by Stephen Downes
May 29, 2015
A Future Twitter Full of Bots
At the rate we're going, 99 percent of Twitter traffic will be robots retweeting each other. Why? Because it's not a social platform, it's a publishing platform (albeit, true, one that convinced people for a long time that it is a social platform). (GNA comments: "I’ve considered this, not the Bot-takeover, but the loss of Twitter. As you know, Twitter is my main and daily SM. Thus, sometimes I think about not having a quick, communal way to interact with folks. I wonder what medium I would use to stay in regular contact with my newest friends.") As for image attribution, as always, the image is from the article, unless otherwise noted. Follow the link to the article to find out where they got it from (most people don't say). Levine suggests we not trust Google about whether things are licensed for reuse, but I'm less and less interested in licenses, and more and more interested in asserting fair use.
Decolonizing Critical Participation and Writing: A Year of Open Access Publishing on the Margins
I don't know if there is necessarily a right answer here but on one hand we have the imperative of writing and publishing about what is being taught in class, and on the other hand we have the imperative of preserving student privacy. Marlana Eck finds herself right on that dividing line. She writes, "This was probably the point where I had to ask myself whether this was really the job for me. I knew that as a pedagogical method, blogs were highly effective with demonstrating the importance of engaging with the writing process. Personally, nothing pushes me to want to edit my writing more than being on public display. I saw the students become more concerned with the quality of their work, and felt I was getting somewhere as far as teaching methodology. When I was told 'you can’t do that,' it really cemented that I was not made “teacher” of the course, but I was more a distributor of administrator-prepared materials."
Towards a taxonomy of Open Badges for City & Guilds
There is nothing that is every created that somebody won't classify and order shortly thereafter. So too with badges. Witness: Doug Belshaw offers a simple taxonomy of badges for cities and guilds, dividing them into awards for membership, achievement, participation and capability. Is this useful? Doubtful. Would it qualify as an academic paper in a leading journal? Absolutely (provided you has a student sample size of at least 9 psych students in a midwestern university).
Learning's blind spot
This is a very nice diagram that (coincidentally) compares traditional education with what we're doing with performance support. Nick Shackleton-Jones isn't writing about LPSS but he may as well be. "In the first case, traditional course content is broken into smaller pieces and distributed using technology. In essence though, nothing has changed. The problem is that people aren’t data squirrels - they don’t work by hoarding knowledge, rather they look for guidance when they need it. Dumping content on people does not become a good idea by virtue of breaking it into smaller pieces. Instead the focus has to shift from content to context. Specifically, spending time getting to know your audience, their ‘performance context’ and spotting the gaps - i.e. the points in their working day where there is an opportunity for you to help. To redesign the experience. Resources slot neatly into these performance gaps."
Being more human at work
Here's a good rule: "If the process insists that humans act more like machines/robots/spreadsheets than real human beings, challenge that process." I approach design that way. Designers often want people to adapt data to pre-existing categories, to follow prescribed procedures, etc. But life isn't like that, and our tools shouldn't try to force us. "Insist on speaking and acting like a human being, especially in the workplace. Any time you’re not listening or not being heard, or being forced to communicate in a method or manner that doesn’t feel natural, throw up the red flags."
The cMOOC That Would Not Die
Alan Levine tells the story of the #etmooc (Educational Technology & Media massive open online course) that continues to run on its own long after it finished (it's like one of those 70s cars, I guess, with run-on). "The site remains unshuttered and the blog hub continues to aggregate posts (4746 posts from 513 blogs). The twitter archive was stopped because twitter’s dropping of RSS (it can be done again though), but still when that happened, the site had aggregated 19,000 tweets." Nice. He adds, "I will cherish and take this kind of experience any day over some massive MOOC of tens of thousands of enrollees, 2% or so who stick around, and who’s corpus remains stockpiled behind a login.
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