Miscellaneous

Why 'A Domain of One's Own' Matters (For the Future of Knowledge)

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 04/07/2017 - 13:00


Audrey Watters, Hack Education, Apr 07, 2017

The hardest thing to convince people of in education technology, it seems to me, is that students need a space to create. This is what i discovered in the years working on a PLE, where there were all sorts of ideas for content recommending and resource consumption, but outright resistance to creative workspaces of any kind. But this is what is needed, and this is what is behind initiatives such as Domain of One's Own. So I a, supportive of Audrey Watters's argument in this post.

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The Promise of Administrative Data in Education Research

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 04/07/2017 - 13:00


David Figlio, Krzysztof Karbownik, Kjell Salvanes, Education Finance, Policy, Apr 07, 2017

"Although these data are collected for purely administrative purposes," write the authors, "they represent remarkable new opportunities for expanding our knowledge." This short essay (8 page PDF) examines some of the purposes to which administrative data in education could be put, and raises some of the issues associated with using data in this way. "Administrative datasets are collected for different reasons than research, and the types of variables that are captured in administrative data often do not comport with the types of variables that testing many educational and social science theories demands." There are also, of course, issues with privacy and security. Good essay, cogently written. Image: OECD.

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My open source Instagram bot got me 2,500 real followers for $5 in server costs

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 04/07/2017 - 10:00


Tim Grossman, Free Code Camp, Instagram, Apr 07, 2017

The author's Instagram bot is described in detail in this post, with links to Github and to a lot of documentation on the various tests he ran. Stuff like this is why  Facebook is in trouble and why Instagram isn't worth the effort. I don't use Instagram at all and left Facebook last August. But even closer to the core of the problem is this statement: "Likes and engagement are digital currency..." No they're not. They are dross. The number of followers you have is meaningless, just as meaningless as the number of people you  follow. Amassing quantity is industrial-age thinking. Creating quality is millennial thinking.

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Creating Usability with Motion: The UX in Motion Manifesto

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 04/07/2017 - 10:00


Issara Willenskomer, Medium, Apr 07, 2017

When people talk about 21st century literacies, or digital literacies, they usually talk about using social networks and spotting fake news. But this is the sot of thing they should be thinking about. We've never really had motion in user interfaces before; the closest we've come is television, which has its own set of tropes. But with modern web design, motion in user experience (UX) design has become standard. This article leads with 12 principles of motion in UX. I look at these and ask, what do they mean? What do they signify? And of course there is no meaning inherent in the motion; it is entirely socially constructed. And that process is still underway, which makes it really fascinating.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

The Top Ed-Tech Trends (Aren't 'Tech')

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 04/06/2017 - 19:00


Audrey Watters, Hack Education, Apr 06, 2017

Audrey Watters gives us a reprise of some of her annual 'tech trends' reports and talks about some of the thinking behind them. I'm inclined to agree with the observation that the trends resemble themes or categories or narratives more than they do trends. She also admits "they’ re narratives that are quite US-centric. I’ d say even more specifically, they’ re California- and Silicon Valley-centric." And she says "my reference to 'Silicon Valley narratives' are meant to invoke these: libertarianism, neoliberalism, and 'the ideology of the ‘ new economy.’ " She takes this through a nice turn into a discussion of personalization and platforms. Still, from my perspective, the more her narrative focuses on a specifically U.S. social and political view of the topic, the less relevant that narrative becomes.

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Games Pose Unique Accessibility Challenges

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 04/06/2017 - 13:00


Pamela Hogle, Learning Soutions, Apr 06, 2017

This is probably the best advice, from Joshua Straub, editor-in-chief of DAGERS, a game journalism site for disabled gamer: "Not every game can be or has to be accessible to every single person,” but he encouraged developers to make sure that “ when you choose to put a barrier in front of any player, you know why you are doing it."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Nothing will change until you start building.

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 04/05/2017 - 15:00


Jonathan Z. White, Free Code Camp, Medium, Apr 05, 2017

I was at an IMS meeting ages ago and someone said to me, "Quality ships." I've never let that statement go. It doesn't matter how great your ideas are, if you don't make something out of them, they may as well not exist. "Start by building. Pick one project and do whatever you have to do to ship it. If you want to write a book, start with writing a page a day. If you want to build an app, start with some sketches. Anyone can do it. This advice applies to all creators. Once you start building and launching your projects, you won’ t be able to stop. Building will become part of your identity. And even if your project fails, you’ ll keep at it." As I said more recently in one of our own meetings: "there's always a reason not to do something." You can always come up with something. But you put that aside, and you ship.

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Jerks and the Start-Ups They Ruin

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 04/05/2017 - 15:00


Dan Lyons, New York Times, Apr 05, 2017

I have long said that venture capitalists don't fund ideas, they fund people like themselves. Surely the latest round of business failures proves this. "Bro C.E.O.s are better at raising money than making money. So why do venture capitalists keep investing in them? It may be because many of the venture capitalists are bros as well." The is one of the reasons it's so difficult to find educational technology that aligns with an educational culture. Public and private investors pay less attention to the good an innovation can do for the community, and more attention to how much the applicant reminds them of a younger version of their ambitious selves.

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Coursera’s Rick Levin On the Evolution of MOOCs and Microcredentials

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 20:00


Jeffry R. Young, EdSurge, Apr 03, 2017

Interview-style article. Coursera CEO  Rick Levin really does sometimes sound like he's from another culture. "The quality differential is so striking, I think the faculty and universities will realize they can truly up-level what they're able to do by using materials from the top universities in the world." Up-level?

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Categories: Miscellaneous

How I Let Disney Track My Every Move

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 17:00


Adam Clark Estes, Gizmodo, Apr 02, 2017

The MagicBand is a bracelet Disney hands out to hotel and resort guests. It gives you access to rides, automatically takes photos, and helps them run the park. It may seem creepy, but it’ s very convenient. The bracelets, along with the rest of the technologies in this list, communicate with other services using short-range communication called RFID as well as long range wireless internet

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‘Who shared it?’: How Americans decide what news to trust on social media

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 14:00


Tom Rosenstiel, et.al., Amercial Press Institute, Apr 02, 2017

According to this report (13 page PDF) "when Americans encounter news on social media, how much they trust the content is determined less by who creates the news than by who shares it." How much they engage with it (for example, by passing it along) also depends more on who shares it. This runs counter to those saying it is the authority of the source that matters. This means that "Your readers and followers are not just consumers to monetize, instead they may be social ambassadors whose own credibility with their friends affects your brand’ s reputation." True enough. When I read this, I ask, why do people place trust in individuals who share the news - is it that they can be relied on to have a point of view? or perhaps they are trusted to assess the news critically? or maybe they just have good sources themselves?

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Faculty Perceptions about Teaching Online: Exploring the Literature Using the Technology Acceptance Model as an Organizing Framework

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 11:00


Nancy Pope Wingo, Nataliya V. Ivankova, Jacqueline A. Moss, online learning, Apr 02, 2017

This is a  good article that does exactly what the title promises. It is a survey article looking at a number of research studies on faculty use of technology from the perspective of the technology acceptance model (TAM). After a brief overview of the model, the paper summarizes the major findings (including an exceptionally useful table starting on page 19. Having said that, the report underlines common findings about faculty use of technology: they are more likely to use it if they feel confident in technology and report poorer experiences if they are less familiar with it. They are less enthusiastic about technology than their administrators, express concerns about quality, and were concerned about effectiveness, interactivity, and workload.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

New Study Recommends Key Actions to Improve Early Childhood Education in Mongolia

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 11:00


Rabia Ali, Moukim Temourov, Takiko Igarashi, World Bank, Apr 02, 2017

There's a lot of interesting reading in this World Bank study on early childhood education (ECE) in Mongolia (113 page PDF). The summary article doesn't do it justice. Mongolia has made great strides in recent years, but gaps remain, especially among poorer and more rural populations. In rural communities, access is provided through a ger-kindergarten (using a traditional yurt (from the Turkic languages) or ger (Mongolian)). Because of issues with access, spending in education thus far tends to favour the welathy more than the poor.  Not mentioned in the summary is that the report calls for greater private sector involvement in several areas, which seems to me to be the World Bank repeating its past mistakes.

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K-12 OER Podcasts

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 04/01/2017 - 17:00


Connie Blomgren, Verena Roberts, Athabasca University, Apr 01, 2017

This is a series of podcasts (a.k.a. MP3 audio files) was launmched today in a CIDER workshop. There are 17 recordings in all, most of them in the 10-20 minute range. There are also  videos and transcripts in the BOLT  OER resource page.

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The AI Misinformation Epidemic

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 04/01/2017 - 17:00


Zachary C. Lipton, Approximately Correct, Apr 01, 2017

This ios the first of what promises to be a series of posts on what the author calls the 'misinformation epidemic' in AI. Here are the major sorts of misinformation:

  • lists of the  AI Influencers populated mostly by people with no discernible contribution (or even expertise) in AI.
  • With startling regularity, if I tell an educated person  what I do, a question quickly follows in reference  to the Singularity
  • Despite the increasing familiarity of machine learning in the media, the quality of journalism hasn’ t improved  appreciably.

This list will be familiar to people who work in any branch of technology. The 'influencers' jump on a technology, leveraging contacts to get a book (or some such) published. The myths are spread by these and other non-experts in the field. And the journalism follows the popular icons and ignores what's actually happening in the field.

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Installing Mautic with PHP7-FPM on Docker, Nginx, and MariaDB on Ubuntu 16.04

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 04/01/2017 - 15:00


Dave Lane, OERu Tech, Apr 01, 2017

This is pretty interesting. Ignore the tech, unless you enjoy that, and focus on what it does. "Mautic is an open source marketing automation web application. Here at the OER Foundation, we use it to manage enquiries from prospective learners and partner institutions, to deliver timely emails to cohorts of learners undertaking our partner's online courses, and to measure our effectiveness in achieving our goals and mission: to makes higher education accessible to everyone." I should get one of these.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Ten Years on the Twitter

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 04/01/2017 - 15:00


James Clay, e-Learning Stuff, Apr 01, 2017

joined Twitter as @Downes in July, 2007. Since then I've accumulated 7,217 tweets and 8902 followers. I have a second account, @OLDaily, for these posts. 7,590 tweets and 5,413 followers. By Twitter standards, both numbers are low. James Clay, who joined ten years ago, writes, "I have posted nearly 43,000 tweets and have nearly 5000 followers." Clay writes, "Twitter is mainly now about mainstream and traditional media accounts who in the main use Twitter for broadcasting, I still think there is a community there that use it for conversations and sharing." That seems right to me. And it also feels like I'm posting into the void when I post to Twitter. But that's true of online media in general these days.

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