Miscellaneous

The Case Against Reality

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 04/30/2016 - 02:00


Chris Ashley, The Atlantic, Apr 29, 2016

I've always felt the case against realism is pretty definitive, so this article doesn't surprise me. And I love this analogy: "You could not form a true description of the innards of the computer if your entire view of reality was confined to the desktop. And yet the desktop is useful. That blue rectangular icon guides my behavior, and it hides a complex reality that I don’ t need to know." It's not that our perceptions are not useful; of course they are. But it is an error to take them literally. Some people may then ask, well what happens to science. This is the thing: this is what science tells us. As Donald Hoffman says, "I am postulating conscious experiences as ontological primitives, the most basic ingredients of the world."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Sebastian Thrun, Modi and the Forgotten Promise of MOOCs

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 04/29/2016 - 12:00


Anuj Srivas, The Wire, Apr 29, 2016

I think this is exactly the wrong lesson, but it's the one being drawn nonetheless: "The fatal flaw in the “ classic MOOC,” as Thrun noted in an interview with  PandoDaily, is that it is free. “ We learned we can drastically boost learning outcomes by adding a service layer around MOOCs… It’ s not a MOOC [anymore] because we ended up charging for it." I think a better lesson is this: "putting up a lecture online without the rest of the traditional education infrastructure resulted in very low completion rates." The key is to do it without charging admission. Oh, and fwiw, Sebastian Thrun has stepped down  as Udacity CEO.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

ASUGSV 2016 Highlights

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 04/29/2016 - 12:00


Mitchell Weisburgh, PILOTed, Apr 29, 2016

Good quick overview of the ASUGSV Summit  held last week in San Diego (ASU-GSV stands for Arizona State University / Global Silicon Valley). Some interesting bits (quoted): 

  • There is a parallel design structure to designing great games and designing great learning. When looking at brain images, there is virtually no difference between play and learning. In fact, well-designed games inspire self-regulated learning.
  • The large media companies are taking a close look at education (e.g. the $230M Bertlesmann plunked down on HotChalk). As the media companies look for better returns, they see that education is becoming more like what you watch on TV, except that people are willing to pay perhaps $5 for an hour of entertainment, but $100 for an hour of education, and the market for education is expanding as more people need to learn more over their entire lifetimes.

This is good stuff. There are videos  available of many of the talks, for example, 'The Future of Education: John Fallon, CEO, Pearson and Rick Levin, CEO, Coursera.'

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Strategies for Personal Learning

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 16:00
[Slides][Audio]

In this presentation I draw the distinction between personal and personalized learning and the outline the major strategies supporting personal learning: sharing, contributing and co-creation.

VI e-Learning International Conference 2016, Madrid, Spain, online via Zoom (Lecture) Apr 25, 2016 [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

What next? How the news media can respond to losing

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 13:00


Paul Bradshaw, Online Journalism Blog, Apr 28, 2016

It is again worth noting that what happens in news and media usually happens in education a few years later. Both have had their online platform moment, their Napster moment, their open content moment and their syndication moment.  Traditional news media are now entering what might be the end-game. "From 2016, publishers will increasingly need to  justify  why they need a website at all  (and not just code it for Google AMP). To do that, they will need to move beyond content and towards products and services, just as they already do when considering an app, an email newsletter or, now, a  bot." This has  always been the play. And it has always been resisted by the 'content' industries.

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All Rights Reserved

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 13:00


Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, Apr 28, 2016

Aaron Swartz was one of the most visible proponents of open access. Always putspoken and always an activist, he tried in 2011 to use an MIT account to download the JSTOR archive. After being "indicted on felony fraud charges carrying a prison sentence of up to 35 years, Swartz hanged himself." His writings were prolific and influential, so they would obviously be available as open access content, right? They were certainly posted under an open license. But on his death, publishers enter the picture, and there's nothing free than a publisher won't corrupt. Critics have protested, saying "say it is “ in horribly bad taste” that Verso Books and the New Press, two other publishers, are making it difficult to download and share a curated collection of Swartz’ s writings."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Why Hiring for Cultural Fit Can Thwart Your Diversity Efforts

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 13:00


Celia de Anca, Harvard Business Review, Apr 28, 2016

Diversity, as I have observed frequently in these pages, is one of the four elements of the 'semantic condition', which are the criteria for successful networks. For a lot of people 'diversity' means language and heritage. But it's a lot more than that, as this post demonstrates. Consider:  “ In the company we are all are from a certain prototype: super kind, generous, enthusiastic, extroverted, and proactive. The company uses the services of a big data company to help find the right people from all over the world.” The result, though, is "creating a situation in which companies will be very diverse in appearance, but intrinsically homogenous... Thus the company will  appear  diverse — but we know that appearances can be deceiving." The idea of diversity is based on people having  different perspectives. Creating a 'cultural fit' works against that.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

UN to urge media to take more 'constructive' approach to news

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 13:00


Jasper Jackson, The Guardian, Apr 28, 2016

According to this article, "the  United Nations  is to call for the world’ s media to take a more 'constructive' and 'solutions-focused' approach to news to combat 'apathy and indifference'." I can't see that happening in the news media. But surely this is the role of education, isn't it? "We need responsible media that educate, engage and empower people and serve as a counterpoint to power. We need them to offer constructive alternatives in the current stream of news and we need to see solutions that inspire us to action."

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