OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

[Home] [Top] [Archives] [Mobile] [About] [Threads] [Options]

September 27, 2013

Cloud Computing Jeopardizes Student Privacy, Report Warns
Benjamin Herold, Education Week, September 27, 2013

I think this report overstates the concern - you aren't exposing yourself to cyber-stalking by advertises just because you use DropBox - but I think it does point to an inherent conflict between online service provision and personal privacy. Google, for example, employs algorithms that read your email for the purpose of targeted marketing, so if a school uses Google Mail then students are certainly being targeted. A lot of 'big data' and analytics work this way - they mine what should be private data to produce proprietary knowledge. It's easy enough to say that safeguards ought to be put into place (and they will be). But how then will big data work? 

[Link] [Comment]

Popular Science Gets Rid of Comments -- What this Means for Social-Media Learning
Will Thalheimer, Will at Work Learning, September 27, 2013

I have long held that a discussion list is ineffective for large audiences. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the comment thread below articles of major publications like Popular Science. So now the magazie is removing the thread. "You'd think the U.S. Government was going to go into default or something. Popular Science decides to get rid of its comments--fearing that good science was being misperceived because of online comments," summarized Will Thalheimer. He adds, "I wish someone who studies this issue intensively would create a rubric, helping us understand when and how comments can be valuable--and when they cause more harm then good." I don't know whether a rubric would do the job.

[Link] [Comment]

Imagism, interpretation and education
Jenny Mackness, September 27, 2013


There's a whole school of thought in 20th century writing focused on "clarity of expression through the use of precise visual images" (as the imagist school would represent it). We see it expressed everywhere, from Wittgensteinian architecture (and thought), to Hemingway prose. I confess to being a fan; when I read some bloggers (Lanny Arvan, take a bow) the excess verbiage actually causes me pain. That's why I think the 100-300 word essay is the perfect form for me. Jenny Mackness suggests that "completely opens up the poem to an infinite number of interpretations." I don't know - describing faces as petals in a forest opens a range of interpretations, but referencing the whole as an "apparition" in one word produces a mental image of crystal clarity. Related: Bob Sprankle is publishing a poem a day. Not a bad idea.

[Link] [Comment]

Hack Education Weekly News: Students "Hack" Their iPads, the MacArthur Genius Grants, and More
Audrey Watters, Hack Education, September 27, 2013

Audrey Watters reports on a couple of stories this week describing how students were able to adapt their school-issued iPads to enable them to surf the web (it's described as a 'hack' - but I refuse to characterize "deleting their personal profiles" as a "hack"). The underlyimng message in these stories is that the iPads are beeing locked down with publisher content (amking them nothing more than really overpriced reading devices). LAUSD officials are mulling a number of responses: “One would limit the tablets, when taken home, to curricular materials from the Pearson corporation, which are already installed. All other applications and Internet access would be turned off.” *sigh* In other news: the usual guns, politics and genius grants.

[Link] [Comment]

This newsletter is sent only at the request of subscribers. If you would like to unsubscribe, Click here.

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter? Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list. Click here to subscribe.

Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.