by Stephen Downes
Apr 20, 2017
Acxcording to this report, "Maplesoft today released Möbius, a hands-on learning tool focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education." Yes, it's Canadian, sort of (subsidiary of a Japanese company). Instructors using Möbius can create lessons that incorporate "interactive explorations, illuminating visualizations, meaningful assessment questions, and guided active slideshows, which incorporate narration, exploration and self-assessment elements," according to a press release.
At a webinar yesterday we had some fun with different terms for groups of people (herds, swarms, flocks...) and this let to a but of a discussion of the considerations behind the naming of different types of groups (and objects). Here's a longish paper (49 page PDF) that thoroughly explores this sort of question. Worth noting: "Ritchie proposes... organized groups must have collective intentionality.... But according to most prevailing theories, many organized groups do not have them." Indeed, in my own 'groups versus networks' work the former has collective intentionality while the latter does not. The result of the paper is a four-element typology based on construction, anchor, extra essentials, and accidentals profile (see p. 41).
Though I'm not sure open philosophy needs a 'textbook' per se I still think this is a useful initiative that may grow. Christina Hendricks notes that "We are working with an organization called The Rebus Foundation, a Canadian non-profit that is made up of wonderful people who are doing great things with digital publishing and open textbooks." I've signed up to the Rebus Community and have looked into the philosophy textbook. Note this: "it is free of cost to students. There is no price tag." That is what I call open content. Here's more information on the Rebus textbooks project.
I left Facebook at the end of last August for several reasons. The final straw was advertising designed to defeat ad blocking tools in my browser. But this was on top of increasingly irrelevant content. And it was because my own posts - both personal, and also those from OLDaily - simply weren't being delivered to followers. Remember, followers were people who specifically wanted my posts, but Facebook decided to sent them garbage from content mills instead. I was not alone, obviously, and the Chicago Tribune has been tracking similar results. Imagine a telephone system designed this way. You hear Alex Jones shouting in your ear instead of the person who actually called you.
More analytics for the masses. This application takes video that you upload and extracts content, then presents the content for different segments in a plain-text JSON file. So, for example, if there is a dog in your video, there will be an entry 'dog' in the JSON file with start and end times from the video. This makes video libraries searchable for some very specific content. The main point here isn't simply that software can do this, it's rather that this functionality is offered as a service by google so now anyone can do this inside their own software.
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