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A Roadmap of the Future of Teaching and Learning
Stephen Downes, Dec 07, 2017, Online Educa Berlin, Berlin, Germany

This Spotlight Stage session is for policy makers and pundits, technology designers and developers, and those who by virtue of office or inclination have the voice to speak to the future, to inform the world of what we can do and what we want to do. Join Stephen Downes as he invites you to explore the quantum leaps we can expect in teaching in our digital age.

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These Technologies Will Shape The Future, According To One of Silicon Valley’s Top VC Firms
Daniel Terdiman, Fast Company, 2017/12/07


Summary of a talk by Andreessen Horowitz analyst Benedict Evans. The four technologies are autonomy, mixed-reality, cryptocurrencies, and artificial intelligence. But more interesting is some of the discussion around these, and especially the commentary on 'S-curves' which track the adoption of new technologoes. "In each case, as the curve matured, the question became less about the technology itself and more about what could be built on top of it. That’s where we are with the mobile internet, with things like ride-sharing, Instagram, Instacart, and other things we can do with our phones today."

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Insights from Campus Leaders on Current Challenges and Expectations of IT
Kathryn Gates, Joan Cheverie, EDUCAUSE Review, 2017/12/07


New rreport from EDUCAUSE based on interviews with 17 higher education IT leaders. Analytics comes up a lot, as do the challenges of changing demographics, enrollment, fuinding, government "intervention", student success and leadership. "The theme that received the most attention by far was foundational technology. As one executive stated, 'We expect for IT to be silently awesome.' ... executives frequently mentioned security; specifically, they cited security as a growing concern and said they expect IT to keep systems secured and the institution 'out of the news.'" 

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How Canada has emerged as a leader in artificial intelligence
Michael Smith, University Affairs, 2017/12/07


The question of 'how' is pretty easily answered: we invested in reserach. "This past spring, Ottawa might have made its best bet yet with the $125 million it has set aside over the next five years for a Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy. That money will go to three academic centres: the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA), the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (AMII) in Edmonton, and the new Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, based in Toronto. ... the Quebec government has allocated $100 million to its AI community in Montreal; Ontario has set aside $50 million for Vector; and, in September 2016, the Canada First Research Excellence Fund gave $93.6 million to a trio of universities – Université de Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal and HEC Montréal." In response, we've seen investments from Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. There's no shortcut, and you can't do it on the cheap. And if we waited for the private sector to take the lead on this, we'd still be waiting.

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Majority of Australians say online privacy beyond their control
University of Sydney, 2017/12/07


This feels like my sense of it too. "The findings, published in a report launched today (74 page PDF), show 67 percent of Australians take steps to protect their privacy online, but only 38 percent feel in control." Our hopes appear to be beyond our grasp. Forexample, "a large majority (78 percent) want to know how social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are using their personal data." This large majority will be disappointed. And while "some 79 percent say retention of phone call information is a breach of privacy" there's nothing they can really do to prevent it.

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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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