news (external)

A New Approach to Consensus: Swirlds HashGraph

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2016-08-06 23:46

Leemon Baird, Sammantics, Aug 06, 2016

Encrypted currency like bitcoin works because everyone agrees that a transaction has taken place. In the case of the blockchaain, everyone agrees because the record of the transaction can't be changed; it's encrypted and stored in the block. But does everyone need to agree for us to be able to say everyone agrees? Probably not; a good interconnected subset of users will do. And that's the idea behind the mechanism of the blockgraph, the system employed by Swirlds as an alternative to the blockchain. Now, will this eventually replace blockchain? It's too soon to tell, but it does open the door to the idea that more distributed (and hence, faster and less susceptible to failure) mechanisms can be deployed. But a lot depends on whether the algorithms hold up and whether the technology can be practically implemented. Here's the  white paper (25 page PDF) describing the hashgraph, which is some heavy reading. Here are the  developer resources and SDK.

[Link] [Comment]

Finding the Voice of a Mobile Brand: A Deep Dive into Saudi Culture

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2016-08-06 20:46

Saudi Telecom Company, Aug 06, 2016

This is a terrific presentation on how mobile technology integrates with Saudi youth culture (112 page PDF) prepared for Saudi Telecom Company (STC) ahead of the launch of their new service Jawwy this year. It's interesting because Saudi Arabia is an  edge case - no society is quite like it, and many of the traits of other countries are either taken to extremes or rejected outright. What we see is that for Saudi youth - women in particular - the smartphone is an essential social tool. But this isn't a blanket endorsement of everything mobile - Facebook and BBM, for example, stand out as not useful in contemporary culture. And the phone isn't simply used to avoid or work around the limitations of Saudi society, it is often used to help use comply with and work with them (thing of things like calendar converters or taxi apps).

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Sony Unveils University Research Program

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2016-08-06 02:08

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Sony is out to woo academia through a new research program that focuses on a broad palette of technology. The company is taking a two-pronged approach to teaming up with North American universities: faculty innovation awards and an annual research award. The innovation awards, worth up to $100,000, will be given to institutions that submit one-year research projects in any of several areas: artificial intelligence, the internet of things, virtual reality, autonomous driving and robotics.

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Learning on the Next Level

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2016-08-06 02:05

By Lisa Gibson, Prairie Business

College professors and instructors are increasingly designing their courses using free online resources that allow tailored curriculums and reduced textbook expenses for students. During the spring 2016 semester, Valley City State University students saved an estimated $82,000 through an expansion of the school’s use of open educational resources (OERs) as a substitute for costly textbooks. About 600 students that semester participated in classes using OERs, almost half of the university’s total 1,400 enrollment, says Julee Russell, a VCSU English professor who uses OERs in her courses.

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The Academic Advantages of Twitter

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2016-08-06 02:03

by Christopher Schaberg, Inside Higher Ed

Being active on the platform can provide scholars with a number of important benefits, writes Christopher Schaberg. I was recently having dinner with my dissertation adviser, Scott @shershow, catching up after many years, and at one point during the meal our conversation predictably drifted to something someone said on Twitter. Scott paused and said, “I must admit I don’t really get Twitter.” My mentor may be near a tipping point: either ready to abandon Twitter, or just on the verge of getting it, to use his word. Without wanting to sound like a hyped-up social media evangelist, let me see if I can help. What can Twitter be for academics?

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The Role of Incremental and Transformative Change in Future Prediction

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2016-08-05 23:45

This presentation addresses change, innovation and transformation from the perspective of educational technology. It examines causes and drivers of change and discusses how campus technologists can best plan for, and react to, changing technology and educational needs.

Campus Technology 2016, Boston, Massachusetts (Keynote) Aug 03, 2016 [Comment]

MOOC Quality Malaysia

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2016-08-05 23:45
[Slides][Audio] , Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Keynote) Aug 03, 2016 [Comment]

OER universitas

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2016-08-05 23:45

OERu, Aug 05, 2016

Passing this along from OERu: "As a charitable organisation, YouTube has approved a Youtube for non-profits account for the OERu. We have met all the requirements to qualify for a custom url for the new channel, expect that we need 100 hundred subscribers. We need your help - please subscribe to the OERu Youtube channel  so we can qualify for a custom url. This will make it easier for learners to find more affordable options for higher education and higher education institutions to become more sustainable."

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Google DeepMind: The smart person's guide

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2016-08-05 23:45

Hope Reese, Tech Republic, Aug 05, 2016

The real "smart person's guide" is probably an academic paper or two, not a light web read from Tech Republic, but this will probably do. "It uses a branch of AI called machine learning, which can include approaches like deep neural networks and reinforcement learning to make predictions. This can rely on massive data sets, sometimes manual data labeling— but sometimes not."

[Link] [Comment]

Learning needs a plan for the revolution we can already glimpse

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2016-08-05 23:45

Michael Barber, Pearson, Aug 05, 2016

If it were really a revolution there would be new people in charge after the dust settles rather than the same old gang. But there's no suggestion of this in this blog post from Pearson. For example: "How we can recruit the art and science of delivering change at the system level to the goal of making available – to all students – the type of learning that Charlie Leadbeater has recently beautifully described (112 page PDF)?" This model still depicts them as working in jobs for the usual crowd and for the usual purposes, but just working at these jobs differently. Or this: "How can we ensure there is a much needed Renaissance in Assessment that will allow us to measure the full set of skills and capabilities that learners need to secure, and thrive, in a job?"

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Pressure to Spend More on Poor Students

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2016-08-05 23:45

Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed, Aug 05, 2016

What this article shows most clearly is that there is no end to the reasons the rich can give to justify keeping their wealth to themselves. In this case, the proposal is that universities with large endowments could top their spending from endowment funds to reach the  5  percent minimum spending benchmark required of private nonprofit foundations. This money could add hundreds of millions of dollars of assistance to poor students. But, ah, no. "They ignore that access and affordability are only part of the equation that schools are dealing with when they’ re trying to meet their public purpose." Well, no. Rather the contrary - we realize exactly that, and suggest that access and affordability ought to rank far higher in these institutions' priorities than they currently do, as suggested by  this new report (12 page PDF). Or, as also suggested, maybe we'll start taxing them and spending the money on actual social priorities, rather than on new polo fields.

[Link] [Comment]

Lessons Learned From Building An Open Online Course

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2016-08-05 23:45

Chris Gaudreau, Torrey Trust, Weiyang Liu, eLearning Industry, Aug 05, 2016

I've seen these points raised before but I'd like to frame them with a question, which follows. The author asserts "the importance of using technology and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles to provide personalized, flexible, and accessible learning opportunities." Here they are:

  1. Provide Multiple Means Of Representation
  2. Provide Multiple Means Of Action And Expression
  3. Provide Multiple Means Of Engagement

So here's the question: are these principles equally applicable in the case of the single learner? Yes, we can see that for a class of people we would want to allow room for people to choose one option or another. But does that need extend to the single case? For example, if I were offering a course to a global audience, I might want to make sure there's a version available in Urdu. But if I'm offering a course to one person in Ireland, the Urdu version probably isn't necessary.

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When Tenure Never Comes

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2016-08-05 23:45

Stephen Black, The Walrus, Aug 05, 2016

According to the (anonymous) author of this article in the Walrus, "Academia has become a high-stakes gamble— and the losers can barely afford pants." It's a fair point, but as critic Melonie Fullick  writes in University Affairs, "the piece is basically written as if he is the first person to have discovered this is an issue that might be worthy of discussion." Neither piece really comes to grips with academia's increasing reliance on serf labour to balance the books.

[Link] [Comment]

An interview with Michelle Cordy

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2016-08-05 23:45

Doug Peterson, doug — off the record, Aug 05, 2016

Doug Peterson interviews Michelle Cordy, who, as he said, appeared to many to have "burst upon the scene with her closing keynote address at the 2016 ISTE Conference." Here's the Periscope  recording of that talk; here are some sketchnotes from it; here's  an article about the talk). Titled "Show up and refuse to leave" it touched exactly the right note with the audience (and I have to admit, it's a message that resonates with me as well). It's a bit of a softball interview but I appreciate the look at the interests and activities of a classroom teacher who takes the time to share with the rest of us. "The reality is that I am a full time classroom teacher," she writes, "and I am not a professional speaker or consultant. It is very difficult for me to be away from the classroom. So, I must be very selective about the work I choose to do in addition to my classroom responsibilities. You won't see my face on too many conference flyers after ISTE." Too bad. Here's her blog, Hack the Classroom.

[Link] [Comment]

3 Things People Can Do In The Classroom That Robots Can't

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2016-08-05 23:45

Anya Kamenetz, NPR, Aug 05, 2016

What bothers me most about this article is that the main premise is demonstrably false. Here is the main premise: "Three things people can do that robots can't: Tell a story. Solve a mystery. Give a hug." Now each of these is offered with a bit of description intended to make the behaviour more human. For example, "give a hug" actually means "empathy, collaboration, communication and leadership skills." But there's a bot that has  already done this. Plus, there's already a literal hug bot. There are also numerous storytelling bots, including one that  looks at a picture and tells you a story about it, an MIT storytelling companion, and robot journalists. Mystery-solving bots abound, including the diagnosis bots on WebMD, test failure analyzers, this  countdown bot, a  solver for 2048,  Minesweeper solver, and more. The lesson here is, if you're going to make claims about what technology can't do and publish it in a national newsletter, do your research.

[Link] [Comment]

Online Learning Catches Up to Traditional College

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2016-08-05 02:10

BY: Kate DeNardi, MeriTalk

Online learning provides multiple benefits for both college students and higher ed institutions. It provides convenience and flexibility for working students and does not require costly facility space for universities. A quick scan of a major college’s course catalog from 10 years ago and today shows that online learning has become more popular, but to get the big picture of online learning in 2016, take a peek at the Online Learning Consortium’s (OLC) new infographic. Online learning courses no longer cater to typically technology-friendly subjects like Information Technology or Computer Science; now nearly every subject is available online. Your trusted correspondent took everything from STAT 250 to Political Research Methods and Theories of Visual Communication online. Plus, the number of students learning online is skyrocketing. According to the OLC’s infographic, 5.8 million college students are enrolled in online learning courses, which is a 263 percent increase over the last 12 years.

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For Some, Online Learning Offers Chance to Level the Playing Field

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2016-08-05 02:05


Ionel Naghi left Romania in 2003 with $50 in his pocket. Once he got to Connecticut, he quickly learn As more people look to online schools for certificates and degrees, it’s raised questions about the quality of these classes, especially for the ones that don’t cost anything. But some students, like Naghi, simply want to learn skills they can use, and aren’t as concerned about where they’re learning. Naghi said he doesn’t really care about the perception. He owns his own computers business, and he just wants the knowledge. “The IT industry is changing rapidly, so that was one important thing that convinced me that it’s time for me to pursue a higher education program,” he said. Naghi chose the University of the People, which offers accredited degrees. For him, it’s a chance to level the playing field.

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Top online courses for startups that every entrepreneur should take

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2016-08-05 02:02

by Shalini Rajvanshi, Indian Express

There is a huge boom in the Indian startup sector facilitated by government initiatives as well as influx of foreign capital. Becoming an entrepreneur is not an easy task. Starting out on your own requires more than just technical know-how about your field of study. Most universities focus only on the latter and give a little insight of entrepreneurial or leadership skills. Start-up enthusiasts also face the problem of funding required for their projects. According to a recent study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce (ASSOCHAM), only seven per cent of graduates passing out of Indian business schools are employable. On the other hand, there is a huge boom in the Indian startup sector facilitated by government initiatives as well as influx of foreign capital. This creates a considerable skill set gap in the employable population that needs immediate attention.

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Time Travel Thesis - Fri, 2016-08-05 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

GKV - endgültige Rechnungsergebnisse

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Fri, 2016-08-05 00:00

Die im Informationssystem eingespeicherte gestaltbare Tabelle aus der "KJ 1-Statistik (gesetzliche Krankenversicherung: endgültige Rechnungsergebnisse) " des Bundesministeriums für Gesundheit wurde um das Jahr 2015 ergänzt.

Categories: Science News


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