by Stephen Downes
Nov 25, 2016
As gthe blurb says, "Agency is not the same as activism. Civic agency is the capacity to work across differences on common problems and creation of common things including communities, and, broadly, democracy as a way of life... As Josiah Ober, the classical scholar, has shown, for the Greeks democracy did not mean voting. It meant the "collective strength and ability" to act in the public world. Developing civic agency is central to democracy schools. It is 'pedagogy of the empowered.'" This is what Yale provides students, and online learning doesn't. Yet. Image: The Naked Truth | Trumpland.
I don't like the physical damage football and hockey create. And I think college sports has taken on absurd proportions (at the very least, they should properly pay their athletes). But I am in favour of sports, and especially in favour of the role of sports in the education of young people. It's far more than the "structure that football can give young people" talked about in this article. More than just empowerment, more than just participation. Sport teaches people to endure, it teaches people how to lose, and it teaches them the effort it takes to succeed. And it does this through a combination of personal experience and role models. P.S. Go RedBlacks!
I've seen this story in various forms over the last few days. It's a natural follow-up to the meme that fake news swayed the U.S. election. There's just one problem with this line of thinking. Young people aren't the ones actually falling for fake news. If they were, they would have been the ones voting for Trump (and for Brexit, etc. etc.). According to exit polls, older white men voted for Trump. These are people far more likely to have gained their views watching or reading traditional media rather than online media. The same traditional media that gave Trump an estimated $2 billion in free publicity. So, yeah - Facebook is far from perfect. But they are not the ones to blame for fake news. These people are.
Even as you read this, I will be giving a lecture. If lectures are so awful, why do I do it? Because they're not so awful. I'm not trying to get you to remember what I've said - I've built a whole site that contains that data - I'm trying to get you to have some experiences what might resonate with your own knowledge and understanding. So, yes, I care about things like orchestration - talking to the audience, reading them and responding, using slides for pacing and effect (and to aid comprehension).
A step forward for open peer review. "Nature Communications announced that around 60% of its authors in 2016 had agreed to have their reviews published, and that it would therefore continue to offer scientists the option — although would not make it mandatory." As well, a European Commission survey found "more than half of its 3,062 respondents thought that open peer review should become routine." There are arguments in favour, but not everyone agrees with the idea, of course. Stephen Heard writes that in private reviews, "I can write colloquially. I can be candid about other papers the author might be citing, or not citing."
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