15 octobre 2019

The Importance of Learning Slowly

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. The Importance of Learning Slowly
This is expressed a bit differently than usual, but it works: "Like neural networks, the brain is based on vector algebra, rather than numerical computations. Vectors have strength and direction, and many vectors, representing multiple inputs, unite to form a result. The result in the brain is strengthening or weakening of a set of neural connections, a relatively slow process. While a single event can have an impact, it usually takes many events to have a relatively permanent change in the brain (aka "learning") and to extract general features and generate rules from experience." Right. More...

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


PodcampNYC Webcast Coverage

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. PodcampNYC Webcast Coverage
Podcamp is one of those places I'd love to be but which is just far enough outside my range of expertise I can't make a case for going (especially when it conflicts with something else). But I enjoyed listening to the interview with Gary Leland of PodcastPickle.com. The audio and video content just works perfectly on the Mac, of course - I think I would be more inclined to multimedia if I used it all the time. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:24 - - Permalien [#]

Competing For Attention

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Competing For Attention
Graham Wegner ponders the dynamics of blog readership, as he notes that it becomes harder and harder for new bloggers to become recognized (funny that he harkens all the way back to 2005 as the beginning). This is why I argue we should not be reading people, we should be reading topics. Reading people perpetuates this celebrity culture, giving an undue advantage to the first people in (or those with the loudest self-promotion). Reading topics allows anyone with something to say an equal chance for attention on any given day. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:23 - - Permalien [#]

Why I'll Never Sign Up for Any Blogger Code of Conduct

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Why I'll Never Sign Up for Any Blogger Code of Conduct
Why is it that any time some problem occurs, somebody wants to make a rule. That sort of response is legion in organizations (especially mine). But the thing is, it never works - it is an attempt to respond with simplicity to what is inherently a complex problem. Sheesh, even spam filtering requires Baysean filtering, and that's a logic that is well beyond the scope of any code of conduct. As Dave Taylor says, "I don't want to pin anything down because I want to retain editorial flexibility." Right. Good behaviour isn't defined by rules, it is limited by them. Or as I commented on Clarence Fisher's blog, if you behave decently, you will already follow something like a code of conduct (but intelligently, adapting to complex circumstances), and the code won't change your behaviour. If you don't behave decently, then the code of conduct isn't going to stop you, and rather just gives you 'the letter of the law' as a technicality to duck behind if someone calls you on it ("well, it wasn't in the code, so I assumed it was OK..."). More...

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

7,500 Words On the Irony of Social Computing Degrees Later

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. 7,500 Words On the Irony of Social Computing Degrees Later
My only comment on this is that anti-intellectualism is distinct from anti-formalism, and that it is disingenuous to conflate the two. Liz lawley writes, "so without a systematic structured approach to a complex topic we run the very real risk of not seeing the big picture, and falling into the trap of generalizing from our anecdotal experience." My experience is that the same risk exists even with a 'systematic structured approach' - like a road system, it will get you there faster. More...

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


How would you change education if you could choose?

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. How would you change education if you could choose?
Alastair Creelman, The corridor of uncertainty, 2019/02/14
Nothing really surprising here (ecosystem, inclusion, distance no barrier), except maybe the obligatory bits saying (but I wouldn't change this, and I wouldn't change that - like "but also oases for reflection and perspective" and "the absence of (technology)"). I once did a drawing called 'School 2.0' - view it here - illustrating as most significant th breaking down of the barrier between the school and the community. This it seems to me would be the big change we want to make. It's not about adapting our current institutions (or even in some way insulating them) to technology. More...

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

Opportunities vs. Good Ideas

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Opportunities vs. Good Ideas
Brett D. Christensen, Workplace Performance Consulting, 2019/02/13
This post marks the beginning of a series of posts on Brett Christensen's Performance Improvement Process model (illustrated). It begins with the distinction outlined in the title, expanded as follows: " The key difference between an opportunity and a good idea is its alignment – or not – to the individual, organizational and societal contributions that your organization exists to produce." This distinction is established by a consideration of the outcomes the idea or opportunity produces. It goes without saying that the desired outcomes vary from place to place, time to time. More...

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

Good Teaching with Technology

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Good Teaching with Technology Does Make a Difference
In addition to the really nice redux John left in the comments, the ridiculous Associated press report about the study of technology use in the classroom also gets the treatment from Wesley Fryer (who also informs us that sharp pencils and bright projector bulbs don't improve learning outcomes either). More to the point, Fryer asserts that "Good teaching with technology does make a big difference," citing "Cheryl Lemke [who] discusses the large body of research that does exist which reveals the positive differences that are made when technology is used appropriately by teachers." I don't know why he's so determined to include the 'good teaching' part, though. I think you would find that technology makes a difference even without the teaching. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 13:32 - - Permalien [#]

Freebase Buzz

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Freebase Buzz
For background on just what this is, you need to look up and read about JSON (the official pages aren't very useful, so here's more). For those who didn't follow the links (heh), JSON is basically a way of transporting data from one website to another by using the tag hack to get around browser security rules. It's also the major data format behind AJAX and other Web 2.0 tricks (alas the HTTPDRequestObject that's in all the guides does not get around browser security rules). My late lamented referrer system of a few years ago used this method. Anyhow, it's really simple. Strings go in quotes, lists in square brackets, and associative arrays (hashes) in curly braces. The colon is used for naming. OK fine. Freebase is a user-generated database that supports questions and answers in this format. Think of it as sort of a structured Wikipedia. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 13:31 - - Permalien [#]

Disintegrated Thoughts On Content Integration and Remix

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Disintegrated Thoughts On Content Integration and Remix
Brian Lamb, who will be keynoting at this year's this year's Open Education Conference in Utah, ponders the back and forth of whether web deveopers will ever agree on standards. There's the depressing news from the commercial side, as we hear that Blackboard will never support anything like a proper export function, and depressing news from the open source side, as developers hesitate to support proprietary sites like Flickr and YouTube. "I'm dismayed by this stance," he writes, wondering what the online learning video awards would have looked like had clips from YouTube been banned. Well maybe - but let's wait a few years and see how it feels when it transpires that nobody will ever be able to access the actual videos except Google. More...

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