gRSShopper in a Box
Stephen Downes, Dec 06, 2017, Online Educa Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Overview of server virtualization, setup of Vagrant box for gRSShopper, an overview of the gRSShopper application, including its use in a Firefox panel.
Michael Geist has a couple of posts on "a coalition that plans to file a proposal with the CRTC that would lead to the creation a mandatory website blocking system in Canada." It would be run not by the courts but by "a new “Internet Piracy Review Agency”, envisions the creation of mandatory block lists without judicial review to be enforced by the CRTC." This is a bad idea, he writes, for several reasons, not the least of which is that the purpose of such a blocking mechanism would evolve from obvious cases. "Recent history suggests that the list will quickly grow to cover tougher judgment calls." Also, "the creation of a blocking system will invariably lead to demands that it expand to other areas. Whether fake news, hate speech or unlicensed content, if blocking websites without even court oversight is viewed as fair game, the CRTC will face a steady stream of demands for more." I'm in agreement with Geist on this.
Short conference summary. The list of "snippets of advice from some of the entrepreneurs and investors" is the best bit. Included among them: "You can’t change consumer behavior by persuading them, you have to give them an alternative that’s demonstrably better." Also, "You don’t make innovation spread. Innovation spreads, or it doesn’t."
This should be of no surprise to anyone, I'm sure. The subtitle of the story is "how brands secretly buy their way into Forbes, Fast Company, and Huffpost stories." We also read that "four contributing writers to prominent publications including Mashable, Inc, Business Insider, and Entrepreneur told me they have personally accepted payments in exchange for weaving promotional references to brands into their work on those sites." Ben Werdmuller wryly comments, "Trust in the media is declining, you say ..."
This post references an announcement that "Beginning with up-and-coming LMS like Degreed, Digital Chalk, Cornerstone OnDemand, and Docebo, LinkedIn Learning will now let users access their vast repository, made mostly of video lessons." This makes the case in the headline, that we are now entering an era where the LMS will import and display external content. On the face of it, this is good for both producers and students, however the leveraling of exclusive deals will begin to mitigate against the advantages. Unlike 'net neutrality', there is, after all, no such thing as 'LMS neutrality'. This article could be longer and more informative, but sadly, it isn't.
"I agree with all of Audrey Watters‘, Chris Gilliard’s, Autumm Caines’ and Benjamin Doxtdator’s critiques on these topics (also: it’s scary how my Google docs app immediately recommended their websites when I started inserting the links here)," writes Maha Bali. She adds, "there tends to be a reduction of what a teacher’s role is." Teaching "is about helping learners express themselves clearly and effectively with other human beings. What value is there in a machine giving students feedback?" She also expresses concern about inherent bias in AI and about human agency being replaced by AI-decision-making. And she's concerned that computer scientists are forging ahead without regard to ethical discussions about their technology.
Summary of a book that "serves as a look at how (academic)0 fraud, and the response to it, has changed over the years" followed by an interview with the authors. "Fraud in research reflects a systemic problem and does not reflect only an individual level," they write. "One of our conclusions is that fraud in research probably reflects an iceberg phenomenon (e.g., we know only of a small fraction of the cases) rather than a bad apple one." Lovely.
This is another story where a Silicon Valley technologist convinces investors to offer millions of dollars to reshape schools only to see them flounder in search of a business model. A big part of the reason is that while they may be well-connected and while they may even understand technology, they don't understand schools and have no background in the history of educational technology. Now if I had $175 million to spend on educational technology....
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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes Contact: email@example.comThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.