Miscellaneous

The broken edtech ecosystem investors once avoided is changing

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 12/29/2016 - 19:00


Charles Wiles, TechCrunch, Dec 29, 2016

According to this article, " innovative apps have been unable to displace archaic, inferior technologies in schools because of restricted funding and a general unwillingness of schools to disrupt the status quo." This, however, is beginning to change. "Schools are ripe for this new generation of intelligent software that uses data, analytics and intelligent algorithms to make teaching more informed and effective and to help students learn better." I think the gushing tone of this article is a bit overstated, and so, therefore, is the forecast "to grow 17 percent year-on-year to become worth $252 billion by 2020," if only because educators are more resistant to commercialization than they are to technology.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

This Simple Tweak in Goal-Setting Changed My Creative Output

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 12/29/2016 - 19:00


John Spencer, Dec 29, 2016

If you can get past the come-ons and popups that litter this page (despite my Firefox settings) you'll enjoy the discussion of outcome-based versus process-based goals. The former focuses on short-term results, while the latter allows for more exploration and depth. " Instead of saying, “ I’ m going to run 25 miles this week,” I’ m said, “ I’ m setting aside 40 minutes five days a week to go running.” If I run slower, fine. If I run faster, okay. If something comes up and I can’ t get it done, that’ s fine."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Student Assessment of Quality of Access at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN)

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 12/29/2016 - 14:00


Juliet Obhajajie Inegbedion, Folorunso Israel Adu, Christine Yetunde Ofulue, Open Praxis, Dec 29, 2016

The more interesting part of this article is in the opening sections as we learn about the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) and in particular how it is positioned to meet government objectives of access and open education. Still, the survey provides some helpful information, suggesting that too few people in Nigeria are aware of the university (and hence recommending radio and TV advertisements), and the surprising result that people find the university website easier to access than the printed student handbook.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

xAPI: Beyond the What

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 12/29/2016 - 14:00


Myra Roldan, GP Strategies, Dec 29, 2016

Short article, maybe a 2-minute read, that will give you a good overview of xAPI. Something to pass along to an executive who needs to know but who doesn't have time.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Baseball Down Under

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 12/29/2016 - 02:00


noreply@blogger.com (Stephen Downes), Half an Hour, Dec 28, 2016 First published on SB*Nation
It's the middle of winter, months away from spring training. Even the free-agent signings and trades have slowed to an icy crawl. For those of us who need our baseball fix, it's the darkest time of the year. Let me recommend, then, a ray of sunshine, the Australian Baseball League. They're currently in the middle of their season, having just completed a nailbiter of an All Star game, and even better, many of their games are available on YouTube. Of course, baseball is not a major sport in Australia. Aussies prefer their own brand of football, two types of rugby (League, and Union), soccer, and cricket. They also excel in Olympic sports, perennially among the top nations competing in the summer games. So Astralian baseball is at best minor league baseball. But so what? It's baseball - the real thing! - being played in December and January, and we can follow the league and watch the games. What more could we want? It's a development league of sorts, not only for the occasional major leaguer who finds his way down under, but also for native Australians who are honing their skills in a bid to make the roster of the Southern Thunder, Australia's national team. The aforementioned ABL all star game pit the Southern Thunder against 'imports' playing in the ABL, designated the World All Stars. For the second year in row, the Aussies walked in off, the game played this past Thursday ending in a 2-1 score. Yes, you can watch it on YouTube. The Thunder have once again qualified for the World Baseball Classic, the 2017 edition to be played in San Diego this March. The Australian Baseball League is a six-team circuit spanning Australia from coast to coast: Adelaide Bite - the name might seem odd, but recall that Adelaide, South Australia's largest city, is located on the long shallow bay across much of the southern coast called the Great Australian Bight, and it begins to made sense. They're a .500 team with a 10-10 record. Starring for the Bite is 22-year old Texas Rangers draft pick Marcus Aurelius Greene, who leads the league in RBIs and is second in the dinger department. And sporting a giant red beard, starter Matthew Williams is one of the top hurler's in the league. Brisbane Bandits - winners of the Claxton Shield (first contested in 1934) but currently fourth in the standings with a 9-11 record. The Australian Baseball League title is called the Premiership, in line Aussie football and rugby titles. Also like those sports, the schedule is divided in to "rounds", each round being a weekly series of three or four games against a single opponent. A bright sport for the Bandits is reliever Ryan Searle. In his seventh straight season with the Brisbaners, Searle leads the league in saves with six. Canberra Cavalry - Australia's capital city hosts a second place team as the Cavs sit 4 games behind with an 11-9 record. Canberra faced the Sydney squad in the Wollongong Classic November 27 on the shores of the Tasman Sea - "if you lose sight of the escarpment, watch out" - and were winners in a 4-hour 21-11 slugfest, the most runs ever scored in an ABL game. With a homer and 5 RBIs, catcher Mike Reeves was player of the game, while fellow catcher Robbie Perkins leads the league in batting average. Melbourne Aces - Leading the league with a 15-5 record, the Aces are home to the top two pitchers in the league, Keisuke Honda (ERA 1.21 ) and Mark Hamburger (ERA 1.91). A journeyman on the AAA circuit, Hamburger appeared in five games in the majors with Texas in 2011, pitching to a 4.50 ERA and one win. Honda, meanwhile, is trying to improve on a 7.71 ERA with the Saitama Seibu Lions of the Japan Pacific League. Melbourne also has the distinction of having the poorest audio quality of all the cities in the league. Melbourne is also home to Braves prospect Ronald Acuna. Perth Heat - situated on the far west coast of Australia and on the Indian Ocean, Perth is known as the most isolated city in the world. It's nearest competitors, the Bite in Adelaide, are a three-hour plane ride away. Sponsored by a local drinking awareness program, the team refers to itself as the Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat. Instead of selling season tickets, teams in the ABL sell club "memberships"- a single-person Heat membership tops out at a bargain $AUS 440. Second-baseman Luke Hughes is a long-time Heat star. At 6-14, the Heat are out of the running for this year. Sydney Blue Sox - representing Australia's largest city, the Sox are struggling with a 9-11 record and lead only the Heat in the standings. 36-year old pitcher Craig Anderson has been with the team since 2011, pitching to a middling 4.44 ERA following a long AAA career. Thed Sox suffered this year from the loss of infielder Tyler Bortnik, who spent the 2016 season rising to AAA in the Tigers farm system.The ABL regular season starts again with the next "Fixtures" on the 29th. Hefrfe in North America we'll be able to watch the Bandits at the Bit on Wednesday morning, the 28th (or catch the archive later). Playoffs begin at the end of January. No, it's notMajor League Baseball, and nobody pretends it is. But it brings back thoughts of baseball from an earlier era, when the crowds were small (and passionate and noisy), the outfields looked out on a forest, a field or an escarpment, and the boys of summer played for the love of the game. [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Pedagogical framing of OER—The case of language teaching

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 12/28/2016 - 20:00


Linda Bradley, Sylvi Vigmo, Open Praxis, Dec 28, 2016

Ths paper looks at instructor uses and perceptions of open educational resources based on a survey of teachers and users of the  lektion.se Swedish-language resource and support site. The authors determine that site users are working with a limied definition of open educational resources with "little awareness and no consensus of the definitions of the concepts of OER." So "the participatory culture is based on a restricted definition of OER, to state only sharing and reuse."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Principles

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 12/26/2016 - 14:00


Ray Dalio, Dec 26, 2016

While I agree that it is important to understand the values and principles that guide your life, I am cautious about formalizing them into rules, and I warn against self-serving rationalization. We see both in this article by Ray Dalio. At the core of his value set are two principles (one of which is stated explicitly): first, the value of seeking the truth, and second, the value of focused hard work. But is is equally an error to suppose that you have found the truth, and that your success is specifically due to hard work. I'm sure he believes "reality + dreams + determination = a successful life" but it also helps to get a job as a caddy at age 12 and to fill your summers as an intern on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. For me, empathy is as important as truth, and happiness is as important as hard work.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Superintelligence: The Idea That Eats Smart People

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 12/26/2016 - 14:00


Maciej Cegłowski, Idle Words, Dec 26, 2016

This is one of the better things I've read in a while, and I also like the way it's presented. The point of departure is the concern, expressed by many, that artificial intelligence might exceed humanity and ultimately wipe us out. Maciej Cegłowski has very clearly thought about this in some depth, and the argument he lays out against superintelligence is a nimble application of demonstration and reason. The talk ventures into some interesting territory as well, including the foundational crisis in mathematics, and the surprising story of the great Australian Emu War. And there are some searing comments about the AI community that spawned the argument in the first place, "like nine year olds camped out in the backyard, playing with flashlights in their tent. They project their own shadows on the sides of the tent and get scared that it’ s a monster. Really it's a distorted image of themselves that they're reacting to." Awesome.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Simplicity

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 12/25/2016 - 21:00


Alan Baker, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Dec 25, 2016

Keep it simple. Yes, that excellent advice - but what exactly do we mean by "simplicity". As this article notes, on the one hand there's ontological simplicity, in which the fewest number of objects possible is contemplated. But there's also syntactic simplicity, in which the shortest formal principles are employed. And what about causal simplicity, which prefers the fewest number of causes for each event? This raises the question of why we would prefer simplicity at all. I face that a lot - education is filled with simply explanations and principles that are probably wrong.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Knovation Integration Services Simplifies Access to OER

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 12/25/2016 - 19:00


Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, Dec 25, 2016

This is an entrant into the single-signon arena, and it does so by offering easier access to open educational resources (why anyone would need to sign on to access open educational resources is not explained). And it's not clear to me how all if this is "simplified". "Knovation maintains a collection of thousands of online lessons and learning objects for use by teachers, which are maintained in its Content Collection, searchable via netTrekker and organized and shared with icurio." Related: ISKME  partners with  Clever which offers - you guessed it - single sign-on for OERs.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

The DigitalLearningification of Museums

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 12/25/2016 - 19:00


Barry Joseph, DMLcentral, Dec 25, 2016

Wouldn't it be interesting if libraries and museums took over the bulk of the educational responsibilities we currently assign to schools? That's not exactly what Barry Joseph is suggesting here, but it seems like a logical consequence. He does make the case that "that museums are unique and influential informal learning institutions that can be powerful spaces for young people to learn, connect and create digital media." Why then would you also need schools and lessons and such. Oh sure, there's a scheduling and management problem, but young people could explore different fields of interest at different facilities over time.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Death of the Textbook, Really

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 12/25/2016 - 15:00


Ryan Petersen, Jared Pearlman, EdTech Digest, Dec 25, 2016

the use of digital textbooks in academia has faced two related problems: first, the textbooks are still more expensive that other options, such as buying and reselling physical textbooks, and second, students are in increasing numbers simply not buying the required texts. While Ryan Petersen and Jared Pearlman suggest that this may herald a new model for textbook publishing, it's not clear the solution they describe will be greeted with open arms. The model, called "Inclusive Access" offers a radical solution: force everybody to buy the digital materials, and add the cost to their course fees. Its a model only a publisher would love, and does nothing to address the core issues.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Top 100 - Innovaciones educativas

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 12/25/2016 - 15:00


Fundación Telefónica, Dec 25, 2016

This resource (169 page PDF) is in Spanish. Don't let that deter you. The actual list starts on page 43 and in the pages following there's a lot to explore. If you do read some Spanish it's also worth looking at the first 27 pages where they offer major themes and the lay of the land in educational technology. "Estamos seguros de que los resultados de este esfuerzo será n una herramienta que permitirá difundir un conocimiento que consideramos de gran valor para toda la comunidad educativa y la sociedad en general."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Next Generation Science Standards-Based Assessments Are Coming. How Should Teachers Prepare?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 12/25/2016 - 15:00


Jane Jacobson, EdSurge, Dec 25, 2016

This no doubt will attract criticism from the usual sources. "Rather than asking that students simply 'know' the science of reproduction, the NGSS requires that they 'develop models to describe' its processes." It's a constructivist approach; rather than simply being given models, students need to build them for themselves. The reason (in my mind) is that each student's cognitive environment is unique, and models developed from this environment - you can't simply impose it from above. Aligned with this, the NGSS creates "three dimensional learning" (3D learning). "in 3-LS1-1, the basic Core Idea is reproduction, the SEP is use of models, and the CCC is patterns of change."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

CRTC rules high-speed Internet a basic service, sets targets

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 12/25/2016 - 13:00


Christine Dobby, Globe, Mail, Dec 25, 2016

This is a pretty basic issue in our household. The targets set by the  Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission - at least 50 megabits per second and upload speeds of at least 10 Mbps - are five time download (and 10 times upload) what we are currently able to reach here in Casselman, a rural community roughly half way between Montreal and Ottawa. There's no excuse for it, not when telecommunications companies  made $8 billion in profit last year. Related: Michael Geist column.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Top Ten Makerspace Favorites of 2016

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 12/24/2016 - 22:00


Laura Fleming, Worlds of Learning, Dec 24, 2016

Fun toys: a list. I like the one where you saw your own balsa wood planks and build stuff. "We noticed an important shift in Maker Education.   Once driven by STEM and makerspace in a box types of kits, we are seeing much more of an emphasis on open-ended exploration and stocking makerspaces with materials that foster that. "

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Categories: Miscellaneous

What is design thinking?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 12/24/2016 - 22:00


O'Reilly, Jonathan Follett, Dec 24, 2016

Design thinking is to a large degree what I do. “ It's not as simple as [just] identifying a problem. ‘ Yay! We found something that customers are frustrated with.'" You need to do more; you need to engage people and consider a wider set of possibilities. "Traditional business thinking methods can overemphasize analysis and deliberation, making it difficult for organizations to react quickly. In contrast, design thinking emphasizes learning by doing and agile, iterative solutions that can have startlingly effective results."

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Districts Realize the Personalized Learning Vision, See its Future

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 12/24/2016 - 22:00


US Department of Education, Dec 24, 2016

Obviously the messaging coming out of the US Department of Education will be in a state of flux. But one thing unlikely to change much is the emphasis on personalized learning. And as always, teachers have to experience it before they will teach it. "Kettle Moraine School District in Wisconsin, Superintendent Patricia Deklotz found that they 'had to give teachers the opportunity to experience personalized learning' for themselves. This was an effective professional development model and cultivated buy-in from teachers."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Open Education: International Perspectives in Higher Education

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 12/24/2016 - 22:00


Patrick Blessinger, TJ Bliss, OpenBook Publishers, Dec 24, 2016

Here's some nice year-end reading for you. This collection of essays covers a range of perspectives on open learning around the world. The authors range froam a consideration of open learning as emancipation, to an analysis of open education users, to open assessment. As David Wiley says in his Preface. "The importance of openness in education is only now beginning to be appreciated, and I hope this volume can increase the pace of its spread. This volume contains stories of people and institutions around the world acting in accordance with the value of openness, and relates the amazing results that come from those actions."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Online learning in 2016: a personal review

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 12/24/2016 - 22:00


Tony Bates, online learning and distance education resources, Dec 24, 2016

The inimitable Tony Bates offers his personal restrspective on 2016. Normally I don't post end-of-year stuff, but it's Tony Bates. And I really like that he begins with the Global Peace Index. He notes, " blended learning is not only  gaining ground in Canadian post-secondary education at a much faster rate than I had anticipated, but is raising critical questions about what is best done online and what face-to-face, and how to prepare institutions and instructors for what is essentially a revolution in teaching."

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