I'm thinking that if I had to depend on crowd-funding to support my research I'd be in trouble. It's not that it isn't important and worthwhile - it's just that, of the top thousand things on a person's mind, my work isn't one of them. Which means they'd never get around to crowdfunding it. My newsletter is a bit more top-of-mind for people, but averaging $3000 a year isn't going to pay the bills. One of the reasons government funding - or public funding in general - works really well (and far better than free-market based approaches) is that it leverages the concept of bundling really well. Canadians agree on the whole that scientific research is important, and allocate a few hundred million (out of a budget of a few hundred billion) and let the civil service take care of the rest.
Continuity and change: employers' training practices and partnerships with training providers
Erica Smith, Andrew Smith, Jacqueline Tuck, Victor Callan, National Centre for Vocational Education Research, 2017/06/14
This report (112 page PDF) from Australia makes the point that employer training practices haven't changed a lot over the years. They recognize the value of training, especially with respect to the major drivers: to improve the quality of the product or service, to adopt new technology, and to meet increasing regulatory requirements. That said, they probably wouldn't do it without government funding: "The availability of government funding remains a key reason for employers making use of nationally recognised training, and changes in funding over recent years at both Commonwealth and state levels have complicated the picture." They also need help: "A key element in the use of nationally recognised training by employers is the existence of a ‘navigator’, an organisation that can guide the employer through the complexities of the vocational education and training (VET) system."
This report (138 page PDF) was released last December and a second version is now in process for release in late 2017. Here's the blurb from the website: "The purpose of this Initiative is to ensure every technologist is educated, trained, and empowered to prioritize ethical considerations in the design and development of autonomous and intelligent systems. [This document] represents the collective input of over one hundred global thought leaders from academia, science, government and corporate sectors in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, ethics, philosophy, and policy." The document is based on the following general principles: "1. Embody the highest ideals of human rights. 2. Prioritize the maximum benefit to humanity and the natural environment. 3. Mitigate risks and negative impacts as AI/AS evolve as socio-technical systems."
This post brings together a couple of idea current in the field: dresign thinking, and universal design for learning (UDL). The overview is in the diagram. Basically, it's a fairly standard eight-step process that cycles during the development and deployment process, based on principles of engagement, representation, action and expression. It's also cross-posed here.
I have a personal attachment to Athabasca University, not only because I know so many people there, but also because I worked there from 1987-1994 and its mission and mandate had a formative impact on me. So like most of its current staff, I am supportive of the overall goals of the institution and would like to see it succeed. It branded itself as "Canada's Open University", which it is, and has been historically at the forefront of online and distance education. It has faced recent challenges, and this report outlines their underlying origins and a path forward. Like Tony Bates, I agree that it is an excellent report. I read it carefully. You can read Bates's article for an accurate summary of the report.
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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.