2. Prioritize the maximum benefit to humanity and the natural environment. 3. Mitigate risks and negative impacts as AI/AS evolve as socio-technical systems." [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Design Thinking Process and UDL Planning Tool for STEM, STEAM, Maker Education

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 15:06

Jackie Gerstein, Barbara Bray, User Generated Education, Jun 17, 2017

This post brings together a couple of idea current in the field: dresign thinking, and universal design for learning (UDL). The overview is in the diagram. Basically, it's a fairly standard eight-step process that cycles during the development and deployment process, based on principles of engagement, representation, action and expression. It's also cross-posed here. [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

A brighter future for Athabasca University?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 14:57

Tony Bates, online learning and distance education resources, Jun 17, 2017

I have a personal attachment to Athabasca University, not only because I know so many people there, but also because I worked there from 1987-1994 and its mission and mandate had a formative impact on me. So like most of its current staff, I am supportive of the overall goals of the institution and would like to see it succeed. It branded itself as "Canada's Open University", which it is, and has been historically at the forefront of online and distance education. It has faced recent challenges, and this report outlines their underlying origins and a path forward. Like Tony Bates, I agree that it is an excellent report. I read it carefully. You can read Bates's article for an accurate summary of the report. [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

10 recommendations on HE from OEB Mid-Summit (Reykjavik)

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 06/13/2017 - 20:54

Donald Clark, Donald Clark Plan B, Jun 16, 2017

The recommendations in this post are mostly unremarkable, but there is interesting reading ion the section critiquing the keynote by Audrey Watters at the same conference. "It was the most disturbing session I heard," writes Donald Clark, "as it confirmed my view that the liberal elite are somewhat out of touch with reality and all too ready to trot out old leftist tropes about capitalism and ideology, without any real solutions." [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

New Vision for the Monograph

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 06/13/2017 - 15:29

Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, Jun 16, 2017

Now that we have the World Wide Web, a technology that puts digital content into the hands of everyone, academics and publishers are turning their attention (once again) to book platforms. One wonders why. But instances abound. This article profiles a tool called Topicgraph That "is part of a JSTOR project to take the digital scholarly monograph from a PDF to something more useful for researchers." Read their white paper (54 page PDF). This initiative joins the EDUPUB Alliance, formed in 2013, and IEEE's Actionable Data Book (ADB) specification under development. And of course (as one commenter notes) we have other monograph-only platforms like ebrary and VitalSource. U personally think that the WWW works fine, but of course it's a lot harder for publishers to lock down content, which is why they're always in search of new platforms. Image: BookPrinting.com. [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Companies using AI to find their next employee

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 06/13/2017 - 13:15

David Israelson, Globe and Mail, Jun 16, 2017

Over the last few years I've been talking about the idea of using a person's online presence directly to evaluate their credentials and skills, rather than depending on proxies like degrees and certificates. This is a step in that direction. An application called Plum "uses algorithms based on surveys filled out by both employers and prospective employees to come up with a shortlist of prospective matches – a bit like a dating app only with more professionally focused parameters." [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

IEEE P7004: Standard for Child and Student Data Governance

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 06/13/2017 - 13:10

Ieee, Jun 16, 2017

This group was constituted a couple weeks ago and meets monthly. Here's the outline: " The standard defines specific methodologies to help users certify how they approach accessing, collecting, storing, utilizing, sharing, and destroying child and student data. The standard provides specific metrics and conformance criteria regarding these types of uses from trusted global partners and how vendors and educational institutions can meet them." [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

New Project: Digitizing Higher Education

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 06/12/2017 - 20:51

George Siemens, elearnspace, Jun 15, 2017

This is George Siemens's latest new project. "The project, University Networks, involves working with a small number of universities, or specific faculties and departments, that are committed to rethinking and redesigning how they operate. My goal is to bring on 30 universities and over a period of 4 years, rethink and redesign university operations to align with the modern information and knowledge ecosystem." OK. But he writes, "They need to start with a basic question: If we were to create a model of higher education today that serves the needs of learners and society, what would it look like given our networked and technologically infused society?" I think the question needs to be even more basic: If we were to create a model of higher education today, who or what would it serve? Because I don’t see learners and society ranking high on the list most academics would write. Image: Pomona College. [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

The Histories of Personalized Learning

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 06/12/2017 - 20:36

Audrey Watters, Hack Education, Jun 15, 2017

As Audrey Watters points out, these days the term 'personalized learning' can mean almost anything you want it to mean, and in a sense the ideas it encompasses go back to Rousseau, Aristotle, Dewey, and various others. But there's a more modern sense we generally comprehend, and the history of this idea, she says, is a relatively recent invention, replacing 'individualization' in the late 1990s. This concept, the "tailoring a service or product to accommodate specific individuals, sometimes tied to groups or segments of individuals," is a salve, a product, and an ideology, she says. "Individualization through teaching machines is therefore a therapeutic and an ideological intervention, one that’s supposed to act as a salve in a system of mass education. And this has been the project of education technology throughout the twentieth century." And while it's sold as "meeting the needs of students", in the hands of Silicon Valley ideology, it also becomes a method of "placing all responsibility on the individual". She asks, "can we maintain a shared responsibility for one another when institutions are dismantled and disrupted?" [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Sony’s New toio Wants to Inspire a Future Generation of Robotics Engineers

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 06/12/2017 - 20:25

Johnny Strategy, Spoon & Tomago, Jun 15, 2017

According to this article, "Toio is the result of 5 years of research into developing a toy that’s simple enough for kids to use, but also sophisticated enough to create a figurative sandbox where kids can explore the inner-workings of robotics engineering." How simple? It's just a pair of blocks that move on wheels. But "they respond to motion, are able to detect the exact location of the other, and can be programmed but also remote controlled." The visuals in this article make the case. I can imagine how these would be endlessly fascinating. [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

You Are What is Killing Librarianship

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 06/12/2017 - 20:17

Veronica Arellano Douglas, ACRLog, Jun 15, 2017

I haven't covered libraries and librarianship a lot in these pages because my perception has been that the both have become increasingly marginal over the years. Sure, there's a digital-age story we can tell about the role of information professionals, but this story was resisted by those already in the field. As this article relates, people advocating new roles and new definitions would be told "You are what is killing librarianship" by traditional librarians. And I have to say, I read no small number of librarian posts of this ilk. But maybe this is beginning to change. As the author says, "We need to consider critical inquiry, reflection, discussion, and revision of our professional values and practices as an integral part of our work. The only thing that will ever 'kill' librarianship is our inability to reflect and discuss our interpretations of our professional values and practice." Image: Walter Lim. [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Facebook, an Online Learning Platform?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 06/11/2017 - 21:03

Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, Jun 14, 2017

It makes sense for a platform to want to be a platform, and so it's no surprise that Facebook would look with eager eyes at online learning. And it's integrated deep into Facebook functionality. The course is offered as a service within a discussion group, rather than discussion group offered as a service within a course. "Moderators of some Facebook groups listed as school or class have recently noticed that they can add course units that link to one another. As members of the groups work their way through the units, their efforts are tracked by a progress bar." [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Gaokao, A.I. and the New Era of Education in China

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 06/09/2017 - 14:28

GETChina Insights, Medium, Jun 12, 2017

The  Chinese Higher Education Entrance Exam, or ‘Gaokao’, took place this week, and while it is an event of key importance for Chinese students, this year's effort is marked by the participation of two AIs. "One is called AI-MATHS, [developed] by the 863 Program of China Ministry of Science and Technology. Another one is developed by a K12 online education company, Xueba Jun, called Aidam." How did they do? AI-Maths passed the test, barely scraping by less than  70%.    Aidam did better, scoring 130 out of 150 (but still well behind the human leaders).  [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Education Aid Eludes Countries That Need It Most

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 06/09/2017 - 11:26

Julie Depenbrock, NPR, UNESCO, Jun 12, 2017

Aid to education is stagnating, aid to secondary education is actually declining, and aid is not reaching the countries that need it most, according to this UNESCO policy paper. [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Digital Badges Are Gaining Traction

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 19:56

Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, Jun 11, 2017

"Badges seem to be gaining the most traction in career readiness, particular for so-called 'middle skills' jobs that require more than high school degree but less than four-year college degree," writes Michael Feldstein. "Increasingly, these jobs need an associate’s degree plus something extra." As well, he's "beginning to hear anecdotes of colleges and universities working with area high schools to create badges around college readiness and earning AP-style credit." Think of it as high-school-plus. [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Neither Locked Out Nor Locked In

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 19:48

Martha Burtis, The Fish Wrapper, Jun 11, 2017

Martha Burtis discusses the use of "the Trojan Horse approach" to implementing Domain of One's Own (DoOO) at a college or university. "Jim Groom has talked periodically about ePortfolios being a Trojan Horse that allowed us to pilot Domain of One’s Own at UMW," she says in this speech transcript. "[It]  represents a kind of pragmatism that I think we need to consider and unpack." It forces us to think about the naming of things, the building of things, and even the breaking of things. "When we start down these paths — these more complex paths and conversations about what it means to name and to build and to break and to fix, we come to a far richer place than just a space where students can build beautiful, rich, powerful Web sites. We are in the territory now of not just naming or building or even breaking but the territory of  knowing  the Web." [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous
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