Cyberlearning Community Report: The State of Cyberlearning and the Future of Learning With Technology
Jeremy Roschelle, Wendy Martin, June Ahn, Patricia Schank, The Center for Innovative Research in Cyber Learning, 2017/10/10
I found myself nodding along as I read the introduction to this report (86 page PDF) describing cyberlearning research. It says, for example, "Researchers have found that the best way to investigate potential advances is to design learning experiences and study them." Additionally, "Demonstrating impacts on conventional education measures is rarely the primary intent in cyberlearning research, especially because today’s standardized tests are often ill suited to assessing what learners are achieving in these new environments." Yes, yes. The five points listed that make cyberlearning research distinctive also characterize my own research: oriented to a future horizon, focused on equity, learning across multiple contexts (and not just in classrooms), research through design, expression through making and sharing, and convergence of methods from across different disciplines. There's a lot more in this report, which though focused exclusively on the U.S. context is nonetheless well worth reading. It describes six reserach contexts from among the 279 research grant awards, three research methods, and supporting data on roadmap and scalability. See more from the CIRCL Center here and read the blog here.
Georghe Siemens and David Wiley are offering an open online course on open education. This page is a compendium of all the resources in the course - the videos from the course authors, guest contributions (including my own), and additional content and articles. It's all freely accessible - you don't need to log in to anything or pay a fee. The videos have transcriptions (yay!) . There's also a separate page with learner activity, linking to participant blog posts. And of course the Twitter discussion is ongoing. There are also email updates. This is what open education looks like.
Just to be clear, by "embraces OER", what the author means is "charges $25 per student per course." Of course, the putative charge here is for the platform, not for the content contained in the platform. To get at the OERs, you need to go through the platform. This article quotes gushibg support from all the usual suspects, with only SPARC's Nicole Allen sounding a note of caution. I'm openly sceptical. While they are locked in Cengage's platform, I can't access these resources, I can't link to these resources, I can't even know what they are. In theory someone could extract them from the platform and make them available, but I would wager that they can't do this in any automated and cost-effective way.
I would like to believe that the answer to the question in the headline is 'yes', but I have far less faith in cycles than economists and astrologers. In any case, that's the logic being applied here, as it traces through five technological waves (industry, steam, electricity, oil, and information) and observes a cycle of distruption, crisis and prosperity. What the author doesn't menton is that each of these waves (except ours, so far) is punctuated with a major war: Napoleonic, Civil, WWI, WWII. So let's maybe hope that we break out of the cycle this time. Having said that, and having expressed a proper scepticism, it does remain true that each wave (including ours) has resulted in a wave of increased prosperity and well-being world-wide.
Google's Teachable Machine is a fun little tool from Google that uses artificial intelligence to let you train it on a few simple gesture-based commands. The appeal is the simplicity of the interface, but the potential for a new range of alternative interfaces is huge. "Teachable Machine conveys just how important pattern recognition is becoming in the technology world. It's used in photo apps to recognize faces and objects, but it also powers supercomputers like IBM's Watson."
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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes Contact: email@example.comThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.