news (external)

Will Augmented and Virtual Reality Replace Textbooks?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2018-02-10 21:47

Michael L. Matthews, Center for Digital Education, Feb 13, 2018

This article is over-stated, but I think it places augmented and virtual reality (AVR) in the correct context, positioning them as potential replacements for the traditional textbook. "Students and professors are now able to connect directly with current images, animations and entire visual learning environments that are fresh off the 'shop-room' floor from the workplace." But I think that the positioning of AVR as an equalizing agent is a bit misplaced. It gives "the ability for a class of diverse students to have an equal playing field," writes Michael L. Matthews. "In the era of textbooks, those who excel in memorization and linear learning styles easily outpaced the visual or conceptual learner."

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Computer-Assisted Language Learning & Media Selection

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2018-02-10 21:46

Sandra Rogers, AACE Review, Feb 12, 2018

This is an application of Chapelle's media selection criteria for computer assisted language learning (CALL): language learning potential, learner fit, meaning focus, authenticity, positive feedback, and practicality. Once the domain of programmed instruction systems like Plato, CALL today is "based on the communicative approach to second language acquisition (SLA) with authentic communication derived from meaningful activities beyond academia." The article also notes that the The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) International Association has a CALL Interest Section that is very active and "other professional associations that focus on CALL include the European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning (EUROCALL) and the Computer-Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO)."

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Read the Declaration

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2018-02-10 21:43

San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment, Feb 12, 2018

Developed in 2012, the Declaration on Research Assessment "is a cross-disciplinary global initiative seeking to improve the ways in which scholarly research outputs are evaluated." The core idea is to move away from journal-based metrics for the evaluation of research output. In particular, it addresses "the need to assess research on its own merits rather than on the basis of the journal in which the research is published; and the need to capitalize on the opportunities provided by online publication." It shows up in my inbox from time to time as new organizations sign on, as the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) did this week.

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What Are Progressive Web Apps?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2018-02-10 21:34

Chris Hoffman, How-To Geek, Feb 11, 2018

A progressive web app is an application that works well on a mobile device but also supports older-style browsers (hence, they're 'progressive'). As well, they live on the web, not on your device. "Like the traditional web apps we use today, they’re hosted entirely on the application’s servers. If a developer wants to update their progressive web app, they update it exactly like they would update the web app—on their servers." What's new is that the major developers are gradually working toward a progressive web app standard.

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A Must Have Tool for Taking Notes on Videos

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2018-02-10 21:32

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, Feb 11, 2018

Reclipped "allows you to collect relevant parts from videos, add your comments and notes to them and then share them with others. You can trim videos and choose specific timestamps for the start and end of your snippet." It's a nice idea. It really needs to be integrated into a workflow, though. There's a Chrome plugin, or you can clip the videos from inside the Reclipped website.

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Personalized Learning Vs Personalization of Learning

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2018-02-10 21:29

George Couros, The Principal of Change, Feb 10, 2018

This is, I think, another effort to grapple with the distinction between 'personalized learning' and what I have been calling 'personal learning' and is called 'personalization of learning' in this article. The difference is that it is focused on an in-class perspective: the idea of “personalization of learning” is about "how does the teacher understand the student, build on their interests, and create learning opportunities for the student." I like what Tristan Miller says in the comments: "I think the disservice is to expect all children to learn the same things at the same rate.... Don’t typecast personalized, or believe it has to exclude the individual."

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An Emirati City Is Giving Tablets to Every K-2 Learner As Part of its Lughati Initiative

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2018-02-10 20:35

Henry Kronk, eLearningInside News, Feb 10, 2018

People talks about the failure of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, which encouraged governments to give school children their own laptop to support learning. And while it's true that the computers distributed by OLPC weren't that great, and that the project itself didn't endure, the idea of giving out laptops (or more recently, tablets) wasn't abandoned. Case in point: this project where thousands of tablets are being distributed as part of a wider project that "seeks to bolster Arabic language instruction for 25,000 students and 1,000 teachers in the city." They're by no means alone. This article describes other projects in the Bahamas and in Alabama. (p.s. the article's image bothered me so much I corrected the tilt, perspective, white balance and exposure before uploading it here).

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Don't call it a snow day: Schools closed, but Leyden students participate in 'e-learning day' from home

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2018-02-10 16:20

Heather Cherone, Chicago Tribune, Feb 10, 2018

The snow last week in the U.S. Midwest has allowed some Chicagi-area schools to test their "e-learning day" arrangements. Leyden High School is " one of three Illinois school districts participating in a pilot program that could put an end to snow days for good." Accoridng to the article, they will "judge the success of the e-learning day by tracking student attendance, as well as gathering survey and anecdotal data from teachers, parents and students." Right now they expect students to be in e-class for five hours; it will be a better test when they are given actual learning outcomes to complete.

In neighbouring India, it's also e-learning day. But there's even more happening there. I've said before that e-learning days will soon extend beyond snow days. It's happening a bit faster than I thought. Case in point: in Fort Wayne, some Allen Country schools are implementing flex days. " “It’s a scheduled day, where parents and everybody knows on this day we are going to run an e-learning day and in the morning our teachers get professional development and in the afternoon they are online with kids.” It's not new; Homestead High school started running flex days in 2014. More.

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How does Tor *really* work?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2018-02-10 16:10

Brandon Skerritt, HackerNoon, Feb 10, 2018

Tor is an encrypted communications protocol. The Tor browser, for example, allows you to browse the internet without your service provider seeing what you're accessing. 'Tor' stands for 'The Onion Routing' protocol, and that gives you an idea of how it works. Each packet is wrapped in layers of encryption (like an onion) so that as one host passes it on to the next, the layers come off and on, so that the provider doesn't know where the message came from and doesn't know where it is ultimately going. This article is a summary of a much longer white paper describing the protocol.

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Higher education is headed for a supply and demand crisis

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2018-02-10 01:10

By Jeffrey J. Selingo, Washington Post

In “Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education,” Nathan D. Grawe, an economics professor at Carleton College, in Minnesota, explores the overall decline in high school graduates in greater detail.  In researching his book, Grawe created something he calls the “Higher Education Demand Index.” It attempts to adapt population trends into college-attendance forecasts, using federal education data to estimate the probability that different populations from different cities and states will go to college. “Unless something unexpected intervenes, the confluence of current demographic changes foretells an unprecedented reduction in postsecondary demand about a decade ahead,” Grawe writes. Overall, he estimates that four-year colleges nationwide in just one four-year period at the end of the 2020s stand to lose almost 280,000 students.

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How to boost the earnings power of associate of arts degrees

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2018-02-10 01:05

by Jeremy House, Education Dive
An American Enterprise Institute study recommends a number of changes to boost the earnings power of the typical associate of arts degree offered at community colleges because graduates with these degrees earn less than those with associate degrees in more technical fields. Generally, community college studies are oriented around general education course, suitable for transferring to four-year colleges. Of the the 670,000 awarded associate degrees in 2015, 40% were in a single field of study: liberal arts, general studies and humanities. Another 100,000 associate degrees were awarded in related transfer-oriented programs. Because most community college enrollees never obtain bachelor’s degrees, many are in the job market with a general education degree that provides limited work skills and earnings power. With a few additional skills, the study’s authors argue, community college graduates would be more competitive for jobs earning at least $40,000. Looking at jobs data, the authors suggested enhancing the traditional associate of arts degree with more marketable skills like Photoshop, website design or project management.

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Microsoft Created AI That Reads Just as Well as Humans

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2018-02-10 01:02

by Rob Watts Icon, PC Mag
As the tech giant continues to grow its AI operations, one of its research teams has built an AI that rivals a human’s reading comprehension abilities.  This month, it announced that its Microsoft Research Asia team has written AI software that can read and answer questions about a document with the same proficiency of a human reader. The software, which is already being used in its Bing search engine, has many applications for use in its products and services. The research team used an established framework known as the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD). The dataset is composed of more than 100,000 question-answer pairs on more than 500 different Wikipedia articles.

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Learning Analytics

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2018-02-09 21:07

e-learn, Feb 09, 2018

Blackboard's e-learn magazine has a special issue on learning analytics this month. The lead article by Priscila Zigunovas features multiple photos of Timothy Harfield, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Blackboard Analytics (by a window, with a horse) and says "Analytics is nothing more and nothing less than the visual display of quantitated information." In another article, Cristina Wagner (or maybe Glen Fruin) interviews Niall Sclater on the ethical issues related to learning analytics. None of the articles is deep, but if you are interested in  what Blackboard is thinking these days it's probably worth a look.

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Three Higher Ed Design Trends for 2018

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2018-02-09 20:58

Ben Bilow, Abby McLean, Shannon Lanus, Ben Conley, Higher Ed Live, Feb 09, 2018

That's actually more authors than there are trends, but OK. This list seems to me to be a bit more eclectic than most, because they are focusing exclusively on user-experience (UX) design. Here are the trends (quoted): design systems with modular components will take a greater role in design; less flash and boom and more subtle cues that help users find what they’re looking for; and internal-facing content is the next frontier.

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How Facebook Is Killing Comedy

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2018-02-09 20:40

Sarah Aswell, SplitSider, Feb 09, 2018

"Facebook is essentially running a payola scam where you have to pay them if you want your own fans to see your content," writes Sarah Aswell (language warning in this article, sorry). The criticisms of Facebook are valid, and yes it's just one more reason not to use the AOL of the 2010s. But the thought struck me as I rattled around the nearly-empty internet outside Facebook how similar it is today to the internet of the 1990s. Most people are somewhere else (in the offline world, or behind some walled garden). The people who populate the wide open space outside the social network silos are the early adopters and the innovators, just like the 1990s (but with fewer personal home pages, which I miss).

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Manufacturing an Artificial Intelligence Revolution

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2018-02-09 20:33

Yarden Katz, SSRN, Feb 09, 2018

This is an interesting paper from last November that reminds me a lot of the work being done by Audrey Watters. The value of this paper is an informed history of the history of AI and its critics (though I would have given credit for 'the view from nowhere' to Thomas Nagel rather than Alison Adam). It has a number of funny examples of deep learning systems misinterpreting images, though in all fairness a lot of humans would misinterpret them as well. That said, there's no doubt about the corporate flavour and intention of contemporary AI programs. And I agree that these corporate-run projects are indifferent to social and political content, even to the point where they perpetuate and even exaggerate historical injustices. But from where I sit, that's a criticism of corporations, not AI.

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The 'IT' Nurse.

NLM - Nursing Informatics - Fri, 2018-02-09 12:20
Related Articles

The 'IT' Nurse.

Am J Nurs. 2018 Feb;118(2):65-66

Authors: Collins AM

For more than 30 years, Judy Murphy has been a leader in nursing informatics.

PMID: 29369880 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Categories: nursing informatics

4 Ways to Communicate With Professors in Online Courses

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2018-02-09 01:05

By Olena Reid, US News

With less in-person contact in an online course, a prospective student should expect ample written communication with classmates, school staff and professors. nteracting with faculty outside of the virtual classroom is an essential part of successfully completing an online degree program. Here are four ways to connect with instructors in online courses. Online students have various opportunities to interact with instructors via email, the school’s portal, videoconferencing or even in-person meetings. Each channel is an opportunity to address concerns and answer their questions. They should remember to acknowledge their professor’s preferred method of communication and be proactive in the process.

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60 Percent of U.S. Adults Have Considered Returning to School, But Perceived Financial Barriers Loom Large #infographic

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2018-02-09 01:03

by Champlain College

A new survey from Champlain College Online says that while most adults see the value in higher education to prepare them for advancement in the workplace, ongoing concerns over incurring student debt and affordability are the major barriers to returning to school to complete a certificate, associate degree or bachelor’s degree.

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Working learners would benefit from new online community college

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2018-02-09 01:02

by CINDY MILES & PHIL BLAIR, San Diego Union

This new independent online campus will be unlike any other public online education platform in existence. The online college will focus predominantly on sub-associate degree credentials tailored to the needs of working learners who simply cannot attend a traditional school campus but wish to increase their value in the workforce and advance educationally and economically. It will rely more on competency-based learning, in which students are measured by the skills they have learned in addition to tests and grades.

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