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What if we connected education to the needs of our economies?
Efosa Ojomo, Christensen Institute, 2018/04/06


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I think a lot about why we are teaching as well as about what we are teaching and of course how we are teaching. This post suggests (as we have so often heard before) tying education to the economy. Education, writes Efosa Ojomo, is depicted as a means to gain employment and climb the economic ladder, but "we see, time and time again, is that when education is disconnected from the needs of the economy, this promise falls flat." But what are, I ask, the needs of the economy? For Ojomo, it means "strengthening the connection between schools and employers." But to the employers, the economy succeeds when there is surplus labour and low wages. It succeeds when people don't really have a choice but to accept whatever job they're given, at whatever wage they're offered. The best education helps people be independent of the economy, so that when it fails (as it always does) the people will survive.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]


Magic AI: these are the optical illusions that trick, fool, and flummox computers
James Vincent, The Verge, 2018/04/06


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A Reddit item on designing chess pieces cites this article from last year about something called 'adversarial images' - these are patterns that can fool an artificial intelligence into thinking one thing is something else.  See also. It might make a face recognition system think you're the pope. Or it might cause a system to identify something as a weapon, or worse, an accordion. One thing that's interesting is that "the same fooling images can scramble the 'minds' of AI systems developed independently by Google, Mobileye, or Facebook, reveals weaknesses that are apparently endemic to contemporary AI as a whole." Near the end of the article is an even more interesting nugget: "the same category errors made by AI and their decision boundaries also exists in the world of zoology, where animals are tricked by what scientists call 'supernormal stimuli.'"

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]


Meet the 'Study Tubers': The YouTubers making studying cool
Sophie van Brugen, BBC News, 2018/04/06


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This is a short BBC video profiling 'study tubers' - people who are in school and record study tips and share advice with their friends. The videos are called 'revision videos', as in "revision for school exams". The speaker is named Jade and here is her YouTube channel (BBC doesn't link to it for some reason; I had to search for it). Here's one called Revision With Eve. Also Ibz Mo from Cambridge. Even some teachers are getting into the act. There are also revision music videos, like this. I had never heard of the concept of 'revision' when I was in school, but the study techniques weren't new to me. My own approach was analytical: I would organize and classify concepts, rewriting books, lectures, whatever, creating logical structures out of the material, which in turn were easy to remember. A lot like this. Also: no cramming. Ever. You'll notice that I still learn by rewriting - that's how this newsletter gets created.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]


8 French Startups Revolutionizing Career Counseling
Camille Pons, Nina Fink, Actualit├ęs EducPros, 2018/04/06


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This is a short English version of a slightly longer article in French. What I like is that each of the eight companies takes a different approach to career counseling. Pixis uses a constellation of 731 careers. Impala has an interactive career map that adapts to user responses. Studizz Bot uses high school students’ academic profiles. And so on. 

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]


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Copyright 2018 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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