news (external)

Listening - Mon, 2017-03-06 01:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

How to make your kid good at anything, according to a world expert on peak performance

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2017-03-05 19:27

Jenny Anderson, Quartz, Mar 05, 2017

I once wrote a paper called 'Could Hume Play Billiards?' to which the answer was "Yes, but he would have to practice." So I am predisposed to endorse the approach championed by K. Anders Ericsson as described in this article whereby he argues that the difference between exceptional achievement and the rest of us is focused and deliberate practice. It makes sense to me because I was the same height and weight as Wayne Gretzky, I am the same age, I am as smart as Wayne Gretzky, but one of us was the world's best hockey player and one of us wasn't. The difference was practice. Anyhow, this article is an extended defense of the thesis, and as I said, I am sympathetic.

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Connected Learning: a personal epiphany

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2017-03-05 19:27

Gardner Campbell, Gardner Writes, Mar 05, 2017

I'll begin by referencing Samuel Delaney's classic Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, the connectedness metaphor that predates this particular discussion and whose themes echo through  Jon Udell's post and (no doubt) many of my own. I've had the same experience when I hear my own work quoted back to me as an interesting idea I might want to consider. You cast your ideas out in the the great and increasingly unresponsive deep galaxy of the internet and hope they bear fruit. And these ideas are rediscovered over and over again, often by astute meme-riders like Jon (hey now) Udell. I wouldn't call this the core of digital literacy, but its a strand, a thread, a string in time. (p.s. the first line of Campbell's post is unadulterated formulaic clickbait, and he should be ashamed. Reeling? Really?)

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Failing to See, Fueling Hatred.

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2017-03-05 19:27

danah boyd, Apophenia, Mar 05, 2017

I am partially in agreement with danah boyd and partially in disagreement. Let me begin with the latter: the piece reads to me that we should sympathize with the plight of the rich or privileged because perception is more important than statistical reality. The important thing is that people feel hard done by, she says, not whether they are actually hard done by. On the other hand, my disagreeable experience at the panel on the ethics of care on Saturday reminds me that simply shutting out dissenting voices from the conversation does more harm than good, especially when it is done by a moderator and panel stressing the virtue of attentiveness. In sum, my view is: being rich or privileged doesn't automatically make you right, and being poor or oppressed doesn't automatically make you right. This applies especially to social, political and ethical discourse.

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The Story of Firefox OS

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2017-03-05 19:27

Ben Francis, Medium, Mar 05, 2017

This is a terrific article and well worth the time it will take to read it. It tells the story of the Mozilla Operating System (Mozilla OS) for smart phones. Mozilla OS was designed to promote an 'open web' environment for mobile apps, rather than proprietary App Stores. Eventually, though, it had an app store, too few apps, an unsuccessful bare-bones version, and internal disagreements about direction. It's an excellent case study in project management, and I see a lot of parallels with my own LPSS program. In the case of Mozilla, I place the seeds of failure at Qualcomm's refusal to license chipset APIs directly to Mozilla, which meant they had to work through hardware manufacturers (OEMs) and telecomm companies. My making the distributors their clients, instead of end users, they lost sight of the benefit Mozilla OS was intended to produce, and ultimately became just another mobile OS. Via Doug Belshaw.

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3 Signs an Online Graduate Certificate Is Enough

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2017-03-05 01:10

By Chris Foley and Lisa Canada, US News

You don’t always need to commit to a full degree program to advance your career. Shorter and sometimes less costly, a graduate certificate might be a better option to get ahead. Think of a graduate certificate as a set of courses devoted to a specific topic, designed to build on top of a bachelor’s degree. The certificate may be meant to go deeper into topics already explored in the bachelor’s degree – like adding cybersecurity skills to a computer science degree – or to expand into a new area, like adding competency in human resources for someone in management with any bachelor’s degree. Some certificates might not require an undergraduate degree at all – for example, programs may consider work experience instead – and may take 18 or fewer hours of coursework and about a year to complete. Now, nearly one-fourth of the diplomas awarded by colleges and universities are certificates, according to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.

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Berklee College of Music professor’s online courses provide access for all

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2017-03-05 01:06

by Sandra Larson, Bay State Banner

“Every time music gets played, someone gets paid,” John Kellogg is fond of saying. The musician, lawyer, book author and Berklee College of Music professor follows the statement with his signature advice for anyone involved in music performance and production: “You should get paid, not played.” Kellogg’s music business wisdom has accrued over a multi-faceted working life that spans songwriting and singing with the band Cameo in the 1970s, decades as an entertainment lawyer representing star R & B and rap acts, and educating students at University of Colorado and now at Berklee, where he also is assistant chair of the music business/management department. So far, nearly 70,000 people from around the world have accessed “Introduction to the Music Business,” a six-week course offered four times per year on the EdX platform, or the shorter “Music Business Foundations” offered every few weeks on Coursera.

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The Fall Of Manufacturing And Rise Of Technology Makes Lifelong Education More Important

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

By Rick Levin, Forbes

President Trump has sounded a note that resonates with many Americans: good middle class jobs are disappearing. He’s right. Adjusted for inflation, the incomes of the bottom 60% of the income distribution are not much higher today than they were 30 years ago. President Trump blames globalization, and in particular the liberalization of trade which has allowed manufacturing jobs to migrate overseas. But the stagnation of incomes for most Americans is not primarily attributable to the loss of jobs in manufacturing. It is new technology — in particular the growing and now ubiquitous use of computers — that has widened the wage gap between higher and lower skilled jobs — not simply in manufacturing, but in the service sector as well. Some of the most in-demand jobs require training in cybersecurity, computer systems operations, web development, data analytics, data science, and digital marketing.

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Using Internet based paraphrasing tools: Original work, patchwriting or facilitated plagiarism?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2017-03-04 01:26

Ann M. Rogerson, Grace McCarthy, International Journal for Educational Integrity, Mar 03, 2017

A 'paraphrasing tool' is a piece of software which will take a sentence (or paragraph, etc) and rewrite it so that it says the same thing, but using different words or phrasing. A range of paraphrasing tools has become available online, and the authors of this paper explore whether their use constitutes a new form of plagiarism. Sometimes their use will stand out (eg. "phrasing that included 'constructive employee execution' and 'worker execution audits' for an assessment topic on employee performance reviews") but often they will not. And services like TurnItIn demonstrate "apparent inability" to identify paraphrased work. So is it plagiarism? It's not clear it is, and it's not clear it isn't.

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MOOCs: A powerful and effective tool to transform learning curve and accelerate innovation

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2017-03-04 01:10

by Deepak Garg, Times of India

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) or its variants are there in the market for last 10 years now. Some also refer to it as online courses or video courses. It is prudent to have a look at the progress and contribution for the society. Due to the explosion in the number of smart phones and other digital devices it has become easy for the people to consume online content. The scale of the activity also helps the sustainability aspect of MOOCs. Initially there have been extreme voices in favour and against the utility of MOOCs. Some of them going to the extent that “whole education infrastructure including colleges and universities will become non-existent because everything can be done online”. But with the progress of time, it is becoming evident that MOOCs are becoming enabler in the evolution of a knowledge society and are not a threat to anyone.

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Reimagining education: MIT holds its first Festival of Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2017-03-04 01:05

by MIT

On Feb 1-2, over 200 students and faculty gathered in MIT’s Building 10 to discuss and share recent advances in education technology. This first-ever — and first of its kind — “Festival of Learning” was co-sponsored by the MIT Office of Digital Learning (ODL), the Teaching and Learning Lab, and the offices of the deans of undergraduate and graduate education. In her welcoming remarks, MIT Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart called the festival an important gathering of scholars and researchers working to reimagine the way we educate 21st century students — from digital content creation, to flipped or blended classrooms, to cracking the learning sciences code. “Clearly, the MIT community is energized about the transformations and experiments happening in this space,” Barnhart said.

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Autonomous, professor-less coding school looks to reinvent teaching and learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2017-03-04 01:02

by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Brittany Bir, the chief operating officer of the U.S. campus for French coding school 42, says that education should be like children learning to walk and to talk and is better suited in the art of practice and doing, rather than listening under a professor. Bir, a former student of the coding academy, says that a typical day in the school is students receiving an assignment, interfacing with each other and researching online, and setting out to self-teach the curriculum. The Silicon Valley-based campus, which currently enrolls 250 students, is part of 42’s global effort to credential 10,000 learners in five years.

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OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-03-03 22:26

Kelli McGraw, Mar 03, 2017

Extracting from her PhD thesis, Kelli McGraw writes "There is no argument in any of the research literature that ‘ linguistic’ semiotic systems and learning to code and decode written language do not constitute a key facet of literacy, however literacy across multiple modes – identified by Bull and Anstey (2007) as ‘ linguistic’ , ‘ visual’ , ‘ gestural’ , ‘ spatial’ and ‘ aural’ – is widely acknowledged as being required in contemporary society." Quite right, but the question isn't one of 'balance', as McGraw suggests, but of recognizing semiotics and coding/decoding are constituents of these other 'literacies'. Image: Jean M. Mas.

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Leveraging Technology to Build Literacy Among Millions of Displaced Children and Those with Disabilities

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-03-03 22:26

Rebecca Leege, EmergingEdTech, Mar 03, 2017

Overview of work by All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD), a partnership of USAID, World Vision, and the Australian Government. Key innovations included: EduApp4Syria, " open source smartphone-based learning games to help Syrian refugee children learn to read in Arabic"; "a pilot project that provides Indian students who are blind or low vision with mother tongue reading materials through Bookshare"; "Amman-based Little Thinking Minds has built a platform that includes more than 125 eBooks"; the GraphoGame Teacher Training Service (GG-TTS); and more.

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Immersive Education: VR Comes of Age

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-03-03 22:26

Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, Mar 03, 2017

I don't think VR has come of age yet, despite what the headline says, though it has taken some large strides forward. "The initial 'cool' factor isn't enough to sustain the market," writes Dian Schaffhauser. "As a recent FutureSource report noted, a big question is whether this new technology can be integrated deeply enough into the curriculum and help achieve specific learning outcomes in order to drive mainstream adoption." I think things can have an impact without being "integrated into the curriculum" (thing: Google search, Facebook, mobile phones...) but it does have to have a strong day-to-day use. So far, VR doesn't have that.

[Link] [Comment]

Traditional Literacy Ideas and Resources

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-03-03 22:26

Kathy Shcrock, Discovery Education, Mar 03, 2017

The “ traditional literacy skills” of reading and writing are one of the  thirteen literacy skills students need, writes Kathy Shcrock. This post concentrates "on identifying resources for the traditional literacy skills of reading and writing." Resources include: The Question Is, "a teaching strategy that requires students to reverse the common order of question-and-answer"; the Six Word Story, "a teaching strategy that allows students to practice summarizing and selective word choice"; and A-E-I-O-U, "a teaching strategy that asks students to interpret information from images or videos."

[Link] [Comment]

Launching the new ALT Strategy

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-03-03 22:26

Maren Deepwell, #ALTC Blog, Mar 03, 2017

Britain's Association for Learning Technology (ALT) has announced its next three-year strategy. Here are the strategy slidesfull text in PDF or Google docs and visual content on Flickr. There are three major aims: increase the impact of learning technology for public benefit, stronger recognition and representation of learning technologists, and proferssionalization of learning technology research and practice.

[Link] [Comment]

Meet Afghanistan's female coders who are defying gender stereotypes

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-03-03 16:26

The Guardian, Mar 03, 2017

“ Investing in educating girls in subjects like coding, where we expect there to be abundant, good-paying jobs is key to the future of Afghanistan. With a full range of talent to tap into, Afghanistan’ s economy can grow and become less reliant on foreign aid and retain ambitious young women."

[Link] [Comment]

Dear Twitter. It’s not me, it’s you

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-03-03 01:25

David Hopkins, Technology Enhanced Learning Blog, Mar 02, 2017

I continue to use and monitor Twitter and I'm feeling the same way as this author. "My Twitter feed is now full of political commentary and all sorts of negative content that wasn’ t there before." And not just Twitter. I'm actually finding it pretty hard to find material on learning technology because people are preoccupied with political affairs. So it's not Twitter's fault, particularly. Although Twitter has become, you know,  boring

[Link] [Comment]

The 6 Major Barriers to Technology Adoption in Higher Ed

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

By David Nagel, Campus Technology

Even as technology proliferates in education at unprecedented rates, new hurdles — including limitations of the human mind to keep up with technological advances — are throwing themselves in the way of effective implementation.Here’s a word you don’t hear much anymore: obsolescence. But it’s a word that’s making a comeback in 2017 in a new and distressing way. Popularly used in a business context (e.g. the planned obsolescence of consumer devices that are designed to fall apart in a few years, like cars and laptops), it’s now being used to describe the human mind. It’s no longer the technology that’s becoming obsolete too quickly; it’s the knowledge of technology that’s rapidly falling behind advances or changes in technologies. And that obsolescence, according to the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report: 2017 Higher Education Edition, is just one of the six major challenges facing technology in higher ed in the coming years.

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