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The Essential Clayton Christensen Articles

OLDaily - 25 Enero, 2020 - 22:37
Harvard Business Review, Jan 25, 2020

With the news that Clayton Christensen has died an an unfortunately young age, it is appropriate to take a few moments to reflect on his influence, not only on the business community, but on wider society as a whole, including educational technology. He and his institute have had their critics - I was one - but their impact cannot be understated.

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The Attack on Canada’s Schools

OLDaily - 25 Enero, 2020 - 22:37
Grant Frost, frostededucation, Jan 25, 2020

Canada has had for many years one of the best school systems in the world. This is not just opinion; it's a statement that is proven in test after test. However, as Grant Frost notes, "from coast to coast, regardless of province or political affiliation, our public education system is in turmoil, driven by a strikingly similar  'Our schools are failing' rhetoric." Why? He argues, and I agree, that "our public education system, from coast to coast, is embroiled in a fight for its very life." I also think that collective bargaining itself is also under attack, as Doug Peterson suggests. And the motivation is money - the money that could be made by privatizing schools, the money that could be made by plundering teachers' pension plans. No matter what damage is done to Canadian society as a whole.

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The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It

OLDaily - 25 Enero, 2020 - 22:37
Geoffrey Rockwell,, Jan 25, 2020

Most of us - including me - cheered when a court said we could scrape sites like LinkedIn. Now we're seeing the other side of that ruling, a site called Clearview AI that scrapes social media photographs to allow security services to search for and identify people on the basis of a photograph. As this article suggests, Clearview might represent "the end of privacy". But let's take pause. What could be wrong with a service that catches bad guys? Maybe people would behave better if they knew they would be caught. What wrong by recognizing people by their faces? After all, that's why they're on passports and drivers' licenses? Yes, the tool could be used to do wrong - just like every tool ever invented.

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In serving big company interests, copyright is in crisis

OLDaily - 25 Enero, 2020 - 22:37
Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing, Jan 25, 2020

I'm of two minds regarding this post. On the one hand I agree with Cory Doctorow that the world's copyright system is a mess. There's an ever tightening vice clamping down on the potential for innovation, competition, and even creativity. On the other hand, I don't care. Not because I am ambivalent, but quite the opposite. I see all that as their rules for their economy, but I have long ago moved past all that. I have always said I will make money in other ways, by offering services in person rather than content that needs protecting. I don't need or care about DRM in browsers in a world where content is shared. I don't worry about the 'feel' of music when I'm just making it for myself and my friends.

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Amgen and Harvard Launch Free Online Science Ed Platform

OLDaily - 25 Enero, 2020 - 09:37
Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology, Jan 25, 2020

This feels more like marketing than it does a serious open education project, but I may be misinterpreting the intent. What I do know is that when I go to the LabExchange website the most striking feature is the big white bank of sponsor logos right across the middle of the page. The idea is that they "curate and create world-class digital content, delivered on a free, online platform that lets you integrate your learning and research experiences." I signed up for 'collaborate' and found my account linked to an EdX account I tried a 'simulation' to find it was an interactive where you drag content into the right box, and are scored 'right' or 'wrong'. I tried 'remix' but found I could only create a 'pathway' of their learning resources.

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Google Classroom rubrics and originality reports exit beta

OLDaily - 25 Enero, 2020 - 09:37
Abner Li, 9to5 Google, Jan 25, 2020

According to this report, "After entering beta last year, Google is launching new rubric and originality report tools for all G Suite for Education customers." The display shows up automatically at the side of the page while you're marking the paper. It makes me think - why can't I have a tool that just reads what I type, and lets me know who has said the same (or similar thing) before, automatically finds and inserts references, and alerts me of any reports or studies that contradict what I'm saying? Anyhow. If you don't like the way TurnItIn uses student work, and you don't want to depend on the machine, there's also Urkund's anti-plagiarism system (this isn't a recommendation; I just saw them mentioned on Mastodon).

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Google publishes largest ever high-resolution map of brain connectivity

OLDaily - 24 Enero, 2020 - 18:37
James Vincent, The Verge, Jan 24, 2020

Today's word is 'connectome', which is a "a comprehensive map of neural connections in the brain, and may be thought of as its 'wiring diagram'." It's newly relevant because "Google and the Janelia Research Campus in Virginia have published the largest high-resolution map of brain connectivity in any animal, sharing a 3D model that traces 20 million synapses connecting some 25,000 neurons in the brain of a fruit fly." The article talks about the research being criticized as a waste of money, but I think it's the first real glimpse we have of actual knowledge (indeed, I think the relevant philkosophical; question today is whether the body's knowledge is equivalent to its neural connectome, or whether we need to include connections in additional systems (such as the immune system) to complete the picture.

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Amgen and Harvard Launch Free Online Science Ed Platform

Campus Technology - 24 Enero, 2020 - 18:12
A new online science education platform offers free access to personalized learning content, virtual lab experiences and networking with the global scientific community.

New ASU Cybersecurity Boot Camp Tackling Skills Gap

Campus Technology - 24 Enero, 2020 - 18:03
Arizona State University's Continuing & Professional Education has partnered with Trilogy Education to launch a new cybersecurity boot camp geared toward adult learners.

Hans Vaihinger

OLDaily - 24 Enero, 2020 - 05:37
Timothy Stoll, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Jan 24, 2020

This is a great overview of a philosopher who was entirely new to me. The influence and importance of Hans Vaihinger is explained well in this article, as are his two major contributions: his two-volume interpretation of Kant (which describes the Critique of Pure Reason as a patchwork), and his Die Philosophie des Als Ob (PAO), which translates to The Philosophy of As-If. This is great stuff, worthy of a 21st century treatment. Drawing on Schopenhauer's idea that the intellect is “a mere tool in the service of the will”, Vaihinger argues that the purpose of the intellect "is therefore not “to be a copy [Abbild] of reality,” but rather “an instrument for finding our way about more easily in this world.” In other words, "the purpose of thought is “to calculate those events that occur without our intervention and to realize our impulses appropriately.” That accords well with the contemporary line of thought (with which I concur) that the brain is essentially a prediction engine. For a good object lesson on trusting sources, see also The Quote that Never Was, by Tessa Gengnagel, which is where I got the image.

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Soros gives $1bn to fund universities 'and stop drift towards authoritarianism'

OLDaily - 24 Enero, 2020 - 05:37
Larry Elliott, The Guardian, Jan 24, 2020

So I guess the big news today is the announcement by George Soros that he will build "a new global network of universities designed to promote liberal values and his vision of an open society." Here is the full text of his speech. How fortunate we are to have billionaires who define public policy for us. What would make me happier? Billionaires paying their taxes. More *sigh* coverage: Fortune (naturally), Bloomberg, Financial Times, Business Insider, Times of India. The Chronicle has coverage but it's behind a paywall because, I don't know, there's no other way to learn the story?

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What Modular, Stackable Learning Means And Why It Will Transform Learning In The Workplace

OLDaily - 24 Enero, 2020 - 05:37
Anant Agarwal, EdX, Jan 24, 2020

This is just a quick bit offering some definitions from edX. Modular learning is "unbundling the traditional learning 'packages' - Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees - into more manageable learning chunks that are also tied to real career and life outcomes." And stackable learning is "when you take certificates and credentials that you earn in edX programs and 'stack' them together to form a larger credential or degree." The article doesn't come close to delivering on the second part of the headline. After all, the traditional learning 'packages' are already unbundled - we used to call the unbundled bits courses. What would really be transformative is being able to take courses from multiple institutions. Ah but edX wants you to stay loyal to edX.

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Standards for Writing Accessibly

OLDaily - 24 Enero, 2020 - 05:37
Michael J. Metts, Andy Welfle, A List Apart, Jan 24, 2020

It's useful to keep these principles in mind when writing and designing text on web pages. Some things that resonated with me: "it’s extremely important to structure your longform writing with headers, short paragraphs, and other content design best practices." Oh yes. Also: "if there’s information critical to an action... place it before the text field or action button." Totally agree. Also, "try device-agnostic words that describe the action, irrespective of the interface, like choose, select, view" (Microsoft keeps telling me to 'double tap' when I'm using a keyboard, both confusing me and making me think of mobster movies).

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U Texas Earnings Outcomes Pilot with U.S. Census Proves Useful

Campus Technology - 23 Enero, 2020 - 23:40
A pilot linking degrees with earnings that offered an alternative to get around a federal ban on student-level data collection has been deemed a step forward.

Western Governors U to Study Impact of Emergency Financial Aid on Retention

Campus Technology - 23 Enero, 2020 - 21:58
This spring, a segment of Western Governors University’s 120,000-plus students will have access to an emergency financial aid app as part of research into how the disbursement of just-in-time funds can impact retention.

Data and Machine Learning Propel Rise of Tech Jobs Through 2023

Campus Technology - 23 Enero, 2020 - 21:13
According to a new analysis by International Data Corp., the fastest growing roles in technology over the next five years will be data scientist (13.7 percent growth over that period), machine learning design/development/engineer (13.6 percent growth) and data engineer (12.9 percent growth).

Research Finds Supplemental Content for High School ELA Not Worth Using

THE Journal - 23 Enero, 2020 - 20:16
A recent report from the Thomas Fordham Institute found that lessons acquired through Teachers Pay Teachers and similar sites aren't worth using.

Education Innovation Agenda for 2020 to Be Tackled at SXSW EDU

Campus Technology - 23 Enero, 2020 - 20:05
This year's keynoters are bound to set the agenda for discussions on education in 2020 in new and provocative ways. That includes sessions with Sir Ken Robinson, whose critical examinations of education have inspired transformation initiatives in schools around the world; Jennifer Eberhardt, the Stanford professor who has pointed out the negative impact of bias in teaching and learning; Mary Murphy, Indiana University professor whose research has called into question how academic motivation and achievement affects "majority" and "minority" students differently; Ted Dintersmith, whose documentary, Most Likely to Succeed, has been screened in thousands of communities; and David Yeager, from the University of Texas at Austin, who will explore his groundbreaking work in the processes of adolescent development.

SXSW EDU Primed to Set Education Innovation Agenda for 2020

THE Journal - 23 Enero, 2020 - 19:59
The thing about SXSW EDU, an event unlike any other in the education segment, is that you just don't know who's going to show up or what they're going to say.

U North Texas Launches Fully Online Bachelor's Degree on Coursera

Campus Technology - 23 Enero, 2020 - 19:07
The University of North Texas is giving non-traditional students a pathway to complete a bachelor's degree online. The Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences program will launch on Coursera beginning in fall 2020.