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This post introduces a report (102 page PDF) on the use of network technologies in the classroom published by the Canadian Teachers Federation and Media Smarts. It surveyed 4,043 teachers across Canada to explore the availability of network technology in the classroom, the ways teachers are making use of it, the knowledge and skills teachers developed to use it, and novel approaches to learning the technologies enabled. Teachers responded that the vast majority have used these technologies in the classroom, that it is essential to teach digital literacy skills, and that students prefer to use their own personal network device. Interestingly, only one in ten teachers use social networking to support learning in the classroom, and only a fifth use it to communicate with students outside the classroom.[Link] [Comment]
Where am I? Who am I? The Relation Between Spatial Cognition, Social Cognition and Individual Differences in the Built Environment
Good deep read, suitable for long flights. "The location of objects can be represented in egocentric and allocentric spatial reference frames. An egocentric reference frame represents objects in relation to the location of the self (the observer). An allocentric reference frame represents objects in relation to one another. Inspired by Kozhevnikov (2010)."[Link] [Comment]
Your morning dose of funny. Not to be confused with reality. "Despite being the only person to link Donald Trump to the MOOC movement, I could not see beyond my academic navel-gazing. And I was naive about the movement that was unfolding, the history that was already there. Even last week when I wrote about Trump and education again, I still could not get there, too many facts were clouding the reality."[Link] [Comment]
I was talking about this topic over lunch and then Jon Dron came up with a slide pointing to this site during his talk. Essentially, intrinsic motivation exists only if there is autonomy, competence and relatedness.Worse - extrinsic motivation kills intrinsic motivation. As soon as we start getting rewards or punishments, we have lost intrinsic motivation. So, Dron says, education systems are systematically demotivating. Right. See also: The Quick Teacher's Guide to SDT.[Link] [Comment]
One acronym, which I kept reading in two senses:
They amount to the same thing in this article. And it was interesting to reflect on the state of the literature in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Here's what one author found (quoted):
Maybe so. But it also underlines to me the lack of an actual science of teaching and learning. After all, we wouldn't expect to see a professor of English literature giving us their own perspective on electrical engineering. (p.s. don't expect to see the promise of the title anywhere fulfilled in this article).[Link] [Comment]
Good article, with a focus on the '4Ps' of creative learning (quoted):
My time as the leader of the Learning and Performance Support Systems program has come to an end, and while I am still employed by NRC, I find myself a bit adrift at the moment. Which is natural. "People want to be respected and honored for who they are, and one’ s chosen career is a big part of that. They also want to feel that their work has meaning and positive impact." For me, the main thing will be to navigate the emotional waters - the regret over opportunities passed over while I pursued this work, the disappointment that somehow my best wasn't good enough, the fear that maybe I was never qualified in the first place, the hurt of anger and betrayal. I'll be OK; I'm had much worse things happen to me. For now, though, a time to pause, and reflect.[Link] [Comment]
Doug peterson says there should be pushback on the post What does the fox say? "The challenge," he writes, "was that I showed how to use the two of them at the simplest possible level. If you’ re a regular reader here, you know that I haven’ t bought into the theories that some are so happy to demonstrate as 'research' when, in fact, no research has been done." Yeah, I can think of a lot of that sort of 'research'. But I don't really hold blog posts to that standard - it's OK to say "hey, here's something neat." Having said that, it is worth looking more deeply at applications that teach animal sounds. Our representation of animals sounds is highly culturally-specific. So is the tool cross-cultural, or is it promoting a hegemony of one animal-sound culture (and, yeah, guess which one)?[Link] [Comment]
I wonder how much data is fake. This is what makes me wonder: "Crowds on Demand brands themselves as "the experts at celebrating your top salesperson, your best clients or a family member with a memorable and fun event!" But it's not that simple. Not surprisingly, staged protests are the company's "growth sector." The concept seems to place them on the edge of a pretty slippery slope." More here.[Link] [Comment]
Researchers know how to do analytics on large data sets, but doing useful analytics on individual people still eludes them. "despite small dataset size, the QS domain should be appealing to re- searchers (because it opens up interesting issues) and significant in its impact on the real world (because it can have a direct effect on people’ s lives)." But it's not, because it's hard. But people want useful information (and not simply which Netflix-produced video they'd like to watch). "How can I eliminate headaches? How can I make evidence-based decisions to in-crease my energy levels?" And so on. Good article, worth a careful read.[Link] [Comment]
Of course, I would make my usual distinction between personal and personalized, but beyond that, I can't say the story is a surprise (though you'd be hard-pressed to find technology supporting this objective). "Only seven percent would give an A to their organization's ability to individualize customer experiences; 57 percent said they'd rate their ability at a C or worse. Only 10 percent would score their ability to individualize the employee experience as an A; 37 percent would rank it as a C or lower." Plug and play people; that's the current reality.[Link] [Comment]
I watched a presentation this morning from Labster - "Students can freely perform experiments in a self-directed virtual lab. Labster works directly in the web browser and on iPads, and can be accessed anywhere, anytime." Good concept, good idea, and an example of how learning will be more distributed in the future. Also - no more explosions in chem class. According to Samuel Butcher, who presented for Labster, hey got $4.7 million to work with MIT (of course) and theree's a TEDx talk (of course). More.[Link] [Comment]
This is an interesting forward-looking document from MIT. While the authors take pains to be clear that this is not a blueprint for the future of education, it does draw out some interesting lines of thoughts, including recommendations for research collaboration, showing the relevance of online learning to higher ed, creating the 'learning engineer', and fostering change to implement reforms. The meat of the document, though, is found through pages 6-10 under the heading 'key fronts in education research'. I am by no means convinced of all of these, but they're worth noting. For example, would I including the findings of cognitive psychology in the mix? Well, they can't be ignored, but there are clear grounds for scepticism, so I am not sure I would take them as a given.[Link] [Comment]
This is what happens when everyone gets to have a theory and 'science' in your discipline consists essentially of categories and taxonomies. "Despite Anderson's work and other studies that continue to disprove the idea that personality type is related to one or the other side of the brain being stronger, my guess is that the left-brained/right-brained vernacular isn't going away anytime soon. Human society is built around categories, classifications and generalizations, and there's something seductively simple about labeling yourself and others as either a logical left-brainer or a free-spirited right brainer." Nice picture of a brain though.[Link] [Comment]
Many of the people I work with don't seem to see this coming, but from where I sit we're on the verge of commoditized artificial intelligence. AIAAS - Artificial Intelligence as a Service - is here now, as this item indicated. Tony Hirst recent "posted A Quick Round-Up of Some *-Recognition Service APIs that described several off-the-shelf cloud hosted services from Google and IBM for processing text, audio and images." And now we have "Microsoft Cognitive Services (formally Project Oxford, in part) brings Microsoft’ s tools to the party with a range of free tier and paid/metered services."[Link] [Comment]
Short little article explaining the terms; good as an introduction. The attribution to Professor Armando Fox for coining the term SPOC can also be found in the Wikipedia article on the topic and the source is this University Business article in July, 2013. Fox presents the term in From MOOCs to SPOCs, published in December, 2013. But this may just be EdX president Anant Agarwal getting ahead of the publication date to give Fox (and hence EdX) credit (there's also a New York Times article April 29 giving Agarwal himself credit for the term, and a Fast Company article in February, 2013, doing the same, and an unattributed EdX newsletter article from March 18 in which the term is used.). The Financial Times credits it to NovoEd, from early 2013, though the article referenced never uses the term SPOC. So, yes, the term most likely comes from EdX, maybe from Fox, but more likely from one of the unnamed developers on the Studio team ('Studio' is the EdX application used to create courses). (p.s. I spent a couple of hours digging for this post, and I would like to say that Google is terribly unreliable regarding the date of articles (eg. it reads 2-12-2016 as February, 2012)).[Link] [Comment]
I've never been a fan of the rhizome metaphor for learning, but not for the same reasons given by Mackness, Bell and Funes. They write, "We recognise that the rhizome can successfully challenge traditional authoritarian, hierarchical approaches to teaching and learning, freeing learners to follow their own learning paths and determine their own learning objectives," which is true, but as criticism they argue "smooth space, the space of the rhizome, is a difficult space for learners’ becoming, and as Gale (2010) noted, it increases the vulnerability of learners." ("Smooth space is open space, whilst striated space is bordered.") This is just the old argument that 'constraint increases freedom', which for various reasons I don't accept. To me, the rhizome metaphor fails because it does not sufficiently capture diversity and complexity. But that's a different topic.
How does the originator of the Rhizomatic MOOC, Dave Cormier, respond? "One point about vulnerability stuck out for me, and resonated as something that needs thinking through in all learning contexts. 'I think we do need to notice that a new sort of resilience needs to be nurtured.'" I would that that while it's true that hothouse flowers face challenges in an open environment, it does not follow that closed environments are better. Rather, we would encourage flowers to grow without special protection - a certain kind of resilience. Or as Cormier says, "we want to think of resilience as a process rather than some innate quality that people have."[Link] [Comment]
An Africa first! Liberia outsources entire education system to a private American firm. Why all should pay attention
The push to privatize education continues apace, and like many such initiatives, the focus is first on populations unable to resist. In this case, the people of Liberia. Kishore Singh: "Such arrangements are a blatant violation of Liberia’ s international obligations under the right to education, and have no justification under Liberia’ s constitution." Audrey Watters notes, "The company in question is Bridge International Academies, which has received funding from the Gates Foundation, Learn Capital, and Mark Zuckerberg’ s investment company the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (among others)... Simply saying 'Critics emerge' in response? Wow."[Link] [Comment]
This post is a little bit 'inside baseball' but it explores the sort of question that's becoming more significant to us as we accelerate development of our personal learning environment, so it's interesting to me. Something typical: "Ahh, broken link. The IMS version links back to Blackboard. The equivalent web version has the open link." Bleah. Our implementation of OpenEdX in LPSS.me had the same sort of issue.[Link] [Comment]
I always take it with a grain of salt when a report says people don't mind ads. People always mind ads. But the rest of this wouldn't surprise me: "Those surveyed said digital video serves as a mood lifter (57%) and stress reliever (61%), as well as a way to stay up to date on what’ s trending or new (60%), to learn how to do something (47%) or to lull oneself to sleep (44%)." Remember that the survey samples an affluent North American population with good internet bandwidth.[Link] [Comment]
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