news (external)

Graham Brown-Martin

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-02-03 22:05

Graham Brown-Martin, Learning {Re}imagined, Feb 03, 2017

I'm generally sympathetic with the aims of this post but I can't get past his use of corporate logos and branding (specifically, the whole Star Wars motif) to animate his call. I come from the same place he does, in 1985, "the future of learning was bright and educational technology would play a central role in its transformation by removing the curriculum, the artificial subject silos and the streaming of kids by age, so that learning could be experienced and lived." I didn't need Seymour Papert to come up with these ideas for me, I might note: a lot of people figured this all out independently. I too regret that "technology was co-opted not to liberate but to reinforce standardisation and automation of schools ways." But no I won't join an “ EdTech Rebel Alliance” - I will continue to work with my own identity and my own brand, even if not stamped with corporate imprimatur, as I have always done.

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The woes of Windows 10

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-02-03 22:05

The Economist, Feb 03, 2017

We still use Windows 7 at the office. Our version of Exchange, meanwhile, is so old it is actually incompatible with newer versions of Outlook, with the result that my Windows 10 laptop and desktop at home have to use Thunderbird to access email. It's a common scenario.  The article blames the complexity of Windows 10 and privacy concerns. I disagree. First, I think that the software-by-subscription model is seriously flawed; you no longer own software, so signing over to Windows 10 means permanent annual expenses. Second, I think the Microsoft apps that come built-in with Windows 10 (Mail, Calendar, Maps, Groove, Messaging, even Edge) are terrible; features I'd come to count on have vanished. Windows 7 with the 2010 versions of Word, PowerPoint, etc., is a stable long-term solution. The software won't disappear on you, features won't disappear on you, not even if you stop paying Microsoft. And that's why companies and individuals are sticking with it.

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Cameroon's Anglophone Regions Suffer Under Internet Ban

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-02-03 19:05

Moki Kindzeka, AllAfrica.Com, Feb 03, 2017

The Cameroon government has shut down internet access in English-speaking regions of the predominately French-seaking country in response to unrest in the minority population. The outage, which has lasted two weeks, is having a significant effect on the region's nascent internet industry. Edward Snowden notes, "This is the future of repression." I'm sympathetic with all sides in the dispute, and hope they are able to de-escalate. meanwhile, the event makes it clear that organizations need to develop diginal communications that do not depend on the internet, a 21st century wireless Fidonet, if you will. Image: Steve Tchoumba

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United States of Knowledge

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2017-02-03 01:10

by Coursera

Coursera has released a map of learning regions across the US based on relative popularity of online course topics on Coursera. Coursera analyzed data on online course enrollments among 5 million online learners in the United States to track the share of learners in each state interested in a variety of topics. While business and computer science are the most popular topics overall in most states, trends in relative interest between states tell a different story – one of a vibrant, diverse nation in which 12 distinct learning regions emerge. Check out the learning regions above, and be sure to scroll over your state to see the five most popular categories of online courses as well as what specific topics of interest make that state unique.

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Is Blockchain the Next Great Hope — or Hype?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2017-02-03 01:05

by Knowledge@Wharton

Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin may have captured the public’s fancy – and also engendered a healthy dose of skepticism — but it is their underlying technology that is proving to be of practical benefit to organizations: the blockchain. These uses are merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg for a nascent technology whose development stage has been compared to the early years of the internet. “We’re very early in the game,” said Brad Bailey, research director of capital markets at Celent, at a recent Blockchain Opportunity Summit in New York. He likened the blockchain’s current status to the web of the early 1990s, heralding a coming wave of new ideas and uses. “This will impact the world.”

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Web Strategies for the Curation and Discovery of Open Educational Resources

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2017-02-03 01:02

by Vivien Rolfe, Open Praxis

For those receiving funding from the UK HEFCE-funded Open Educational Resource Programme (2009–2012), the sustainability of project outputs was one of a number of essential goals. Our approach for the hosting and distribution of health and life science open educational resources (OER) was based on the utilisation of the blogging platform and search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques to curate content and widen discovery. This paper outlines the approaches taken and tools used at the time, and reflects upon the effectiveness of web strategies several years post-funding. The paper concludes that using as a platform for sharing and curating OER, and the adoption of a pragmatic approach to SEO, offers cheap and simple ways for small-scale open education projects to be effective and sustainable.

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Fire - Fri, 2017-02-03 01:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Fire - Fri, 2017-02-03 01:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News


Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Thu, 2017-02-02 23:00

Die im Informationssystem eingespeicherten gestaltbaren Tabellen aus dem "Deutschen Kinderkrebsregister" des Instituts für Medizinische Biometrie, Epidemiologie und Informatik der Universität Mainz wurden um das Jahr 2015 ergänzt.

Categories: Science News

Tag der Zahnschmerzen am 09.02.2017

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Thu, 2017-02-02 23:00
Ausgewählte Informationen zum Tag der Zahnschmerzen am 09.02.2017
Categories: Science News

Knowledge Science: The Great Big Beautiful Puzzle

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-02-02 19:05

Dennis Thomas, Learning Solutions Magazine, Feb 02, 2017

This is a view of knowledge and learning that I think is wrong (and would argue has been disproven in application) but which is nonetheless believed - either implicitly or explicitly - by many. The idea is that all knowledge can be understood conceptually a nd semantically, and that it all fits a giant puzzle explaining the universe, which can be understood using "time-tested a priori knowledge."

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Transversal Competencies and their Assessment: Perspectives from the Asia-Pacific

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-02-02 16:05

Ramya Vivekanandan, Esther Care, Rebekah Luo, UNESCO, Feb 02, 2017

'Transversal skills' is the term adopted by UNESCO to refer to things like 21st century skills, critical thinking, persitence, and related skills. This article observes that they are being more widely valued world-wide. But the question remains: how are they being evaluated? It is in this context that UNESCO Bangkok published Assessment of Transversal Competencies: Policy and Practice in the Asia-Pacific Region (62 page PDF) "in the aim of understanding more about these questions and how some countries are trying to answer them."

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Coursera’s New Strategy Takes Inspiration From Netflix—and LinkedIn

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-02-02 16:05

Jeffrey R. Young, Sydney Johnson, EdSurge, Feb 02, 2017

Coursera is continuing its migration from being a MOOC provider offering free online learning to a subscription-based learning provider charging fees for access to learning materials. The model, as this article points out, has already been established by Netflix (for videos) and Microsoft (for its LinkedIn owned Lynda course platform). According to this article the big problem with the model is the size of the courses ("meaningful education cannot be delivered at massive scale") but of course the real problem for students is the course fee.

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EdX Courses Take Less Time Than On-Campus Ones, Report Says

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2017-02-02 01:06


According to the report, described as “one of the largest surveys of MOOCs to date,” 2.4 million “unique users” around the world have participated in an edX class. Of those users, 159,000 have earned at least one certificate. The report details disparities between on-campus courses, or “residential courses,” and online ones—namely that students spend considerably more time on standard classroom-based courses. Most online certificate earners spend less than 50 hours completing a course, and one percent of certificate earners get certificates with “less than 23 minutes online,” according to the report. Researchers estimated that the average semester-long residential course takes approximately 168 hours, or 12 hours per week. “There still is a way in which this report reminds you how heterogenous [edX] still is,” Ho said. “The punchline is there’s no physical classroom like this in the world.”

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As cost of higher education soars, online learning emerges as most viable solution

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2017-02-02 01:02

By: Aditya Malik, Financial Express

Technology has virtually touched almost every aspect of our lives today, and education is no exception. Disruptive innovation in the form of online learning is a catalyst to bring about a more equitable approach to high-quality education. Today’s generation is on a constant lookout to acquire new skills. Students are undertaking courses that enhance their learning and development according to their immediate needs, while leaving a window open to change their calling with online courses. Conservation of hours and money enables them to learn with a purpose and instils a sense of self-belief in them, creating a tangible impact in their professional life. Working executives are keen on embracing change, by increasingly choosing online certificate courses and programmes that enable them to acquire new skills and competencies to enhance their vocation.

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Trump should make adult education a priority

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2017-02-02 01:01

By Don Block, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Thousands of people are on waiting lists in Pennsylvania alone to get the training they need to make a decent living. Donald Trump was elected president with the votes of millions of disenfranchised and unemployed workers who feel that they are not sharing in the country’s economic prosperity. One method of bringing this group back into the mainstream of working America is as old as the American dream itself, and that is education. While the value of higher education is widely understood, our nation has overlooked another part of the educational pipeline for far too long. I’m referring to adult basic education. Higher education is out of reach for the 12 percent of adult Americans who do not have a high school diploma.

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Loving It

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-02-01 16:04

Alex Usher, Higher Education Strategy Associates, Feb 01, 2017

Just a day or so after authoring a good article Alex Usher comes out with this piece defending the agreement made between McDonald's and Colleges Ontario to recognize part of the corporation's training program as equivalent to college credit. There are probably good argument that could be made to defend the deal but Usher instead misrepresents  the OSPEU response as knee-jerk anti-corporate reaction, which it most certainly is not. Nowhere does the OSPEU even suggest that "McDonald’ s is a big evil corporation," as Usher says, though it does criticize the company's business practices, "tax-evasion schemes, anti-union tactics, and a reliance on a precarious low-wage workforce,” all of which are well-substantiated. The OSPEU response is eminently reasonable and boils down to two major points: first, the McDonald's curriculum is not transparent, and second, corporate training is probably not equivalent to a college education. For example, "it is difficult to see how principles of macroeconomics, involving such issues as interest rates and national productivity, are learned hands-on or in two weeks of classes over three years."

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Top Fears Shutting the Door on Open Education

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-02-01 16:04

A.J. O'Connell, Campus Technology, Feb 01, 2017

Some people say fear is the reason professors don't want to open up classrooms, but I agree with MERLOT's Gerry Hanley: ""I think it's really a workload issue. Open educational resources don't often have the full package of supplemental material that publishers provide, and so it often means faculty have to pull together additional assignments, homework assignments, what might be lecture materials — things along those lines." People forget that many if not most university professors see teaching as a burden, not a profession. They want to do research not recitations. I know we live in the era where fear prevails and everybody's afraid, but I still think fear is cited far too frequently, and that most people are guided by much more pragmatic emotions.

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Inspirational teaching in higher education: What does it look, sound and feel like?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-02-01 16:04

James G. Derounian, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching, Learning, Feb 01, 2017

In a paper tht could have used a good edit James G. Derounian identifies factors associated with inspirational teaching in the literature and then validates the findings through a study of actual practice. "Three clear elements of inspirational undergraduate teaching emerge: First and foremost, undergraduates believe it to be motivating; second, and related – inspirational teaching is deemed encouraging and third such teaching flows from teachers’ passion for their subject." Deemed? Like I said, a good edit. In conclusion, "a simple formula: Inspirational teaching → Aspiration → Transformation."

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The University and Student Learning: A System in Conflict?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-02-01 16:04

Janet Adkins, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning, Feb 01, 2017

According to this article, the globalization of the education system "creates tepid universities all doing the same thing and producing similar results." This results from the primacy of the market-driven economic model at the core of globalization, which eliminates specialization and favours standardization and commodification. "Streamlining such a complex system means courses need to be compatible both across, as well as up and down the system. Systems need to be simple to achieve vertical and horizontal alignment."

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