This post introduces us to Anchor, a podcast application that allows you to record and mix podcasts using your phone, then publish the result to audio subscription services. "This month Anchor moved into direct competition with other full-fledged podcasting platforms by automating the process of submission and distribution to Apple Podcasts and Google Play," writes Richard Bryne. The disadvantage, from my perspective, is that it only runs on iOS and Android (so I can't use it on my desktop or laptop, which is where I really prefer to dso stuff like this).
I don't think I belong to the 'we' in this column, but it is nonetheless telling, not only for the message, but also the source: "Status rules are partly about collusion, about attracting educated people to your circle, tightening the bonds between you and erecting shields against everybody else. We in the educated class have created barriers to mobility that are more devastating for being invisible. The rest of America can’t name them, can’t understand them. They just know they’re there." Robert Pondiscio interprets this as an argument for explicitly teaching these to everyone (instead of, say, "a child’s home language, culture, and dialect."). "There is a language of power. It is the language of privileged parents, affluent communities, and elite universities. It’s the language of David Brooks. But he’d do well to recognize that you don’t learn that language in those places. They don’t let you in until or unless you demonstrate command of it." The problem is, if we teach 'the right language' to everyone, the elite simply moves on to something new. You can't standardize on the language of power; you have to make the language of power irrelevant.
The translation to English in this post is a bit rough, but ther story it tells is interesting. The starting point is a 1998 curriculum reform in Japan (44 years after the end of the war, but who's counting?) which reduces the emphasis on content and "promoted activities focusing on the individual relevance of each child along with alleviating excessive pressure in learning [including] a new subject called Integrated Study (sogoteki na gakushu no jikan) was introduced with great fanfare to promote project-based learning beyond prescribed subject boundaries." The gist of the article is that through two successive reforms (2008 and 2017) central authorities exercised inclreading control over the curriculum. "Integrative Study in the 2017 curriculum guidelines is closely tied up with skills ‘fundamental to all learning’ such as use of language, logical thinking, and IT literacy."
Ed-Fi 2.1 has been released. "The Ed-Fi Data Standard serves as the foundation for enabling interoperability among secure data systems and contains a Unifying Data Model designed to capture the meaning and inherent structure in the most important information in the K–12 education enterprise." Of significance: "A fresh, simpler organization anchored on the Unifying Data Model (UDM) that reflects our move away from Bulk and toward API/JSON as the primary method of interacting with concrete implementations of the data model" Also worth noting: "this is also the first release of the data standard where the technical artifacts (and a significant portion of the documentation) have been managed by MetaEd, a tool that supports implementers who are extending Ed-Fi technology."
I think everybody should read more science fiction, not just business leaders. I can certianly attest to its value, having read hundreds, indeed probably thousands, of science fictionm books. "Science fiction isn’t useful because it’s predictive. It’s useful because it reframes our perspective on the world. Like international travel or meditation, it creates space for us to question our assumptions.... Exploring fictional futures frees our thinking from false constraints. It challenges us to wonder whether we’re even asking the right questions." But. You don't get this effect just by reading a few science fiction novels; you have to read a lot. And more, we're in a science fiction slowdown, with few quality titles being released.
Curt Bonk summarizes some of the work from a journal article on the subject (unfortunately he doesn't offer a link or even a title for the article) about whether people make friends in MOOCs. He seems to focus on whether instructors make friends, which seems to me to be totally beside the point - I would be looking for MOOC participants to make friends with each other. Anyhow, here is the line of thinking: "Giving away one's writing is one way to generate new friendships. Giving course design feedback is another. So is offering a free massive course. In terms of MOOCs, I think that the number of friendships made relate to the type or form of MOOC that you design. Is it an xMOOC (more traditional instructor led) or a cMOOC (more community and participant driven) or pMOOC (more project or product based) or some other type?"
One of the things I do when I read a 'top 10 tech tools' article like this is to ponder which of the tools the list was designed to promote. In this case I'm guessing it's EdCast, self-styled as "the Netflix of Knowledge". We read, "EdCast’s app allows users to discover their most relevant learning opportunities, including those from co-workers, internal experts, formal and informal courses, external experts, MOOCs, and the internet." So, like Google then. Except you can't actually use it on the web; you need the iOS or Android app. The other items on the list are actually useful, including CamScanner, which captures textbooks using OCR, Due, a deadline reminder app, GradeProof, which proofreads your writing. The list also includes a number of well-known apps.
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