news (external)

Forged in wildfires: Lessons from California student-reporters

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2018-04-04 19:38

Anne Belden, Columbia Journalism Review, Apr 04, 2018

I'm not recommending that we send students into wildfires in order to improve their education. But the lessons learned by these student journalists will never be forgotten. “I was flipping between journalist mode and ‘that’s-my-home’ mode,” said one student journalist. “As it got closer to my house, the priorities started to shift. It was almost fluid.” The article offers some good advice on how to support student journalists (advice, really, that could apply to almost any sort of field work done by students). "Their skill sets advanced a year and, in three intense weeks, they transitioned from student-reporters to journalists."

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This Stanford Computer Science Genius Aims To Crack The Code Of Learning And Leadership

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2018-04-04 02:10

by Caroline Howard , FORBES

“It’s not that a white male can’t lead. I’ve done it,” says John Hennessy, the 65-year-old president emeritus of Stanford University, long-time Google board member and new non-executive chair of its parent company, Alphabet. “It’s that we all benefit by being exposed to a diverse cohort of people, working in a diverse community. Because if you’re in a leadership position, you’re not leading just people who look like you.”


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Spike Lee to launch online class for filmmakers

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2018-04-04 02:05

by Najja Parker The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta-born director is partnering with MasterClass, a platform that hosts dozens of celebrity-led tutorials, to educate up-and-coming artists about the craft. For $90, Lee will discuss the technicalities of writing stories, collaborating with actors, choosing music, financing and picking the best camera angles. He will also take a critical look at the current film industry, sharing his personal experiences and advising filmmakers how to overcome hurdles within the field. “There are no absolute truths in filmmaking and no one way to be a filmmaker,” Lee said in a statement. “I’ve learned in 30 years things that I can give back. I’m teaching this MasterClass because very few people get to sit in my classes at NYU, so this is an opportunity for me to share what I’ve learned with as many students as possible, no matter where they are in their film career.”

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Study offers insight into the adult learner profile

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2018-04-04 02:03

By Jarrett Carter, Education Dive
The Chronicle of Higher Education has produced a new report profiling the growth of adult learners as a critical part of the American college student profile. According to the executive summary, about 80 million people between the ages of 25 through 65 have earned high school diplomas but have not earned a college degree. About 15 million adult learners have earned at least an associate’s degree.  When compared to traditional college student profiles, a majority of adult learners are African-American women who attend college part time and receive Pell Grant funding support.  The report highlights several areas of emphasis for institutions to help adult learners persist and complete degrees. Child care and supporting financial aid programs, the report authors say, is a critical element of helping students to become stable in degree pursuit.

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Teaching Strategies for Critical Thinking Skills

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2018-04-03 21:48

Janelle Cox, TeachHub, Apr 03, 2018

This is exactly the sort of nonsensical article I was trying to protect people from with my Critical Thinking for Educators post last week. Janelle Cox's article is unmitigated nonsense. The five 'strategies' for " getting our students to use their higher-order thinking skills while learning" are: encouraging students to think for themselves, helping students make connections, activating students' prior knowledge, placing students into groups, and activating the turn-around strategy. These might (or might not be) good bits of advice, but they have utterly nothing to do with critical thinking. Posts like this are just so much noise and do nothing to advance good teaching or good learning.,

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Data-based decision making on students’ mathematical achievement: no effect

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2018-04-03 21:01

Jonathan Kantrowitz, Education Research Report, Apr 03, 2018

Wouldn't it be something if the data showed that there was no effect to be had from using data-driven decision-making (DBDM)  in education? The paper from last June this short post is based on is locked behind a subscription paywall, so there's no way of verifying the report or finding any other nuance in the study (yet another case of why it's so frustrating that people actually publish this way - it's like they don't want to be read). This result is probably a misinterpretation. But if it isn't, my guess is that it would all even out: the benefit you get from an intervention on one person is offset by the disruption the intervention causes to another. Plus, maybe, treating students like robots. But let's not get too excited; as with all such studies there's another with contradictory outcomes; you can find one from 2015 here. And here's a paper outlining all the factors related to DBDM implementation in schools.

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The Edublogger’s Guide To Podcasting

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2018-04-03 20:52

Kathleen Morris, The Edublogger, Apr 03, 2018

This guide from Edublogs is for educators and dips into the now-rich history of educational podcasting to create an every-teacher's guide. It's funny how podcasting was all the rage for a while, went out of fashion, and now has returned with a vengeance. No matter: I'm just happy to see it. And there's this: "The main reason I like podcasts is because you can consume content while doing something else— exercising, driving, cleaning the house etc.... podcasts allow a lot more flexibility to learn or be entertained on-the-go than other sorts of media like video or written text. Podcasts are also free! You don’t need to buy a book or sign up for a course to learn something new. With hundreds of thousands of podcasts available, there’s a good chance there’s a podcast on a topic you’re interested in."

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College for all — but not college degrees

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2018-04-03 20:31

Joanne Jacobs, Linking and Thinking on Education, Apr 03, 2018

As always, I am suspicious when reading a Joanne Jacobs column, but this one seems backed by good data and (even more importantly) good intentions. In a nutshell, " More first-generation, low-income students are going to college — but not completing a degree, writes David Leonhardt in the New York Times. " Obviously this is a concern because these students are accumulating a huge debt load, but not the earning power required to offset that. " I’m convinced that the college-graduation problem is one of the big barriers to economic mobility," writes Leonhardt  in the Times. I'm thinking that whatever is preventing them from graduating is also that big barrier to economic mobility, and one that won't be addressed simply by increasing graduation rates.

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In Defense of Design Thinking, Which Is Terrible

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2018-04-03 20:04

jenkinsEar, Metafilter, Apr 03, 2018

This is a really interesting pair of presentations. In one, mostly a video, Natasha Jen criticizes the idea of design thinking. “Why did we end up with a single medium?" she asks. "Charles and Ray Eames worked in a complete lack of Post-It stickies. They learned by doing.” In response, Khoi Vinh argues, "it matters less to me whether it leads to a lot of bad design or not. What matters to me is whether it helps broaden the language of design, if it helps expand the community of design, if it helps build a world that values and understands design better than it does today." I fit more into the 'design by doing' school, though I've certainly heard from the other side around here.

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Philosophical Implications of New Thought-Imaging Technology

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2018-04-03 19:52

Justin Weinberg, Daily Nous, Apr 03, 2018

We have always taken for granted the fact that our thoughts are private. The developments described in this article challenge that idea. " Dan Nemrodov at the University of Toronto-Scarborough is working on a way to use electroencephalography (EEG) and machine learning to digitally reconstruct the images that subjects are seeing. In other words, he is developing a kind of mind reading technology." More here and here. Before encoding it and signing up hundreds of millions of users, let's first ask: what are the ethical implications of this: "communications for the impaired or ill, evidence for criminal investigations, opportunities for commercial data mining, new forms of art creation, etc"? And in education: could we 'know' what a person 'knows' by using this technology to 'read' their mind?

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Teachers and students create interactive STEM lessons that inspire, motivate, and teach others

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2018-04-03 19:46

Microsoft, Apr 03, 2018

In a conversation with Doug Belshaw this morning we discussed the idea of student-produced open educational resources (OERs), how they didn't have to be high-quality and glossy to be effective, and how the metaphor of 'learning exhaust' might not be the best way to describe them (what would be better: 'learning by-products'? 'learning productions'?). This Microsoft post from yesterday describes the same idea (but in a specifically Microsoft-branded way, of course). The story focuses on José Pedro Almeida, a 12-year-old student from Portugal. “Mr. Sousa encouraged us to learn programming, and we created a project to motivate other students and teachers to learn programming, too,” José says.

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The Missing Building Blocks of the Web

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2018-04-03 19:39

Anil Dash, Glitch, Medium, Apr 03, 2018

Anil Dash, still with Glitch, is continuing to advocate "the idea that the web was supposed to be made out of countless little sites." This is something that resonates with me as well. The missing building blocks, he writes, are the technologies that made the old web work: the idea that you could view source and use what you saw to create your own web site; embedding bits and pieces of one website on another (the way we used to do with Flash, and the way I still do with videos and slide shows); having your own web address. In a follow-up article Mike Loukides adds to the list things like RSS, which creates simple syndication, along with better security and privacy.

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Diversity drives progress— in business and higher ed

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2018-04-03 02:10

by David Steele-Figueredo, Education Dive

Today, Apple claims that “diverse teams make innovation possible.” A key to the power of diversity is opinion diversity. It helps to shape the answer to a problem or issue.  While gender and ethnic diversity has evolved from a business imperative to a moral and social imperative, today’s higher education system has been comparatively slow to emphasize the importance of a diverse, multicultural experience.  In the last 15 years, however, higher education has prioritized creating an inclusive climate and valuing the richness of different perspectives. To a large extent, the diversity trend has been driven by colleges to prepare our workforce for multinational understanding, and to recognize the increasing number of women and minorities in positions of power.

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UC Berkeley Rolls Out Tech for Accessible Course Content

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2018-04-03 02:05

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Following a semester-long pilot of Blackboard’s Ally solution for accessible course content, the University of California, Berkeley is expanding its use of the technology across campus. The rollout will begin this fall, and by the end of next year, the system will provide accessible course materials to more than 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students, according to a news release.

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Study finds race and gender bias in online classes

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2018-04-03 02:02

BY EMILY DAVIS, Daily Tar Heel
Online course instructors show bias in their responses to students based on perceptions of gender and race, a recent study found.  The study was conceived and conducted by the Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis. The authors of the study believe it is the first to demonstrate biases among both students and instructors in these settings. According to the study, instructors are 94 percent more likely to answer comments posted by white male students than any other students. The study failed to find general evidence of bias in responses from other students.


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CHLOE 2 Results Shed Light on Issues Affecting Online Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2018-04-02 02:14

by Quality Matters
Quality Matters and Eduventures teamed up in 2017 to survey Chief Online Officers. Through the survey, we identified some important practices and trends, including the reasons and motivations behind policy and strategic decisions advancing online learning.

  • The presence of ID support in course design is consistent with a higher degree of reported student-to-student interaction — one of the most widely accepted best practices in effective online learning.
  • Fully online programs are the most likely to emphasize student-to-student interaction online, suggesting that such programs work harder to stimulate student interaction to compensate for the complete absence of classroom contact.
  • CHLOE 2 data on interest in adopting new technology suggest that learning analytics is the only currently non-mainstream technology destined for truly mainstream adoption in the near future.

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The General Data Protection Regulation Explained

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2018-04-02 02:12

by Barmak Nassirian, EDUCASUSE Review

The European Union set an effective date of May 25, 2018, for the General Data Protection Regulation, which replaces its Data Protection Directive of 1995 and significantly expands personal privacy rights for EU residents. Not only is the GDPR more enforceable compared to the DPD, it applies to entities with no physical EU presence if they control or process covered personal information of EU residents. US institutions with EU-based operations or significant numbers of EU residents as students — particularly those delivering distance education programs to such students within the EU — should be in the final stages of implementing GDPR-compliant practices now.

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This $10 online course will get you up to speed with the EU’s new internet regulations

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2018-04-02 02:05

by Mashable

The GDPR forces all companies that do business in/with the European Union or the European Economic Area to be fully transparent with their data collection up front. They must tell users what information they want to collect and what they plan on doing with this information. And if they run afoul of any of these rules, they will be subjected to substantial fines: up to €20 million.  This is big stuff, so you need to get your company and your employees up to speed with these new regulations ASAP. There’s a GDPR Certification Course that you can take online, and it’s a great way to start. This online course will teach you all about the new data-collection rules and what you need to do to stay in compliance

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Amazon Peer Review: Coming To A Preprint Near You

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2018-04-01 16:56

Phil Davis, The Scholarly Kitchen, Apr 01, 2018

That sound you heard was academic journals everywhere going "uh, oh". They don't need to worry just yet, it's just an April Fools joke. According to this article, " Starting today, anyone shopping on Amazon will soon be able to review manuscripts... Amazon Peer Review™ works by linking Amazon’s online store to bioRxiv, a rapidly expanding source for preprints in the biomedical sciences. Ratings will be tagged to manuscripts with an Amazon-branded quality badge." Yes, it's just a joke, but how bad would it be, really?

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Why No One Finishes An Online Course—And Why It Doesn’t Matter

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2018-04-01 16:47

Tyler Basu, Influencive, Apr 01, 2018

This post reads like marketing but it still makes a pretty good point. "Your customers aren't going to buy your course because they want to learn everything you know about XYZ topic. They’re going to buy your course because they want to achieve a specific result. To them, your course is just a way to learn how to get that result. It’s the result they value, not the information." If they get that result, the course was valuable, even if they didn't finish the course.

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