by Stephen Downes
[Sept] 15, 2014
Online university skips class to be more accessible
The show in a nutshell (transcript is below video): "Almost all of online education today is still based on the credit hour and the course. We don’t have any courses, and we don’t have any credit hours, but we have 120 competencies, and you can master those as fast as you like, or as slow. The thing that we don’t care very much about is time. And that is such a fundamental reversal of the basic structure of higher education."
Le 21e siècle
I've only been able to lightly tough the surface of this website, but it is already evident that it is a significant achievement. It is in French. I'll let Jon Husband summarize from his Facebook post: "It looks at the history of signs, symbols, languages and images as used by humans to make sense of their environment and grow the societies in which they live, and follows the evolution of technology, economics and societal issues, notably through the past half-century, as our inventions and human population and the interrelatedness of our activities have brought us to a point of cultural mutation." The relation between this work and my talk in Pereira is evident.
Let me Listen to Poetry, Let me See Emotions
Diana Arellano, Cristina Manresa-Yee, Volker Helzle,
Journal of Universal Computer Science,
In a nutshell, this paper described the devlopment of avatars that read poetry. That may sound simple, but the system analyzes the lines being read and then calculates the appropriate emotional response, then indicates this emotional response using facial characteristics. That is, the avatar smiles when it's appropriate to be happy and frowns when it's appropriate to be sad (among other emotional states). We can see how this sort of approach would be used both to recognize emotional states in others, both from words and facial features, and project emotional states in our own software, increasing the degree of presence and sympathy. Good article. Related: The Pedagogy of ModPo.
Flipping Grade 4 and Flipping Bloom's Taxonomy Triangle
I'm no fan of taxonomies but I'm a fan of the thinking behind this post. By 'flipping' Bloom's taxonomy, we get an approach to education that does not begin with remembering, it ends with remembering. And (I would add) the objective of such an education isn't remembering at all (and certainly not remembering some sort of core content); that's an outcome, but it isn't what we're striving for, necessarily. To quote Maggie Hos-McGrane: "Bergmann and Sams write: "Flipped learning is a bridge from traditional teaching methods which are heavily dependent on content, to more engaging learning methods that focus primarily on the acts of thinking and learning.""
Dungeons and Dragons vs the art of business strategy
Bits or pieces?,
I think I'm pretty good at business strategy - I certainly have managed thus far to organize some reasonably large projects. But I didn't learn my skills from business school (I doubt my ethics and policits would permit me to graduate from such a place). Instead, all I've learned in this area I've learned from other activities - running a newspaper, running an association, playing an online version of Dungeons and Dragons - yes, these were incredibly valuable experiences. "I suggest you spend a few minutes either watching an experienced group play D&D or an organised raid on WoW. Those people tend to use levels of strategic and tactical play that businesses can only dream of." Photo: Kill the Goblin Save the World. Via Jon Husband.
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