by Stephen Downes
Apr 04, 2017
This is one of four papers article that set the stage for a virtual seminar currently taking place in Europe (register here). "The proposal is that Member States should introduce a Skills Guarantee, which would involve offering to low qualified adults... skills will to a great extent determine competitiveness and the capacity to drive innovation. They are a pull factor for investment and a catalyst in the virtuous circle of job creation and growth. They are key to social cohesion." There are numerous priority areas listed which should be the subject of discussion and debate.
"Although these data are collected for purely administrative purposes," write the authors, "they represent remarkable new opportunities for expanding our knowledge." This short essay (8 page PDF) examines some of the purposes to which administrative data in education could be put, and raises some of the issues associated with using data in this way. "Administrative datasets are collected for different reasons than research, and the types of variables that are captured in administrative data often do not comport with the types of variables that testing many educational and social science theories demands." There are also, of course, issues with privacy and security. Good essay, cogently written. Image: OECD.
The author's Instagram bot is described in detail in this post, with links to Github and to a lot of documentation on the various tests he ran. Stuff like this is why Facebook is in trouble and why Instagram isn't worth the effort. I don't use Instagram at all and left Facebook last August. But even closer to the core of the problem is this statement: "Likes and engagement are digital currency..." No they're not. They are dross. The number of followers you have is meaningless, just as meaningless as the number of people you follow. Amassing quantity is industrial-age thinking. Creating quality is millennial thinking.
When people talk about 21st century literacies, or digital literacies, they usually talk about using social networks and spotting fake news. But this is the sot of thing they should be thinking about. We've never really had motion in user interfaces before; the closest we've come is television, which has its own set of tropes. But with modern web design, motion in user experience (UX) design has become standard. This article leads with 12 principles of motion in UX. I look at these and ask, what do they mean? What do they signify? And of course there is no meaning inherent in the motion; it is entirely socially constructed. And that process is still underway, which makes it really fascinating.
Audrey Watters gives us a reprise of some of her annual 'tech trends' reports and talks about some of the thinking behind them. I'm inclined to agree with the observation that the trends resemble themes or categories or narratives more than they do trends. She also admits "they’re narratives that are quite US-centric. I’d say even more specifically, they’re California- and Silicon Valley-centric." And she says "my reference to 'Silicon Valley narratives' are meant to invoke these: libertarianism, neoliberalism, and 'the ideology of the ‘new economy.’" She takes this through a nice turn into a discussion of personalization and platforms. Still, from my perspective, the more her narrative focuses on a specifically U.S. social and political view of the topic, the less relevant that narrative becomes.
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