This sort of article is usually awful but this one is pretty good. I'm including it here because it suggests "tech folks might also like to try out Reveal.JS, which lets you write fully responsive slides in HTML or Markdown (perfect for code snippets!)." This remined me of things like Jupyter notebooks, which embed code into documents; it doesn't look like Reveal takes you that far, though. There are other good suggestions in the article as well: begin with the demo, have a version of the demo pre-recorded (just in case), and most importantly, "the audience is rooting for you" and "the audience wants you to succeed." Remember that and you'll be fine.
Digital technologies have made just about everything cheaper and more accessible, but textbook publihers have managed to use it to make education more expensive for students. That's the overarching message in this news report from the United States. "The main culprit? Textbooks bundled with 'access codes' that expire at the end of the semester. These access codes largely force students to buy books at retail prices at campus bookstores and render the texts worthless in the resale market." You might think this is an advantage for open educational resources. "With open educational resources, there are no access codes, and students never lose access to their core content," said Nicole Finkbeiner, associate director of institutional relations for OpenStax. But let's not forget about the bundling of OERs with software students have to pay for - and to which, just like textbooks, they lose access to after a year or two.
This article describes an expansion of the Arabic MOOC platform Edraak. "Developed with the support of a $3 million grant from Google.org, and complemented with engagement from Google employees to provide product design expertise, the platform has launched with Mathematics materials for grades 7 and 9, including more than 1,200 educational minutes of bite-sized video lectures." Critics might not like the idea, but I can't say enough about the value of making basic knowledge freely available to people through platforms such as this. "A child denied an education isn’t just a tragedy for that child; it leaves the rest of us vulnerable,” said Jordan's Queen Rania, adding “but the future doesn’t have to be this bleak – not in this age of innovation.”
This is a look into the inner workings of an e-Portfolio assessment system. The 'instruments' themselves are "are rubrics that also contain settings for who will mark the assessment task and when the results will be released to students." The page (this isn't an article or anything like that) provides access to the ePortfolio system help documents as well. I always follow links like this when I find them not only because I am curious about the inner workings of things but because I'm looking for signs of the whole portfolio assessment process becoming automated. I don't think automated assessment will use rubrics like this in the long run, but rather I view rubrics like this as part of the training set that will be used to created the automation software.
This is a good article with a poor title. The overall gist is that it is Facebook, and not the user, that controls the algorithm. So whether or not changes to the algorithm eliminate fake news (spoiler: they won't) there isn't really anything the user can do about it. Enter a "provocation" created by Zuckerman and colleagues: gobo.social, a customizable news aggregator. It allows you to customize your newsfeed from Facebook and Twitter. I tried it out; the Twitter authentication failed but Facebook worked. Howver, "Facebook only allows us to show you Facebook Pages (the pages that are being de-prioritized in the News Feed changes), not posts from your friends, crippling its functionality as a social-network aggregator."
This review of BETT by an educator left me with the impression of a reviewer completely convinced by the value of pedagogy and utterly unable to fathom the idea of people creating learning for themselves. Consider this: "They (the exhibitors) fell utterly silent when pushed on pedagogy. The learning content is often the most neglected part of a product demonstration because it exposes the absence of pedagogical intent ... In some cases, exhibitors were unable to direct me to the learning content at all." That's becaus contemporary learning is no longer about pushing content. It's about creating experiences. The tech vendors have their weaknesses, to be sure. But their failure to emulate traditional teaching isn't one of them.
"To me, THIS is why I use social media and networks," writes Helen Blunden. "To tap me into a world of people who can inspire my thinking, allow me to contribute, experiment, create and co-create and then to reflect on what I’m learning and how to apply it to the problem I’m trying to solve."
Stories like this illustrate why I can be so positive about technology. A tetraplegic - unable to niove at all - is able to control a computer with thoughts alone. By focusing on "training the computer, not the user" designers are making the easy to learn and to use. "One participant in the study, 'T5,' a 63-year-old man who had never used a BCI before, needed only 37 seconds of calibration time before he could control a computer cursor to reach targets on a screen, just by imagining using his hand to move a joystick." Obviously the technology is some distance away from widespread use. But that it exists at all points the way to a rich future. Image" HPlus.
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