21 février 2020

How do you teach a car that a snowman won’t walk across the road?

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. How do you teach a car that a snowman won’t walk across the road?
Melanie Mitchell, Aeon, 2019/12/26
I understand the concern, but I think it relies on a myth that won't - in the long run - bear scrutiny. The argument here is essentially that human drivers depend on a wealth of knowledge known as 'common sense' - "the mostly tacit ‘core knowledge’ that humans share – knowledge we are born with or learn by living in the world." The myth here is that there is 'core knowledge', that it is common, and that it is required by an autonomous car. The sort of person who uses 'common sense' to plough through a pile of leaves or into a flock of pigeons is the sort of driver who has accidents because "nobody could have predicted" the hidden tree trunk or the damage a pigeon can cause. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:54 - - Permalien [#]


The Five Stage Model

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. The Five Stage Model
Gilly Salmon, 2019/12/26
Gilly Salmon is asking for feedback on her five stage model of online learning. I'm not a fan of 'stages' - the idea that we would been socialization and information exchange before knowledge construction and development seems overly formal; all of these happen all of the time at once. And these days, we don't need to 'access' so much any more; we just turn on the phone. Also, we rarely socially 'construct' knowledge; it's a much more organic process. Some interesting comments on the LinkedIn post. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:45 - - Permalien [#]

Educational visions

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Educational visions
Rebecca Ferguson, Ann Jones, Eileen Scanlon, Ubiquity Press, 2019/12/26
I spent the better part of Boxing Day afternoon reading and mostly enjoying this book (186 page PDF). It is based on the work over the last 40 years of the Computers and Learning Research Group  (CALRG) at the U.K.'s Open University. The point of departure is CALRG's "Beyond Prototypes" which is used to explain "why educational technology initiatives worldwide succeed and why they often fail." This then informs  four major areas of inquiry: teaching and learning at scale, accessible inclusive learning, evidence-based learning, and STEM learning. Each is given a historical perspective, then in a separate chapter a look forward. In a commentary on the book Martin Weller describes it as a "good example" of an alternative to the "wilful historical amnesia in much of ed tech." Maybe so. But let's not forget that this is a book specifically about the Open University, and that while nobody doubts the OU's importance to the field, nobody would say that it alone defines its history, despite the often subtle ways the book says just that. Still. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:44 - - Permalien [#]

The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It
Geoffrey Rockwell, Theoreti.ca, 2020/01/27
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. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:16 - - Permalien [#]

Control-F and Building Resilient Information Networks

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Control-F and Building Resilient Information Networks
Mike Caulfield, Hapgood, 2020/01/27
Mike Caulfield makes the vary salient point that teaching students about ctl-F (ie., the 'Find' command in a web browser) helps them be more digitally literate, because it helps them fact-check more efficiently. That's probably true, and a good point. But what I like about ctl-F is even a bit more subversive. When we start using ctl-F we break out of the mindset that treats content as linear, where we have to start at the beginning and work our way to the end. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:15 - - Permalien [#]


20 février 2020

What’s Wrong with Computational Notebooks? Pain Points, Needs, and Design Opportunities

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. What’s Wrong with Computational Notebooks? Pain Points, Needs, and Design Opportunities
Souti Chattopadhyay, et.al., ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2020, 2020/01/21
This article (12 page PDF) identifies the challenges and pain points of running things like data analytics in things like Jupyter Notebooks. It's good to see this sort of article, because while some people (including myself) have touted this sort of approach as a way to generate dynamic and interactive learning resources, the actuality is that they are far from usable for the average person. In fact, after reading this article, we see that they are far from usable for the average data scientist. But the research quite clearly identifies where these problems are, and will serve as a valuable guide not only for notebook designers but for learning tool developers generally. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:27 - - Permalien [#]

Can Open Educational Resources Foster Equity In Higher Education?

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Can Open Educational Resources Foster Equity In Higher Education?
Henry Kronk, LMS Pulse, 2020/01/30
My answer to the question in the title would be 'yes'. But what does Henry Kronk say? The article presents a research report by Amy Nusbaum, Carrie Cuttler, and Samantha Swindell. They "tested OER use against the textbook their department currently uses for their introductory course." So far as I can judge, that's probably the most limited and and uncreative use of OER imaginable. But we forge on. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:25 - - Permalien [#]

Do You Really Have a Right to be “Forgotten”?

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Do You Really Have a Right to be “Forgotten”?
Tim Stahmer, Assorted Stuff, 2020/01/20
Tim Stahmer answers the question in the headline with a somewhat unconvincing "no" based on the fact that it's hard to implement. "Implementation of the GDPR in Europe has been confusing at best," he writes. Maybe, but that's not why we won't be forgotten. There are too many reasons why society as a whole needs to remember that we exist: we might owe money, we might be a wanted criminal, we might have an infectuous disease, etc. It's not that implementation is confusing. It's that we don't actually want to implement it. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:21 - - Permalien [#]

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

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. What Modular, Stackable Learning Means And Why It Will Transform Learning In The Workplace
Anant Agarwal, EdX, 2020/01/23
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. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:17 - - Permalien [#]

Our New Role: Bringing Kindness To Work

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Our New Role: Bringing Kindness To Work
Josh Bersin, 2020/01/31
For people in the north part of northern hemisphere this is probably the most difficult time of the year as we struggle with illness and weather and darkness. It reminds us that, as Josh Bersin says, "the most important things in our lives are compassion, empathy, forgiveness, gratitude, mindfulness, social connection, and awe. These are all human issues, and all revolve around kindness." There's a tendency to blame things like lonliness and lack of compassion on our devices, but I think financial pressures, work demands, and other external stresses are playing a large role. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:16 - - Permalien [#]