news (external)

Disciplining Education Technology

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2016-09-29 17:11

Audrey Watters, Hack Education, Sept 29, 2016

Audrey Watters is "perplexed by the recent call to create a new discipline for education technology" but I think she has it right when she suggests that the point of the initiative is "to determine the intellectual contours and to shore up the departmental boundaries – to decree an orthodoxy – for education technology?" And, as she suggests, "this feels like yet another rebranding, rehistoricizing of ed-tech by elite American universities."

[Link] [Comment]

Will MicroMasters add value to growing interest in advanced degrees?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2016-09-29 02:10

By Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Colleges and universities throughout the country have entered an agreement with EdX to offer MicroMasters: small-scale credentialing programs that can be completed in months and can apply earned credit towards a master’s degree. Online programs are offered in supply chain management, hospitality and business and social work, among dozens of other emerging professional fields. Credentials can be earned at a fraction of the cost of a full master’s degree, which can spur savings in student loans of out-of-pocket expenses for a full degree.

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Lifelong Learning and the Future of Work

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2016-09-29 02:05

By Christopher Watkins

Job opportunities continue to grow in emerging spaces such as virtual reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles. At the same time, existing roles in fields from healthcare to finance are changing dramatically as new tools and technologies are adopted. The concept of lifelong learning is accordingly transforming from a discretionary aspiration to a career necessity. No longer is it a supplemental luxury to learn new skills, and no longer is learning new skills something you do only when you’re pursuing a significant career change. Being relevant, competitive, and in-demand in today’s fast-moving world requires an ongoing commitment to lifelong learning regardless of your role or career path.

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Americans fall along a spectrum of preparedness to pursue learning online

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2016-09-29 02:02

BY JOHN B. HORRIGAN, Pew Charitable Trust

In this report, we use newly released Pew Research Center survey findings to address a related issue: digital readiness. The new analysis explores the attitudes and behaviors that underpin people’s preparedness and comfort in using digital tools for learning as we measured it in a survey about people’s activities for personal learning. Specifically, we assess American adults according to five main factors: their confidence in using computers, their facility with getting new technology to work, their use of digital tools for learning, their ability to determine the trustworthiness of online information, and their familiarity with contemporary “education tech” terms. It is important to note that the findings here just cover people’s learning activities in digital spaces and do not address the full range of important things that people can do online or their “readiness” to perform them.

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US school's unmanned boat reaches Welsh coast

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2016-09-28 19:59

BBC News, Sept 28, 2016

A driverless boat (pilotless boat?) created by students from Kent School in Maryland was recovered in Wales. They launched The Osprey with a time capsule onboard off the New Jersey coast on 13 June and tracked it across the ocean. Projects like this are always great educational experiences. "Our excitement was at fever pitch. We're going to wait for our head teacher to make contact with the school in the US and then hopefully do a live weblink with them and open it up." With luck the boat can also be used to instruct the BBC on gender-neutral language.

[Link] [Comment]

Educational Software Patents: A Call to Vendors

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2016-09-28 19:59

Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, Sept 28, 2016

As  described here September 1,  Elsevier won a patent for an online peer review system, something the open source Online Journal Systems has been doing for decades. This post continues the discussion from Miichael Feldstein, noted for his coverage of the Blackboard patent case. He called on "educational institutions to gather together and sign a pledge that they would not procure products from companies that assert education-related software patents," but in the face of utter indifference this seems unlikely to happen. So now he's calling on software companies to respond. "The right thing for vendors to do here is to create what’ s known as a patent pool. Any patent owner who contributes to the pool pledges to only use that patent for defensive counter-suits."

[Link] [Comment]

Because of the ADA, Universities May Withdraw Free Online Course Content

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2016-09-28 02:10


On September 13, the University of California at Berkeley announced that it may have to take down online lecture and course content that it has offered free to the public: content that we have made available to the public. That Berkeley is not just imagining these legal dangers is illustrated by this clip from Tamar Lewin of the New York Times from February of last year: “Harvard and M.I.T. Are Sued Over Lack of Closed Captions.” I’ve been warning about this, to no apparent avail, for a long time. I noted the tag-team alliance of the U.S. Department of Justice, disabled-rights groups, and fee-seeking private lawyers in gearing up web-accessibility doctrine.

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MicroMasters on a Global Scale

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2016-09-28 02:03

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Fourteen universities around the world are today launching modular master’s degree programs in which students can complete up to half of the course work online, earn a credential and then decide whether they want to apply to pursue the full degree. The launch of the 19 programs, known as MicroMasters, follows a pilot at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT has since early this year tested the model in its supply chain management program. Learners start the program by taking massive open online courses hosted on edX, the MOOC platform MIT helped found. After completing five MOOCs, learners who pay a fee can either call it quits and walk away with a certificate — or apply and, if accepted to MIT, eventually earn a master’s of engineering in logistics.

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Experts says education headed for dramatic shift by 2020

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2016-09-28 02:02

By Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Fast Company describes the five ways that the industry of education is likely to change by the year 2020, with communication, technology and industry driving the rapid shifts over the next four years. According to some experts, remote learning, credentialing, student feedback, and the ability to adapt will be the biggest changes that students will expect, and that leaders will be forced to accommodate. Technological innovations and shifts in population will make the United States less of a global player unless the country moves to the front of educational achievement.

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Fixing Problems - Wed, 2016-09-28 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Internationalen Tag der Epilepsie am 05.10.2016

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Wed, 2016-09-28 00:00
Ausgewählte Informationen zum Internationalen Tag der Epilepsie am 05.10.2016
Categories: Science News

C.R.E.A.M. (Class Rules Everything Around Me)

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-09-27 22:55

Kitteh, Metafilter, Sept 27, 2016

As I prepared my slides for today's short talk (we're doing a round of autobiographies in our group - a good idea) I thought a lot about where I stand vis-à -vis the rest of society. Not as 'respectable'. Not as "entitled to... education, social standing, pay and political power." I had to take each one of these, to wrest them from people of more deserving background. I had a lot of setbacks, a lot of battles. And you can never  actually escape your origins, because to escape you must accept the values and assumptions of the ruling class, the core of which is that people from your class don't belong in the boardroom or with polite company. I would never do that. As this author writes, rising with your class is the only thing that makes sense. 

[Link] [Comment]

A Timeline

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-09-27 19:55

This is a very brisk autobiography from my early childhood through to today.

Internal Presentation, Ottawa (Keynote) Sept 27, 2016 [Comment]

Still Playing "No Man’s Sky"

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-09-27 19:55

Tom Bray, Ongoing, Sept 27, 2016

I spend more time over the weekend playing No Man's Sky, doing so apparently in defiance of  the hate being expressed by so many critics and gamers. But  look at the panels (like the one pictured; can you believe this?) - they come from one demographic, one point of view, and expect one set of things from a game. They want a storyline, an opponent, an outcome. Maybe there will be one one day but that's not what No Man's Sky is promising. What I like is that you can do things like  walk completely around the planet. It takes weeks. As Tim Bray says, "this game is a huge plat­ form with lots of room to drop in new con­ tent and game-play and sur­ pris­ es." Yes, in many ways it's not a finished product. I'm actually OK with that. Because I hate the games that are defined by an storyline, an opponent, and an outcome. My world (of gaming, and of learning) is much bigger than that.

[Link] [Comment]

Why we are weaning our students from electronic noise

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-09-27 16:55

Ryan Balot, Clifford Orwin, Globe, Mail, Sept 27, 2016

I wonder whether this is true: "thinking thrives on silence or on dialogue with other human voices, when electronic noise has faded." This is being used as justification for banning electronic devices from the classroom. But I have questions. When I'm doing mental work, I always have some background noise - music, CBC, Ed Radio, a baseball game, whatever. My head is full of distracting noises; silence makes my mind wander. I remember the classroom lecture before computers - every agonizing scrape of a chair, squeak of a door, cough, whisper. It was all I could do to keep from daydreaming and falling asleep. By contrast, some of my best thinking places are noisy environments - pubs, markets, busy streets. So I think it's a fallacy that thinking thrives on silence, and certainly don't support banning electronic devices based on an unproven, and probably false, hypothesis.

[Link] [Comment]

Ria #26: Nick Foreman On Archival Research

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-09-27 04:52

, Ecampus Research Unit | Oregon State University, Sept 26, 2016 On this episode, Nick Foreman shares about archival research and the logistics of archival work. [Link] [Comment]

Lights out for shomi symptomatic of streaming video’s larger profitability problem

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-09-27 04:52

Terry Dawes, CanTech Letter, Sept 26, 2016

Shomi  foundered on the same shoal that afflicted Netflix - the demands for unsustainable revenues from content producers. There's no incentive for providers to offer Shomi a good rate when they'll ultimately roll out their own service and try to grab all the profits. Meanwhile, Netflix has responded by gutting its offering and producing many of its own shows. The market for streaming video accounts is limited, though, and people won't pay for all of them. Meanwhile, it's a bit ironic for me to be reading "the last jigsaw piece for streaming video to gain widespread acceptance will be live sports" while watching my Blue Jays game on (as I have for several years now). The content providers will never see their pot of gold. The same thing that happened to print media and music is happening to video and is happening to education. 'Live' is just a format now; you don't have to be there, and it doesn't have to be expensive.

[Link] [Comment]

Credential Transparency Initiative Intros New Credentialing Tool, Nonprofit Org

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2016-09-27 02:10

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

The Credential Transparency Initiative (CTI) today debuted its Credential Registry, a tool for documenting and comparing certifications, degrees, certificates, licenses, badges and other micro-credentials. The project includes the formation a new nonprofit organization, Credential Engine, tasked with taking the effort mainstream. Led by a partnership among George Washington University’s Institute of Public Policy, Workcred (an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute), and Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Center for Workforce Development, the Credential Transparency Initiative aims to “develop common terms for describing key features of credentials; create a voluntary, web-based registry for sharing the resulting information; and test practical apps (software applications) for employers, students, educators and other credential stakeholders,” according to the CTI website.

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Outsourcing IT in Higher Ed: A Necessary Evil?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2016-09-27 02:04

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

News that the University of California San Francisco plans to outsource many of its technology functions to an India-based service provider appears to have sparked a blaze of concern that soon the entire UC system could adopt the same contract. While offshoring opponents predict that the plan could set off a domino effect of other colleges and universities following suit, institutional leaders appear to view the UCSF move as an individual decision made for strategic reasons — no different, really, from choosing any kind of service delivery. According to reporting by Computerworld, healthcare-focused UCSF is laying off some 17 percent of the institution’s 565-employee IT staff starting next February — after those same workers have presumably trained Indian replacements employed by HCL Technologies. Of the 96 positions being eliminated, just over half of the people facing layoffs are permanent employees.

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Why It’s Time for Education Technology to Become an Academic Discipline

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2016-09-27 02:02

by David Raths, Campus Technology

As Georgetown University prepares to launch a master’s degree program in Learning and Design, a new academic discipline built around the study of education technology, learning analytics and instructional design is starting to take shape. Leaders in the field are “bringing about a set of practices that require a knowledge base, that require an ability to share information and that start to form a set of practices that we can all share — but also resist, test, push back against and challenge each other on,” according to Eddie Maloney, executive director of the university’s Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship. Maloney, who is also professor of the practice of narrative literature and theory in Georgetown’s Department of English, has observed a trajectory in the discipline of education technology over the last four years. “We saw 2012 as an inflection point regarding the role technology plays in higher education,” he said, referring to what The New York Times dubbed “The Year of the MOOC.”

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