I work in the Learning and Performance Support Systems program at the National Research Council, a multi-year effort to develop personal learning technology and learning analytics. I am one of the originators of the Massive Open Online Course, write about online and networked learning, have authored learning management and content syndication software, and am the author of the widely read e-learning newsletter OLDaily.


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Clickbait and impact: how academia has been hacked


I am sometimes challenged to distinguish between networks and marketplaces, and in particular, to explain why advocacy of networks isn't the same as advocacy of libertarianism. My response points to cases of network failure, showing that scale should not dominate, but rather, should be limited, so that other principles prevail. I reference two cases here where this applies. The first is a Washington Post article showing how libertarianism is distinct from meritocracy. Libertarianism enables prejudices, such as preferences for race, pretty people, or relatives, to prevail. The second, from the London School of economics, shows how academic merit has been 'hacked': "When academia is... framed as a confrontation, it favours confrontational people. This has gendered and racialised effects." The marketplace is defined by mass; the laws of supply and demand are laws of mass. But mass fails. Merit and impact are not determined by mass effects. They are determined by relationships. Both items via Daily Nous.

Today: 116 Total: 116 Portia Roelofs, Max Gallien, LSE Impact Blog, 2017/09/22 [Direct Link]

When College Students Don’t Understand the Concept of Free Speech


Americans can govern themselves however they want, of course, but they like to export ideas like 'freedom of speech', and when the content of this export is pernicious, it becomes necessary to respond. This is the case here with Chester E. Finn. He takes pains to make it clear that "Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech…" and then argues that students don't understand this principle. In particular, he finds it offensive that the majority of the students find it acceptable that "a student group opposed to the speaker disrupts the speech by loudly and repeatedly shouting so that the audience cannot hear the speaker." The freedom of speech does not require that I sit quietly and listen to attestations of hate. It entitles me to rise up and shout against it. And common decency requires that I do so.

Today: 121 Total: 121 Chester E. Finn, Education Next, 2017/09/22 [Direct Link]



This is similar to the Jupyter Notebook, except for data. Also, the open source notebook is available online as a no-signing way to play with your data. "If your data is in a CSV, JSON, or XLSX file, loading it is as simple as dropping the file into Franchise. We run a version of the SQLite engine in your browser, so all processing happens locally." I really like this. This item and the next via O'Reilly,

Today: 150 Total: 150 2017/09/22 [Direct Link]

Distributed deep neural networks over the cloud, the edge, and end devices


The next step: "DDNNs partition networks between mobile/embedded devices, cloud (and edge)... What’s new and very interesting here though is the ability to aggregate inputs from multiple devices (e.g., with local sensors) in a single model, and the ability to short-circuit classification at lower levels in the model." Eacj of these two things is equally important. The network is distributed, and the objects described by the network are not the same as the objects escribed by individual members of the network. This article goes into a lot of detail about how they're built and how they function. "By combining multiple viewpoints we can increase the classification accuracy at both the local and cloud level by a substantial margin when compared to the individual accuracy of any device." Original paper (12 page PDF).

Today: 102 Total: 102 Adrian Colyer, The Morning Paper, 2017/09/22 [Direct Link]

Why Books Will Always Matter


It's no surprise to me that the Executive Director for the National Book Foundation would offer a spirited defense of books. “They connect us to one another," she says. "They make people who are not like us more human.” But I find it ironic that this short video would give me more of a glimpse into who Lisa Lucas is and what she's like than any book she's ever written. New media gives us a reach books never did - both as readers and writers. 

Today: 98 Total: 98 Lisa Lucas, The Scholarly Kitchen, 2017/09/22 [Direct Link]

10 Current and Emerging Trends in Adult Learning


We are given two sets of ten: first, ten trends in adult learning, which are dated and not worth the effort to read. And more interestingly, ten future trends. It cites the 2017 New Horizon higher education report, but doesn't repeat the predictions. Especially interesting is the prediction of the rise of national service universities citing a presentation from ASU president Michael Crow from last May. "Putting knowledge at the core, Crow described five realms of learning, think of them as developmental phases that HigherEd is going through. Most of HigherEd is migrating from Realm 1 to Realm 2 with experiments in Realm 3 (think MOOCs)." Realm 5 is "infinitely scalable learning".

Today: 137 Total: 137 Tom Vander Ark, Education Next, 2017/09/22 [Direct Link]

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Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.