Blockchain in the Life Sciences
Stephen Downes, Jun 03, 2018, Life Sciences Day 2.0, Ottawa, Ontario
Slides are of my presentation to the panel giving an accessible overview of blockchain technologies and explaining their relevance to life sciences. The audio is from the panel as a whole (the first minute is missing); it looks at the future of life sciences technology and features speakers from OBIO, CHEO and IBM as well as myself. My audio begins at the 41:00 minute mark.
This article is mostly a plug for a workshop (which makes me wonder whether running online workshops would be a viable source of income). I'm linking to it specifically to point to the continuous leadning framework document (1 page PDF) that comes with the article. It divides the field into "personal and professional learning" on the one hand and "workplace learning" on the other. Both of these subdivide into further categories, but all of them are ways people can learn continuously. T
This is the set of videos that constitute the course taught by Nancy Kanwisher on the human brain. All the greatest hits are in there: facial recognition, vision and the retina, shape processing and category sensitivity, and navigation (both animal and human). From the intro: "we will explore in some detail a number of distinct domains of cognition like face recognition, navigation, number, language, music, and social cognition, and the cortical regions and networks that implement these functions. Key themes include the representations, development, and degree of functional specificity of these components of mind and brain." Interesting and engaging instructor. (p.s. I somehow got the recognition test right in video 2.7 - I thought there were four).
The Beast actually appears to be a person and not (as I thought) a metaphor for writer's block or addiction or something. Things that caught my I: advertising a blog with an "I follow Doug Peterson" ribbon on a conference lanyard. Also: "I love that we met him (Stephen Hurley) in his medium of voicEd radio on his podcast and that he then joined us in The Beast at 5 am." Must be the reason why my own Ed Radio always had zero listeners. ;) Also: "the books from First Book Canada that were distributed to students for home use." It was a fun read but it really did feel like I was listening in on a private conversation for a very in-group conversation.
Phil Barker writes in an email, "have a look at what the HAX team are doing, they are making a universal front-end authoring interface. It allows you to do things like write Schema into your content as you go, or drop in pre-made chunks with metadata provided. And then publish the html to git pages (not quite automatic yet, but it works)." The source is available on GitHub. It looks a lot like my PLE, but with better finding and a focus on content creation. There are outputs for Drupal, Backdrop, and more. Here's a presentation on the Hax authoring experience. There are many reasons to love this, and I do!
There is a lesson for education technology in this story. Facebook has had nothing but grief trying to offer personalized news. Google, meanwhile, has announced a complete revamp of Google News featuring a content selection that will be the same for everybody. The role the AI plays is focused on the story. "The reimagined Google News uses a new set of AI techniques to take a constant flow of information as it hits the web, analyze it in real time and organize it into storylines." So who chooses the content for the user? T
I think that the answer to the question of "why open educational resources (OER) haven't caught on" is in the last paragraph of this article: "will we ever get to a Wikipedia-type model of teaching resources, with teachers freely giving and taking textbooks, lesson plans, and tests, refining and improving them, and sharing their improvements?" My thinking here is that so long as you think of OERs as teaching resources, they're never going to work. They should be thought of as learning resources. Encourage students to find them, share them, and make them (that was one of the core ideas behind the first MOOC and it was co-opted out of existence).
Maybe we need a new concept. I'll go out on a limb and give it a name - OERSS. Open Educational Rersource - Student Sharing. Or Open Educational RSS. Take your pick. It's open resources found, created, used and shared by students. The real open educational resources.
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Copyright 2018 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.