The issues of fake news and digital literacy have received a thorough airing over ther last year or so, but despite that, we still have too much of the former and too little of the latter. The responses, as Bryan Alexander characterizes them, fall into two camps: (lower-case-d) democrats, who feel people can and should learn to make their own information choices, and neo-gatekeepers, who call on regulations to govern Facebook and Twitter and the rest (and maybe even the traiditional media) to help people cope. I fall mostly into the former camp, though I do think that the proliferation of hatred and abuse have no place in any form of media. What also cponcerns me is that the widely understood definitions of digital literacy, critical thinking, and related concepts, are incorrect. For example, Alexander states that "digital literacy means learners are social, participatory makers." Well, no - this describes a practice, not a literacy. And the western-centric perspective of commentators continues to fustrate. In a world where most people are young, how can you say "it’s old people, in big cities, afraid of the sky?" People today need to learn how to read, more than ever - not books and newspapers and such (though that wouldn't hurt), but signs and portents, geographies and cultures, people and technologies. That's not digital literacy, especially - that's just literacy.
It's surprising but it also makes sense that there would be a completely separate wireless network for Internet of Things devices. "Existing wireless carrier signals make a lot of bandwidth available, but also require a lot of energy to maintain a connection to. IoT devices don’t need a lot of bandwidth. They just need enough to send data and receive commands." So using the low-energy network (eleven-x, in Canada, on a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN)) these devices can greatly extend their battery life by "as much as 20 years," according to the article. The drawback is that the rollout is for high-density urban areas only.
This article is making the rounds, but there are many reasons to be unhappy with it. The main idea is that MIT students were happy with a for-credit MOOC, according to a recent study. For some reason, Inside Higher Ed doesn't actually link to the study (but you can find it here). But even more to the point, as one commenter says, "If it wasn't massive, and it wasn't open, then why are we still calling this a MOOC? It sounds like all MIT did was experiment with offering a class online. Great, but hardly groundbreaking." And another notes, "Why is it news that a school has finally decided to offer an online course with credits for 30 students?" I know that the press likes to gush over anything with the 'MIT' label attached to it, like this press release, but this is ridiculous.
This post is mostly eye candy but it makes clear what is going on in a certain type of game-based learning, specifically, branching scenario learning (see examples here, here, here). They also display pretty clearly the weakness of the branching scenario: students can figure out pretty quickly what's going on and can realize that success can be earned by memorizing the maze rather than learning the content. I remember watching people play branching scenario laser-disk games in the arcade (back in the days when we had both arcades and laser disks). Rather than watching the movie they close their eyes and toggle though the options: left - right - left - left - etc.
General Assembly began as a cooperative workspace but evolved into an IT and business skills training company with centres around the world. This short article from Coursera describes its future work with this company. "Both companies found opportunities to help large organizations solve unique learning and development challenges," the authors write. "Peer-reviewed assignments and forum discussions, both of which the Coursera platform offers... develop communication skills, and offer program managers with a reliable means of evaluating employees."
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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes Contact: email@example.comThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.