news (external)

Gates-funded student data group to shut down

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - 3 hours 19 min ago

Carolyn Thompson, Houston Chronicle, April 23, 2014

A Gates-funded startup is shutting down over privacy and security concerns. "The nonprofit's goal was to give educators a data-based tool to personalize instruction. InBloom, based in Atlanta, offered to store and synthesize student data, such as grades, disciplinary actions and disability records in cloud-based servers."

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An Interview with Donna Fry

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - 4 hours 18 min ago

Doug Peterson, doug - off the record, April 23, 2014

This interview with Donna Fry gives you a sense of what it's like to teach and learn in northern Ontario, and insight into some of the work being undertaken to support that, including OSSEMOOC. "We need to help school and system leaders build capacity, and connections.   They need to have a good understanding of educational technology, but they also need to know who to consult with before making decisions. So with #OSSEMOOC, we are trying to build that capacity and those connections."

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Open Access Button

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - 4 hours 40 min ago

Various authors, Open Access Button, April 23, 2014

This is a nifty idea: "Every time you hit a paywall blocking your research, click the button. Fill out a short form, add your experience to the map along with thousands of others. Then use our tools to search for access to papers, and spread the word with social media." Here's the associated crowdfunding press release.

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Kein Tennisplatz im Darm

ScienceTicker.Info - 6 hours 55 min ago
Die innere Oberfläche des Verdauungstrakts ist deutlich kleiner als gemeinhin angenommen, haben zwei schwedische Mediziner ermittelt. Statt der lehrbuchmäßigen 180 bis 300 Quadratmeter sind es demnach lediglich 30 bis 40.
Categories: Science News

Moore’s Law Touches Education At Last — To Techies’ Delight

by George Anders, Huffington Post

During an ed-tech panel discussion in San Francisco Tuesday evening, led by renowned venture capitalist John Doerr, the consensus was that Moore’s Law is finally making its presence felt in education, too. The showcase example of bolder/faster/cheaper involves companies that operate massive, open, online courses, or MOOCs. The fastest moving of them is Coursera, a Mountain View, Calif., company founded just two years ago. It now has partnerships with more than 100 universities world-wide and it has processed nearly seven million enrollments for its online classes to date. Thanks to “very cheap bandwidth and a lot of machine learning, we can finally do Moore’s Law in education,” said Coursera’s president and cofounder, Daphne Koller, who is also a Stanford professor of computer science. “A single teacher can reach hundreds of thousands of students. That completely changes the economics of everything. The marginal cost of an extra student reaches zero.”

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MOOCs: What’s a Great College Class Worth When It’s Free?

by Annalisa Kraft-Linder, Daily Finance

For the last two months, I’ve been studying at Yale online with noted economist Robert Schiller. There were online office hours, graded quizzes, peer-reviewed papers, a final exam and notable guest speakers like billionaire investor Carl Icahn. If I wanted it, a verified certificate of study was $50. Online forums took the place of study groups. My Financial Markets course consisted of the professor’s in-class lectures and guest speakers on video. It took 20 to 30 hours — whenever I wanted — with quizzes and papers on a grading deadline. Had I taken it for a certificate, I would have barely squeaked by with a “Gentleman’s C.”

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2014: The year of e-learning?

by Cornerstone, Civil Service World

Employees now use high quality technology – smartphones, tablets, ultrabooks or netbooks – in their everyday lives and also expect to be able to use them at work. Many HR departments have begun to embrace this shift, but many are still catching up – training, learning and development need to reflect the trend to online and mobile not simply because it is the ‘next big thing’ but because it can have genuine and measurable benefits. For example, e-learning provides organisations with a great opportunity to develop their employees, whilst giving them the flexibility to learn at their own pace. This not only benefits employees but also the organisation as a whole, ensuring members of staff have more of an opportunity to develop their talents, review the learning and apply it.

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Phone Alarm - 14 hours 43 min ago
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Verbrauchsteuerstatistik, Tabak und alkoholische Getränke

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - 16 hours 43 min ago

Die im Informationssystem eingespeicherte gestaltbare Tabelle zum "Verbrauch von alkoholischen Getränken und Tabakwaren" aus der Verbrauchsteuerstatistik des Statistischen Bundesamtes wurde um das Jahr 2013 ergänzt.

Categories: Science News

Ausgewählte Informationen aus Anlass des Welt-Malaria-Tages am 25.04.2014

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - 16 hours 43 min ago
Ausgewählte Informationen aus Anlass des Welt-Malaria-Tages am 25.04.2014
Categories: Science News

A patient-focused framework integrating self-management and informatics.

NLM - Nursing Informatics - Tue, 2014-04-22 15:38
Related Articles

A patient-focused framework integrating self-management and informatics.

J Nurs Scholarsh. 2014 Mar;46(2):91-7

Authors: Knight EP, Shea K

PURPOSE: This article introduces a framework to (a) guide chronic illness self-management interventions through the integration of self-management and nursing informatics, (b) focus self-management research, and (c) promote ethical, patient-empowering technology use by practicing nurses.
METHODS: Existing theory and research focusing on chronic illness, self-management, health-enabling technology, and nursing informatics were reviewed and examined and key concepts were identified. A care paradigm focusing on concordance, rather than compliance, served as the overall guiding principle.
FINDINGS: This framework identifies key relationships among self-management (patient behaviors), health force (patient characteristics), and patient-defined goals. The role of health-enabling technology supporting these relationships is explored in the context of nursing informatics.
CONCLUSIONS: The Empowerment Informatics framework can guide intervention design and evaluation and support practicing nurses' ethical use of technology as part of self-management support.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Nurses worldwide provide support to patients who are living with chronic illnesses. As pressures related to cost and access to care increase, technology-enabled self-management interventions will become increasingly common. This patient-focused framework can guide nursing practice using technology that prioritizes patient needs.

PMID: 24354997 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Categories: nursing informatics

Arten-Inseln im Gebirge

ScienceTicker.Info - Tue, 2014-04-22 15:36
Die Bergwelt kann Tierarten ähnlich isolieren wie Inseln im Meer. So ist es einer bisher unbekannten Echsenart ergangen, die Forscher in Kenia entdeckt haben.
Categories: Science News

Student Led Conferences: Sick and Tired of Blogs & Reflection?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-04-22 14:56

Silvia Tolisano, Langwitches, April 22, 2014

I really like the idea of student-led conferences, though I think they should be used more imaginatively than to "present to their parents about the state of their learning." Why can't they be real conferences about real things, presenting original work and research they devised on their own? This would allow them to appeal to all students (one wonders how many lives would have been changed were the industrial arts students' work valued and presented as just as important as academic work (or for that matter were academic and industrial arts work valued and presented as just as important as athletics)). But more to the point, we have to get away from this: "I am writing what my teachers want to hear, but not really what I think." Why not create student-led conferences that are genuine examples of students' interests? (p.s. the name of the blog is finally explained here).

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The plot to kill the password

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-04-22 14:31

Russell Brandom, The Verge, April 22, 2014

Interesting look at the use of fingerprints for identification. The concept depends on two things: first, something called zero-knowledge proof, wherein the system knows that the fingerprint-based login was successful, but never has a copy of the fingerprint itself, and second (and related) the use of local devices to log you into remote services ("You’ ve always got a finger and a phone, so logging in isn’ t a problem, but the combination makes the security much, much harder to break"). The specification is being promoted by the FIDO Alliance, which includes  most major vendors (except, of course, Apple, which never plays well with others). As for me, I would not mourn the passing of the password.

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How much should we be willing to pay for a use?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-04-22 14:13

Doug Johnson, Blue Skunk Blog, April 22, 2014

Doug Johnson asks, "How do you determine if you are getting your bitcoin's worth of use from a paid resource - whether it is a reference source, full-text database, e-book subscription, or set of teaching products?" That's a tough question. It's harder because value changes with format - and with use. I remember the World Book fondly because I read the multiple volumes cover-to-cover while I was in high school. Infinitely valuable! But if it's just a reference library, costing 70 cents a search, it's not nearly the same. $5K for an annual subscription seems like a lot (it's way more than the paper copies on the shelf in the library could have cost). Why not just use Wikipedia (or better - have the students create their own encyclopedia using Wikipedia and other sources)?

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AHELO: The Ontario Experience

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-04-22 12:03

Mary Catharine Lennon, Linda Jonker, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO), April 22, 2014

The purpose of this study was to determine whether standardized international learning outcomes assessment were possible. The study concludes it is possible: "Experts and faculty agreed on shared learning outcomes and assessment questions, and the project management and execution followed a common protocol across the globe." But there's a lot of slack around the margins. "The data are not representative of the jurisdictions or the institutions," reports the study, and "The tests themselves were not found to be accurate." Moreover, "student recruitment for low stakes testing is extremely challenging." And many of the institutions did not obtain the ethics clearance to study their own data. 49 page PDF.

As an aside, I found this interesting, as I've commented on it many times in my talks but rarely see it instantiated in practice: "Rather than assessing content knowledge, both discipline-specific assessments focused on the application of knowledge (i.e., can a student 'think like an engineer')." This is a departure from what a lot of people think about when they think about standardized tests. But it's an approach that recognizes that knowledge isn't an accumulation of facts in the brain, but rather, is a reflection of an overall brain-state: to 'know' is to see the world in a certain way, to recognize things in a characteristic way, to 'think like an engineer'.

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Blinded by scientific gobbledygook

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-04-22 11:40

Tom Spears, Ottawa Citizen, April 22, 2014

This really should spell the end of the 'gold' model of 'pay-for-publication' open access scientific publishing. It may be the end for the journal system generally, beyond a few well-known journals. In this case a badly-written mostly-plagiarized paper was accepted for publication by numerous journals (the acceptances came, of course, with a request for a publication fee). Of course, it's not just the publications. “ The other problem is that scholarly writing is just dreadful and has become more and more dreadful over the past 10 years or so."

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Competencies Come to Campus

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-04-22 11:29

Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed, April 22, 2014

The problem I have with competency-based prior assessment is that they're essentially loss leaders. It is very rare to see a university accept more than a small percentage of credits by assessment. They are even typically stingy on credit transfers from other institutions. In the boxed inset accompanying this article, for example, the student is able to apply 21 credits toward a 107 credit degree. In exchange for some lower-cost assessments up front, the university now has him on the hook for $20K in tuition for additional courses (it would be even more without the additional transfers from other institutions). Nice recruitment strategy. A proper competency assessment program would put everything on the table. But universities will resist this until the end.

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Proactive on Prior Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2014-04-22 02:10
by Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed Florida’s public institutions are anxiously watching this spring’s legislative session, which rounded the halfway point last week. Regardless of what dies on the floor or is signed into law, the universities are still waiting for clarification on the fallout of last year’s session, including the proposed mandate to offer credit for MOOCs. Some universities aren’t waiting around. Florida International University is in the early stages of creating a pilot for prior learning assessment, which could be used to determine if students have learned enough from an outside course — whether of the high school, online or massive open online variety — to qualify for credit. The experiment will begin in in the university’s introduction to psychology course, and if the intended spring 2015 pilot is a success, the model may expand to other disciplines, said Kristin Nichols-Lopez, associate chair of the department.  The university’s plan — which faculty will vote on during an April 24 meeting — involves creating a challenge exam that tests students on a series of core psychology concepts to be determined by the department. Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_10786') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_10786') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_10786') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_10786'); if (button) { button.onclick = function(e) { var url = this.href.replace(/share\.php/, 'sharer.php');,'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436'); return false; } if ( === 'facebook_share_button_10786') { button.onmouseover = function(){'#fff'; = '#295582'; = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ = '#3b5998'; = '#d8dfea'; = '#fff'; } } }

Out in Front, and Optimistic, About Online Education

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2014-04-22 02:06


Coursera’s new president, former Yale President Rick Levin, says “I think the principal investors in Coursera understand that this is a long term play. We’re fortunate to have patient investors; and as Andrew said, we’re quite adequately capitalized. I think we can become financially viable certainly within that five-year framework.” Q. You’re an economist. How do you get from here to there? A. Right now courses are free and we’re charging for certification. We think that as the idea of using Coursera courses for professional advancement grows, the numbers seeking certificates will grow. And the price we charge probably can grow, too. A move from $50 or $60 for Signature Track to $100 is certainly imaginable. At $100 a pop, if you had two or three, or five million people. …

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