news (external)

Loving It

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-02-01 16:04


Alex Usher, Higher Education Strategy Associates, Feb 01, 2017

Just a day or so after authoring a good article Alex Usher comes out with this piece defending the agreement made between McDonald's and Colleges Ontario to recognize part of the corporation's training program as equivalent to college credit. There are probably good argument that could be made to defend the deal but Usher instead misrepresents  the OSPEU response as knee-jerk anti-corporate reaction, which it most certainly is not. Nowhere does the OSPEU even suggest that "McDonald’ s is a big evil corporation," as Usher says, though it does criticize the company's business practices, "tax-evasion schemes, anti-union tactics, and a reliance on a precarious low-wage workforce,” all of which are well-substantiated. The OSPEU response is eminently reasonable and boils down to two major points: first, the McDonald's curriculum is not transparent, and second, corporate training is probably not equivalent to a college education. For example, "it is difficult to see how principles of macroeconomics, involving such issues as interest rates and national productivity, are learned hands-on or in two weeks of classes over three years."

[Link] [Comment]

Top Fears Shutting the Door on Open Education

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-02-01 16:04


A.J. O'Connell, Campus Technology, Feb 01, 2017

Some people say fear is the reason professors don't want to open up classrooms, but I agree with MERLOT's Gerry Hanley: ""I think it's really a workload issue. Open educational resources don't often have the full package of supplemental material that publishers provide, and so it often means faculty have to pull together additional assignments, homework assignments, what might be lecture materials — things along those lines." People forget that many if not most university professors see teaching as a burden, not a profession. They want to do research not recitations. I know we live in the era where fear prevails and everybody's afraid, but I still think fear is cited far too frequently, and that most people are guided by much more pragmatic emotions.

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Inspirational teaching in higher education: What does it look, sound and feel like?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-02-01 16:04


James G. Derounian, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching, Learning, Feb 01, 2017

In a paper tht could have used a good edit James G. Derounian identifies factors associated with inspirational teaching in the literature and then validates the findings through a study of actual practice. "Three clear elements of inspirational undergraduate teaching emerge: First and foremost, undergraduates believe it to be motivating; second, and related – inspirational teaching is deemed encouraging and third such teaching flows from teachers’ passion for their subject." Deemed? Like I said, a good edit. In conclusion, "a simple formula: Inspirational teaching → Aspiration → Transformation."

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The University and Student Learning: A System in Conflict?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-02-01 16:04


Janet Adkins, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning, Feb 01, 2017

According to this article, the globalization of the education system "creates tepid universities all doing the same thing and producing similar results." This results from the primacy of the market-driven economic model at the core of globalization, which eliminates specialization and favours standardization and commodification. "Streamlining such a complex system means courses need to be compatible both across, as well as up and down the system. Systems need to be simple to achieve vertical and horizontal alignment."

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Is ‘fake news’ a fake problem?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-02-01 04:03


Jacob L. Nelson, Columbia Journalism Review, Jan 31, 2017

Not to keep harping on this, but I wonder whether the failure of traditional news to come to terms with fake news is a failure to understand what fake news is. I turn to the venerable Columbia Journalism Review, which has just posted this highly questionable study about the amount of time people spend on fake news sites, as compared to 'real news" sites. But you can't judge news as fake or not based on where it was published. Not a week earlier, the same Columbia Journalism review published an "open letter to Trump from the US press corps," and signed at the bottom "The Press Corps" which turns out later to be the work of a single writer. Classic fake news, from the Columbia Journalism Review. Don't suspend disbelief just because the source is authoritative.

[Link] [Comment]

on academic travel

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-02-01 04:03


D'Arcy Norman, D'Arcy Norman dor Net, Jan 31, 2017

D'Arcy Norman is reconsidering academic travel, especially to the United States. I know many other academics are thinking the same thing, and I've been asked a couple of times about my position. I won't be changing any plans nor refusing invitations. This is not because I endorse the current administration. I do not. It's because I'd have to boycott a lot of countries if I applied a similar standard worldwide. And I'm not willing to do that. People aren't perfect, governments aren't perfect, and I'd rather be an activist by setting a good example rather than passing judgement on the bad. As for the carbon footprint - well, I spent years trying to get by with public transit in New Brunswick, and that should buy me a lifetime pass on carbon emissions.

[Link] [Comment]

10 Ways to Support Students Facing Immigration Crises

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2017-02-01 01:12

by Inside Higher Ed

Anita Casavantes Bradford, Laura E. Enriquez and Susan Bibler Coutin offer advice to faculty members and administrators. While most university faculty, staff and administrators may not be in a position to directly influence federal immigration law or enforcement priorities, we do have the ability — indeed, we would argue, the responsibility — to mediate the impact of immigration policies on undocumented students. As immigration scholars and engaged teachers who work closely with undocumented students, we offer the following suggestions for faculty and administrators to consider.

https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2017/01/31/how-faculty-members-and-administrators-can-help-immigrant-students-essay

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5 Common Technical Requirements for Online Courses

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2017-02-01 01:10

By Ian Acosta, ULoop

So, you are stepping outside the usual bounds of the classroom and enrolling in an online class. For those who have taken an online class before, you most likely know how the style of studying, exam taking, and overall learning will be different. For those of you who haven’t, it can be somewhat of a “learn as you go” type process just to understand the format of the course, much less focusing on the actual course itself. Going off of that point, just to be able to take the course, certain technological requirements must be fulfilled or else the course will not go smoothly for you. Here are five common requirements I have either personally had in the past or have heard of before for taking online courses.

http://www.uloop.com/news/view.php/224285/5-Common-Technical-Requirements-for-Online-Courses

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Harvard is putting a 13 module photography course online for free

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

by Udi Tirosh, DIYPhotography

Four months ago, it was Stanford who made their photography course for free, and now comes Harvard’s turns. Harvard has an online learning platform – Alison – and their photography course has been uploaded in whole and accessible worldwide. There are 12 modules with an extra module as a bonus, so you can follow on your own pace. the course is estimated to take 10-15 hours for the average student. If you were wondering, here is the course description: Digital photography technology is continually changing, however, the principles behind good photography don’t. The online photo course gives you the opportunity to gain extensive knowledge and understanding of digital photography including topics such as exposure settings, how to read and use the histogram, how light affects a photograph, how the camera sensor and lenses work, and how to process a photograph using computer software.

http://www.diyphotography.net/harvard-putting-13-module-photography-course-online-free/

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College textbook alternatives being considered to reduce student spending

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

By Jillian Corder, KPLC

After tuition, student fees, and housing cost, a trip to the bookstore can be overwhelming for college students. Books can easily cost upwards of $500 a semester, but LOUIS -The Louisiana Library Network – is hoping to cut that cost for students. The team is currently working on a plan that would allow students to use online books at the library instead of the traditional hardback textbooks. At Textbook Rentals on Common Street in Lake Charles, KPLC gathered books required for 15 credits hours at McNeese State University. The five freshmen level courses totaled $594.18 in books.

http://www.kplctv.com/story/34259323/college-textbook-alternatives-being-considered-to-reduce-student-spending

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Soda Sugar Comparisons

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

Soda Sugar Comparisons

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

Meldepflichtigen Störfälle und Störungen in verfahrenstechnischen Anlagen

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Tue, 2017-01-31 23:00

Die im Informationssystem eingespeicherte gestaltbare Tabelle aus der "Statistik der meldepflichtigen Störfälle und Störungen in verfahrenstechnischen Anlagen" des Umweltbundesamtes / Zentrale Melde- und Auswertestelle für Störfälle und Störungen in verfahrenstechnischen Anlagen wurde um die Angaben des Jahres 2015 ergänzt.

Categories: Science News

Ausgewählte Informationen aus Anlass des Welt-Krebstages am 04.02.2017

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Tue, 2017-01-31 23:00
Ausgewählte Informationen aus Anlass des Welt-Krebstages am 04.02.2017
Categories: Science News

Take a closer peek at this complimentary eBook, Eliminate Nonessential Content below

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2017-01-31 16:03


Helge Scherlund, Jan 31, 2017

Something I've learned in several decades of speaking and writing is that the space between the words is as important as the words themselves. We might be tempted, as this book title suggests, to eliminate them as unessential content. But spacing mattters and you can't just dump nonstop content on people. You need to interject pauses, shifts in perspective, animation and even play and nonsense to provide people with context and space to comprehend and maybe even learn from what you are saying or presenting. That's not to say that all the content in the eBoom is wrong, it's just that the title focus is misplaced. Anyhow, you get your 'free' eBook in exchange for your name and your email address. Here's the link I got to the 47 page PDF.

[Link] [Comment]

European Union regulations on algorithmic decision making and a “right to explanation”

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2017-01-31 16:03


Adrian Colyer, The Morning Paper, Jan 31, 2017

We've seen how an AI can become a  racist xenophobe in one day of training. We've also seen how propaganda can create the  same effect in an entire nation. So it stands to reason that algorithms can embody the prejudice and hate present in the data set used to train it, and can even magnify that effect in its decision-making. So it's reasonable  to require that the decisions made by these AIs be vetted in some way. This is the purpose of European Union regulations related to profiling, non-discrimination and the right to an explanation in algorithmic decision-making.

[Link] [Comment]

« Back to News Print This Is 'Inclusive Access' the Future for Publishers?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2017-01-31 16:03


Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, Jan 31, 2017

What's brilliant about "inclusive access" is that it makes universities and their professors willing accomplices in publishers' campaigns to gouge students for textbook content that should be free or nearly free. This article plugging inclusive access (which is actually the opposite, exclusive access comes in the wake of a one-day  30 percent drop in Pearson share prices due to declining sales. So they're really pushing this alternative model where the cost of expensive digital textbooks is added to course fees and made a required fee for all students, offering no escape for those wanting to borrow or buy copies of books from other people.

[Link] [Comment]

Free images done right

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2017-01-31 16:03


Doug Peterson, doug — off the record, Jan 31, 2017

If you want free images you can use in your class, you can use any of my 28,374 photos, all of which are openly licensed. Of course, many other people offer similarly free photos as well, which is great.  Photos for Class is a service that performs a search on Flickr to find openly licensed photos. Of course  you can easily do this too. So far so good. But Photos for Class edits the photo file and adds an attribution block to the bottom. OK, no problem, I guess. But a full third of that attribution is an advertisement for Photos for Class. Now here I draw the line. I at least chose to use Creative Commons and Flickr, even if I don't want their marks on my photo, but I never endorsed Photos for Class and I definitely don't want their advertising on my photo. Free images done wrong, in my books.

[Link] [Comment]

Boycotting Academic Conferences to Be Held in the U.S.

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2017-01-31 10:57
by Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed The new target of the academic boycott movement is the United States. More than 3,000 academics from around the world have signed on to a call to boycott international academic conferences held in the United States in solidarity with those affected by Trump’s executive order barring entry by nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries. The ban on entry into the U.S. has left some students and scholars with valid visas stranded outside the country while others are stuck inside it, unable to leave the U.S. for personal or professional reasons for fear they won’t be let back in. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/01/31/protest-trump-entry-ban-some-scholars-are-boycotting-us-based-conferences Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_25929') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_25929') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_25929') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_25929'); if (button) { button.onclick = function(e) { var url = this.href.replace(/share\.php/, 'sharer.php'); window.open(url,'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436'); return false; } if (button.id === 'facebook_share_button_25929') { button.onmouseover = function(){ this.style.color='#fff'; this.style.borderColor = '#295582'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ this.style.color = '#3b5998'; this.style.borderColor = '#d8dfea'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#fff'; } } }

AZ Lawmakers Move to Ban College Courses on ‘the Problem of Whiteness’ and ‘White Privilege’

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2017-01-31 01:10

By Ian Miles Cheong, Heat Street

Arizona lawmakers are debating a controversial new measure to expand the state’s current “ban” on ethnic studies classes to state colleges and universities. The original ban, passed in 2010, extends to Arizona’s public and charter primary and secondary schools. If approved, the new expansion would prohibit colleges and universities in Arizona from holding classes that “promote division, resentment, or social justice toward a race, gender, religion, political affiliation, social class or other class” in addition to classes targeting a single ethnic group. Schools that violate the ban would risk losing up to 10 percent of their funding from the state. The proposed ban takes aim at courses currently taught at Arizona public colleges such as Arizona State University’s “Whiteness and Race Theory” course, which teaches students about “the problem of Whiteness.” It would also ban the University of Arizona’s so-called “privilege walk”.

https://heatst.com/culture-wars/az-lawmakers-move-to-ban-college-courses-on-the-problem-of-whiteness-and-white-privilege/

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