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Announcement: Donate to OLDaily

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2018-01-02 22:50

Yes, it has only been a year, and I'm asking again. I have maintained OLDaily and the rest of this website at my own expense since 2001. It is not subsidized by my employer or anyone else. I've always been happy to do it, but I need your help. Click here to Donate.

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I am committed to keeping all my services and resources free, and will not add a subscription to any part of my website, ever. That's a promise. So if you help me provide this service, I'd be happy to recognize your contribution, as thanks, on my Donation Page.

Frontend in 2017: The important parts

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2018-01-02 21:27

Kaelan Cooter, LogRocket, Jan 02, 2018

I'm generally three or four years behind in frontend technology (that's the technology that makes your website do stuff in your browser, like CSS and Javascript, but now much more complex). That's because the lifespan of a lot of them is about equal to the length of an undergraduate computer science education. I won't join the React bandwagon (because React is a Facebook product, with all the associated risks), but jQuery works just fine. WebAssembly is still too new for me. Pakage managers are a great idea, but are often more complex than the packages they manage. Same with CSS preprocessors. Redux and GraphQL are on my radar, but that's about it.

[Link] [Comment]

In Our Connected World, What If Empathy Is Learning?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2018-01-02 19:05

Thom Markham, Mind/Shift, Jan 02, 2018

I'll file this one under 'pedagogy of harmony' though the fit is a bit uneasy. Thom Markham taskes as a point of departure the end of the transmission model of learning asks "what now?" He observes that in today's world, more than ever, people learn together, an d "living a densely linked life and operating in a non-linear, intimately connected, globally diverse, culturally conflicted world... requires entirely new thinking about learning itself." To learn, on this new model, he suggests, may be to develop empathy, where empathy is characterized not merely asd a cognitive state but also a physiological state. Markham adds that "in the transmission model, learning is very much geared toward self-fulfillment; in the new model, we can expect empathy to shift the focus to the common good."

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Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm Is Completely Busted

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2018-01-02 18:58

Eric Ravenscraft, ReviewGeek, Jan 02, 2018

"Facebook has no idea what you want," writes Eric Ravenscraft in this scathing review of the social network site's news feed. It tends to focus on recently added friends andf frequently-posting people as well as controversy (as signified by engagement) and, of course, advertisements (a.k.a. "promoted posts"). Users can't really define what they want to see (just what they don't, and Facebook "seems to re-follow some people if you unfollow too many"). The reason the feed is so bad is that you wouldn't use it if it only showed you what you want to see. "Facebook’s never going to reach a point where they say 'Well, that’s all your close friends have to say! Maybe you should go outside.'" So it fills your feed full of junk to keep you scrolling.

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An Impressively Detailed Philosophy Paper Grading Rubric

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2018-01-02 18:50

Justin Weinberg, Daily Nous, Jan 02, 2018

This article from lasty May showed up (deservedly) in a year-end wrap-up. As the title suggests, it is an impressively detailed rubric for grading philosophy papers (and, frankly, would serve as an excellent rubric for grading most essays in general, with perhaps some token points for correctly describing the 'content' of various subjects. The diagram is hard to read in the article so here is a link to the full JPG file. Ud there's a weakness, I would like to see a consideration for other types of reasoning besides 'argumentation' (for example, explanation, extrapolation, compare-and-contrast, etc). But those could be easily inserted into the diagram.

[Link] [Comment]

Whatever Happened to the Coalition of Essential Schools?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2018-01-02 18:30

Larry Cuban, National Education Policy Center, Jan 02, 2018

The Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) was an initiative launched in 1987 that "spread rapidly across the nation throughout the 1990s (see herehere, and here)." Based on a set of ten principles (listed in the article) the coalition sought to encourage a matery-based and personally-supportive mode of education based on a generally constructivist pedagogy. It reach a peak of more than 1,000 schools in 1997 but since dwindled ro fewer than 100 in 2017. CES, writes Cuban, "shut its national office doors in 2018" (which must mean today, since yesterday was a holiday) a victin of dwindling funding and loss of organizational focus. 

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Is higher ed facing an IT house of cards?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2018-01-02 01:04

BY NICK PSAKI, eCampus News

Technology proliferation has placed enormous pressure on the underlying IT infrastructure that keeps Wi-Fi operating, servers humming, videos streaming and data percolating. Within many institutions, one vital aspect of those operations–the storage foundation–is crumbling under the weight of growing demands. With budgets stagnant and resources limited, universities are stuck in a difficult position and finding it increasingly difficult to respond to student and faculty pleas for the latest and greatest apps. Compute and networking operations have continually exploited the performance rewards delivered by exponentially more powerful silicon chips. Now it’s time for data centers to take advantage of the same potential in their storage systems. So, are higher education institutions ready for a storage transformation? The short answer: they have to be, and the focus must be around creating a data platform designed for the cloud era.


Is higher ed facing an IT house of cards?

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Power and simplicity of Deep Learning Technology is great: Don’t get left behind

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2018-01-02 01:02

by Deepak Garg, Times of India

I was wrong in my understanding of the complexity of Deep Learning Technologies, because it turned out that it is very easy to learn and master these technologies. Very little math is required. Wonderful courses, Tutorials and help is available online. Deep learning platforms hide the complexity from the programmer, that results in a simpler code. You will be surprised to see the size of the code of various Deep Learning projects, if you compare them with classical applications and projects of computer Science. Soon, we will have tools where users will be able to play with various hyperparameters of any application they want to develop; without worrying about the inner details of the black box. So, I will appeal to our young generation in the colleges and universities to grasp this opportunity for their own benefit and start learning Machine Learning Technologies.

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Internet of Things to Tip $1 Trillion by 2020

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2018-01-02 01:01

By Joshua Bolkan, THE Journal

Global spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) will grow 14.6 percent in 2018, according to a new forecast from International Data Corp. (IDC), to hit $772.5 billion. The category will more or less maintain that upward trajectory throughout the prediction period, averaging a 14.4 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2021 and tipping the trillion-dollar mark in 2020. Hardware will lead the way among technology categories in IoT spending in 2018, accounting for $239 billion “going largely toward modules and sensors along with some spending on infrastructure and security,” according to a news release.

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Workflow Lock-in: A Taxonomy

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2018-01-01 20:56

Roger C. Schonfeld, The Scholarly Kitchen, Jan 02, 2018

"Lock in" is a business term that describes the effect of tactics that make it harder for customers to switch to another company offering the same (or even better!) products. "Everything from affinity programs, such as frequent flyer miles, to pernicious tying strategies that elicit antitrust scrutiny are forms of lock-in." This article provides a taxonomy of types of publisher lock-in strategies, though it should be noted that these could apply equally well to education (quoted):

  • providing exclusive benefits for mutual customers of a single provider’s many products
  • developing discrete services so that they are interdependent, or preferentially functional, with one another
  • data in context such that data cannot be reused with the same functionality elsewhere
  • institutionalizing services that are today already used by individuals

Note that even is some given service or product is free, if the provider employs these lock-in strategies it could have the effect or requiring payment for free goods. 

[Link] [Comment]

25 education trends for 2018

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2018-01-01 20:45

Meris Stansbury, eSchool News, Jan 01, 2018

This is a booklet (20 page PDF) with a set of predictions from various EdTech writers. The participants include a mix of school officials and (mostly) e-learning technology provider representatives. Immersive experiences and hyperconvergence highlight the trends. As well, "as competency-based learning bursts the boundaries of the online and virtual learning spaces and moves directly into the classroom where it is becoming the foundation of, as opposed to a supplement to, broader learning."

[Link] [Comment]

2018 eLearning Predictions: Updated Hype Curve

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2018-01-01 16:54

Andy Hicken, Web Courseworks, Jan 01, 2018

I like the use of the hype cycle diagram to tie together these predictions for 2018. The advantage of using the hype cycle is that you're reporting on trends rather than specific things. This makes the predicting easier and more general. For example: "we’ll see greater application in the next three years or so." The technologies described are pretty specific, though: Distributed CE ledgers ("AKA credit hours as cryptocurrency"), value-based accreditation, "electronic health records (EHR) data being incorporated into performance improvement projects," and "getting your high-fidelity medical simulator to talk to your LMS and LRS" (we did that a couple of years ago in LPSS).

[Link] [Comment]

, () Jan 01, 2018 [<a href="http:/

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2018-01-01 16:13
, () Jan 01, 2018 [Comment]

When Degree Programs for Pre-K Teachers Go Online

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2018-01-01 01:10

by Shayna Cook, New America

This report aims to answer those last two questions, which represent new and unexplored terrain in early childhood education policy. To investigate the intersection of issues in teacher preparation, early childhood policy, and online degree programs, we synthesized findings from published reports on the state of teacher preparation, conducted interviews with experts, culled information from websites of institutions offering online degree programs, and analyzed national data sets on early childhood teacher preparation programs, as well as surveys of the early childhood workforce. We focused primarily on the segment of the early childhood workforce that is closest to achieving the bachelor’s degree credential and commensurate compensation: pre-K lead teachers. Our findings show how online degrees can provide teachers with greater access to programs, but also point to the need for better higher education data and the benefits of degree programs that provide teachers with financial supports.

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Students Immersed in Petascale Computing as Part of Blue Waters Mission

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2018-01-01 01:05

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology
Earthquake preparedness, violent explosions of massive stars at the end of their lives, effectiveness of climate change response policy and teaching students about high-performance computing: These are some of the 130 projects undertaken in the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign this year, tapping into the computing power of Blue Waters, the center’s high-performance computing system. Among all of the research undertaken, at least one percent of them — 60 million core hours of computational capacity — each year is dedicated to “educational work,” projects intended to support the development of a national workforce with expertise in petascale computing.

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Tips on Creating and Delivering Online Courses

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2018-01-01 01:03

by Adam Richards, Bangor Daily News

Just like there are a lot of people interested in taking online courses, there are also a lot of people interested in making them. However, your course will need to stand out among a ton of others. Here are some of the most important tips for creating a course that will attract a lot of students.

Tips on Creating and Delivering Online Courses

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How to Use Flipgrid - A 2017 Favorite

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2017-12-31 18:40

Richard Byrne, Free Technology for Teachers, Jan 01, 2018

If you find your way through the advertisements you'll enjoy this article and video describing Fripgrid, a service that allows users to post their own video responses on your course or website. Richard Byrne writes, "Back in November Caroline Schaab was kind enough to author a guest post in which she shared four ways to use Flipgrid in fourth grade."

[Link] [Comment]

The Stories We Were Told in 2017 about Education Technology

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2017-12-31 18:36

Jan 01, 2018

This is Audrey Watters's final wrap-up for 2017, consisting of 11 major articles plus a variety of other stories and studies. My only criticism is that she is too U.S.-focused. But this pales in comparison to the scale of the effort here - it's essentially a full book (whch she could probably compile and sell on Learnpub). Her studies of "who's funding whom" are especially welcome, as the education technology market is now big money and the players don't always have the needs of students, schools and society at the top of their lists of priorities

[Link] [Comment]

What will the rollback of net neutrality mean for innovation in higher ed?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2017-12-31 01:10

By Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive
The Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality rules prohibiting Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from blocking certain types of web content or unfairly pricing companies for bandwidth intensive services — a move that came to the disappointment of several higher education associations, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education.  Experts on the net neutrality regulation debate, however, contend the rollback would most likely impact entertainment platform providers, as accessing materials online versus streaming movies taxes the network infrastructure much differently — with basic online services not requiring much data or constant bandwidth consumption. Decisions on censoring content would be made by ISPs rather than the government, reports CIO Dive.  With less government oversight and greater competition among ISPs, many insiders contend blocking content will happen responsibly, reports CIO Dive. However, others argue the repeal could mean higher costs for high-bandwidth sites and fewer small ISP providers, which might affect higher ed institutions that support data-intensive online learning if learning management systems face new significant costs, according to Inside Higher Ed.

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Harvard Medical School to Expand Online Medical Education in Egypt

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2017-12-31 01:06

by Harvard University
Harvard Medical School will offer online education to doctors-in-the-making and practicing clinicians affiliated with a pediatric cancer hospital in Egypt, the 57357 Children’s Cancer Hospital in Cairo. The coursework, part of Harvard Medical School’s innovative online learning program HMX Fundamentals, offers access to the knowledge and acumen of some of Harvard Medical School’s top physician-scientists and focuses on foundational subjects deemed fundamental for all frontline clinicians, not just specialists. “We are taking our knowledge beyond borders—a central tenet in the School’s philosophy—and are truly excited to offer access to a new group of learners,” said David Roberts, dean for external education at Harvard Medical School. “The materials and course work are ideally suited to help medical students and physicians in Egypt on their quest to improve pediatric health.”

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