news (external)

How to Involve Students in Your College’s IT Strategy #edtech #elearning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2017-09-03 02:03

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

In the 21st century, it is important for colleges not only to have computers and the Internet that students can access; colleges should implement up-to-date and popular technology for students to use in their everyday lives. The place to begin this goal is in the Instructional Technology Department. IT Departments should help colleges create their IT strategies. But, it is of utmost importance to include students in a college’s IT strategy to make it the most effective.

How to involve students in your college’s IT strategy

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4 Reasons Online Courses Might Be For You #elearning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2017-09-03 02:01

By Alyssa Laffitte, ULoop
College is very different now than it was 10 years ago. Nowadays, we have options that can help us get our degrees faster, like online courses. Most universities give you the option to complete some classes online. If you are still unsure about whether or not you should take an online class, here are some reasons why an online course might be for you!  Clearly, there are many reasons you should take an online class. Of course, you know yourself best, so take a good look at your educational situation and decide whether or not taking an online class would work for you.

https://www.uloop.com/news/view.php/245379/4-Reasons-Online-Courses-Might-Be-For-You

 

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Neural Nets for Generating Music

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2017-09-02 15:29

Kyle McDonald, Medium, Artists and Machine Intelligence, Sept 02, 2017

This is an interesting and very detailed examination of attempts to create music using artificial intelligence. It tracks what are (to my mind) two major stages in the evolution of this work: first, the shift from symbolic representations of music to actual samples of music; and second, the shift to convolutional neural networks: "Convolutional networks learn combinations of filters. They’re normally used for processing images, but WaveNet treats time like a spatial dimension." There's the obligatory question of whether these will replace humans, posed at the very end of the article (to no effect whatsoever) and a look at the use of these techniques to generate spoken word audio.

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3 reasons why cybersecurity is such a problem for higher ed

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2017-09-02 02:08

BY TOM RUFF, eCampus News

Many higher education institutions have already invested heavily in security solutions, but the bad actors continue to bypass many of the current security controls. Other institutions have underinvested and only have basic protections in place, but now realize that it is simply a matter of time before this approach fails.  The key driver for breaking into a college or university – or any organization, for that matter – is typically financial, which means that there is a game of cat and mouse played between the bad actors and institutions.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/eschool-media/cybersecurity-problem-higher-ed/

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13 strategic technologies to keep on your fall semester radar

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2017-09-02 02:04

BY LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News
Institutions are focused on strategic technologies that help support student success and other initiatives.  Technologies for planning and mapping students’ educational plans, along with mobile app development, are among the top strategic technologies covered in EDUCAUSE’s 2017 Integrated Planning for Advising and Student Success (iPASS) trends and technologies report. The report examines higher ed’s top strategic technology priorities. Strategic technologies are newer compared to mature and commonly-deployed technologies such as financial information systems, and these newer technologies are the technologies on which institutions will likely spend most of their time implementing, planning, and tracking this year.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/it-newsletter/technologies-fall-higher-ed/

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Most Faculty Say Technology Has Made Their Jobs Easier

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2017-09-02 02:03

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology
Our 2017 Teaching with Technology Survey found that faculty have a positive outlook about technology’s impact on their work, teaching effectiveness, student learning and more. In a survey of faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States, 73 percent of respondents said technology has made their jobs “easier” or “much easier.” And nary a one considered their job “much harder” thanks to tech. Those findings came out of Campus Technology’s second annual Teaching with Technology Survey, in which we asked faculty to dish on their use of technology, likes and dislikes, views of the future and more. Their responses revealed a lot about the business of teaching and learning with technology today — and how it has changed over the last year.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/08/23/most-faculty-say-technology-has-made-their-jobs-easier.aspx

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Self-Regulated Learning and Academic Achievement: An Overview

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-09-01 18:07

Barry Zimmerman, Educational Psychologist, Sept 01, 2017

In her presentation (video streaming) this morning on self-regulation for novice adult musicians, Laura Ritchie referenced Barry Zimmerman's definition of self-regulated learning. The primary citation is Zimmerman's 1990 overview paper referenced here (15 page PDF). Zimmerman distinguishes between self-regulation processes and strategies designed to optimize those processes, identifies a "self-oriented feedback loop", and examines the reasons student shave for pursuing one strategy or another. The definition is also stated in his 1989 paper 'A Social Cognitive View of Self-Regulated Academic Learning' (probably paywalled where you are, though there's a copy on ResearchGate). This paper also has a detailed table of self-regulated learning strategies. The triadic analysis (pictured) makes me thing of Archer-Anderson-Garrison's account of teaching and learning presence, which shows how teachers and instructors can have a non-regulatory influence through a person's awareness of self, environment and behaviour. For a lighter introduction readers may want to look at Janice Jansol's slide presentation on Zimmerman.

[Link] [Comment]

Google’s Fighting Hate And Trolls With A Dangerously Mindless AI

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-09-01 16:37

Robert Epstein, Fast Company, Sept 01, 2017

I think there's a difference between 'getting things wrong' and 'mindless', and while the former is certainly a problem with Google's AI, and others, as argued in this post, I don't think that the latter is an issue at all. The article focuses on Google's Perspective software, which you can try for yourself. It has some easily verified flaws; one is that negative statements, however accurate, are viewed as "toxic", while nice statements, however abhorrent, are viewed as non-toxic. "The problem is that the algorithm doesn’t know any human history. It’s mainly looking for hot-button terms like 'evil' and 'scumbag.'" Quite so. It's too simplistic to be useful. But that is very different from "mindless". As the author admits, "smart algorithms are indeed helping medical doctors diagnose, they report, and they are also trouncing humans at the most challenging games humans have ever devised." They are literally 'mindless' but they are better at some things. If the anti-troll software starts working properly, it won't matter one whit that it's mindless. 

[Link] [Comment]

Google unveils ARCore, its answer to Apple’s ARKit

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-09-01 14:26

Nicole Lee, Engadget, Sept 01, 2017

This article reports on a Google press release describing ARCore, an augmented reality development kit. Basically it delivers three features: motion tracking, environmental awareness (to detect flat surfaces), and light estimation, to get shadows right. Here's the developer preview, with kits for the Android Studio, Unity and Unreal development environment. "You can see some examples already on Google's AR Experiments showcase, and it looks like Epic Games, Niantic (the maker of Pokemon Go) and Wayfair are already on board."

[Link] [Comment]

Information in the ecosystem: Against the “information ecosystem”

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-09-01 14:01

Timothy B. Norris, Todd Suomela, First Monday, Sept 01, 2017

This is a detailed analysis and c riticism of the 'information ecosystem' metaphor. The authors argue that human societies are not ecosystems and that the use of the metaphor obscures important elements of communities and human interaction. For one thiing, quoting Richard Stallman, "“It is inadvisable to describe the free software community, or any human community, as an ‘ecosystem,’ because that word implies the absence of ethical judgment.” Additionally, the use of the 'ecosystem' metaphore does not capture the idea that data and markets are human constructions and are based in judgements and theories. "An ecosystem is not purposefully made by organisms for material exchange." Moreover, "To reduce an ecosystem to the human-made, such as an information ecosystem, denies possibilities of spiritualism and non-quantifiable relationships that are found in nature." Good article. Set aside some significant time for it.

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Why the cost of education may end up far higher than many students expect

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-09-01 13:27

Brenda Bouw, Globe and Mail, Sept 01, 2017

The answer to the question in the headline is 'because you're going to have to continue to upgrade your skills and development after graduation.' As the article says, "It's not just the fact that you need the extra training after school, but the shelf life of your knowledge is also significantly shorter" (this is the same poll as reported here yesterday, but with a newer press release (5 page PDF) and as usual the newspaper does not link to the original source). But rather than question the need for such high fees, the article is essentially an advertisement for Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP). "Two in five Canadian students entering PSE say that they have no savings and two-thirds do not have an RESP." The reason for that isn't that they're careless, despite what the article suggests. The reason is that you can't save tens of thousands on minimum wage employment. You cannot save your way to prosperity if you're poor.

[Link] [Comment]

An Educator Makes the Case That Higher Learning Needs to Grow Up

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2017-09-01 02:05

By CRAIG CALHOUN, NY Times

Davidson argues persuasively that student-centered, active learning can transform classrooms and even online courses. Technology itself is neither the enemy nor the solution (recent fantasies about massive open online courses, or MOOCs, notwithstanding). She rightly rails against both rising costs and a public defunding of higher education that together mean students graduate with huge debt burdens and accordingly make educational choices based on guesses at how they can best pay them off rather than what they want to learn or how they can best contribute to the world. She criticizes disciplinary departments as too dominant and points out that neither the world’s problems nor its jobs are organized entirely by academic disciplines. She complains that ubiquitous grading and ranking of both students and schools have produced not only an obsession with hierarchical standing but also an approach focused more on exclusivity and weeding out than on helping everyone learn.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/23/books/review/cathy-davidson-new-education.html

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George Siemens and David Wiley Join Forces for a MOOC About Open Education

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2017-09-01 02:03

By Manuela Ekowo, EdSurge

This October, two open education pioneers are teaming up to pilot a new edX course titled “Introduction to Open Education” with hopes to amplify and answer some of these questions. George Siemens, professor and education technology researcher at the University of Texas at Arlington, and David Wiley, co-founder and chief academic officer at OER company Lumen Learning, will lead the free course that aims to introduce graduate students (though anyone with internet access can take the classes) to open education, and how the field has evolved. The six-week long MOOC will touch on topics including open educational resources (OER), open pedagogy and practice, open knowledge and open research.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-08-23-george-siemens-and-david-wiley-join-forces-for-a-mooc-about-open-education

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‘Smart’ Campuses Invest in the Internet of Things

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2017-09-01 02:01

by David Raths, Campus Technology

As campus executives start to develop their IoT strategies, it is not just CIOs who have to be involved. Sometimes, facilities groups have their own IT executives working on data pipelines from IoT devices. Chuck Benson, assistant director for IT in Facilities Services at the University of Washington, chairs a campuswide IoT risk mitigation task force.  Energy management is a great example of where IoT is having an impact, Benson said. With help from a federal grant, UW has made an effort to meter much of the campus. There are about 2,000 data points where power and building controls are sampled. “I work with our energy conservation managers making sure all the samples are coming through,” he said. Data flows into an aggregation point and from there to consumption for reports, dashboards or ongoing research. “We do a lot of work in building that data pipeline, and there are challenges all along the way that involve different groups on campus,” Benson explained. If a meter goes offline, initially you don’t know why — or who is responsible.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/08/24/smart-campuses-invest-in-the-internet-of-things.aspx

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Ringer Volume/Media Volume

xkcd.com - Fri, 2017-09-01 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Internationalen Tag des alkoholgeschädigten Kindes am 09.09.2017

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Fri, 2017-09-01 00:00
Ausgewählte Informationen zum Internationalen Tag des alkoholgeschädigten Kindes am 09.09.2017
Categories: Science News

Warsaw

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-08-31 22:49

Stephen Downes, Flickr, Aug 31, 2017

I'm back from Poland and have stuff to share. For today, it's photos from my visit - Warsaw, where I spent most of my time, but at from short side-trip to Krakow and Lodz. Enjoy! :)

 

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Education and employability: Can the gap be closed?: CIBC report

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-08-31 19:59

Benjamin Tal, Royce Mendes, CIBC, Aug 31, 2017

According to this report (5 page PDF), "students are starting to get the message as more enroll in high-demand, high-paying fields of study but momentum is hindered by rising tuition and an inflexible system." programs leading to higher-paying jobs are beginning to cost more as tuiotion fees rise. Also, "the simple reality is that the current education system is not flexible enough to fully accommodate the needs of today’s students.... The system ought to be flexible enough to combine passion and practicality. A much higher level of collaboration between colleges and universities is clearly needed."

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German publishers are joining forces against the duopoly

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-08-31 19:41

Jessica Davies, Digiday, Aug 31, 2017

On discussion lists recently the subject of personal identification schemes has resulted in considerable debate - should, for exam ple, ORCID be required by funders, or should the principle of an open, distributed and non-proprietary scheme be encouraged. Meanwhile, acyual web users are facied with an increasing number of sites requiring that they use their social media IDs - especially those from Facebook and Google - with the consequence that they surrender their privacy. In Germany an effort is underway to establish a third-party identification system that opreserves privacy and reduces the overhead required for authentication. This has been prompted by new data privacy regulations (General Data Protection Regulation) which will be enforced starting next May. According to the article, "The sign-in platform will be marketed to consumers as 'Verimi' — a mix of the English words “verify” and “me.” A dedicated website explaining the service and how to use it is starting to familiarize people with the initiative before the product’s launch."

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How Microlearning Will Shape the Future of Work

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-08-31 18:07

Alex Khurgin, Association for Talent Development, Aug 31, 2017

This post explores the timing of microlearning in the workplace. It's a good point. The centrepiece is the pair of diagrams of mis-aligned and aligned microtraining (figures 2 and 3). The overall point applies to learning generally, I think: that it needs to be aligned to the current interests and motivations of the learner. Failing to do this creates an environment where learning is a distraction from the events and work of the day, rather than something helpful and supportive. As Alex Khurgin writes, "The moments of need become motivational anchor points surrounded with microlearning experiences and resources. They also present entry points for difficult challenges like addressing bias by tying them to specific events, such as an upcoming interview."

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