27 septembre 2019

Revealed: how Whisper app tracks ‘anonymous’ users

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Revealed: how Whisper app tracks ‘anonymous’ users
Paul Lewis, Dominic Rushe, The Guardian, 2014/10/20
The Guardian is standing by its story that Whisper, the application that guarantees complete anonymity to users, is tracking and sharing their locations. For its part, although Whisper dismisses the Guardian story as a pack of lies, it has also altered its terms of service to allow such tracking. And according to American Journalism Review, "Whisper in particular is aggressively pushing its content to reporters as potential sources for news stories." It also had a partnership with Buzzfeed and the cable news channel Fusion. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:28 - - Permalien [#]


On the Question of Validity in Learning Analytics

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. On the Question of Validity in Learning Analytics
Adam Cooper, CETIS Blogs, 2014/10/20
So your learning analytics have produced a result. How do you know you should rely on it? As Adam Cooper writes in this post, there are two dimensions of assessment of analytics results: reliability (or, how closely focused the results are on a single value), and validity (or, how closely the results are to the correct result). Note, he writes, that mere predictive accuracy is not enough to establish validity. How does the prediction compare to a random result? How many false positives and false negatives were there? The prediction could be accurate, in other words, but lucky. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:27 - - Permalien [#]

The Secret Weapon to Learning CSS

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. The Secret Weapon to Learning CSS
Robin Rendle, CSS-Tricks, 2019/02/07
I've been thinking recently about what it takes to learn web technologies today. We've come a long was from copying the source on a web page. Even the sort of instructions we give computers have changed - we don't tell them to "let variable x be 12" any more - it's more like "imagine an infinite plane filled with objects" or some such thing. We need new mental patterns - "ways to frame the problem in our heads, so we can break problems into their constituent parts and notice recurring patterns." That's why our services are called things like Docker or Digital Ocean. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:15 - - Permalien [#]

RIP “Do Not Track,” the Privacy Standard Everyone Ignored

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. RIP “Do Not Track,” the Privacy Standard Everyone Ignored
Chris Hoffman, How-To Geek, 2019/02/07
The lesson here is that you can't just depend on companies to do the right thing just because you them to. Even though people option for "do not track" in their browser settings, websites basically ignored this preference. Worse - as the article notes - your selection of "do not track" became another data point that was tracked. That's why "modern browsers that include tracking protection don’t wait for a “common understanding” to develop in the industry. Instead, they proactively block trackers." Note that you don't have such protections on your iPhone apps - as this report suggests, for some apps, "every tap, button push and keyboard entry is recorded — effectively screenshotted". More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:14 - - Permalien [#]

Study Finds No Difference in VR Learning Outcomes Compared to Other Modes

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Study Finds No Difference in VR Learning Outcomes Compared to Other Modes
Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, 2019/02/07
According to this study (4 page PDF) that compared VR with hands-on and computer-based activities in an astronomy class, there was "no difference across conditions in average levels of performance on a pre/post knowledge test." Now it should be noted that this is a small study in one particular class, and it would be improper to generalize based on these results (though the Campus Technology article doesn't try very hard to restrain itself). What's interesting, though, is that this result is consistent with the "no significant difference" phenomenon reported in the 1990s. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:13 - - Permalien [#]


The UXer’s guide to user personas

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. The UXer’s guide to user personas
JustInMind, 2019/02/07
I'm not totally a fan of personas, because they encourage stereotyping, but they help designers create use cases, so they're relevant in most aspects of e-learning. This page is a decent introduction to the development and use of personas, and even has a link to a PowerPoint personas template. The idea is that the persona is based not on the stereotype but on actual data. "Having the right facts at hand can provide a designer with invaluable guidelines about what their ideal users actually want and will find useful". More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:12 - - Permalien [#]

Looking for the Right Name for the MOOC-based Degrees

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Looking for the Right Name for the MOOC-based Degrees
Mikel Amigot, IBL News, 2019/02/06
This short article makes the point in a single quote: "Our degrees are not exactly massive and not open. But they have the same pedagogy as MOOCs –they are broken into small pieces with quizzes to make sure students understand concepts before moving on." Right, they're not MOOC-based degrees. They're (in my view) programmed degrees, based on the design model called 'programmed instruction'. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:11 - - Permalien [#]

Is Microsoft or Google your next LMS? The view from BETT

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Is Microsoft or Google your next LMS? The view from BETT
Jason Cole, e-Literate, 2019/02/06
The article barely mentions Google, so I imagine it's mentioned just for completeness. But there are two major strands of interest. First is the stand of no-shows at the large English technology conference: "the absence of the major LMS vendors besides Instructure Canvas... D2L, Moodle, the UK Moodle partners, and Blackboard had no discernible presence." Second, "When Microsoft makes their push, the learning system won’t look like an LMS, but it will look like Teams... Microsoft is rapidly integrating service platforms for email, calendar, business logic, business intelligence, AI, device management, and cloud services into the Teams platform". More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:11 - - Permalien [#]

A review of the research literature on adult learning and employability

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. A review of the research literature on adult learning and employability
Tove Midtsundstad, European Journal of Education, 2019/02/06
Based on this survey, we don't really have the data "to conclude that adult learning (formal or informal) has a causal effect on older workers’ employability." This is partially a problem with the number of the studies, partially a problem with methodology, and partially a proiblem with the mixed results produced by the existing studies. We see this especially in cases where adult learning seems to decrease the chance of getting a job. "There has to be easy access to education and skill upgrading and it must not be too expensive to enrol in courses or classes. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:10 - - Permalien [#]

A Recipe for a Successful Institutional Open Education Initiative

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. A Recipe for a Successful Institutional Open Education Initiative
Rajiv Jhangiani, WCET Frontiers, 2019/02/06
Nice article by Rajiv Jhangiani describing some of the essentially elements for a successful open education initiative. The article is based on his experience as the institutional lead for open educational practices at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) in British Columbia which launched Canada's first two Zed Cred programs (known as Z Degrees in the U.S.) - that is, programs based completely on open educational resources. He points to the need for existing grassroots support for such an initiative, the need for care and feeding of that support. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:09 - - Permalien [#]