news (external)

A Photo A Day Keeps the Dullness Away

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2015-01-23 21:55

Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, Jan 23, 2015

One comment I saw several times in my recent survey was that people missed seeing my photos in OLDaily. I do enjoy sharing my photos, and I'll look to finding a good way to reincorporate them. But in the meantime, just like Alan Levine here, I've been participating in a photo-a-day project off and on for years. These days it's mostly on - I have the complete set from 2014 and have been at it regularly in 2015. Now I don't know whether I'll follow the guidelines in Levine's  You Show’ s The Daily – a site that will generate a small creative challenge every day at 8:00am PT - but it's a good source of ideas and I'll watch it for inspiration. Meanwhile, you can follow my photos ever day on my art blog. Note that I don't embed tweets the way he does because I want longer captions on my photos, so I can tell a little story each day too. I spend a fair amount of time thinking about these stories, and creating them is a source of enjoyment for me.

[Link] [Comment]

Making Sense of Words That Don't

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2015-01-23 15:55

Kelli Sandman-Hurley, Edutopia, Jan 23, 2015

This is an article that combines two separate concepts, does so in a confusing way, and will confuse rather than enlighten if used to teach language. The concepts are, on the one hand, prefixes and suffixes, and on the other hand, word roots and etymology (or what might be thought of as families of words). The former are pretty familiar, including the use of suffixes like '-ion' to create nouns and '-ly' to create adverbs, or '-es' to indicate person and tense in verbs. The latter is not activated through the use of suffixes, but rather the migration of a word through history, though the use of prefixes and suffixes is sometimes used here as well. Combining the two - especially with grammatically inaccurate matrices, simply confuses the two distinct concepts.

[Link] [Comment]

Health information technology: bane or boon?

NLM - Nursing Informatics - Fri, 2015-01-23 12:55
Related Articles

Health information technology: bane or boon?

Am J Nurs. 2014 Dec;114(12):18-9

Authors: Jacobson J

PMID: 25423383 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Categories: nursing informatics

Hands-on: Microsoft’s HoloLens is flat-out magical

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2015-01-23 12:51

by Peter Bright, Ars Technica

Microsoft claims this will replace the computer screen – and they may well be right. HoloLens is an engaging and effective augmented reality system. With HoloLens I saw virtual objects—Minecraft castles, Skype windows, even the surface of Mars—presented over, and spatially integrated with, the real world. It looked for every bit like the holographic projection we saw depicted in Star Wars and Total Recall. Except that’s shortchanging Microsoft’s work, because these virtual objects were in fact far more convincing than the washed out, translucent message R2D2 projected, and much better than Sharon Stone’s virtual tennis coach. The images were bright, saturated, and reasonably opaque, giving the virtual objects a real feeling of solidity.

Check out the video:

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Vice President Biden announces $25M for cybersecurity ed

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2015-01-23 01:09

By Allie Gross, Ed Dive

On Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, and White House Science Advisor John Holdren announced that a $25 million grant will be disbursed over the next five years to support cybersecurity education. The money will go toward the creation of a new cybersecurity consortium comprised of 13 historically black colleges and universities, two national labs, and the Charleston County School District. The growth of cyber crime has highlighted the need for cybersecurity experts.

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What you need to know about Educause’s latest research

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2015-01-23 01:05

by Susan Grajek, EDUCAUSE Review

EDUCAUSE presents the top 10 IT issues facing higher education institutions this year. What is new about 2015? Nothing has changed. And everything has changed. Information technology has reached an inflection point. See the URL below for a detailed report.

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University’s digital badges to certify “discrete” skills

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2015-01-23 01:02

by eCampus News

Students in Brandman University’s CBE program will earn badges to certify competencies required for workforce success. Brandman University, a private nonprofit institution, has teamed up with Credly, provider of platforms for managing lifelong credentials, in an effort to enable learners to attain, manage, and share portable digital badges and credentials earned through Brandman’s online competency-based degree programs. Brandman, which uses direct assessment as part of the university’s new competency-based education programs, will issue official digital badges to certify discrete skills as students advance through degree-based programs.

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Star Wars - Fri, 2015-01-23 01:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

A Hippocratic Oath for Ed-Tech

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2015-01-22 18:55

Audrey Watters, Hack Education, Jan 22, 2015

I think this is a good idea. That's why I proposed it in 2008 and  revisited it in 2010. "Drawing from the Hippocratic Oath, perhaps it would insist that students be recognized as humans, not as data points. It would demand a respect for student privacy. It would recognize that “ the tools” are less important than compassion. It would privilege humility over techno-solutionism. It could call for more professional transparency perhaps – open doors in classrooms, open collaboration with peers, and open disclosure about relationships with industry." I don't know whether it would demand those these, particularly. But what it should demand is that rules and principles designed to apply generally should be examined in individual cases so they do not cause harm personally. As any good doctor would do.

[Link] [Comment]

The Mirage of Measurable Success

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2015-01-22 15:54

Matt Crosslin, EduGeek Journal, Jan 22, 2015

Interesting article that despite the title is more concerned with the evaluation of dalmooc, which I think was intended to be an instance of a dual-MOOC (ie., both cMOOC and xMOOC). The inevitable result was that some people thought it was more cMOOC than they expected, while others thought it was more xMOOC than they expected. But in assessing the MOOC, Matt Crosslin notes, "The most important questions that were asked had to deal with 'why even offer dalmooc  if you don’ t know what measurable success would look like?'" And he ponders that in this context and eventually says: "Most of what we call 'measurable success' in education is really just a mirage of numbers games... there is a problem with the system and the culture that drives that system that needs to be addressed before 'measurable success' becomes a trustworthy idea." Related: Terry Anderson on whether blogging is  worth it for aspiring academics.

[Link] [Comment]

New report evaluates digital courseware’s impact on student learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2015-01-22 01:09

by eCampus News

A new report from SRI Education assesses five years of technology investments in digital courseware. At the request of the Gates Foundation, SRI Education reviewed 137 postsecondary online and hybrid courses and provided a synthesis of the findings, along with implications and recommendations for future investments in learning software for colleges and universities. “Digital courseware has the potential to improve student learning outcomes and catalyze changes in education practice. These two affordances align well with the Gates Foundation’s emphasis on improving college success for underrepresented minorities, low-income students, and first-generation college attendees,” said Barbara Means, Ph.D., director, Center for Technology in Learning, SRI Education. See the link below for a brief summary of the findings.

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McHenry County employers accepting of online education in hiring

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2015-01-22 01:04

By ALLISON GOODRICH, Northwest Herald

With more students coming out of higher education today, a few of the larger employers in the area said for them, a degree obtained completely or partially online is hardly a make or break factor when it comes to hiring. At Centegra Health System, Director of Employment and Development Matt Johnson said both online and traditional degrees are recognized equally. If interviewing two candidates with similar experience, the origin of their degrees “wouldn’t be a factor that would weigh real heavily,” Johnson said. Within Crystal Lake School District 47, potential hires with either type of degree also are welcome, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Greg Buchanan said. “We approve online courses through accredited universities, and we do have staff who have degrees where a portion of their credits were earned via online coursework,” he said in an email.

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Creating a Sense of Connection: Online Education in the Modern Era

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2015-01-22 01:03

By Angie Besendorfer, Evolllution

Creating significant connections between students, faculty and staff helps to forge a connection between learners and their online institution, supporting retention and completion. Anyone going back to college will have myriad options, and one of the first choices a new student has to make is between an online program and a classroom experience. The requirement to attend a class at a certain time every week becomes unworkable once you add the demands of a job, children or a spouse. The limits of the traditional approach are leading more students than ever to choose online learning that fits their busy lives. Online learning also has its own drawbacks, such as the potential to feel isolated as a student. One university has found ways to create community among students from all walks of life by connecting them with faculty, fellow students and alumni.

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Gesetzliche Rentenversicherung - Einnahmen und Ausgaben

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Wed, 2015-01-21 23:00

Die im Informationssystem eingespeicherte gestaltbare Tabelle aus dem Bereich "Geschäfts- und Rechnungsergebnisse der gesetzlichen Rentenversicherung" des Bundesministeriums für Arbeit und Soziales wurde um das Jahr 2013 ergänzt.

Categories: Science News

News Feed FYI: Showing Fewer Hoaxes

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2015-01-21 15:52

Erich Owens, Udi Weinsberg,, Facebook Blog, Jan 21, 2015

I'm sure it's not in reaction to my recent complaints (heh) but Facebook is announcing changes that will slow the propagation of fake news. This is hard for Facebook because everything in the service is about generating feed-forwards, comments and reactions. Facebook has none of the inherent friction a proper network would have, because it's bad for advertising. And this new change is no exception - it's based on  users giving Facebook more information. So the stories will still circulate - they'll just be 'flagged' as fake. Of course, if Facebook were really serious, it would clamp down on clickbait. But again, advertising.

I've been complaining recently about the social cesspool sites like Facebook and Twitter have become. This has led some people to suggest that I've recanted connectivism. But these social media sites are not 'connectivist' in any reasonable sense of the term. First, they are not actually networks - they are destination sites intended to lure people in and keep them there. Second, they are not about interactivity, they are about publishing - they are content distribution sites where the main means of propagation is the 'share' button. As a result, content is not requested or 'pulled' by users - it is pushed with increasing insistence into the user's space. The user has little control over this (try deleting 'Facebook friends').

[Link] [Comment]

An Open Letter Regarding the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2015-01-21 15:52

Heather Dalal, ACRLog, Jan 21, 2015

Have we entered the age of the 'literacy wars' without even knowing it? It seems that the definition of literacy itself is up for grabs, and people and organizations are positioning themselves behind different schools (presumably for political advantage, though I will say some of the motivation escapes me). This post is a case in point, as a group of librarians argues against the idea of a literacy framework, seeking to tie it to the idea of literacy standards. "  The task force has created a new document that establishes a theoretical basis for information literacy," they write. "This does not replace standards." The framework is fuzzy, "'Standards' is a powerful and clear word. It sets uniform goals and acceptable levels of achievement." And so on and on.

[Link] [Comment]

The Other 21st Century Skills: Educator Self-Assessment

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2015-01-21 15:52

Jackie Gerstein, User Generated Education, Jan 21, 2015

I'm noticing a drift in recent years away from actual skills toward what might be called 'character' traits - things like resilience, grit, self-reliance, and hope. These are the dog whistles reflecting a particular view of learning and education, suggesting is based more around character than what you know or can do. It reflects a world view in which people advance because of character rather than abilities or skills - hence questions like "Do you encourage and reinforce learners' own innate resiliency?" It's an anti-intellectualist positioning, one that concerns me, and one that reflects an emphasis on background and  privilege rather than skill and ability. Related: I've talked about 'grit' in particular -  here and  here. It's the myth used to explain why your child didn't make it into Harvard.

[Link] [Comment]

Seeking the unique pedagogical characteristics of social media

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2015-01-21 15:52

Tony Bates, online learning and distance education resources, Jan 21, 2015

Short brisk post about social media which touches on the pedagogical characteristics. Bates writes, "social media  now enable teachers to set online group work, based on cases or projects, and students can collect data in the field, without any need for direct face-to-face contact with either the teacher or other students." We also hear the usual; bugbear: "Many students come to a learning task without the necessary skills or confidence to study independently from scratch. They need structured support, structured and selected content, and recognized accreditation." But this isn't unique to social media and I don;'t see why it's relevant at all - for any sort of learning students require literacy. Not just social media.

[Link] [Comment]

Gaming in Education: Gamification?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2015-01-21 12:52

Elliott Bristow, The Edublogger, Jan 21, 2015

During my education my school went through several attempts to create a house system, first with six houses (named after Greek letters: I the Psi house leader), then with Canadian scientists (I was in Banting house, but the system was wrecked by the wags who named theirs the Best house). In Riverview this week the school has adopted the complete Harry Potter theme, again (of course) with houses (Riverview is across the bridge from us here in Moncton). If done well, gamification can add a lot to education, with or without technology. Elliott Bristow overviews the elements of gamification and talks about badges and levels or ranks. This which reminded me of the house system. It also makes me think about how much gamification in technology is dedicated toward individual accomplishment, rather than toward working for a house or a team. Maybe that's a mistake.

[Link] [Comment]

Innovator’s MBA: Tech Groups Launch New Moocs For Entrepreneurs

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2015-01-21 01:09

by Seb Murray, Business Because

Two leading technology groups have released a series of Moocs, or massive open online courses, that are designed for entrepreneurs, one focused on big data. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a leading US university, has developed the content with Turkcell, the only listed Turkish company on the NYSE. They become the latest in string of digital education groups to release management content, putting pressure on business schools, which have been slow to adapt their content for the web.

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