by Stephen Downes
Mar 03, 2017
A 'paraphrasing tool' is a piece of software which will take a sentence (or paragraph, etc) and rewrite it so that it says the same thing, but using different words or phrasing. A range of paraphrasing tools has become available online, and the authors of this paper explore whether their use constitutes a new form of plagiarism. Sometimes their use will stand out (eg. "phrasing that included 'constructive employee execution' and 'worker execution audits' for an assessment topic on employee performance reviews") but often they will not. And services like TurnItIn demonstrate "apparent inability" to identify paraphrased work. So is it plagiarism? It's not clear it is, and it's not clear it isn't.
Extracting from her PhD thesis, Kelli McGraw writes "There is no argument in any of the research literature that ‘linguistic’ semiotic systems and learning to code and decode written language do not constitute a key facet of literacy, however literacy across multiple modes – identified by Bull and Anstey (2007) as ‘linguistic’, ‘visual’, ‘gestural’, ‘spatial’ and ‘aural’ – is widely acknowledged as being required in contemporary society." Quite right, but the question isn't one of 'balance', as McGraw suggests, but of recognizing semiotics and coding/decoding are constituents of these other 'literacies'. Image: Jean M. Mas.
Overview of work by All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD), a partnership of USAID, World Vision, and the Australian Government. Key innovations included: EduApp4Syria, " open source smartphone-based learning games to help Syrian refugee children learn to read in Arabic"; "a pilot project that provides Indian students who are blind or low vision with mother tongue reading materials through Bookshare"; "Amman-based Little Thinking Minds has built a platform that includes more than 125 eBooks"; the GraphoGame Teacher Training Service (GG-TTS); and more.
I don't think VR has come of age yet, despite what the headline says, though it has taken some large strides forward. "The initial 'cool' factor isn't enough to sustain the market," writes Dian Schaffhauser. "As a recent FutureSource report noted, a big question is whether this new technology can be integrated deeply enough into the curriculum and help achieve specific learning outcomes in order to drive mainstream adoption." I think things can have an impact without being "integrated into the curriculum" (thing: Google search, Facebook, mobile phones...) but it does have to have a strong day-to-day use. So far, VR doesn't have that.
The “traditional literacy skills” of reading and writing are one of the thirteen literacy skills students need, writes Kathy Shcrock. This post concentrates "on identifying resources for the traditional literacy skills of reading and writing." Resources include: The Question Is, "a teaching strategy that requires students to reverse the common order of question-and-answer"; the Six Word Story, "a teaching strategy that allows students to practice summarizing and selective word choice"; and A-E-I-O-U, "a teaching strategy that asks students to interpret information from images or videos."
Britain's Association for Learning Technology (ALT) has announced its next three-year strategy. Here are the strategy slides, full text in PDF or Google docs and visual content on Flickr. There are three major aims: increase the impact of learning technology for public benefit, stronger recognition and representation of learning technologists, and proferssionalization of learning technology research and practice.
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.