Miscellaneous

Going further

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 04/08/2016 - 20:00


Doug Peterson, doug — off the record, Apr 08, 2016

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)?

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Crowd Source: Inside the company that fakes it all... for a price

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 04/08/2016 - 20:00


Metafilter, Apr 08, 2016

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.

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Mining the Quantified Self: Personal Knowledge Discovery as a Challenge for Data Science

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 04/08/2016 - 20:00


Tom Fawcett, Big Data, Apr 08, 2016

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.

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Report: Education Leaders, Staff Want more Individualization

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 04/08/2016 - 20:00


Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, Apr 08, 2016

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.

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Labster

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 04/08/2016 - 14:00


Labster, Apr 08, 2016

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.

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Online Education: A Catalyst for Higher Education Reforms

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 04/07/2016 - 14:00


Sanjay Sarma, Karen E. Willcox, Philip H. Lippel, MIT Open Education Policy Initiative, Apr 07, 2016

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.

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Despite what you've been told, you aren't 'left-brained' or 'right-brained'

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 04/07/2016 - 00:00


Amy Novotney, The Guardian, Apr 06, 2016

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.

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