news (external)

Have Spare Time? Try To Discover A Planet

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - 38 min 16 sec ago

Joe Palca, NPR, Feb 21, 2017

I spent an hour last night searching for a planet. I did not discover one. I did, however, look at  lot of bad photographs of stars (at least, to me they were bad photographs; they might be state of the art for all I know). It's a project called  Backyard Worlds: Planet 9. Basically they show you sequences of four photos from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) telescope. Spot the moving dot and you win the prize of being the person to discover the mysterious tenth planet. What's interesting about this project is that it requires the human eye (and human pattern detection).


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4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - 3 hours 38 min ago

Dale Beran, Medium, Feb 21, 2017

Celebrating the fail is the new win. This is the core value being embraced by 4chan members, alt-right supporters and Trump voters. That's the thesis of this insightful and well-argued essay by almost-loser Dale Beran in this long but engaging read. Those who hold to the (often empty) promise higher education offers should consider this perspective. It forms part of the narrative of failure that defines a substantial body of young men, the same men who constitute things like Anonymous and Gamergate. I am not sympathetic with the 4chan perspective, but I can understand it, having lived through the same broken promises, the same periods of extended unemployment, the same challenges and the same frustrations. But instead of embracing failure I  embraced diversity and equality, and found myself a cause to fight for.

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7 Tips for Listing MOOCs on Your Résumé

By David Weldon, Campus Technology

Georgia Tech first began offering MOOCs in 2011 and has since increased its investment in the program. Last year the school put its most difficult degree program — the master’s degree in information technology — online, at a cost to the student of $6,700. In order to be accepted into the MOOC program, a student had to meet the full criteria of being a Georgia Tech student. And the institution worked hard to make sure that online students would receive an education that is on par with their campus counterparts. So, once students have gone through such a high-quality program, how do they use their MOOC experience to best advantage? Sham Mustafa, CEO and founder of Correlation One, has some thoughts. His company provides matchmaking services, focused on connecting employers with highly skilled data scientists. Those data scientists are heavily represented in the first waves of MOOC students.

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Online Learning Technologies to Boost the Global Medical Education Market Through 2021

by Technavio, Business Wire

Global medical education market to grow at a CAGR of close to 17% during the period 2017-2021. Medical professionals are increasingly imparting education through online methodologies, largely replacing traditional physical classrooms. Universities and healthcare organizations are providing online medical education courses. Online methods such as flipped classrooms and blended learning offer myriad benefits to both students and teachers. These benefits vary from access features to course materials, online assessment facilities. It also has varied synchronous as well as asynchronous communication means such as webcasts and video conferencing. “Online learning technologies are becoming largely popular in emerging nations such as Kenya and China wherein most students do not have access to qualified teachers,” says Jhansi.

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Students Across the Globe Learn About Augmented Reality — From Each Other

By Mary Grush, Campus Technology

Technology surrounds us, and so do questions about the readiness of our students to step into future job markets that have ever-increasing demands for technical competencies — and application proficiencies — in emerging technologies like augmented reality. One faculty member at Bentley University in Waltham, MA, considered ways that his students might best learn to create and use augmented reality. He designed a bold experiment with a partner school, Politehnica University of Timisoara, in Romania — the students would create AR artifacts to examine and learn from each other. In this learning collaboration, students from these two schools, on separate continents, learn about augmented reality and how it is used in industry. Here, Mark Frydenberg, a senior lecturer of computer and information systems and director of the CIS Sandbox at Bentley University in Waltham, MA, details the project and the thinking behind it.

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Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Mon, 2017-02-20 23:00

Pressemitteilung vom 21. Februar 2017 - 061/17

Gesundheitsausgaben im Jahr 2015 um 4,5 % gestiegen

WIESBADEN - Die Gesundheitsausgaben in Deutschland beliefen sich im Jahr 2015 auf 344,2 Milliarden Euro oder 4 213 Euro je Einwohner. Wie das Statistische Bundesamt (Destatis) mitteilt, entspricht dies einem Anteil von 11,3 % des Bruttoinlandproduktes. Mehr als jeder neunte Euro wurde somit für Gesundheit ausgegeben.

Weitere Auskünfte gibt:

Stefan Brungs
Telefon: (0611) 75-8226

zur vollständigen Pressemitteilung
Categories: Science News

Source: Getty Images Top Hat Raises $22.5 Million to Go After Pearson, McGraw-Hill

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2017-02-20 19:17

Gerrit De Vynck, Bloomberg, Feb 20, 2017

Bloomberg offers coverage to this Canadian  company that has set up an  online bookstore for textbooks. Many of the offerings come from OpenStax (Rice University's former Connexions service) and are offered for free while the rest appear to be authored using TopHat's own authoring tool ad sell for various prices. Presumably the company has something else going for it, or they're just a really swell bunch of guys, to account for $40 million in venture capital funding. Top Hat CEO Mike Silagadze "started by selling software tools to professors that help them engage their students, such as smartphone apps that let them tell lecturers if they understand new concepts in real-time."

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Trust Score (Beta) for Ethereum

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2017-02-20 19:17

Nantium OÜ, Decentralize Today, Feb 20, 2017

I agree with  Nantium OÜ that "decentralization will lead to a more fair society where monopolies lose their stranglehold over some of our key economic sectors (and possibly even government sectors)." I'm less convinced that trust is a key part of this, but I'm willing to listen. In any case, what OÜ has done is to create a (beta) trust mechanism for Ethereum. Basically, it uses the same mechanism for trust as it does for payment: "you can file a complaint through an Ethereum contract that will ultimately penalize the other party’ s score." This mechanism has already been suggested for credentials, such as academic achievement or badges. I'm more inclined to think that trust (and achievement) will be derived by AIs mining publicly accessible data. But we'll see.

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Global Sentiment in L&D

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2017-02-20 16:17

Donald Taylor, Feb 20, 2017

Donald Taylor has released the results of his 'global sentiments' survey of around 800 people in learning and development from around the world. The main result is that personalization is the top trend, collaboration is dipping, microlearning is becoming more important, and alignment with business (including showing value) is becoming a core concern. I found it odd that all the charts were (to me) backwards, running chronologically right-to-left instead of left-to-right.

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National Adult Learner Coalition Created to Advance Student Success

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2017-02-20 01:06

by Bezinga

Four major associations join together as a cohesive voice advocating for adult students and the institutions that serve them. With support from Lumina Foundation, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Presidents’ Forum, and University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) are pleased to announce the National Adult Learner Coalition. “For more than a century, UPCEA has advocated for adult learners,” said Robert Hansen, CEO, UPCEA. “Once a small minority, adult and non-traditional learners now constitute up to 85 percent of today’s students.” “Our coalition is dedicated to help realign federal policy with this new higher education landscape, advocating for the expansion of access, innovation, and creative solutions.”

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Are Free Online Courses Worth the Time and Effort?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2017-02-20 01:03

by John Boitnott, Entrepreneur

To assess the efficacy of their programs, Coursera surveyed 52,000 of their users and asked them how taking an online course benefited them. The majority (over 60 percent) said the move helped them develop skills in their new position. Forty percent reported that they believed it improved their candidacy for a new job. Only 25 percent, however, said that they found a new job, and less than 5 percent received a raise. The final takeaway is this: free online courses can improve your current skill set and make you a better employee. It also shows initiative, which managers like. But it won’t necessarily land you a dream job.

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Credit Computer Science Course Available Online to High School Students Across ID

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2017-02-20 01:01

by Daily Fly

Thanks to a collaboration between Sandpoint High School, the University of Idaho College of Engineering, and UI Coeur d’Alene there will be a new dual-credit computer science course made available online to high school students across Idaho this fall. The course, “CS 112: Computational Thinking and Problem Solving,” is based on a face-to-face class co-designed by Sandpoint High School math teacher Nanette Brothers and UI associate professor Robert Heckendorn. Any high school student who completes Algebra 2 with at least a C average will be eligible to enroll.

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Decision Paralysis - Mon, 2017-02-20 01:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Geek Career Paths

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2017-02-19 19:15

Tim Bray, Ongoing, Feb 19, 2017

The is a cogent and clear article (laced with some off-colour language because it's tech) on what tech people (programmers, developers, designers) should think about doing later in their careers. The advice was accurate so far as my own experience can attest. Keeping up to date in tech is hard work, because it's constantly changing. The biggest jump for most tech people, I think, is the jump into people-oriented positions, like management or sales. The biggest risk for tech people is exposure to toxic environments, like the world of venture capitalism. And government isn't as bad as people say. Image: Mcleans.

[Link] [Comment]

Reprogramming the Digital Workforce With Online Education

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2017-02-19 01:10

by Insights, Samsung Government

Today’s workforce faces a greater range of threats to their livelihoods than ever before. Many jobs will come under threat in the next decade from trends such as globalization, automation and robotics. However, the growing digital workforce doesn’t necessarily mean the end for today’s workers. With the abundance of education and training classes now available online, employees can stay ahead of the game and safeguard their futures by developing new skills and talents, making them indispensable to their employers. Education has long been seen as something which you do at the start of your career, jamming as much training as possible into the early part of your life, before moving into the world of work. However, with today’s digital workforce and the trend of continuing education gaining pace, employees — and employers — are beginning to see the benefits of upgrading skills while on the job.

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Learn about virtual reality and 360 video in free online course: Intro to Immersive Journalism

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2017-02-19 01:04

by Knight Center

For the first time, students in a Knight Center MOOC (massive open online course) will be viewing some lessons in 360 degrees through interactive videos. In our newest MOOC, “Introduction to Immersive Journalism: Virtual Reality and 360 Video,” we will be using some of the very tools taught in the course. Watch this video of MOOC instructor, professor Robert Hernandez, explaining course content using 360 video. Immersive journalism, based on virtual reality and 360 video, has been used around the world as a new narrative format that allows reporters to tell stories and, at the same time, bring the audience to the places they want to show, as never before. It’s a skill that is in demand within news organizations that have experimented or want to start experimenting with the new tool that allows for immersive storytelling.

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4 Reasons Online Learning Works Well for Working Adults

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2017-02-19 01:02

By Marian Stoltz-Loike, US News

Online education is transforming the way students learn. One 2016 survey found that online undergraduate students are an average of 29 years old and online graduate students are an average of 33, reflecting both the popularity and effectiveness of online programs to help adults meet educational and career goals. Online education is well-suited to older students often balancing education with work, family and other obligations.

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These are the science concepts you need to know to understand political life in 2017

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2017-02-18 19:14

Akshat Rathi,, Quartz, Feb 18, 2017

These concepts don't all relate to education, and their importance most certainly isn't limited to political life, but it's a good list and educators should be aware of all of them. Here's the one-minute version:

  • Scepticism  - "a willingness to evenly assess the scientific evidence available."
  • Iatrogenesis  - illness “ brought forth by the healer," like the  opioid epidemic
  • Social cost of carbon - the damage each ton of CO2 emission costs society
  • Clean coal  - expensive, but "captures the carbon dioxide and buries it"
  • Gene drives  - increase a gene's chance of being inherited
  • CRISPR  - being widely used to manipulate DNA with extraordinary precision
  • NgAgo  - new tech which might manipulate DNA with even greater precision
  • Confrmation bias  - the tendency to select information that supports our existing beliefs
  • IPFS - makes copies of everything instead of relying on links
  • PFOA  - unregulated cancer agent turning up in drinking water
  • Neonicotinoids  - the pesticide that caused widespread bee colony collapse
  • SETI  - search for extra-terrestrial intelligence using powerful new tools

Now you's caught up. :)


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Five Edtech Companies That Are Taking Gamification to the Next Level

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2017-02-18 01:12

By MATTHEW LYNCH, Tech Edvocate

Gamification has grown in popularity as teachers and educators realize the wealth of potential that games offer their students, no matter the age. Fast fading is the idea that video games are a waste of time. Children these days are among the most tech-savvy people precisely because they have been playing games on a range of devices for nearly their entire lives. Gamification is not a new concept (Oregon Trail was a unique blend of fun and learning back in the 1980s), but it is only recently where educators actually began to embrace it for its potential. As gamification grows in popularity, some Edtech companies have not only embraced it but have found ways to take gamification to a whole new level.

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Disability compliance may emerge as key issue for higher ed

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2017-02-18 01:10

by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Federal officials have completed amending a section of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which could create new standards of compliance for colleges and universities in their website and IT management duties. The updates include new standards for access of telecommunications equipment, operating systems, screen and sound magnification and access points for websites. The new rules are scheduled to take effect in January 2018, but some observers question if the new administration will be active in forcing timely compliance.

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