news (external)

Ed-Tech's Monsters #ALTC

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-09-04 15:30

Audrey Watters, Hack Education, [Sept] 04, 2014

Audrey Watters is a gifted writer with a unique perspective that allows her to give an insightful talk about educational technology without really mentioning educational technology at all. Witness: "Ed-tech now, particularly that which is intertwined with venture capital, is boosted by a powerful forms of storytelling: a disruptive innovation mythology, entrepreneurs' hagiography, design fiction, fantasy." In this talk, she explores one stand of these fantasies, the interaction between monsters and men. And she raises the question of whether we are wrong not because we made our monsters but because we failed to love them? "My nod to the Luddites or to Frankenstein," she writes, "isn’ t about rejecting technology; but it is about rejecting exploitation. It is about rejecting an uncritical and unexamined belief in progress. The problem isn’ t that science gives us monsters, it's that we have pretended like it is truth and divorced from responsibility, from love, from politics, from care." See also:  David Hopkins

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Improving Copyright’s Public Image

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-09-04 15:30

Bill Rosenblatt, Copyright, Technology, [Sept] 04, 2014

This post summarizes a talk from Peter Menell addressing copyright's image problem head on."‘ My Generation’ did not see copyright as an oppressive regime.  We thrived in ignorant bliss well below copyright’ s enforcement radar and were inspired by content industry products.   The situation could not be more different for adolescents, teenagers,  college students, and netizens today." Quite right. Among the suggestions to fix this: a database of rights-holder information, different tiers of liability for individuals and corporations, clarification of fair use, and a compulsory licence and royalty payment. These are good proposals, but the opposition would come not so much from the public, but rather from copyright owners and publishers. Which is why copyright has an image problem.

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Wie viel Schwerkraft braucht das Hirn?

ScienceTicker.Info - Thu, 2014-09-04 15:23
Die Astronauten der NASA haben sich nicht gerade souverän über den Mond bewegt. Ein neues Experiment zeigt: Die Schwerkraft ist dort so schwach, dass sie sich gerade eben auf die Wahrnehmung von Oben und Unten auswirkt.
Categories: Science News

The First Successful Demonstration Of Brain-To-Brain Communication In Humans

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-09-04 06:29

George Dvorsky, io9, [Sept] 04, 2014

Awesome (and a little bit scary): "For the first time ever, neuroscientists have demonstrated the viability of direct — and completely non-invasive — brain-to-brain communication in humans. Remarkably, the experiment allowed subjects to exchange mentally-conjured words despite being 5,000 miles apart. It's the neuroscientific equivalent of instant messaging." Meanwhile, DARPA's tiny implants will hook directly into your nervous system. And reserachers are studying the use of  brain signals to operate drones. Via Metafilter.

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The End Of Neighborhood Schools

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-09-04 03:29

Anya Kamenetz, NPR, [Sept] 03, 2014

So I found this interesting, especially the way the discussion looked at two major aspects of the New Orleans school reform: first, the conversion of the system to public to private charter schools (and consequent firing and de-unionization of the school system), and second, the conversion from neighborhood schools to a city-wide system that offers choice. Well - sort of choice, since admission is by lottery and funding is such that there are really only a few good schools everyone is trying to get into. But it reminded me of the school system in Edmonton, where they managed to achieve the same degree of choice, without firing all the teachers and privatizing the system - and where they are producing some of the best graduates in the world (as measured eg. by PISA) and not a C-grade average. Creating choice and diversity, I think, helps - but if you destroy the system of public education, you undermine any benefit you may have attained. Meanwhile, the flood of charitable money that propped up the privatized system in the early years, the test score improvements are looking a little hollow, and the sheen is coming off the NOLA rose.

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MOOCs: learning about online learning, one click at a time

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-09-04 02:09

by Gregor Kennedy, the Conversation

One reason institutions like Stanford University and Edinburgh University embraced MOOCs was that they provided a wonderful opportunity to learn about online learning. These institutions recognised that MOOCs were a vehicle for educational research, particularly through the use of learning analytics. Learning analytics use the digital data trails that students leave in online learning environments to develop an understanding of students’ learning processes. Every video watched, quiz answered and comment posted can be tracked, mined and analysed to better understand how students are learning online. Researchers are able to capitalise on the big data sets generated by tens of thousands of MOOC students to uncover productive and unproductive patterns of learning behaviour.

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Victoria University taps analytics to provide blended learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-09-04 02:04

by Shahida Sweeney, CIO

Victoria University (VU) has gone live with an integrated learning platform that uses data analytics and mobile apps to help design, deliver and manage anywhere, anytime learning programs for more than 40,000 students. The university is using D2L’s data analytics tools for more detailed reporting, assessment and collaboration to revitalise its e-learning environment. “A big component of our blended learning strategy is to be able to support our students effectively,” Dr Germany said. VU’s CIO Professor Peter Creamer, said the concept of blended learning offers a completely different experience. “Learning can be sourced from different places, quite unlike the traditional model.”

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Online Courses Popular, More Costly

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-09-04 02:02

by Millie Hogue, Arkansas Traveler

With demand for online courses on the rise, UofA faculty work to find innovative teaching methods that allow students to get the credits they need before they graduate. Online enrollment hours at the UofA increased by more than 63 percent in 2014, while enrollment hours for traditional classes decreased by 1.2 percent, according to the Office of Institutional Research. Part of this change is the result of a greater number of on-campus students registering for online courses. Though the university has welcomed them, their presence wasn’t expected. “It was never intended to be that we were creating online courses to support on-campus students,” said Javier Reyes, vice provost for Distance Education.

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LINK Research Lab: Fall Speaker Series

elearnspace by George Siemens - Wed, 2014-09-03 21:54

At LINK Research Lab, we have a full slate of speakers for fall, including topics on distributed learning, synchronous instruction, success for under represented students, learning analytics, engagement, design based research, openness, flipped classrooms, health and the built environment, mentorship, and wonder. The full schedule is here. We will be streaming the events online and are exploring options for asynchronous interaction as well. If you’d like to be informed of event details, recordings, and links to live sessions, please register.


OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-09-03 15:26

Curtis J. Bonk, Elaine Khoo, [Sept] 03, 2014

Curt Bonk is offering his latest book for free as an eBook - you can download the whole thing or individual chapters. He writes, "We propose the TEC-VARIETY framework as a solution to the lack of meaningful engagement. It can shift learners from nearly comatose states to actively engaged ones. Adding Some TEC-VARIETY helps instructors focus on how to motivate online learners and increase learner retention. It also is a comprehensive, one-stop toolkit for online instructors to inspire learners and renew their own passion for teaching. "

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Standard Options Apply

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-09-03 15:26

Aaron Silvers, MakingBetter, [Sept] 03, 2014

As the development of the xAPI (Experience APO) continues, questions of development and implementation are beginning to arise. As Aaron Silvers says, the upcoming formalization by IEEE will break existing implementations. He suggests adopting a modular approach to xAPI, breaking it into different functions, modelled (for example) along the lines of WiFi, as a family of standards. "A modular approach is certainly atomic; it helps to ensure there’ s consistency going forward for each component; it isolates the potential impact of changing any one component without needing to change the other components," he writes. (This also reminds me that I am, or was, a member of IEEE-LTSC, but maybe my membership has lapsed.) Related: Tin Badges.

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Vorbild Figaro: Lernen unter Papageien

ScienceTicker.Info - Wed, 2014-09-03 13:06
Der Kakadu Figaro kann sich Nüsse aus einer vergitterten Box angeln, indem er einen länglichen Splitter aus einem Holzbalken beißt und mit diesem seine Reichweite verlängert. Den Werkzeuggebrauch erlernten auch weitere Kakadus durch sein Vorbild, berichten Kognitionsbiologen. Alice Auersperg von der Universität Wien ermittelte zusammen mit Kollegen der Universität Oxford und dem Max-Planck-Institut Seewiesen, wie […]
Categories: Science News

Why Psychologists’ Food Fight Matters

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-09-03 06:26

Michelle N. Meyer, Christopher Chabris, Slate, [Sept] 03, 2014

"Kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens, and it may be  inhibiting their ability to recognize emotions." Oh Noes! But it says so in  a study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior. Should we even take note of this? Probably not. I'm sympathetic with John Ioannidis, who argued "Most research findings are false for most research designs and for most fields." Moreover, there is a significant bias in favour of positive findings, which influences not only what gets reported, but what gets studied in the first place. And when I read that "At least 10 of the 27 'important findings' in social psychology were not replicated at all," even if I'm no big fan of the fiction that is replication, I am additionally sceptical about the claims made about such studies. I don't think there are principles to be discovered on this way; at best, if we create large enough studies (which almost never happens) we can get a smapshot - grist for the intuitive recognizer of patterns of perception, but hardly the framework for a natural science of emotions.

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Learning Analytics and Ethics: A Framework beyond Utilitarianism

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-09-03 03:24

James E. Willis, III, EDUCAUSE Review, [Sept] 02, 2014

This is an unfortunately superficial treatment of ethics as it relates to big data analysis. The title itself ("Beyond utilitarianism...") treats an entire family of theories as though they were one - but there is a world of difference between (say) act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism (it's like the author never read  Mill on the subject). Moreover, the breakdown of approaches to ethics into utopian, ambiguous and nihilist departs from standard classifications of ethical approaches (and tends in all instances to focus on ethics as an axiomatic or systematic enterprise, which is only one aspect of ethics). Finally, even the presentation of positions ("so-called big data") seems to have its own agenda. Even the image - the scales of justice - is wrong for a treatment of ethics. I recommend people attempting to treat ethical questions in this field get a good grounding in introductory ethics - I personally would recommend Feldman, or maybe  this online source - and then try again. Related: AAUP Statement of Professional Ethics.

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Clarifying Competency Based Education Terms

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-09-03 03:24

Deborah Everhart, Cathy Sandeen, Deborah Seymour, Karen Yoshino, Blackboard, [Sept] 02, 2014

Useful resource that attempts to bring some consistency to discussions of competency-based learning. It would take a close reading to effectively criticize, consisting as it does of close to a hundred words, ordered in categories and alphabetically, with definitions. It seems pretty good in general, but there's room for  persnickety. For example, of "A competency is a specific skill, knowledge, or ability that is both observable and measurable," I would say the term "measurable" is either redundant or overly prescriptive. And I would say that this is too narrow: "Profile refers to a person’ s documentation of their own skills, competencies, accomplishments, and talents." Via ACE. More.

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Online Learning Industry Poised for $107 Billion In 2015

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-09-03 02:10

by TJ McCue, Forbes

Online learning, also known as e-learning, is booming. Market research firm Global Industry Analysts projects it will reach $107 Billion in 2015. More traditional methods of training or education are not going away, not yet, but organizations of all types, from public schools to corporations, are opting to train and inform via the web. Pluralsight, an online training service for technology professionals, announced today it has closed $135 million in Series B funding.

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Using flipped learning to boost engagement

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-09-03 02:04

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Supporters of flipped learning have proven that the instructional model is more than just a fad. As it spreads to classrooms across the nation, educators are leveraging the flipped model to create a more personalized and engaging learning environment for their students. During an ASCD webinar sponsored by Adobe Presenter, flipped learning leaders Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams discussed multiple ways that a flipped classroom can lead to increased student engagement and personalized learning.

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Six Tips To Use Google Hangouts For Synchronous Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-09-03 02:03

by Christopher Pappas, eLearning Industry

There are a variety of advantages associated with synchronous learning, such as increased collaboration and immediate feedback for learners, just to mention a few. To get all of the benefits you have to know which eLearning tools will help you enhance your synchronous learning strategy. In this article, I will share 6 Google Hangouts Tips for synchronous learning that will help you utilize all of the features that Google Hangouts has to offer you.

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Pixels - Wed, 2014-09-03 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Wed, 2014-09-03 00:00

Die im Informationssystem eingespeicherte gestaltbare Tabelle aus der "KG 1-Statistik (gesetzliche Krankenversicherung: Personal der Krankenkassen und der Eigenbetriebe)" des Bundesministeriums für Gesundheit wurde um das Jahr 2013 ergänzt.

Categories: Science News


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