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Old technologies don't die

Steve Wheeler - Hace 5 horas 21 mins
Photo by Steve WheelerWe connect with each other and with information in many ways. Today, more than ever we have many options and choices, including a variety of means to connect using smart phones and the Web. I captured the image on this page recently on a Dockland Light Railway train as it sped across East London.

You can see just about everyone in the photo is using a smartphone in some way. They are accessing information, listening to music, watching TV or a movie, perhaps making a call to a friend or family member. Some are zoned in, using their ear buds or head phones to listen to content without distraction. It has become a familiar scene in many industrialised cities across the globe. There is one exception in this image though, and you have probably spotted him while you gaze at the image. Yes - the man about six people along from the left is reading a newspaper. He's a positive deviant. He's doing things differently. Because he can. And he also knows the value of the 'mobile device' in his hands.

Witnessing this scene reminds me that no matter what technologies emerge, and no matter what disruptive innovations come along, we will always have the older, more traditional media to use. I still see overhead projectors lurking in the corners of school and university classrooms. Paper didn't disappear when the computer age arrived. Even chalkboards are still in evidence in some classrooms I visit. We can connect to information in many ways, and we should never rule out completely the older, more traditional technologies, because they still have uses.

Personal, connected digital technologies enable us to access content and interact quickly and easily. We can also repurpose, share and create content using these devices. However, sometimes reading a paper based book or newspaper offers an experience that is still valuable. There is something special about turning over a new page in a novel. The sensory experience of the aroma of a newly printed book is not replicable on a smart phone or tablet.  Kindle readers are convenient, but when the batter runs out, we can revert to paper based content. Teachers who are effective know that anything and everything can be used to create stimulating and creative learning environments. That's why they never rule anything - tool, resource or technology - from the mix.

Old technologies don't die - they get built upon.


Old technologies don't die by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's

This Moodle Theme Really Ties Your Site Together

Moodle News - Hace 8 horas 16 mins
If you want your friends or prospective buyers to nod in agreement when they wander around the pages of your Moodle site, look no further than “Shoelace,” a classic Moodle theme that has been...

Autopsy of a Failed Holacracy: Lessons in Justice, Equity, and Self-Management

OLDaily - Hace 8 horas 39 mins

Simon Mont, NonProfit Quarterly, Feb 20, 2018

Here is an article highlighted by Wendy Wickham directly relevant to the Engagement in a Time of Polarization MOOC I am currently taking (it's a subscription article but I have six free views left, so...). Wickham writes, "The assumption behind any change model is 'I can change you.'  Training = 'I can change you.' Organizational culture initiatives = 'I can change you.' Management = 'I can change you.' No wonder projects fail and people are resentful." Also: " The same people who tend to go after power will be the same people who have power in this structure.  There is nothing inherently in the structure (or in any structure) that equalizes how people experience power in its various forms."

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Bad News: the game researchers hope will 'vaccinate' public against fake news

OLDaily - Hace 8 horas 48 mins

Ian Sample, The Guardian, Feb 20, 2018

This is an interesting idea. "Cambridge researchers have built an online game, simply titled Bad News, in which players compete to become 'a disinformation and fake news tycoon'. By shedding light on the shady practices, they hope the game will 'vaccinate' the public, and make people immune to the spread of untruths." As with all games, the lessons being taught are hidden in the game design, and thus hard to observe and assess, but assuming a benign and competent design, this format can be effective.

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McGraw-Hill Education Launches Textbook and E-Book Rental Program

OLDaily - Hace 8 horas 53 mins

Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology, Feb 20, 2018

Considering that you can only rent e-books as it is, it's hard to see what the big draw is here. The article suggests " College students may be able to save as much as 70 percent off their textbooks" but I'm sure few will ever see that level of savings. From where I sit this seems like a cynical effort to kill the used textbook market in order to eliminate the expense of creating new editions every year. Of course, the effort is sure to be successful: " McGraw-Hill Education currently has distribution agreements with Barnes & Noble Education, through its Barnes & Noble College and MBS Textbook Exchange subsidiaries, and Chegg." That means students will be stuck using this service, even when  it costs them more.

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Google Condemns the Archival Web

OLDaily - Hace 9 horas 10 mins

Doc Searls, dsearls, Feb 20, 2018

Doc Searls writes, "The archival Web—the one you see through the protocol HTTP—will soon be condemned, cordoned off behind Google's police tape, labeled "insecure" on every current Chrome browser... Every legacy website, nearly all of which were created with no malice, commit no fraud and distribute no malware, will become haunted houses: still there, but too scary for most people to visit." It's a problem for me because getting a certificate is neither simple nor cheap. "As Dave put it way back here, the costs are prohibitive—in time, money, hassle and all the rest." As I said in 2004, this is the 'high bar' attack on open content. The answer - for me, at least - is the free service Let's Encrypt - but I'll need the wildcard certificates, because I have a lot of different domains.

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I have forgotten how to read

OLDaily - Hace 9 horas 26 mins

Michael Harris, Globe and Mail, Feb 20, 2018

I thought at first the author was describing some rare mental condition involving Broca's area but all he is saying is that he reads differently now. "Online life makes me into a different kind of reader – a cynical one. I scrounge, now, for the useful fact; I zero in on the shareable link. My attention – and thus my experience – fractures." I'm sure people listened to the chanting monks differently after they were able to read the printed word for themselves. I'm sure I see cityscapes and scenic vistas now that I regard them with the photographer's eye. Michael Harris sees this as a bad thing. "We have digested our devices; they can numb us, now, to the pleasure of patience." My own view is different: I have a richer, deeper, multifaceted experience.

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Wikispaces is Closing - Here Are Some Alternatives

OLDaily - Hace 9 horas 40 mins

Richard Byrne, Free Technology for Teachers, Feb 20, 2018

It's sad to read this. On the Wikispaces blog the developers write, "it has become apparent that the required investment to bring the infrastructure and code in line with modern standards is very substantial." Modern standards would include everything from security to accessibility to APIs and cloud services. There are instructions for downloading your content. The company, Tes, continues to exist, offering a marketplace of (it says) 775K educational resources, most of which seem to be offered for a few dollars (presumably this is more profitable than Wikispaces).

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Carroll U Lands $1 Million for STEM Retention Program

Campus Technology - Hace 10 horas 4 mins
A project at Carroll University is working to improve retention for STEM students, thanks to a $1 million award from the National Science Foundation's Scholarships in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics grant program. The grant-winning project, "Carroll University Pro-STEM Initiative: Promoting STEM Retention through Self-Efficacy," is designed to provide academic and financial support for students majoring in STEM fields, especially if they are required to take calculus, in an effort to improve retention. Approximately 128 students majoring in mathematics, computer science, chemistry, biochemistry or applied physics will receive scholarships as a result of the award, accounting for about $660,000 in grant funds.

McGraw-Hill Education Launches Textbook and E-Book Rental Program

Campus Technology - Hace 10 horas 4 mins
College students may be able to save as much as 70 percent off their textbooks through a new rental program from McGraw-Hill Education. Starting this spring, the company is offering rentals on more than 250 of its copyright 2019 titles, plus all future titles, through its e-commerce channel on the company website as well as through approved distributors.

Online Initiative Not the Answer to STEM Gaps in California

Campus Technology - Hace 10 horas 34 mins
A proposed budget by California's governor would allocate $10 million to set up a new online "intersegmental" higher education initiative. The project would fund competitive grants for intersegmental teams of faculty to create new and redesign existing STEM courses — both online and hybrid — in a program titled the "California Education Learning Lab." While the Legislative Analyst's Office found Governor Brown's goal of improving student outcomes "laudable," this approach isn't the answer, the office wrote in an analysis of the proposal. First, the analysis noted, the proposal doesn't address "the root causes of STEM disparities among student groups"; and second, it overlaps with other online initiatives already underway.

College and Career Readiness; What is the Purpose of School?

OLDaily - 19 Febrero, 2018 - 21:53

Nocking The Arrow, Robert Schuetz, Feb 20, 2018

How reflective it is of today's society that we would think that school is something we create to serve our needs, rather than (say) where we offer our wisdom and experience to our children so that they may make the best use of it they can to lead fulfilling and rewarding lives. But no. We read here, "Are students leaving school with the skills and dispositions employers desiderate?" For example, " our subcommittee, representing the "travel and hospitality" field, reviewed current course offerings conducive to preparing students with interests in hotel management, event planning, and tourism." And we read, "it's important to bring many voices to the table if schools are to fulfill a purpose of serving their respective communities." If the success of our schools depends on our success in predicting the future, then our children are in trouble.

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Why even a moth’s brain is smarter than an AI

OLDaily - 19 Febrero, 2018 - 21:41

Emerging Technology from the arXiv, MIT Technology Review, Feb 20, 2018

A moth can recognize odour after just few exposures. The olfactory learning system in moths is completely mapped, but artificial neural networks do not perform the same task as well as moths. The difference, explains the article, lies in how the two types of neural networks learn (that is, how the two types of neural networks create and adjust connections between neurons). The artificial neural network uses back propagation. In other words, it is given feedback from a training set. The moth doesn't. "The successful recognition of an odor triggers a reward mechanism in which neurons spray a chemical neurotransmitter called octopamine into the antenna lobe and mushroom body." I don't know how well this work with students (probably not so well) but it's interesting to note that this discussion of learning doesn't involve language, learning content, or the social construction of meaning, or any of the trappings of traditional learning theory.

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The Future of Education Includes Learning Outside of the Classroom

OLDaily - 19 Febrero, 2018 - 21:32

Shireen Jaffer, Getting Smart, Feb 20, 2018

It's a bit funny because I am sometimes tempted to say "the future of education is learning outside of the classroom." Certainly it includes it. Consider this evidence for example: "Take a high school student who has always had excellent grades. They’ve been involved in clubs, sports, and organizations for years. This student divides their time between several of their interests and is still able to maintain top-tier grades." These extracurricular activities enrich their educational experience, and lead to success in more traditional learning. Also, "An added bonus of making learning outside of the classroom a priority is that students get an early taste of what they enjoy doing. The earlier career exploration occurs, the sooner students are able to cross career paths off their lists."

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The Facebook Armageddon

OLDaily - 19 Febrero, 2018 - 21:24

Mathew Ingram, Columbia Journalism Review, Feb 20, 2018

I have from the beginning days of this newsletter been using the experience of traditional media as a touchstone on which to base my predictions for the learning and development sector. And I have also been saying that educational providers will one day face an overnight crisis that was 20 years in the making. The "armageddon" facing traditional news media serves as our guide. If you think about it, the threat to news media from social networks came out of nowhere. At the same time, social networks represent the most recent iteration of a movement that began with personal web pages and blogs. people still don't believe it, but traditional learning providers will be faces with a similar existential crisis. It will seem to have come from nowhere and be from a completely unexpected source. And the signs will have been there for 20 years.

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Open Call To Young, Open Source Developers For ‘Moodle Summer Of Code’ 2018

Moodle News - 19 Febrero, 2018 - 19:49
Moodle HQ’s David Mudrák, recurring mentor for Moodle developers undertaking Google Summer of Code, has announced that for the 12th time, Moodle has been chosen as a GSOC partner. Confirmed: #moodle...

Learning to program is getting harder

OLDaily - 19 Febrero, 2018 - 15:05

Allen Downey, Probably Overthinking It, Feb 20, 2018

I can attest from p[ersonal experience that this is true. As Allen Downey says, " The fundamental problem is that the barrier between using a computer and programming a computer is getting higher."When I first started programming, all I needed to learn was the language. Then I began to use development environments, like Turbo C, and it got a bit more complicated. These days as I look at learning Puthon I need to configure application environments, learn how to use GitHub, and even understand how to set up cloud computing environments. There's no easy way to fix this.

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Your Plugin Risks Deletion In Europe! Urgent GDPR Advice For Moodle Developers

Moodle News - 19 Febrero, 2018 - 14:01
While Moodle HQ prepares to make the core of the open source LMS compliant with the soon-to-be-enforced General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Commission, little attention has been...

Report: Chemistry Programs Need to Increase Real-World Problem-Solving

Campus Technology - 19 Febrero, 2018 - 13:00
Science isn't immune to the education-work skills gap that employers complain about in other fields. A recent survey found that most people in the chemistry field consider current curricula inadequate for helping STEM students prepare for future careers. The survey was undertaken by Elsevier's Reaxys division, which produces a chemistry research platform. The survey queried 186 chemistry professionals, researchers, students and educators.

Colony: Technical White Paper

OLDaily - 19 Febrero, 2018 - 12:38

Aron Fischer, Jack du Rose, Alex Rea, Colony, Feb 20, 2018

Just open-sourced: Colony. This is a link to the Colony white paper (55 page PDF), also just released. "The Colony Protocol allows developers to integrate decentralised and self regulating division of labour, decision making, and financial management into their applications... The Colony Network consists of a collection of contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. At the core of the network will be a ColonyNetwork contract. This contract is primarily responsible for managing the reputation mining process." Right now I wouldn't invest any money into any of these schemes, but it's interesting to watch different iterations of this new technology be tested.

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