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OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2016-05-15 19:38


Andrea Peterson, Washington Post, May 15, 2016

The internet used to be so cool. But now people are afraid to use it. That's the gist of this article in the Washington Post which cites statistics showing that  privacy and security fears are preventing people from using the net the way they'd like to. There are many aspects to this, ranging from spying and intrusion, hacking and identify theft, catfishing and fraud, spam and spoofing, cyberbullying and more. I read from time to time (and people tell me in various meetings) that people aren't really so concerned about these issues, that it's the new reality. I don't buy it. I think people crave a secure and safe internet.

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Pedagogy out of Fear of Philosophy as a Way of Pathologizing Children

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2016-05-15 19:38


Arie Kizel, Journal of Unschooling, Alternative Learning, May 15, 2016

This article has the most awkward title ever, but represents a logical progression from Friere's characterization of the 'pedagogy of the oppressed' (and more positively, 'pedagogy of hope'). The pedagogy of fear "stunts the active and vital educational growth of the young person, making him/her passive and dependent upon external disciplinary sources. It is motivated by fear that prevents young students— as well as teachers— from dealing with the great existential questions that relate to the essence of human beings." It's based on two major ideas: "The child as 'not-knower'" and "The model of demand as the pedagogic basis." I think this is a good insight. What would pedagogy look like if we removed these two constraints? (Other 'pedagogies of fear':  Leonardo and PorterMcdermott, Lumenfeld). Image: Pinterest.

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E-Learning in K-12 Schools: The Prospects for Disruptive Innovation

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2016-05-15 19:38


Paul W. Bennett, The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS), May 15, 2016

I wasn't expecting much from this report as the  Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) typically parrots a hard-right neo-liberal political agenda, but it is actually fairly comprehensive and reasonably accurate. Cleaning up the prejudicial language a bit (especially in the introductory paragraphs) would go a long way to making this a credible report. Where it goes wrong is in its pointless criticisms of 21st century learning initiatives; these have long been a bugbear of AIMS and related institutions, despite their being a key feature of online learning. Aside from that, the report captures some of the major problems with the approach in Atlantic Canada, especially the top-down provincially-based organization and management (which makes the system especially sensitive to politics and changes in government (which is the main reason innovation has not been sustained in this part of the world)). Overall I would support the 9 recommendations listed in the article.

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Interested In The Moodle Academy?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2016-05-15 19:38


Moodle News, May 15, 2016

In what looks like "a direct response to the  Canvas Network," Moodle's  Gavin Hendrik has announced the Moodle Academy, "a centralized MOOC hosting platform run and managed by Moodle. This is for institutions or Moodlers who want to hold a MOOC but don’ t necessarily have the bandwidth to deal with the short term (massive) hit on their internal resources from a much heavier user load." Unless this platform is open in ways I don't know about, this appears to me to be more of a response to things like MoodleRooms. I'm guessing it will be located here -  http://www.moodleacademy.org/  - since we have a pre-splash page Moodle install  (and  http://www.moodleacademy.com  is still up for sale). But hey, I've been wrong before. Anyhow, the biggest problem for the use of Moodle with MOOCs has always been the need to sign in to do  anything - for example, to access this page  to ask Gavin Hendrik for more information. See the rest of the Moodle Moot keynotes here.

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The Future of Work and Learning 2: Chatbots

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2016-05-15 19:38


Jane Hart, Learning in the Modern Social Workplace, May 15, 2016

Ah, chatbots. Everyone's favourite potential robot teacher. They've been around for a while - here's me interviewing one that ran for president  in 2000. Today they're a lot more sophisticated and sometimes even passing the Turing test (here, here  and here). But bots come in all shapes and sizes and as this article suggests are already pervasive. "There are already bots for  property searchesgetting up to date news bots,  as well as for  booking hotels.... Esther created her own  resume bot....   there is now talk of the  “ conversational office”   (which Slack is spearheading) and  how messaging bots will change workplace productivity  over the next five years."

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Whatever happened to … Logo?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2016-05-15 19:38


Doug Peterson, doug – off the record, May 15, 2016

Logo was an almost magical tool in its time designed to help students learn to program. "Of course, it wasn’ t 'real programming,' writes Doug Peterson. "That was reserved for the assignments given in class.  This was just fun, trying to design the most intricate things that we could." As it turns out, though, it was 'real computing' - more real than the other sort. Today, students have many more options for programming creativity. "Students might get a chance to learn using  Lego Mindstorms  or any of the other languages that have been created with developing coders in mind –   HopscotchScratch, and so much  more.  With the right budget, you might even get a programmable device like  Sphero." For me, languages like Basic and C were my toys, and I created games. 

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Culture and effective online learning environments

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2016-05-15 19:38


Tony Bates, online learning and distance education resources, May 15, 2016

Tony Bates has some sharp and insightful points on culture. "Culture is a critical component of any learning environment," he writes. "However, changing a pre-existing, dominant culture is very difficult." Depending on your perspective, these cultures may also be damaging to learning. For example, a segregated education determined to teach girls 'poise' and ladylike behaviour can scarcely be called comprehensive, he suggests. And Canada's residential school system designed to assimilate aboriginal students was openly destructive. But online learning gives us the means to build our own cultures, he suggests, and he would foster openness, recognition and respect while "making explicit and encouraging the underlying values and epistemology of a subject discipline."

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An international education strategy with no vision

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2016-05-15 19:38


Craig Whitsed, Wendy Green, University World News, May 15, 2016

This is a review of the recently released  Australian National Strategy for International Education 2025  (40 page PDF) and it is not a positive one. Australia has been noted in recent years for an explicit focus on revenue generation from international education, and this report represents a continuation of that strategy. "The strategy has three pillars: strengthening the fundamentals, transformative partnerships and competing globally. To operationalise these pillars, the Australian government will provide A$12 million (US$8.8 million) over four years." Without commenting on the objective, I find this a small amount of money to support such wide objectives, in particular given "the closure of the Office for Learning and Teaching – the major source of funding for teaching innovation in Australian higher education."

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Security Awareness at Eastern Michigan University

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2016-05-15 02:10

by Allan Edwards, EDUCAUSE Review

At Eastern Michigan University (EMU), information security is a challenge. We in the IT department understand and recommend security best practices but cannot always insist on them to the degree that we would like. For example, endpoint management tools that catalog the software on users’ machines are viewed as intrusive. Mobile device management is also not possible since the devices in question are owned by the users and not supplied by the university. Because of this, much of our focus needs to be on training and education. But how can an IT department, which is small compared to the entire university, make a meaningful impact?

http://er.educause.edu/blogs/2016/4/security-awareness-at-eastern-michigan-university

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Developing Institutional Cloud Strategies

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2016-05-15 02:05

by Mara Hancock,et al: EDUCAUSE Review

Chief information officers expect a shift within the next five years, from primarily managing infrastructure and technical resources toward managing outside relationships. Increasing acceptance of increasingly available cloud technologies and services allow redefining higher education’s approach to enterprise IT. Four institutions explain their cloud strategies as developed in response to enterprise challenges and share their lessons learned.

http://er.educause.edu/articles/2016/5/developing-institutional-cloud-strategies

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Thinking about the Future of Work to Make Better Decisions about Learning Today

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2016-05-15 02:03

by Marina Gorbis, EDUCAUSE Review

Fundamental transformations are making distinctions between work, learning, and living ever more artificial. The Institute for the Future (IFTF), in partnership with ACT Foundation, recently published Learning Is Earning in the National Learning Economy—a visual synthesis of future forces that are shaping this transformation. The work shows how the proliferation of online learning resources (free and for pay), the rise of alternative learning and making spaces (from TechShop to General Assembly and makerspaces), and the diffusion of mobile technologies and peer-to-peer communities allow every moment of the day to become a learning moment. At the same time, the way we have come to think about work—that is, 9-to-5 predictable jobs in formal organizations—is less and less a reality for the growing number of working-age adults. So in thinking about the future… we need to think about the forces and signals of transformation and what they mean for higher education today and tomorrow.

http://er.educause.edu/articles/2016/5/thinking-about-the-future-of-work-to-make-better-decisions-about-learning-today

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Books are back. Only the technodazzled thought they would go away

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2016-05-14 19:35


Simon Jenkins, The Guardian, May 14, 2016

This is just an example of some of the ridiculous assertions still being published in the traditional media. I realize that opinion columns should represent all perspectives, but the denial of reality should not be one of them. If you go into your local bookstore (if you can  find a local bookstore) you'll find it selling knick-knacks, toys, food, and pretty much everything but books. People don't buy Kindles any more because they don't even want another device to read books,    I'm sitting in a café right now and  nobody is reading print on paper. Writing a column like this is the surest way to undermine your credibility. See also: eBook sales are not falling, despite what publoishers say.

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Universities must enter the digital age or risk facing irrelevance

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2016-05-14 19:35


Don Tapscott, Toronto Star, May 14, 2016

I have to admit that I am impressed by the way Don Tapscott has found something current, used it to reinforce his core message, and released a book with a slew of publicity that is going to keep himself (and his son Alex) employed for some time into the future. This is how you manage your career as a pundit at a high level. And maybe it will even do some good. Tapscott writes, "The digital world is challenging the very notion of a walled-in institution that excludes large numbers of people. Yet the Industrial Age model of education is hard to change. Vested interests fight change. And leaders of old paradigms are often the last to embrace the new." I see this on a daily basis. Time for a change.

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CASS / Competency And Skills System

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2016-05-14 19:35


Various authors, Website, May 14, 2016

To be launched  on May 24, the Competency and Skills Systems project aims "to facilitate the transition to competency-based education, training, and credentialing through the development and dissemination of open source infrastructure and tools." It is being coordinated by the American Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) proigram, which develops technology on behalf of the U.S. military. It's also working with a number of other organizations, including IMS, IEEE LTSC, LRMI, and more. This could be big. "Competency portability  enables multiple organizations, learning resources, and software systems to reference common sets of competencies. In the CASS vision, diverse authoring tools, learning management systems, learning record stores, learning object repositories and registries, intelligent tutors, simulations, online courses, certificates, transcripts, and ré sumé s could all refer to and retrieve information about the same competencies via persistent URLs in a standardized manner."

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10 Tools for More Interactive Videos

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2016-05-14 02:09

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

If all your recorded lectures are no more than PowerPoints with audio, a flipped classroom is no more thrilling or engaging for students than just attending class in person. So why not add some interactivity to your videos and have some fun? According to Phylise Banner, director of online teaching and learning at Clarkson University, your students will thank you. Banner and her colleague Frank Tomsic, director of the McCormick Educational Technology Center at Rush University Medical Center, are the original masterminds behind the “Technology Test Kitchen,” a phenomenon introduced at an Online Learning Consortium (OLC) event that has since cropped up at multiple conferences where faculty, instructional technologists and instructional designers congregate. The idea: to provide an interactive space “where people can come and play with the [technologies] we’re talking about.” Every event features a different roster of experts sharing their favorite tools and showing others how to use them.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/05/04/10-tools-for-more-interactive-videos.aspx

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6 Strategies to Develop Research Skills as an Online Student

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2016-05-14 02:05

by Bradley Fuster, US News

Because online learners must literally engage course material on the Internet rather than in the physical classroom, it becomes all too easy to copy and paste an unsubstantiated factoid into a discussion forum or homework assignment without giving it rigorous scholarly consideration. The (mis)information superhighway, social media and unverified opinions published on the Web are just one click away from the online classroom. The following six strategies can help online students produce stronger research.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-learning-lessons/articles/2016-05-06/6-strategies-to-develop-research-skills-as-an-online-student

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Ensuring Student Success in Online Courses

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2016-05-14 02:02

By: Poonam Kumar and Marilyn Skrocki, Faculty Focus

Students like online classes due to their flexibility and convenience. But not all students do well in these courses; the statistics indicate that online classes have a much higher dropout rate compared to traditional face-to-face classes. The attrition rates in online courses tend to be 10 to 20 percent higher than in face-to-face classes. While there are some personal factors that could influence a student’s decision to drop out, many of the factors are related to institutional and course level support—and these barriers can be addressed with thoughtful planning and implementation. Institutional level factors like technical support, academic support, advising, and availability of resources can support student success in online courses. At the course level, there are many simple strategies and techniques that instructors can use to support students’ success in their online classes.

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/ensuring-student-success-online-courses/

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Welt-Zöliakie-Tag am

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Sat, 2016-05-14 00:00
Ausgewählte Informationen zum Welt-Zöliakie-Tag am 21.05.2016
Categories: Science News

Europäischen Adipositas-Tag am 21.05.2016

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Sat, 2016-05-14 00:00
Ausgewählte Informationen zum Europäischen Adipositas-Tag am 21.05.2016
Categories: Science News

Announcing SyntaxNet: The World’s Most Accurate Parser Goes Open Source

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2016-05-13 19:33


Slav Petrov, Google Research Blog, May 13, 2016

Language parsing has long been a challenge for artificial intelligence, as (contrary to myth) language defies easy formalization. So it's significant that Google has not only developed this tool, but also that they're making it available online. Even better, it has been given a name that properly reflects its seriousness as a research tool:  Parsey McParseface. "One of the main problems that makes parsing so challenging is that human languages show remarkable levels of ambiguity. It is not uncommon for moderate length sentences - say 20 or 30 words in length - to have hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of possible syntactic structures. A natural language parser must somehow search through all of these alternatives, and find the most plausible structure given the context." There's a really nice example of this in the article. 

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