29 novembre 2019

Producing a Finished Prospectus

The prospectus is often a frightening step in one’s program, as it opens the door to full ABD status and is the initial guiding document for one’s dissertation. Despite knowing dissertation topics change and the proposal is a work of speculative fiction, it can be easy to spend more time on a prospectus than is necessary. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:44 - - Permalien [#]

Mindmapping(ish) to See Where You Fit

I see and hear the word interdisciplinaryall the time. I think most graduate students do, though I might encounter it even more, since I'm in the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program at the University of Rhode Island. Yes, this means my degree is going to say I have a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary neuroscience: neuroscience that happens when we cross multiple fields of study. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:32 - - Permalien [#]

Quechup? No, Thanks

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Quechup? No, Thanks
Like many other people this week, I received an invitation to the social networking site Quechup. The person who sent it probably doesn't even know he did. Quechup tricks users into granting access to their email contacts, and then spams every one of them with an invitation. There's no way to complete your registration into Quechup without completing this step (I checked) so the service requires that you spam your friends. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:32 - - Permalien [#]

Help Wanted

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Help Wanted
The best statement in this useful article is the last: "Wittgenstein at his death had one book and one article published. Another book was on the way, but unfinished. "Heaven knows what would have happened to him in today's academia." Readers will also want to view Stevan Harnad's excellent summary and commentary in JISC Repositories. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:30 - - Permalien [#]


By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Searchbot
When people talk about 'personal agents' this is often the sort of thing they have in mind. "A Searchbot is your own personal search robot that continuously searches the Internet trying to find all the best websites it can on your behalf. When you build a Searchbot you give it a personality and then program it's search circuits with all the things you want to find. You can search for websites based on factual information like tags and locations, or more creative ways like colour and the mood you're in. You can even ask your Searchbot a question and it will talk to other Searchbots to find you an answer." Nice interface and I really like the results sets, which I assume will only improve. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:30 - - Permalien [#]

Are PLEs Low Maintenance?

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Are PLEs Low Maintenance?
Tom Haskins has posted a number of items over the last few weeks on PLEs. I haven't been linking to most of them because they're mostly just fragments of an idea. But taken collectively they amount to a good discussion. This post links to a number of them (not all of them - he misses this one for some reason). I will have more on all this in the future, but for now, just one comment: 'the middle' of a debate isn't always where you want to be. Because what counts as 'the middle' is too easily manipulated. It's an old political trick - if you want people to adopt, say, a left-wing position, adopt a radical left wing position. This shifts the 'middle' to the left, normalizing the position you want people to adopt. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:26 - - Permalien [#]

How Should Teachers Be Graded?

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. How Should Teachers Be Graded?
The usual argument. My first reaction is to ask, why should teachers be graded, when nobody else is? And then I though - why don't we demand some leadership on this. Why not grade legislators, superintendents and institutional presidents? When we have a system for assessing these people on performance (not popularity! we all know you can simply buy your votes; it has to be objective, like measuring how many of their promises are kept, or how many of their public statements are true - I want every one of a leader's lies to cost him or her in the pocketbook, big time) then maybe we can talk about teachers. Don't start at the bottom, start at the top. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:22 - - Permalien [#]

Waiting for the Tipping Point: Why School Choice Is Proving to Be so Hard

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Waiting for the Tipping Point: Why School Choice Is Proving to Be so Hard
PEN Weekly summarizes: "It is now clear that schools of choice present some challenges not adequately factored into the original equation. For example: (1) They are hard to run; (2) They are demanding places to teach and aren't for everyone; (3) They can't compete successfully with district-run schools unless they get as much money as their competition for pupils they educate; (4) They need to prove themselves on the same tests and other outcome measures as other schools; (5) They need strong, not weak, government oversight; (6) They do not automatically inspire districts to improve; and (7) They segment the market. Hindsight makes these conclusions obvious." Hindsight? My memory isn't so weak that I don't remember a lot of people saying these things in advance. But 'school choice' was promoted the way it was on political grounds, not on the basis of reason. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:22 - - Permalien [#]

Pots, Kettles, and Other Small Appliances of Like Appearance

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Pots, Kettles, and Other Small Appliances of Like Appearance
More fall-out from Gary Stager's post. George Siemens writes, correctly, first, that we (edubloggers, web 2.0 types, and the rest) need to welcome criticism, and send, that we need to focus less on 'fighting the system' and more on crafting our alternative. He's right on both counts - though I will say that that's what we were doing before Stager decided to take a few uniformed and nasty pot-shots at us. Siemens compares Stager to Andrew Keen, who has parlayed rude and uninformed criticism into a tour of the talk show circuit. "He's the anti-voice to what is starting to look less like a trend and more like a revolution." Could be. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:21 - - Permalien [#]

In Their Own Words

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. In Their Own Words
In Their Own Words is not a bad publication, especially, but I really wish the authors and editors had managed to resist the cliches. Like the photographs of one person using a computer while three others look on (and compare the ones on pages 7 and 8 - they're just wrong). The "students' words" themselves, of course, are carefully edited and polished, and in the videos presented with them have theme music and narration, to make sure you get the point. And it was jarring to be confronted with a 20 megabyte .mov - I realized that the large and fast Flash videos have become standard for me. Some of the comments are right - for example, "Content is no longer 'fixed' and 'valued'. It is a starting point, something to interact with, to cut and paste, to adapt and remix." But the entire production looks and feels and reads like a lot of work went into making it non-threatening to educational officials. And those words, I would imagine, are not the students' at all. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:16 - - Permalien [#]