news (external)

Universal Converter Box

xkcd.com - Mon, 2014-08-11 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Deep Learning Tutorials

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-08-10 20:11


Juan José Calderón Amador, e-learning, conocimiento en red, Aug 10, 2014

There is a risk - and I see it instantiated in this post - of confusing two concepts with the label 'deep learning'. The one, typified by the chart at the top of the post, focuses on the distinction between understanding and mere memorization. The other, typified by the network diagram below, refers to unsupervised learning in neural networks - that is, learning that occurs without a 'training set' of previously resolved phenomena. We can learn from one about the other. But it is important not to conflate these distinct meanings.

[Link] [Comment]

Can You Really Teach a MOOC in a Refugee Camp?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-08-10 20:11
Display


Steve Kolowich, The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog, Aug 10, 2014

The answer - just barely - is "yes". It takes power, of course, and internet access. In this case, "Some refugees have day jobs in the U.N. compound, and Ms. Moser-Mercer arranged to have officials let two men watch videos and complete assignments when they were not working." But it seems to me that if power,  internet and access devices could be provided not just to UN offices but to the camp as a whole there could be a significant benefit produced. "My real conviction is you’ ve got to start on the ground,"  Barbara Moser-Mercer, "You have to go from bottom up.” Yes, these do not trump the need for food, water and shelter. But they do remind refugees that life is not just about existence.

[Link] [Comment]

Are Courses Outdated? MIT Considers Offering ‘Modules’ Instead

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-08-10 20:11


Jeffrey R. Young, The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog, Aug 10, 2014

More on the move to shorter courses. "That question is a major theme of a 213-page report released on Monday by a committee... exploring how [MIT] should innovate to adapt to new technologies and new student expectations." It's the sort of thing, though, that works uniquely online: "The logistics of 10-minute lectures on a residential campus would be infeasible— the setup time and the time to walk between classrooms would be too great.” What this tells me, though, is that things like the setup time and the walk are essentially waste produced by in-person learning. But I guess the Chronicle wouldn't see it that way.

[Link] [Comment]

Bad practices in mobile learning

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-08-10 20:11
Display


Michael Trucano, EduTech, Aug 10, 2014

Yes, there are failures in the deployment of learning technology, writes Michael Trucano. For example, "the one tablet per child project in Thailand 'has been scrapped' [and] the decision of the school district in Hoboken, New Jersey (USA) to 'throw away all  its laptops'." But "Learners would not be terribly well served if educational planners in 2014 simply decided to emulate the impulses and actions of Silesian weavers back in 1844 and smash all the machines in reaction to the spread of new technologies."

[Link] [Comment]

Content and continuous learning: The cornerstones of a learning architecture

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-08-10 20:11
Display


Melanie Moffett, Dawn of Learning Blog, Aug 10, 2014

I sort of wonder about this observation: "What separates powerful learning and development organizations from the middling crowd? A May 2014 report... identifies what high-impact learning organizations (HILO's) are. In short, they actively make use of their technology, modalities and learning architecture in support of L& D objectives." I doubt that this is what distinguishes them. Perhaps what distinguishes them is that they do it successfully. But from my observation, they're all using the technology, and all pursuing L& D objectives.  The superficiality of analysis is choking the discipline!

[Link] [Comment]

From Open To Connected

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-08-10 20:11
Display


Gardner Campbell, Gardner Writes, Aug 10, 2014

One of the points I've tried to make over the years is that open learning requires commented learning, and vice versa. That's why the drive to trivialize the 'open' in MOOC isn't just an accessibility problem, it's a pedagogical problem. Campbell writes, "we may well have missed the greater and more important aims that “ open” strives toward. And while there’ s no way to protect words from being twisted or co-opted, the phenomena of “ openwashing” and the long long O in MOOC are troubling indicators that what initially seemed to be the language of openness may have fought shy of the question of what the openness was for. How otherwise to explain a world in which broadcast lectures are touted as innovations or disruptions?"

[Link] [Comment]

Incredible Images via Wellcome

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-08-10 20:11
Display


Doug Peterson, doug - off the record, Aug 10, 2014

Another source of free (Creative Commons licensed) images. Doug Peterson writes, "You would be hard pressed to find a comparable collection.    I came across the site while looking for some World War I images the other day and, I’ ll confess, I stayed and explored the site far longer than I ever expected."

[Link] [Comment]

Mobile Learning - No Pedagogy Required!

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-08-10 20:11


Brent Schlenker, Corporate eLearning Strategies and Development, Aug 10, 2014

There's a bit of a discussion following this short post, not surprisingly. The core of the argument is this: "Pedagogy is defined (according to a quick Googling) as a method or practice of teaching.   Mobile learning is not about teaching.   Mobile learning is about...well...learning. What's the word for 'a method or practice of learning'?" Learnagogy? Learnology? The idea is that mobile learning is not about teaching... well, ok, but then, what's this?

[Link] [Comment]

Models for teaching by doing (labs, apprenticeship, etc.)

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-08-10 20:11


Tony Bates, online learning and distance edcuation resources, Aug 10, 2014

Tony Bates continues with his online book and the topic of this bit is as the title suggests: "There are a number of different models that focus on helping learners to learn by doing things, such as co-op or workplace programs, field trips  or  internships,usually under the supervision of more experienced mentors or instructors. Here I will touch briefly on only two, the use of laboratory classes/workshops/studios, and apprenticeship programs."

[Link] [Comment]

Federal Reserve Board backs up e-Literate in criticism of Brookings report on student debt

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-08-10 20:11


Phil Hill, e-Literate, Aug 10, 2014

The 'Brookings Report' has been cited by some as a reason to doubt that student loan repayments pose a significant economic risk. The authors write, "Despite the tremendous interest in the perceived problems in the student loan market, there is relatively little empirical evidence to support the discussion." My own view is that we will see dramatic and immediate evidence of the risk should interest rates rise significantly. But we don't need my intuition; there is data showing the Brookings Report is misleading. There is, writes Phil Hill, "clear evidence that the student loan crisis is real and will have a big impact on the economy and future student decision-making."

[Link] [Comment]

BlendKit 2014: Choose Your Own Teaching and Learning Adventure

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-08-10 20:11


Melissa Loble, Canvas by Instructure, Aug 10, 2014

There was once this think called 'programmed learning' which was essentially designed as a series of branches and options (like a computer program). Originally pioneered by B.F. Skinner, it was all the rage for a while, but has virtually disappeared. Easly computer games followed the same design - I still remember seeing a 'laser disk' game that was again a set of options and branches. With both, participants quickly learned to game the system; you couldn't program enough options to make the game unpredictable. And so now we visit today's announcement from Canvas by Instructure, which is exactly the same thing, which is proving once again that it doesn't have any corporate knowledge of the history of the field, what approaches have been tried, and why they were abandoned.

[Link] [Comment]

The nurturing and social reform models of teaching and their relevance to connectivist online learning

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-08-10 20:11


Tony Bates, online learning and distance edcuation resources, Aug 10, 2014

More from Tony Bates, who is having a productive 'retirement'. This post focuses on 'the nurturing approach', "a strong emphasis on the teacher focusing on the interests of the learner, on empathizing with how the learner approaches learning, of listening carefully to what the learner is saying and thinking when learning, and providing appropriate, supportive responses in the form of 'consensual validation of experience.'"

[Link] [Comment]

Using technology in music teaching – my workflows

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-08-10 20:11


Simon Dring, drummer / teacher, Aug 10, 2014

As I read posts and articles on education technology and digital pedagogy I find myself often wishing that writers would be more reflective. In an article about, for example, the workflow involved in teaching music online, the important bits aren't the broad overviews that anyone could figure out - creating handouts on  Sibelius, storing notes on box.com, typing quick notes using of Drafts. What's interesting and relevant are the details that come of direct experience. That's what's missing in this article, and so many other articles like it. Go deep - how do you use these technologies, where do you do your writing and teaching, what mindset to you adopt to frame your lesson?

[Link] [Comment]

Amway Journalism

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-08-10 20:11


Corey Pein, The Baffler, Aug 10, 2014

I'm not even remotely a fan of Jeff Jarvis, but I think that this criticism of him is a bit unfair. Curey Pein writes, "In their long and seemingly hopeless search for answers, journalists have internalized the abusive rhetoric of the 'disruption' brigade. Jarvis tells beleaguered journalists that they themselves, the lowly content-serfs— not short-sighted newspaper proprietors, not the Wall Street backers of corporate media conglomerates, not the sociopathic unchecked tech monopolies, not hostile politicians and prosecutors— are to blame for their sudden loss of livelihood." On the one hand, it's quite true that the technological age has led to exploitation (but mind you, what age has not?). And like Pein, I "criticize Jarvis for his tiresome 'cyber hustler' persona or his shameless grave-dancing amid mass layoffs." On the other hand, old media was "a vicious and ugly beast" and needed to be replaced. And in that, at least, Jarvis (himself a prototypical product of that era) was right.

[Link] [Comment]

Personalization and the 2 Sigma Problem

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-08-10 20:11


Arthur VanderVeen, EdSurge, Aug 10, 2014

"Personalization." writes Arthur VanderVeen, "is defined as differentiating instruction and providing regular corrective feedback based on the needs of each student." But it's very expensive to do effectively for groups of students. According to Benjamin Bloom,  the best response is mastery learning: identify and address gaps in prerequisite knowledge, increase participation and ownership, find something positive in students’ responses, check for understanding, and provide additional clarification as needed. Opposed to this, we have the  argument from people like Benjamin Riley that "students don’ t have the requisite knowledge schemas to effectively direct their own learning (path)" and that "students generally won’ t push themselves to learn without external oversight." But VanderVeen responds, it's a cooperative enterprise.

[Link] [Comment]

Let’s stop trying to teach students critical thinking

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-08-10 17:11


Dennis Hayes, The Conversation, Aug 10, 2014

This idea surfaces from time to time and is commonly found with the same central tenets as are found here:

  • critical thinking is not a skill - thinking of it as a skill reduces it to second-rate applications of tricks of logic
  • critical thinking means some form of indoctrination, typically feminist or Marxist
  • critical thinking is itself uncritical and typically involves adopting some perspective

As a long-time teacher of critical thinking as well as a student of the ideas behind it, I think I can unequivocally say that these three points are nonsense. Critical thinking is a set of tools that help you correct errors in your own reasoning and resist being persuaded by errors in others. It has the same status as mathematics, and failing to teach it has similarly devastating consequences.

 

[Link] [Comment]

Community Teaching Assistants: Coursera’s Student Warriors

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2014-08-10 02:10

by ELISE MUELLER, Duke

Before the start of the second run of English Composition I: Achieving Expertise, the Duke staff went on the hunt for students from the first offering of the course who would be good candidates for the volunteer position of Community Teaching Assistant (CTA). With the help of analytics from Coursera, we invited 25 students who had a high number of forum posts and a top GPA. Thirteen students volunteered to monitor the discussion forums and provide technical and content support for the 89,000 students who signed up.

http://cit.duke.edu/blog/2014/07/community-teaching-assistants-courseras-student-warriors/

Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_11800') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_11800') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_11800') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_11800'); if (button) { button.onclick = function(e) { var url = this.href.replace(/share\.php/, 'sharer.php'); window.open(url,'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436'); return false; } if (button.id === 'facebook_share_button_11800') { button.onmouseover = function(){ this.style.color='#fff'; this.style.borderColor = '#295582'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ this.style.color = '#3b5998'; this.style.borderColor = '#d8dfea'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#fff'; } } }

UPenn Professors Say MOOCs the Future of MBA Programs

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2014-08-10 02:03

by Kristin Decarr, Education News

According to a recent study by two professors from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, online learning could benefit students in ways separate from the benefits gained from traditional classroom learning. The study, titled “Will Video Kill the Classroom Star? The Threat and Opportunity of MOOCs for Full-Time MBA Programs,” looked at the video technology used for massive open online courses (MOOCs), which the authors call “SuperText”, and discovered that it could make MBA courses 40% cheaper to produce. Currently, a full-time traditional MBA involves many professors giving in-class lectures. Each course costs about $1,500 to produce, while “it costs just pennies to register a new student in a MOOC,” writes Seb Murray for website Business Because.

http://www.educationnews.org/online-schools/upenn-professors-say-moocs-future-of-mba-programs/

Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_11798') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_11798') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_11798') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_11798'); if (button) { button.onclick = function(e) { var url = this.href.replace(/share\.php/, 'sharer.php'); window.open(url,'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436'); return false; } if (button.id === 'facebook_share_button_11798') { button.onmouseover = function(){ this.style.color='#fff'; this.style.borderColor = '#295582'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ this.style.color = '#3b5998'; this.style.borderColor = '#d8dfea'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#fff'; } } }

The Top 5 MOOC Finders

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2014-08-10 02:02

by IBL Studio

Here is a list of the top 5:

Class-Central.com. It tracks more than 50,000 courses. It has a great feature called “Mooc tracker”, which allows you to build your own catalog of courses and get notified.

<br><br>

Accredible.com. It tracks free and paid video courses from the nine best course providers. It highlights the idea of collecting certificates and getting references.

<br><br>

CourseBuffet.com. It includes MOOC providers such as Saylor.org Academy, India’s NPTEL and the OpenCourseWare consortium, that aren’t well represented by other aggregators.

<br><br>

edHoop.com. It covers an extensive offering of video-based courses, both free and paid. So far, RedHoop has collected over 21,400 courses, of which 3,600 are free. It features an interesting top 100 list.

<br><br>

TopFreeClasses.com. It ranks courses in terms of popularity.

http://iblstudios.com/moocs-offer-grows-exponentially-the-top-5-moocs-finders/

Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_11795') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_11795') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_11795') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_11795'); if (button) { button.onclick = function(e) { var url = this.href.replace(/share\.php/, 'sharer.php'); window.open(url,'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436'); return false; } if (button.id === 'facebook_share_button_11795') { button.onmouseover = function(){ this.style.color='#fff'; this.style.borderColor = '#295582'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ this.style.color = '#3b5998'; this.style.borderColor = '#d8dfea'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#fff'; } } }

Pages

Subscribe to Ulrich Schrader's Website aggregator