The other shoe has dropped. Facebook "announced on Monday that it has found at least 200 other apps that had access to user data in the same way that the app behind the infamous Cambridge Analytica leak did." You may also have read reports that Cambridge Analytica went bankrupt, but there was no real penalty as "the key players behind it have reportedly created a similar company called Emerdata." Meanwhile, Equifax made money from its data breach last year. The GDPR notwithstanding, the surveillance society is already well-entrenched (nobody asked you and nobody cares). Where is it heading? See this video from Google for what the Verge says is " a stunningly ambitious and unsettling look at how some at the company envision using that information in the future."
When somebody says "does not work" the first question should be about what counts as "working". Here Donald Clark writes that an A-B test (basically, you compare two interventions side-by-side) shows that "the gamification lesson plan fared worse than non-gamified lesson plans." In the report (20 page PDF) from 2016 the researchers use a platform to conduct "rapid randomized controlled trials (RCT), the evidentiary gold standard of evaluation for assessing what works." This 'gold standard' consists of pretests and post-tests consisting of a "set of six or ten post-exercise multiple-choice questions." In these trials, the non-gamification system reliably reported better results than the gamified system.
So there is a bunch of things that could be said about this. I'll begin by citing from The 74 advocacy blog a story (possibly fictional) where a parent responds to a teacher: “Yes, I know he can write,” she sighed, “but does he have a friend? Does he ever play with anybody?” Something like this won't show up on the A-B test, of course, because it's not being measured. Nor can you measure the multiple objectives for any intervention, especially when these objectives vary from person to person. Imagine what OLDaily would look like if it were created using A-B tests as a guide. Yes, it would be more popular. But it would cover cat photos and clickbait!
EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) "works with libraries to enable access to knowledge in developing and transition economy countries in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America." This is its annual report for 2017. One focus is the Marrakesh Treaty for persons with print disabilities, with Kyrgyzstan, Kenya and Malawi joining (Lesotho also joined just a few days ago). Another focus is the European Commission-funded project, OpenAIRE2020.
This makes me happy. "The Brazilian Ministry of Education (MEC) published an ordinance on the 16th of may, that determines that any educational resources paid for by the Ministry, which is to be used for basic education (K-12) should be open educational resources, giving permissions for anyone to “access, use, adapt and distribute at no cost”. It further emphasises the importance of open formats and standards whenever technically viable." Resources will be available in a new open-source repository.
There was once a time when blogging was new and exciting and something we thought everybody could be doing. I wrote Educational Blogging. Alan Levine launched CogDogBlog, Jim Groom was writing about blogging, and John Cricthlow wrote about Small b blogging. It's still relevant. But it's not like publishing or social media. Levine writes, "My position is that blogging is primarily for me, that’s little b style. It has become engrained as the way I think and work." I think of my online work as what I use instead of a scientific notebook. The 'big C' is for commenting, and that's what I do every day in this newsletter.
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Copyright 2018 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.