Miscellaneous

Is Audio Really the Future of the Book?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 11/20/2016 - 19:00


Rebecca Rego Barry, JSTOR Daily, Nov 20, 2016

I don't think anyone has seriously suggested that all books will be replaced by audio. It's far more plausible to suggests that all paper versions of books will be transferred to a digital format. Audio as a medium has its limitations. But it is a terrific medium to help occupy the mind while doing other things, like cooking, driving or trying to sleep. Hence the continuing popularity of radio and the recent rediscovery of podcasts. This article looks at the history of audio books - aka 'talking books' - from its origin in the 1930s. Audio books have always had their criticisms, as though they were some form of cheating. But there's also a sense in which audio is more. “ Listening to authors read their own memoirs introduces an intimacy that  cannot be achieved without the audio,” writes Amy Harmon.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Thank You, Pearson: OER, Metadata, Gateways, and Elephants

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 11/19/2016 - 20:00


Bill Fitzgerald, FunnyMonkey, Nov 19, 2016

There's debate about Pearson's approach to OER, especially through it's  Equella service (acquired in 2009). Lisa Petrides posts on 'open source pillaging': "see how our non-commercial resources are used inappropriately here." Bill Fitzgerald responds that Pearson is doing the community a service. "Pearson is helping to expose more people to OER, and subsequenty increase the adoption of OER," he writes. "By selling access to communities around OERs, Pearson provides a gateway, exposing many people to OER who might never have used them otherwise." But if they're using them simply as yet another commercial resource, where's the benefit in that?

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Categories: Miscellaneous

4 learning and development trends for HR leaders to watch in 2017

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 11/19/2016 - 17:00


Tess Taylor, HR Dive, Nov 19, 2016

It's  not the first 'end of the year' article (believe it or not) but it's early. Too early, in my view, but I digress. Anyhow, it makes four predictions, which I quote:

  • Video will continue to enable micro-learning
  • Millennials will continue to value learning and development as a prime benefit
  • Gamification and virtual reality will continue to enhance learning experiences
  • Mobile learning will continue to expand employee development goals

Well, *yawn*. All of these (very vague) things are happening now. If you're going to write an end-of-year article, try to be useful. How will video be enhanced in 2017? What impact will defining learning as a benefit have? What new features or types of gamification can we expect? How will be define employee development goals? Come on - if you're going to predict, try to actually engage with the topic.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

In defence of the humanities: Why studying philosophy in a world where welders earn more still makes sense

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 11/19/2016 - 14:00


Robert Fulford, National Post, Nov 19, 2016

It's telling that this defense of the most non-utilitarian of disciplines appeals to a utilitarian argument: "Properly applied, the humanities teach us how to formulate our views, articulate them and defend them." That's a side-benefit, but hardly the core of philosophy or any of the humanities. I studied philosophy motivated by a spirit of discovery and creativity, a desire to explore ideas and perspectives and points of view. I didn't care (and still don't care) whether welders make more money than me (I hope they do; welders offer a valuable service to us all). Philosophy doesn't need defending. The reduction of all things to monetary value needs defending.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

'Augmented Intelligence' for Higher Ed

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 11/19/2016 - 14:00


Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, Nov 19, 2016

As the story says, "IBM picks Blackboard and Pearson to bring the technology behind the Watson computer to colleges and universities." Watson is IBM's flagship analytics engine. Pearson is working on an “ intelligent tutoring system” while Blackboard is working on "tools for advisers and faculty members."  

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Categories: Miscellaneous

What Edtech Can Learn from Theranos

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 11/19/2016 - 14:00


Jennifer Carolan, EdSurge, Nov 19, 2016

How do we explain the high-profile silicon Valley failures in ed tech? Jennifer Carolan suggests we can learn some lessons from their failures in other domains. First, "Education expertise, which is critical to building great education startups, has been undervalued in edtech." Second, "top performing edtech companies almost always have at least one investor with deep experience operating and investing in the space." And third, "efficacy matters even if it is hard to demonstrate."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Oxford University to launch first online 'Mooc' course

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 21:00


Sean Coughlan, BBC News, Nov 18, 2016

This of course is happening more than eight years after the launch of the first MOOC. One wonders why it's the cause for a news story.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

On metadata

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 21:00


Daniel Lemire, Nov 18, 2016

Daniel Lemire is exactly right in this article, and we forget it at our peril: "Most metadata is unreliable. Maintaining high-quality data is simply hard work. And even when people have good intentions, it takes more mental acuity than you might think." And the system is not set up for it. "One of the problems with metadata in the real world is that you are in an adversarial setting.... you still have to worry that they are going to lie to you."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Aaron Perzanowski: The End of Ownership

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 21:00


David Weinberger, Joho the Blog, Nov 18, 2016

Summary of a talk on the new state of 'ownership' in the digital age. "What rights do people think they have when they ‘ buy now.' Aaron and Jason did an experiment that showed that if people bought through a 'buy now' button, they thought they have the right to keep, device, lend, and give their copy. People make this mistake because they port over their real-world understanding of buying." In 20 years, will we be free to use our education as we wish, or will our knowledge of, say, calculus only be licensed for particular uses?

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Categories: Miscellaneous

E-Learning 2.0

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 18:00
[Slides][Audio]

I spent the day at the Canadian Heritage Information Network engaged in a lengthy and free-wheeling discussion of the concepts surrounding E-Learning 2.0 Although the PowerPoint Slides for my presentation today are basically the same as those I used in Edmonton a few months ago, the discussion was much more wide ranging. Audio segments (each about an hour): Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

Invited Workshop, Gatineau, Quebec (Workshop) Nov 18, 2016 [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Open Learning in the Future

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 18:00

My contribution to the FutureOER discussion. Formal learning will be less and less focused on resources, which will be available to everyone, and much more focused on activities. Tuition will pay for materials, environmental support and equipment, and professional assistance, often on an as-needed basis.

, , Nov 15, 2016
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Categories: Miscellaneous

YouTube has (apparently) reinstated RSS feeds

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 18:00


Brian Schrader, BiteofanApple, Nov 18, 2016

Brian Schrader writes, and I echo every word: "Well if there's something I wasn't expecting to find tonight, it was that apparently YouTube has decided to allow users to follow channels via RSS again, and unlike the last few years, this time it actually looks to be officially supported! I have no idea when this feature was added, but it's the first time I've seen it. Most articles about YouTube's RSS feeds are either hacks or from ancient history. I don't know what mad(wo)man is behind this, but I love them."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Auckland Startup Launches Revolutionary eLearning Platform

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 15:00


Modlettes, Nov 18, 2016

I think the  Modlettes product looks really interesting but it's quite expensive to get started (for me, at least) and the two-week trial doesn't really give me the capacity to  try it out with a larger audience. The idea is that "any member of a user organisation can be given permission to create and upload Modlettes to their organisation’ s channel, all with just a few touches on their smartphone." The authoring tool permits you to upload content, but ideally it would allow you to make the content on the fly - don't just 'upload' video, record video. For what they deliver, it's way overpriced, but the concept is good.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Colossal

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 12:00


Colossal, Nov 18, 2016

Via Quartz I came across this excellent website devoted to what is best described as folk art. But what art! Articles include a Japanese exhibit of  rocks that look like faces, layered yarn  portraits of South Africans, a fiery-throated hummingbird, urban  geodes on the streets of L.A., Japanese  candy sculptures, toilet paper rolls squished into funny faces, a 2017 letterpress lunar calendar, a metropolis of more than 600 paper sculptures, and much more. Things like this inspire people, and they should be seen.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Ria #33: Dr. Inger Mewburn On Supporting & Training New Researchers

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 23:00


, Ecampus Research Unit | Oregon State University, Nov 17, 2016 In this episode, Dr. Inger Mewburn shares about her experiences as a research educator and blog writer. [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

You’ll Know the Drones Are Coming When…

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 20:00


Tony Hirst, OUseful Info, Nov 17, 2016

So, if a delivery bot using the sidewalk crosses the street at a crosswalk, does the driver have to give way and stop? This is the very relevant question asked by Tony Hirst as new technologies are forcing us to thing of devices as ethical objects. Do their rights sometimes trump ours - for example, if I am demonstrating in front of a political office and impede a sidewalk-using drone, have I committed an infraction? I've seen a few things recently depicting the AI phenomenon not as an intelligence question but as a test of ethics - for example,  this article from O'Reilly, and  episode 334 of Spark on CBC. Does an AI have an obligation to the truth, or to respect individual privacy, or is it waived from the limits that would constrain humans?

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Meet the new IFTTT

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 17:00


IFTTT, Nov 17, 2016

IFTTT - which stands for "If This Then That" - has long enabled people to partner their services with each other. For example, when I post a new photo on Flickr, I use it to repost it to my art blog and send a notification to Twitter. I also use it to create some RSS feeds out of social media to make keeping track of the industry that much easier. A similar (but expensive) service is Zapier. Anyhow, IFTTT has overhauled its technology, switching from 'recipes' to 'applets'. Applets can do much more than exchange content, for example, this: "Center the map on your home. When you arrive, your Android device will be unmuted, automatically and the volume will be set to 80%."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Why do we test school kids anyway?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 17:00


Finn Poschmann, Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC), Nov 17, 2016

The Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC) is an "independent think tank" that offers business-friendly advice to governments and lobbyists. Normally they steer away from education, but occasionally offer an item like this recommending that we adopt a pro-testing standards-based system that is definitely not constructivist or 21st-century learning. Finn Poschmann cites "evidence" (from another 'independent think tank', the C.D. Howe Institute; actually a link error but probably this) to argue "too much emphasis on using differently coloured blocks to represent 100s, 10s, and 1s, and not so much on “ what is 7 times 12?” seems to cause problems for kids in later years." The evidence seems to say the opposite; the  highest-achieving students are in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta, and these are also the  most progressive schools in the country. It's where progressive education is steadfastly resisted - as in Canada's Atlantic provinces - where we see poor test scores dragging the nation down. See also: high poverty school succeeds by focusing on adventure, the arts, project based learning.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Linked Research

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 17:00


Sarven Capadisli, Nov 17, 2016

Linked Research "is set out to socially and technically enable researchers to take full control, ownership, and responsibility of their knowledge, and have their contributions accessible to society at maximum capacity." The idea is to have open calls for publication and open reviews. The site is brand new; the most useful bit so far is the resource page. Maybe it will go nowhere, but maybe it will become part of the Solid (decentralised personal data storage) and Linked Data Platform: (W3C standard for RESTful read-write Linked Data resources) ecosystem. See  this paper from the same group from 2015.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Towards a Trusted Framework for Identity and Data Sharing

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 11:00


Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Nov 17, 2016

Good article discussing the emerging distributed framework (a la resource profiles, now known as trusted data ecosystems) for digital identity. Two specific technologies are discussed: a blockchain enabled system called Enigma, and a lighter weight framework called OPAL. "Enigma, is a decentralized computation platform enabling different parties to jointly store and run computations on data while keeping the data completely private... a much simpler and easy-to-deploy version called OPAL (OPen ALgorithms) will soon be ready for pilot testing in a few European countries.

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Categories: Miscellaneous
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