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Research Ethics

xkcd.com - Fri, 2014-07-04 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Demoting Social Silos to Syndication Endpoints

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-07-03 15:41


David Wiley, iterating toward openness, Jul 03, 2014

David Wiley discovers Known and the result is magical. "Known is a publication platform that uses the “ POSSE” publication model, where POSSE stands for “ Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere” . .. The POSSE model is just beautiful. It represents everything empowering about the Reclaim and Retain work. In fact, the more I wrapped my head around it, the more excited I got." See  more about Known. This is the model - promoted here through everything from  indiweb to  Diaspora to syndication itself - that we've been taking about here for years. It's the basis for the personal learning environment. It's the basis for mesh networking. Welcome to the future, David. Maybe you want to read  this (and this) and we can talk about breaking down the silos and building indie learning. Via Jim Groom.

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Jobs Charted by State and Salary

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-07-03 15:41
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Nathan Yau, Flowing Data, Jul 03, 2014

Interesting presentation, sadly using U.S. data only, of every major job category, the size of the population employed in it, and the average salary. What I find noteworthy is that the slider only needs to move between $20K to $180K. It raises the question: who needs more than $180K to live? And why would incomes be higher than that? The vast majority of us earn something within that range. The people who earn more are deriving an unfair advantage from the work the rest of us produce and are distorting marketplace pricing for goods and services (everything from food to health care) the rest of us need to live.

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The Future is Open

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-07-03 15:41
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Various authors, Creative Commons, Jul 03, 2014

Creative Commons has released their annual report as a picture book. I'm not sure what to think of that. Sure, there's text, but the presentation is mostly visual. The main highlight is the release of version 4.0 of the licenses - we are told they are "global licenses" that don't need to be adapted to each jurisdiction. "The new licenses include provisions related to database rights, personality rights, data mining, and other issues beyond the scope of the original CC licenses." But better is the recognition that "CC licenses are a patch, not a fix, for the problems of the copyright system." This is reflected in a  policy statement that urges that content be considered "open by default". Controls on reuse should be the exception, not the rule, and in my view, should require special justification. So much of any creation is borrowed from others there needs to be substantial justification for locking it in its entirety. I guess I don't mind the picture-book format, but posting credits on every page for each image, even the navigation icons, is distracting. Just build a credits page.

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How Should I Offer This Course? The Course Delivery Decision Model (CDDM)

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-07-03 15:41


Thomas M. Brinthaupt, Maria A. Clayton, Barbara J. Draude, Paula T. Calahan, MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT), Jul 03, 2014

This is not a bad paper though I wish the authors had been more imaginative in their typology of delivery models - the old "in-class, hybrid or online" classification could admit of much more nuance, ranging from pedagogical style (active learning, constructionism, lecture) through to media employed (videos, texts, simulations). There's a bit of that in the only substantive diagram of the model, which begins with sets of options for content, activities and feedback. But these seem placed squarely within an instructivist frame, and do not help guide delivery decisions in any substantive manner. I think the discussion is interesting, even though the model suffers from the flaws of models generally: people who understand the model don't need it, while people who need the model don't understand it.

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Condition al Release of Course Materials: Assessing Best Practice Recommendations

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-07-03 15:41


Lawanna S. Fisher, Justin G. Gardner, Thomas M. Brinthaupt, Deana M. Raffo, MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT), Jul 03, 2014

This is a pretty interesting paper up to the end of page four. It discusses the phenomenon of 'conditional release of material' - that is, showing students course content only after they have reached a certain threshold, such as passing a quiz. The author surveys types of and conditions for conditional release. You can stop reading at the point where you read the statement "Two of the authors surveyed undergraduate students in their courses over two semesters." The data that follows is essentially useless, even discounting the response rate of 38% from the surveys (I don't know why authors feel compelled to write these papers and why journals like JOLT feel compelled to publish them).

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Archaeopteryx: Federn zum Wärmen und zum Fliegen

ScienceTicker.Info - Thu, 2014-07-03 12:13
Das Federkleid diente dem Archaeopteryx vermutlich zur Wärmeisolation. Beim schnellen Laufen könnten seine Armschwingen auch zum Halten der Balance gedient haben, so wie dies heute beim Strauß zu beobachten ist. Das schreiben Münchner Forscher im Magazin „Nature“. Die Wissenschaftler unter der Leitung von Oliver Rauhut, Paläontologe an der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, analysierten das besonders gut erhaltene, […]
Categories: Science News

4 ways to make college more accessible for special needs students

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-07-03 02:09

By Andria Casey, eCampus News

There may be a shortage of apps targeting post-secondary special education, but you can still take steps to facilitate a smooth transition for your students.  In recent years, the awareness of special needs in education has grown steadily. Yet, most of the focus is placed on K-12 resources. As special needs students move on to higher education, the amount of support and resources seems to dwindle. Nearly 350 special needs apps can be found when searching in the iTunes store. The large majority of these apps feature fun cartoons and basic concepts – perfect for the K-12 audience, but not the higher education audience. I was impressed with the recent eCampus News article on assistive technology apps, which listed several apps that held value beyond the doors of high school.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/education-special-needs-623/

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The 3 biggest parts of digital citizenship

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-07-03 02:04

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Digital citizenship has quickly become a cornerstone of a 21st-century education. Today’s students are part of a global school. Many take courses online with classmates from all over the country, and often, the world. A growing and essential aspect of this global education is digital citizenship–a growing concept that aims to educate students about the impact of their online and digital actions. “Digital citizenship is not a bunch of do’s and don’ts–it’s an incredible opportunity to bring to education new perspectives,” said educational futurist Jason Ohler. Today’s educational leaders must acknowledge digital citizenship’s necessary place in schools, classrooms, and homes.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/06/23/digital-citizenship-focus-632/

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6 keys to a good online course

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-07-03 02:02

By Meris Stansbury, eSchool News

Here’s a hint: It’s not really about the technology! Online learning is about changing the delivery of instruction, but if it’s one thing everyone agrees on, it’s that good teaching, just like in the traditional classroom, makes or breaks the course. But what are the other characteristics of a good online course? Surprisingly, recent studies on MOOCs from Duke University, as well as many current articles on the topic of ‘what makes a good online course’ from both educators and students, all agree that the actual technology platform, or the recording technology used, has very little to do with an online course’s success. Instead, common factors like ‘good teaching,’ and ‘good organization,’ often used as keys to a good traditional course, are still the characteristics of a good online course. However, these keys are adapted for an online environment.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/good-online-course-591/

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Facebook psychology experiment raises ire

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-07-02 15:39


Staff, Globe, Mail, Jul 02, 2014

There has been quite a bit of  negative reaction to the revelation that Facebook has been experimenting on its users (this, of course, won't stop Facebook from experimenting like this, but it will stop them from publishing the results). Here's what you need to know, according to GigaOm, about the experiments. Here's Facebook's defense. Still, some people (including Audrey Watters) wand to de-Facebook. They'll be on Twitter (do you really think Twitter is any more ethical than Facebook?). But there's no escape. Even if you're gone, you'll be part of Facebook's  secret dossier of individuals. "There are no protections against shadow profiling. Just like with so-called "people search" websites, we have no legal mandates with which we can identify and remove our information from their systems."

But if you think all this begins with Facebook, or even with the internet, then I think that you're being terribly naive. How do you think credit scores are calculated - by magic?  Companies like Equifax have been maintaining 'shadow profiles' for decades. "According to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the three largest players in the credit reporting market — Equifax, Experian Information Solutions Inc. and TransUnion LLC — each maintain files on at least 200 million Americans culled from about 10,000 information providers." (Via) The insurance industry, as well, relies on such profiles when assigning risk and calculating rates. Marketing agencies collect dossiers to help them target mailing campaigns. Political parties keep track of voters. The list goes on and on. And they all experiment with different messaging to produce different results. So let's not all be shocked by this.

And the  social experimentation continues unabated. There's a long history. There are  well-established procedures and  ethics regulations which are routinely ignored by industry. Indeed, they're popular entertainment. They're passed off as art. Or reality series. Grocery stores and  retail outlets constantly experiment with traffic flows and consumer behaviour. All the  big data and  learning analytics studies - what do you think they are doing? Governments and companies  frequently experiment on soldiers, welfare recipients - indeed, any person from a disadvantaged group is fair game. So, again, let's not be shocked by all this.

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Building Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for Academia and Industry, Onlea promotes economic diversity in Alberta

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-07-02 15:39


Jim Armstrong, TEC Edmonton, Jul 02, 2014

My longtime colleague Jennifer Chesney has joined up with two others at the University of Alberta to launch "a not-for-profit spin-off from the University of Alberta producing flexible, mobile-friendly, interactive learning courses, educational experiences, and assessment solutions that can be distributed across the wide variety of Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platforms" (there's no shortage of adjectives with this group - perhaps they could leave some for the rest of us!). They were responsible for the popular Dino 101 online course.

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Buntbarsche akzeptieren nur Fleißige

ScienceTicker.Info - Wed, 2014-07-02 14:37
Buntbarsche müssen dominanten Brutpaaren bei der Aufzucht von Jungen oder der Revierverteidigung helfen, um im Schutz einer Gruppe leben zu dürfen. Wie schweizer Forscher beobachteten, droht Verweigerern eine Strafe bis zum Rauswurf aus der Gruppe.
Categories: Science News

Why Did inBloom Die? A Hard Lesson About Education Privacy

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-07-02 03:38


Daniel Solove, SafeGov, Jul 01, 2014

This article from a couple of months ago is making the rounds, and is well worth a look. As background, "Funded by $100 million from the Gates Foundation, inBloom was a non-profit organization aiming to store student data so that school officials and teachers could use it to learn about their students and how to more effectively teach them." According to the article, "The main instrument of inBloom's death was privacy.  Because inBloom involved so much student data, privacy concerns began to swirl about, and eventually turned into a tornado." Is there evidence that providers have learned from this? Not so much.

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The digital degree

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-07-02 03:38


Unattributed, The Economist, Jul 01, 2014

If the Economist says something is good, I begin to worry. And so too with this article touting the destruction of the universities at the hands of the MOOC. The Economist sees the elite universities faring well, with smaller for-profits and even medium-sized public universities bearing the brunt. I'd like to think that open online learning will make the elite universities irrelevant - of course, a lot of things have to happen for that to take place, but we can always hope.

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The Value of MOOCs to Early Adopter Universities

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-07-02 02:10

by Dikran W. Kassabian, Educause Review

While MOOCs may not yet (and may not ever) be the “game changers” for higher education that some predicted, neither are they disappearing. On the contrary, their numbers continue to grow. The chance to pursue university mission goals through a high-profile development in higher education that simultaneously promotes university image, gives some members of the faculty a much larger audience, and is perceived positively by a public seeking increased connection with an otherwise exclusive university, is an opportunity too good for the early adopters to pass up. The exuberance of 2012 has faded, replaced by the skepticism of 2014, but at the early adopter universities, MOOCs appear poised to play an important role in the higher education picture for at least the next few years, perhaps beyond, with a strong value proposition: supporting the goal of improving on-campus teaching and learning while also promoting the university and its faculty. At the same time, the elite universities connect with the public through educational outreach, demonstrating leadership in an emerging higher education learning technology.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/value-moocs-early-adopter-universities

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The Starbucks-ASU Contract

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-07-02 02:04
by Carl Straumsheim,  Inside Higher Ed Arizona State’s contract with Starbucks, obtained by Inside Higher Ed through an open records request to the university, is full of provisions that urge students toward completion. It also suggests the university is prepared to shut the door on partnerships with other companies for years to in exchange for access to tens of thousands of eligible Starbucks employees. In the week since the deal was announced to fanfare about a path to a free college education, details show the program is less straightforward than initially promoted. <a href=”http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/06/23/contract-reveals-arizona-state-u-starbucks-partnership-details#sthash.fn23t1mN.dpbs

Arizona State’s contract with Starbucks, obtained by Inside Higher Ed through an open records request to the university, is full of provisions that urge students toward completion. It also suggests the university is prepared to shut the door on partnerships with other companies for years to in exchange for access to tens of thousands of eligible Starbucks employees. In the week since the deal was announced to fanfare about a path to a free college education, details show the program is less straightforward than initially promoted.
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/06/23/contract-reveals-arizona-state-u-starbucks-partnership-details#sthash.fn23t1mN.dpbs

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Job with AT&T awaits after online courses

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-07-02 02:03

by Eduardo Porter, NY Times

“We are trying to widen the pipeline,” said Charlene Lake, an AT&T spokeswoman. “This is designed by business for the specific skills that are needed in business.” Thrun sounded more ambitious about the ultimate goal: “It is like a university,” he said, “built by industry.” The NanoDegree is offering a narrow set of skills that can be clearly applied to a job, providing learners with a bite-size chunk of knowledge and an immediate motivation to acquire it. AT&T will accept the NanoDegree as a credential for entry-level jobs. It is hoping to persuade other companies to accept it, too. The company has reserved 100 internship slots for its graduates. Udacity is also creating NanoDegrees with other companies. If all goes according to plan, Thrun says, Udacity will ultimately create an alternative approach to the “four years and done” model of higher education, splitting it into chunks that students can take throughout their lives. “It’s a more focused education with less time wasted,” Thrun told me. “They can get a degree quickly, get a job and then maybe do it again.”

http://www.dallasnews.com/business/headlines/20140621-job-with-att-awaits-after-online-courses.ece

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Surface Area

xkcd.com - Wed, 2014-07-02 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Online Colleges That Offer Free Laptops For Students

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2014-07-01 02:10

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

If you’re an incoming college freshman with a limited budget, one way to offset the cost of buying a laptop is to find a university program that offers one as part of its overall tuition package. You should pay careful attention to the language that advertisers use to describe these programs: except for in very rare cases, colleges don’t give away “free laptops” to their incoming students. Rather, these laptops are compensated for in the overall tuition bill that you pay your school. However, since tuition costs can be offset by things like scholarships and need-based financial aid packages, if you receive a full-ride grant to a university that gives laptops to its students (for example), you are effectively getting a “free” computer. Linked below, we have created a list of schools that offer laptops as part of their tuition statements.

http://www.edudemic.com/online-colleges-that-offer-free-laptops-for-students/

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