Blackboard's e-learn magazine has a special issue on learning analytics this month. The lead article by Priscila Zigunovas features multiple photos of Timothy Harfield, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Blackboard Analytics (by a window, with a horse) and says "Analytics is nothing more and nothing less than the visual display of quantitated information." In another article, Cristina Wagner (or maybe Glen Fruin) interviews Niall Sclater on the ethical issues related to learning analytics. None of the articles is deep, but if you are interested in what Blackboard is thinking these days it's probably worth a look.
That's actually more authors than there are trends, but OK. This list seems to me to be a bit more eclectic than most, because they are focusing exclusively on user-experience (UX) design. Here are the trends (quoted): design systems with modular components will take a greater role in design; less flash and boom and more subtle cues that help users find what they’re looking for; and internal-facing content is the next frontier.
"Facebook is essentially running a payola scam where you have to pay them if you want your own fans to see your content," writes Sarah Aswell (language warning in this article, sorry). The criticisms of Facebook are valid, and yes it's just one more reason not to use the AOL of the 2010s. But the thought struck me as I rattled around the nearly-empty internet outside Facebook how similar it is today to the internet of the 1990s. Most people are somewhere else (in the offline world, or behind some walled garden). The people who populate the wide open space outside the social network silos are the early adopters and the innovators, just like the 1990s (but with fewer personal home pages, which I miss).
This is an interesting paper from last November that reminds me a lot of the work being done by Audrey Watters. The value of this paper is an informed history of the history of AI and its critics (though I would have given credit for 'the view from nowhere' to Thomas Nagel rather than Alison Adam). It has a number of funny examples of deep learning systems misinterpreting images, though in all fairness a lot of humans would misinterpret them as well. That said, there's no doubt about the corporate flavour and intention of contemporary AI programs. And I agree that these corporate-run projects are indifferent to social and political content, even to the point where they perpetuate and even exaggerate historical injustices. But from where I sit, that's a criticism of corporations, not AI.
I'm sure someone will find an application of this sort of technology for online learning. "The Disconnect is an offline-only, digital magazine of commentary, fiction, and poetry. Each issue forces you to disconnect from the internet, giving you a break from constant distractions and relentless advertisements." Don't worry - I'll never do that for OLDaily.
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