by Stephen Downes
Dec 08, 2014
Online harassment: 'Dedicated' trolls will find way around anti-abuse rules
Another article describing how difficult it is to block the torrent of abuse that can come your way online. Personally, I think that the only way to avoid such abuse is to block people from being able to comment on others' websites entirely. Each person gets their own space, where they can caterwaul to their own content. People, meanwhile, read only the things their friends write or refer. It's not hard to build such a system, but advertisers - for the same reason as spammers and griefers - have no interest in seeing it happen. I'll put some work i nto it in the new year, and you'll see what such a system looks like.
EB2014, Flipped teaching,flipped class by iStudio
Here I am at Online Educa Berlin being show how to create my own broadcast studio ("Now I can be Jon Stewart," I commented). It's still pretty expensive (note that you're getting broadcast cameras and screens) but the software will make it possible for anyone to manage their own video production. Who needs staff? How long will it be before something like this is widely available to, say, high school students? The product is iStudio and the company is Darim.
What's Next for E-Textbooks?
I think everybody following the industry already knows this, but according to this report e-textbooks of the future won't look much like textbooks. "Imagine, instead, an online service that remixes itself on the fly for consumption via any device, with concepts tailored to a specific student's knowledge gaps and learning style," writes Dian Schaffhauser. I'm actually hoping for a bit more than that. Pearson's REVEL, for example, sounds unimaginative: it "mixes text, interactive exercises, infographics, social features and video segments for students, who can use it on their mobile devices." But there will be more. As the article notes, publishers are turning themselves into software companies.
Canada First Research Excellence Fund
Government of Canada,
The Canadian government has announced a large new research funding program. It will be administered by the the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and focus on five priority areas: environment and agriculture, health and life sciences, natural resources and energy, information and communications technology, and advanced manufacturing. More from Globe and Mail, AUCC News Release, CAUT News Release, Maclean's, Full Strategy. Via Academica.
he Case for ‘Passive’ Learning – The ‘Silent’ Community of Online Learners
Katy Smith, Donna Smith,
Distance, The European Journal of Open, E-Learning (EURODL),
"‘Passive,’" say the authors, "can be a, somewhat, provocative word." And so there is some controversy in the idea that some people may find value in passive learning. We would call such participants "lurkers" today (with no change in the provocation). This paper examines the idea within the context of two social science courses offered at the Open University. That's probably not enough scale to provide any reasonable set of results (why don't researchers in this field do anything at scale?) but at least it's a conversation starter. "Perhaps," suggest the authors, "engagement (with material, with students, with tutors etc.) is critical, but not necessarily ‘active’ participation." Not surprisingly, the authors find there is a case to be made.
Yahoo Starts Selling Flickr Users’ Photos
So here's why I kept the 'Non-Commercial' clause on all my Flickr photo Creative Commons licenses: " The Wall Street Journal reported that Yahoo! will begin selling prints of 50 million Creative Commons-licensed images uploaded by Flickr users... Images bearing a Creative Commons licenses that allow for commercial use will be sold as canvas prints for up to $49 each with no payments going to the image owners. Instead, Yahoo! will retain all revenues."
Kings of the Cashtag – Analysing cashtags using a social media monitoring tool
I hadn't heard of 'cashtags' before but they do sound like a good idea (I have heard of TalkWalker and subscribe to a number of their alerts). "Created by using the dollar sign ($) and a company’s stock ticker symbol (e.g. $AAPL is Apple’s cashtag) cashtags are a method of highlighting Twitter conversations that relate to a particular company’s stock." It makes me wonder what other sorts of tags we could create. Like 'bangtags' to specify language. Or the 'smashtag', made from a percent sign, to tell people you're not interested in a topic - tell people 'no more brunch pictures' like this: %brunch (see here - language warning). And why not use the 'hat tag' for a Hat-Tip, instead of the clumsy H/T, to credit someone for an idea or link. Like this: ^@cogdogblog. Or what about the 'asktag', to footnote addresses, references, or additional information. For example, "It will be a nice day tomorrow. *snow" means that by 'nice' what I really mean is that it will snow.
Gender Mainstreaming Toolkit for Teachers and Teacher Educators
Sibyl Frei, Sevilla Leowinata,
Commonwealth of Learning,
I haven't heard the term 'gender mainstreaming' before, but this workbook has worthwhile objectives:
- "improving the access, participation, success and decision-making of girls and women in education
- "to show why gender equality is important to students, teachers, schools, communities and
- to show "how teachers, education institutions and other stakeholders can make changes that
will help both girls and boys participate in and succeed at school."
I also like the way the document draws a clear relation between gender equality and poverty. "Much has been written about how educating a girl will benefit her whole family and her community. Research has shown that investing in education improves the health of mothers and children, enhances the social and economic situation of families and communities and leads to a better future."
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