OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

[Home] [Top] [Archives] [Mobile] [About] [Threads] [Options]

January 25, 2013

Commerce Weekly: Analytics for people, the next big thing in retail
Jenn Webb, O'Reilly Radar, January 25, 2013

I think the challenge in the future won't be to manage privacy - in many cases, privacy is already dead - but how to manage the data that is collected. Take this article about the latest trend in retail marketing: tracking people as they go from store to store by tracking the address of their smartphone via ambient WiFi. Oh sure, it's probably not even legal right now, but who's going to know? More to the point, what happens to the data? Can law enfircement use it? Can it be purchased for a price? Is it available to private detectives, to stalkers? The other side of analytics - all analytics, not just snoopy stores - is how the data is managed. Photo: Woodleywonderworks.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Marketing, Privacy Issues]

Share |

A Free Database of the Entire Web May Spawn the Next Google
Tom Simonite, MIT Technology Review, January 25, 2013

You just know that someone is going to decide that this is illegal (even though Google and Internet Archive and who know who else has been doing it for years): "A nonprofit called Common Crawl is now using its own web crawler and making a giant copy of the web that it makes accessible to anyone." The thrust of this MIT article is that the new data may spawn the next Google search. That would be a good thing.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Accessibility, Google]

Share |

Twitter Announces Vine. But How Could Higher Education Use 6-second long Videos?
Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus, January 25, 2013

Twitter's response to the popularity of animated GIFs is the six-second long video. I'm not sure they really capture the essence of the format (it's not the short length; animated GIFs are sometimes quite long, it's that they can be sent and embedded anywhere, most manifestly not like Twitter content these days). So anyhow, Brian Kelly experimented with Twitter's vine, wondering how useful they are in the service of education. The verdict? Not very. "I then started to write this post – and discovered that I couldn’t find the URL for the video clips I had created and uploaded to Vine. I can view the videos using the Vine app and people who follow me on Vine will see the videos in their Vine timeline but it seems as though they are not available via a Web interface." The new Twitter: web-hostile.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Twitter, Video]

Share |

Can Virtual Classrooms Recreate a Traditional College Experience?
Kate Freeman, Mashable, January 25, 2013

My first thought on reading the headline of this Mashable article was, "why would they want to do that?" Personally, I think it has been pretty well established that online learning has captured the essentials of traditional education - access to learning materials, interaction, educational outcomes - without may of the distractions, such as commuting. But for the author, the question remains, "can an online classroom teach you the social and collaborative skills that real-life, in-class experiences impart?" I'm not so sure that in-person classes teach people these skills, particularly. In any case, it's not like people stop living their lives when they study online, nor is it the case that elarning stops when the computer is turned off.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Interaction, Experience, Online Learning]

Share |

The New Intelligence
Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, January 25, 2013

Long article from Steve Kolowich on the subject of learning analytics. "What if a professor teaching algebra could look out at her students and, in the blink of an eye, see exactly what each student understands, and what they don’t?" he asks. "This is what happens when the dawning age of high-volume data collection and analysis collides with higher education: College professors become less like mind-molders and more like mind-readers." The article focuses in particular on a company called Knewton. Arizona State University, for example, "agreed to pay the company $100 for every registered student taking a Knewton-powered course, a fee the university passes on to students in lieu of the cost of a traditional textbook." Knewton is just one of many companies working in the area; Desire2Learn for example acquired Degree Compass just this week.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Privacy Issues]

Share |

This newsletter is sent only at the request of subscribers. If you would like to unsubscribe, Click here.

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter? Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list. Click here to subscribe.

Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.