This was a nice slow read suitable for a train ride (which is where I read it, on the way to Toronto) and it's useful not just a set of lessons about whether to rewrite software from scratch (something I'm thinking of for gRSShopper, because Perl is old and stale) but also a set of origin stories for a number of influential software products (including Firefox, Basecamp, Visal Studio Code, and Trello). It also poses the sort of problem edtech companies are faced with today as they work with legacy softwar, an entrenched user base, and a rapidly evolving internet.
This prediction may be confounded by the non-cooperation of educational institutions. While they will face a lot of pressure to standardize certification, surely they can see what happens if they do. "They 'unbundle' learning acquisition and verification. To earn an ADC, an individual only has to demonstrate mastery of a skill and does not need to satisfy course requirements." But these institutions might not have a choice if alternative digital credentials (ADC) are independently developed and adopted.
Hypothes.is is "trying very hard to build a robust, long-term utility for the web which is awesome," writes Tom Critchlow. "Except their UI leaves a lot to be desired. Especially on mobile." I have to agree. Like most annotation systems, I find the text boxes way too small. And also, in the case of Hypothes.is they open up on top of the text, which makes reading text along with the annotations almost impossible. Critchlow also evaluates the Genius annotation system, which I haven't used. He also considers whether Twitter could become an annotation later (that would be quite interesting).
This is mostly a marketing piece focusing on a tool called trovvit, designed to help students forge (and) maintain connections that help them get by and get ahead... by letting students showcase their skills and store their networks in one place." Or as founder Torrence Robinson says, "Think LinkedIn meets Instagram for students." Why is such a tool needed? "Students haven’t yet had careers. Their 'work' does not fit into resume format. Lab experiments, peer mentoring, photography portfolios are not going to have meaning to LinkedIn connections because those connections cannot evaluate the work."
Steven Krause response to a point raised in the Chronicle this week (and a point I've made numerous times over the last two decades) about the similarities between education and news media. First, he says, "while content 'scales,' education and assessment do not." Second, he writes, "people who make this comparison to journalism... underestimate the depth and breadth of higher education." Third, he says, "while most people seeking news don’t like to pay for it, almost all would-be college students (and their families) are more than willing to pay." I think there are responses to each of those arguments. I would note, especially, that when I was a young paper carrier, everybody paid for news. And that a lot of what happens in education does scale.
This is another step in an iterative process that is tightening the linkage between employers and education institutions. The idea is that the network’s goal is to use standardization about needed job skills, or competencies, and open data systems to 'better align student, work-force and credentialing data with the needs of the economy.'" The next step, obviously, is to describe students' skills in terms of these standards. With a single means of representing skills, and mechanisms of automatically assessing them, we no longer need degrees or credentials.
My first thought when I looked at this was, "Yow, this is hard." I still think it's pretty hard, but I also think that it's a nice way to get people to think about math and to reframe math problems in an interesting way. The idea is that the diamond represents a function which, when defined, will yield a value of '666' when combined with the rest of the problem. So if you have, say "◇665" then the correct answer is "f(x) = x+1". See that I mean? You're thinking of math in terms of functions, not just numbers and variables. It's been made into an app, but you don't actually need the app. If I were a teacher, I'd offer one of these a day, starting with easy ones, and progressing through the year with more and more complex problems, rewarding the class (not an individual) if it's solved by the end of the day. Here's the home page for the game.
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