Miscellaneous

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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Categories: Miscellaneous

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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Categories: Miscellaneous

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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Categories: Miscellaneous

‘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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Categories: Miscellaneous

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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Categories: Miscellaneous

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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Categories: Miscellaneous

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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Categories: Miscellaneous

Netflix's anti-piracy team aims to make stealing content uncool

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 04/01/2017 - 12:00


Sophia Harris, CBC News, Apr 01, 2017

I never actually did this (honestly!) but it was a thing when I was young to sneak into movie theatres. One person would buy a ticket and then open the emergency exit for others. Or you'd sneak under the ticket window (this was before the days of the multiplex). Today's dodge is to see one movie, and then as many others in the 9-plex as you can. Technically it's illegal, I suppose, but nobody is harmed, and I never heard of anyone doing hard time.

This is what illegal downloading is like. It's like sneaking into the movies, not like stealing a car. And yeah, it's not something that you do as a socially acceptable adult. But if you're young and bored and can't afford the cost of a movie, well, yeah, I can see people doing it. If you really think it's a problem in the age of Netflix then the answer isn't to make absurd comparisons, it is to give people an alternative (like, maybe, not delaying the availability of programs for years). "Make it good, make it more attractive than the alternative... Ultimately, people steal content because they can't get it otherwise."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Apple’s Augmented Reality Debut Will Look More Like “Pokémon” Than Magic Leap

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 04/01/2017 - 12:00


Mark Sullivan, Fast Company, Apr 01, 2017

This article is mostly speculative at this point. The idea is that Apple is working on augmented reality, but that an eyepiece (think Google Glass) isn't in the works yet. Apple’ s strategy may be to release a technology that gets people used to the idea, and then release a headset in a couple of years.” From where I sit, though, the story is in the headline - Apple was impressed by the success of Poké mon Go and has decided to copy it, creating a proprietary infrastructure for the same idea into the iPhone. Augmented Reality (AR) is coming, no doubt about it. But we'll know it's here when someone sells overpriced AR contact lenses.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

AAUP Issues Report On Adjunct Philosophy Professor Allegedly Fired For High Standards

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 04/01/2017 - 12:00


Justin W., Daily Nous, Apr 01, 2017

Though the post is about academic freedom, there's an interesting perspective about attitudes here. Here's the professor in question speaking: "I was told, ‘ here’ s the textbook you will teach from… here’ s how you will teach, you will not assign hard papers, you will not make the class difficult… ’ Basically, they turned the entire class into a unit that could be done by anybody." My emphasis. There's an attitude here that education should be so challenging that some people - most people, even -  don't get through. That's fine if you're a game show and you pay the contestants. But, you know, it's not. See also: Inside Higher Ed.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Self-paced language learning

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 03/31/2017 - 20:00


Philip J. Kerr, Adaptive Learning in ELT, Mar 31, 2017

The point of departure for this post is self-paced language learning using Duolingo, but it quickly moves into a fascinating history of self-paced learning generally. Efforts began in the 1800s with the massification of learning, and very quickly self-paced was associated with personalized learning as designers attempted to adapt their designs to the different abilities of students. Another early feature of self-paced learning was the student-teacher learning contract. Self-paced learning flourished in the 1970s with programmed learning, an offshoot of behaviourism, and the cycle began again. For all that work, the results have been less than impressive. "Over forty years ago, a review of self-paced learning concluded that the evidence on its benefits was inconclusive (Allison, 1975: 5). Nothing has changed since."

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