news (external)

Bitcoin and Blockchains explained

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-07-05 19:51


David Hopkins, Technology Enhanced Learning Blog, Jul 05, 2016

This is another useful attempt to help people get a base-level understanding of what a blockchain is and does. Transactions are encrypted and put into blocks. "A block is the ‘ current’ part of a blockchain which records some or all of the recent transactions, and once completed goes into the blockchain as permanent database."

[Link] [Comment]

Natural language understanding (almost) from scratch

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-07-05 19:51


Adrian Colyer, The Morning Paper, Jul 05, 2016

This article gives you a sense of where one branch of artificial intelligence is working today. Researchers are testing their neural network algorithms against four standard tasks in natural language analysis:

  • Part-of-speech tagging (POS), labels each word with a tag that indicates its syntactic role in a sentence
  • Chunking labels phrases or segments within a sentence with tags that indicate their syntactic role
  • Named-entity Recognition (NER) labels recognised entities within the sentence. For example, as a person, location, date, time, company
  • Semantic-role labeling (SRL) “ gives a semantic role to a syntactic constituent of a sentence.” More.

The challenge here is o succeed at these tasks "without needing task-specific representations or engineering." It is often the case that you can tweak the result with a hint here or there. Anyhow, this paper describes attempts to design neural networks to attempt these tasks, and how we can score the results to see how well the network is doing.

[Link] [Comment]

How to Do Adaptive Learning Right

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-07-05 19:51


Keith Devlin, Randy Weiner, EdSurge, Jul 05, 2016

Responding to Audrey Watters's examples of how things can go badly wrong with adaptive learning, Keith Devlin and Randy Weiner argue "Watters’ bleak future will only come to pass if the algorithms continue to be both naï vely developed and naï vely applied, and moreover, in the case of mathematics learning (the area we both work in) applied to the wrong kind of learning tasks." I question the use of "only" in that sentence; there are many ways Watters's bleak future could come to pass; this is just one of them. But they still say a lot of the right things in this post

For example, "the most effective way to view K-8 education is not in terms of “ content” to be covered, acquired, mastered (and regurgitated in an exam) but as an experience.... Mathematics is primarily something you do, not something you know." If you view adaptive learning as simply delivering the right content, you have the concept wrong. Also, they argue, in their adaptive learning system, "the main adaptivity is provided by the user... the mastery of specific procedures should be skills that a student acquires automatically, 'along the way,' in a meaningful context of working on a complex performance task." Again, if you think of an adaptive learning system as a 'teaching' system, you're doing it wrong. Via Larry Cuban.

[Link] [Comment]

How to Jump Ship From Evernote and Take Your Data With You

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-07-05 19:51


Thorin Klosowski , LifeHacker, Jul 05, 2016

Good article describing how people locked in Evennote's silo can get their data out of the system and into another product. "If you have a lot of notes, this is a pretty tedious process, but it’ s the only way to get all your notes over to a new app with any sense of organization." See also Alan Levine, who comments, "Nothing lasts forever, is the appropriate bumper sticker saying. And when the free rug gets tugged, it bears more thought than impulsive indignation and panic jumps. You might not be losing much, or you might adjust, or you might shrug it off. Or maybe you will come to an understanding of paying for a service instead of always expecting free rides."

[Link] [Comment]

Could AI replace teachers? 10 ways it could?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-07-05 19:51


Donald Clark, Donald Clark Plan B, Jul 05, 2016

Donald Clark reviews a number of the ways artificial intelligence could replace teachers. I read this during the day yesterday and referenced it in passing when I spoke (when I mentioned Georgia Tech bot, Jill Watson; it was too late to make it into the slides). Readers will recall that I focused on three domains: content creation, management of a learning environment, and assessment. I argued that computers could fulfill the instructor's role in all three. I also suggested that the role of faculty in the future will be to act as a role model. Clark discusses this, and while agreeing "the modelling that teachers provide is certainly important to young people," he suggests that "however, we may see the development of attitudinal learning, that was never adequately delivered in classrooms, with simulations and the ability to put yourself in the shoes of others."

Clark also posted  10 important things AI teaches us about ‘ learning’ before I composed my slides, and  This article discusses a number of the ways AI could be used to perform typical instructional design tasks such as search and feedback, content selection, chunking, reinforcement and practice. Good articles worth reading.

[Link] [Comment]

The Importance Of Faculty In The Higher Education Experience

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-07-05 10:50


noreply@blogger.com (Stephen Downes), Half an Hour, Jul 05, 2016
Speaking notes for for Instituto Tecnol&#243gico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey National Faculty Meeting, Mexico City, July 4, 2016. Presentation page. var audioTag = document.createElement('audio'); if (!(!!(audioTag.canPlayType) & & ("no" != audioTag.canPlayType("audio/mpeg")) & & ("" != audioTag.canPlayType("audio/mpeg")))) { AudioPlayer.embed("audioplayer", {soundFile: ""}); } 1. New Forms of Learning By now in educational institutions around the world we(*) have firmly entered into the technological era. There is no question any more of whether we should embrace new learning technologies; we have done it. Today we employ tools such as learning management systems, digital learning resources and eBooks. We engage in online discussions, conferencing, and collaborative authoring. More, we have embraced online video, virtual reality, 3D printing, and much more. We have also embraced 21st Century pedagogy. While there are pockets of resistance from traditionalists, we have generally recognized that teaching is not just about transmitting content. We employ active learning methodologies, project and problem-based learning. We create challenges for our learners and where possible let them take control. Learning today involves building drone for competitions, launching companies, doing environmental research, creating art, and participating in the community. 2. The Changing Shape of Learning All of that said, however, even as we cling to our old ways, the shape of learning is changing yet again. For example. If we look at the organization of learning in our own community, we can see the continued focus courses, programs, and disciplines, like biology, engineering, literature, and the like. But this is changing. On the one hand, we’re looking at microcredentials, tiny fragments of learning to small even for a course. And on the other hand, looking at overarching competencies like digital literacies such as critical thinking or collaborative decision-making. Additionally, we have been looking at same standardized package for every student. We still see this in the push for curricular reform and standardized testing. But this, too, is changing. We’re looking for ways to adapt learning to each individual need using technologies such as adaptive learning and personalization. And if we look at the progressive school districts of today we see programs focused on art, sport, religion, science, and more. It’s true that the old institutional silos still remain. In Canada, for example, the process of ‘articulation’ remains a challenge; moving course credits from one institution to another is complex, and there are limits to what you can transfer. As most migrants can assert, credentials created in one country are not accepted in another country. But this too is changing. There are multinational initiatives like the Bologna process, though are complex and difficult. And we have not advanced significantly in assessment. Tests and essays are not adequate, and while part of the community looks to PISA results, LSAT and SAT scores, others are looking for genuine learning, rejecting these traditional measures as inadequate or even irrelevant. And while issues around recognition of learning, initiatives to modernize prior learning assessment continue to make progress. 3. New Technologies Changing the Landscape New technologies are being addressed directly at the problems described in the previous section and will drive the change into the next generation of learning. One of the most discussed is machine learning and artificial intelligence. A lot of research is focused toward using artificial intelligence to support adaptive learning by being able to recognize individual learning needs and recommend resources and learning paths. But artificial intelligence is not simply for adaptive learning. We talk about predictive analytics as though finishing a course is the problem. This way of thinking is to cling to the old model of courses and programs. The next generation of learning will be structured as an environment with continuous monitoring and adaptation. The real future is in the quantified self; using technology to solve immediate needs, in context. Another major area of innovation is handheld and mobile computing. More than three billion people have mobile devices today, according to market-watchers like Mary Meeker. But the future of learning isn’t the mobile phone; this is to depict learning as simply the consumption of content. The future is in the integrated performance support system, for example, in devices that help us learn. A third set of technologies involve the creation of digital credentials. For example, there are the Mozilla Badges and Backpack initiatives. These allow people to display credentials in their own digital portfolio, and more importantly, allow anyone to create credentials. What happens when colleges and universities lose their monopoly on degrees? Blockchain technologies could be used to support a microcredential system. This is a type of encryption that is used to secure digital currencies. The idea is to encrypt transactions into a series of public ‘blocks’ that cannot be changed once created. While financial transactions can be secured, so can non-financial transactions, such as the awarding of badges and degrees. A fourth type if technology is called the ‘Internet of Things’. The most immediate use is the deployment of sensor networks to monitor for fire, floods, storms, or anything else. Beyond this, the internet of things will allow devices to communicate with each other, as for example when self-driving cars negotiate with each other on the road. But what happens when companies know the state of all your devices? For example, will your car insurance be increased if you drive on non-approved roads? The internet of things raises the question of personal privacy and the ownership of data. The mantra used to be that “information wants to be free” but what happens when the information in question is your bank account? Fifth, we are seeing a widespread interest in games, simulations and virtual reality. This could occupy an entire discussion on its own. It’s worth drawing a distinction between using this in learning, and turning learning into an instance of this. For example, with respect to games, there is on the one hand ‘Gamification’, in which game elements are added to learning. So for example students might compete for points, unlock levels or achievements, and compete against each other. On the other hand, there is the idea of ‘learning games’ or ‘Serious Games’, where a game is employed to facilitate learning. In the same way, simulations, virtual reality, or other visual and kinesthetic technologies can either be added to learning, or used to create instances of learning. Finally, we should look at translation and cooperative technology. These are the tools that allow us to interact with each other and work together. Communication is already everywhere and we will continue to use text audio and video conferencing. Automated translation and improvements to usability will make electronic communications as easy as – indeed, easier than! – talking to someone in the same room. But this does not mean we will suddenly start working in teams, sharing common goals, or even thinking in the same way. The future lies in cooperation, not collaboration. Each of us remains individual, unique, and rooted experience. Our perspectives are our own, and communications will help us work independently, rather than in groups. If in the past we trended toward single large taxi companies, in the future we trend toward Uber. It should be noted that cooperation includes machines as well as people. The internet is the first large-scale example of cooperative computing. It is nothing more than a system that connects us – our commonalities lie in protocols and syntax, not (despite ‘the Digital Citizen’) shared goals or ideals. Imagine, if we can, a world in which we can interoperate with and use tools, services and resources as we need them (Uber meets self-driving cars) rather than owning them. 4. Learning in the Future If we take all of this together and ask where it leads, where does it leave us? It is arguable that many of the traditional roles of the educational faculty will no longer be relevant. Take learning contents, for example. We are entering a world of open elearning resources. Entire school divisions, entire college and university systems are embracing not merely digital resources, but free and open resources. This means far more than eBooks and course packages; it means any resource you can imagine. The MOOC, which was created as a response to open learning resources, is only the first example of what will follow. We might think that there is still a role for faculty to write learning materials and create other resources, but we shouldn’t be too certain. A recent experiment at Stanford fooled students with an electronic tutor. Associated Press is using an artificial engine to write sports stories. The Atlantic reported on an initiative to use robots to teach classes. Computers are becoming skilled at creatingcontent, including learning content. Even if computers don’t create learning materials, students will. The internet has already seen a proliferation of content generated by average users – social networks, photos, artwork, self-help videos, and more. As I have argued in the part, the most sustainable resources are those produced by the community for their own needs. Resources created by professional faculty may be considered unnecessary and expensive. Today we think of these resources as fixed and immutable (hence there is a ‘discovery’ problem, or a ‘reuse’ problem). In the future these resources will be created as they are needed (the way you give advice to somebody over the telephone). They will be addressed to specific needs or competences. There won’t be the need for a faculty member to know students personally. Computers will know far more than a professor ever could. Our future learning environments will change as well. Here I am thinking not only of MOOCs, but of a single, complex, interactive learning environment that surrounds each person like a personal bubble. I’ve called this the ‘personal learning environment’ in the past. We will be linked to our friends and relevant resource people, linked to tools, and linked to a distributed network of services we access as we need them. People when they think of personal learning in the future tend to think of it as operating a lot like Google search. But this again is to think of the problem of learning as a problem of content. Our learning environments of the future will be based on 21st century learning and scientific methodologies. They will consist as much of services and scaffolds as they do content and videos. They will help us work through simulations or scenarios, and will transfer seamlessly into real-world applications and problems. The practice of teaching – even the practice of coaching and support – will be irrelevant. Already people get more support from their digital technologies than they do from their professors. That’s why they carry them to class. Assessment and recognition will also shift dramatically. While it may involve microcredentials and a variety of recognition services, it will be based less and less on tests and exams and more and more based on actual evidence. Indeed, at a certain point it will be questioned why we need credentials at all (much less tests and marking and the like). Information about what we’ve actually done will feed directly into employment or project support tools, and instead of ‘grades’ you’ll get job offers. This is already happening; we’re working on a ‘micromissions’ project at NRC to help Canadian public service people fill jobs on a temporary basis based on their online evidence base. Artificial intelligence can very easily match specific experience to existing problems, and does not risk losing information through the artificial mechanisms of credentials or even competencies. 5. The New Role for Faculty We have traditionally thought of the role of faculty as having three parts: the teaching part, where they share their knowledge and expertise though classes, books and resources; the supportive part, where they coach and mentor individuals through the non-cognitive challenges they face; as the assessment part, where they observe student progress and make recommendations for recognition or remediation. What happens when we no longer require faculty to fulfill these roles? Do they become irrelevant?The challenges are significant. Students don’t need contents any more. Students don’t need experts any more. Indeed, we want them to figure things out, translate, try activities, work with others. They don’t need encouragement or motivation any more. Their learning will be engaging, immersive and wanted. They will want to be there, they will believethat they’re there, and they’ll believe that they are making a difference. Think about your own learning. Think about what you do today, as a professional. For the most part, you no longer take courses. You receive learning and support from your environment. You select learning resources that are that is relevant, usable and interactive, be they friends, books, or even classes. It’s all about context. It’s all about what you need when you need it. The airplane cockpit is no place for a two-week course. You need learning support you can use right away, and even more importantly, that directly helps you solve your current problem. Learning will be like water or electricity – or text. There when you need it. As infrastructure. Think about your own learning, the type of learning that sticks over time, like learning a language or learning to fly. “To learn is to practise and reflect.” You need support, sometimes, but mostly you need examples and models. Then you try it. Think about learning a computer system. Learners today don’t wait for a course or even read the instruction manual – they try things and see what happens. They keep at it until they become skilled. Think about your own learning, the way you share it with others outside the class. “To teach is to model and demonstrate.” You probably know by now that you can’t just tellpeople how to do things, you can’t convincethem that this or that is important. You showthem – you demonstrate the function, and you describe how you see it in your own mind, explaining using models and demonstrations.As Alfie Kohn says, if we have to ask “how do we motivate people” then we’re taking the wrong approach. The new role for faculty is to show how to be a practitioner in the field – be a carpenter, a physicist, etc. More, it is to show how you try, fail, learn, etc. To show the way you think about problems. To be open with your mistakes and your failings as well as your successes. To be a part of the learning community, the one who forges ahead, the one who discovers a new path. From the institutional perspective, the shift must be form management to meaning. Pre-network work and learning was about giving directions and telling people what they need to do. In the network era, we don’t do things to people, do things with people, and even more importantly, we help people do things. The success in the future economy will not be the one who takes the most, it will be the one who gives the most. The new model of work and learning – and ultimately, the true importance of faculty in the future, will be based around three principles: - Sharing – by working openly, modeling and demonstrating one’s own practice, including the application of specific skills, but also how we think and how we see the works, by creating linked documents, data, and objects within a distributed network - Contributing – by helping, supporting and being there when needed, supporting their learning or work objective, responding to their priorities and interests - by working withother people in social networks, facilitating and acting as a role model for group communication, group communication, by being a co-creator (rather than an aloof expert or a disengaged coach) The traditional role of the faculty – even faculty currently working with learning technologies using 21st century pedagogies – is changing. Work that today seems essential will in the future be done by students themselves or by computers. But the role of faculty becomes something even more important. It is no longer enough to tell students what they need to know and how to learn about it, faculty must be partof this active learning process. In a rapidly changing environment, both teacher and student work and learn at the same time, and the role of the teacher is to be the role model for our students. This is not a role we have always excelled at. Certainly our politicians, business leaders, and other officials have not excelled as role models. We, the teachers, must hold ourselves to much higher standards in the hope that they, eventually, will learn. (*) “we” = “the educational community as a whole, in general with exceptions noted, as interpreted by me” [Link] [Comment]

Online Classes Offer Flexible Options for Earning Credentials Outside the Classroom

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2016-07-05 02:09

by Marilyn Campbell, Alexandria Gazette

Opportunities for continuing and professional education abound for the intellectually curious. One trend in continuing education that local educators say is on the rise is online learning. A study by the Babson Survey Research Group shows the number of students enrolled in distance learning courses increased each year for the past 13 years. Driven by advancements in technology, the explosion of online learning is making education — once available only to those with extra time and the funds — accessible to anyone with a tablet or laptop computer.“Our online courses have increased at about 20 percent a year for about three years,” said Stephen Nodine, Ph.D., associate vice president for E-Learning and director of Distance Education at George Mason University.

http://www.alexandriagazette.com/news/2016/jun/27/online-classes-offer-flexible-options-earning-cred/

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Report: 41% of associate degree earners move to bachelor’s in 6 years

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2016-07-05 02:05

By Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

According to a report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 41% of students who earned an associate degree during the 2009-10 academic year earned a bachelor’s degree within six years. Outcomes were better for younger community college attendees; students aged 20 or younger earned associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees or both, at a slightly higher rate than students between the ages of 20-24 or older. Nearly 37% of students earning an associate degree took 2-3 years to earn a bachelor’s degree.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/report-41-of-associate-degree-earners-move-to-bachelors-in-6-years/421765/

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E-Learning and Mobile Learning Platforms to lead the Corporate Training Market in India

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2016-07-05 02:02

By IBC International News

The Indian market for corporate education in India has been a niche market that has witnessed steady growth but is yet to be explored in full potential and has a huge scope for expansion in the coming years in comparison to global corporate education market. The training methodology has seen rapid digitization of content and migration towards online training which has been a noticeable trend in the last decade. Influx of a flurry of corporate training companies in the Indian landscape has been an important stimulant for the market. Rising demand for trainings on a spectrum of courses has put the market on an exemplary growth track. IT training market in India has been the premium sector and the most important revenue generator for the industry. Telecom Training Industry in India along with corporate training in banking and automobile corporate education has also seen considerable demand.

https://www.ibcworldnews.com/2016/06/27/e-learning-and-mobile-learning-platforms-to-lead-the-corporate-training-market-in-india/

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The importance of faculty in the higher education experience

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2016-07-04 16:47

The shape of learning is changing with online learning and connective technology creating a new role for students as shapers and creators of knowledge in their own right. Now with the lecture being replaced with online videos and class discussion moving to locations like Facebook and Twitter, what role does the faculty play? How do they remain relevant in a world shaped by publishers and learning management systems? In this talk I focus on this question and offer insights about the future of online learning.

Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, (Keynote) Jul 04, 2016 [Comment]

What to Expect in a Top Online MBA Program

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2016-07-04 02:10

By Jordan Friedman, US News

Virtual group work and a combination of self-paced and live classes are common, experts and students say. When it comes to scheduling courses, experts say, the top online MBA programs give students greater flexibility than they would find on a physical campus. An education from a top online MBA program includes both self-paced instruction, where students watch video lectures and complete readings on their own time, and live learning, where students gather in the online “classroom” – a learning management system such as Canvas or Blackboard – and actively participate using webcams. This combination, experts say, is ideal for working professionals, like Scott Grady, an online MBA student in Temple’s program who lives in Pennsylvania. He says the asynchronous portion allows for significant flexibility, though the live sessions also have benefits.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2016-06-27/what-to-expect-in-a-top-online-mba-program

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Microsoft announces expansion of partnership with edX

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2016-07-04 02:05

by Pradeep, MS Power User

Last year, Microsoft initially announced that they are joining edX, a leader in the online learning movement called MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) to offer key development courses from Microsoft experts on edX. Since then, they are working closely with edX to create new professional learning courses for school leaders to support their leadership in education transformation. Starting in the fall of 2016 through spring 2017, five new online courses will be available to help guide school principals and headmasters, superintendents and school leaders enhance classroom learning and outcomes.

http://mspoweruser.com/microsoft-announces-expansion-partnership-edx/

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Adult Students Shifting to Four-Year Non-Profits

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2016-07-04 02:02

by Walter Pearson, the EvoLLLution

While enrollments of adult students are dropping nearly across the board, four-year non-profit institutions have seen growth among this critical demographic. In the latest report from the National Student Clearing House, the enrollment in Spring 2016 had increased among those above age 24 only for those enrolling in four-year non-profits. The enrollment increased by 1.5 percent. The enrollment among adult students has generally been shifting downward, with the overall enrollment falling 3.4 percent. The downward trend is sharpest in the for-profit sector, dropping 7.7 percent. The two-year sector has seen enrollments fall 5.8 percent while four-year publics have declined 1.8 percent.

http://evolllution.com/managing-institution/higher_ed_business/adult-students-shifting-to-four-year-non-profits/

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Home Itch Remedies

xkcd.com - Mon, 2016-07-04 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Internationalen Weltbevölkerungstag am 11.07.2016

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Mon, 2016-07-04 00:00
Ausgewählte Informationen zum Internationalen Weltbevölkerungstag am 11.07.2016
Categories: Science News

Daphne Koller on Coursera, and why our education systems won’t help us in the future

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2016-07-03 02:10

by Harriet Green, City AM

A specialist in AI, Koller is optimistic about the future of jobs in regard to the “AI revolution… the pessimists will say that this time it’s different but, as with the industrial revolution, I’m confident that other job categories will emerge. But either way, what’s clear is that the jobs being created will require everyone to be far more skilled. We’ll also need people to deal with ill-formed problems that computers, which are still linear thinkers, can’t deal with. We don’t teach those kinds of skills very well in schools.” Koller points out that there are currently 190,000 data science jobs in the US alone that can’t be filled. “We hope we can help close that skills gap. It’s not just something a bootcamp can teach; you need teachers. And there’s a reason teaching is a profession – it’s hard!”

http://www.cityam.com/244192/daphne-koller-coursera-refugee-camps-and-why-our-education

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Pros & Cons Of Online Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2016-07-03 02:06

By: Georgina Torbet, Inomics

With the arrival of reliable, high-speed internet, distance learning for university students has become much more feasible. Students can now sign up for single classes or whole courses to be taught online, which may include streaming lectures, live Q&A chats with tutors, and submitting coursework electronically. But how does an online course compare with a traditional course at a brick and mortar university? Today we’re looking at both the pros and cons of learning online.

https://inomics.com/pros-cons-online-learning

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Personalization is key when it comes to online learning, leaders say

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2016-07-03 02:02

by EAB Briefing

Online students need personalized learning too, a group of higher education leaders said at a recent panel. The New Media Consortium recently hosted an online panel with leaders from colleges and online education programs to discuss advancements in digital and personal learning. “There are so many different things involved when you start to talk about personalized learning and putting those tools together,” says Vanessa Kenon, a University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) lecturer in the college of Education & Human Development. At UTSA, staff work to personalize students’ plans from the moment they begin the academic process, Kenon says. That includes laying out their degree plans to determine how long it will take to graduate and how much it will cost if they change their academic paths.

https://www.eab.com/daily-briefing/2016/06/24/personalization-is-key-when-it-comes-to-online-learning-leaders-say

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Watch “Don’t Be a Sucker!,” the 1947 US Government Anti-Hatred Film That’s Relevant Again in 2016

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2016-07-02 22:37


Dan Colman, Open Culture, Jul 02, 2016

The rise of free thinking (and free love) in the United States the 1960s came as a surprise to many people. In retrospect, it shouldn't have. After the second world war the American government unleashed a propaganda effort to make sure it didn't happen again. This video is one part of that effort. But even more pervasive were the radio advertisements that defended 'the American way' (you can listen to one here; or another; read more about the campaign here) and fueled the demand for an education. These campaigns influenced an entire generation (who also smoked, loved cars, were obsessive about fresh breath, and believed in better living through chemistry). The  content of the radio programs reinforced these values. This campaign was for the most part beneficial. But we know that the effect works both ways, that media can promote  hate and racism and  incite populations to genocide. So it's relevant to ask what media are saying to people today, and more importantly, how society can resist the relentless pull of propaganda. It's hard - the messages get you while you're you and listening to Superman serials, waiting with a willing mind to follow examples and meet expectations.

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Surviving Gamification

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2016-07-02 19:36


Ariana López Di Rocco, teachlr blog, Jul 02, 2016

Good post on the basics of gamification that begins (as it should) by distinguishing between game-based learning and gamification. "Gamification  isn't new, it is based on the nature of human learning. Since the beginning of our species, challenges and threats have propelled us to learn. These are the basis of gamification, just to create an environment in which realism and motivation are used to engage and empower a student." Note that the  Spanish language version probably reads more smoothly.

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