I had a brief surge of excitement when I say this article (21 page PDF) thinking that it addressed connectivism and the new developments of web3, but I was disappointed to find it referred back to the definition of e-learning 3.0 used back in 2011 by people like Steve Wheeler in this presentation to talk about the semantic web applied to e-learning. So what we get here is a relatively straightforward application of semantically-based analytics applied to e-learning. It presents this in the context of an application and framework called i-SoLearn, and reports some experimentation and results. I would rate the results as 'mixed' - students who were disinterested in social networks didn't really benefit, and students who had negative sentiments found the technology difficult.
This isn't receiving as much publicity (at least in my communities) as the recent UNESCO motion on OERs, but it could have an even greater importance to the future of education. UNESCO adopted a policy "that establishes universal principles for recognition of studies and degrees and will give signatory states an obligation to recognise studies or qualifications from outside of their region." Here is the final draft text of the agreement. According to the UNESCO page, " the Convention aims to facilitate academic mobility, improve quality of higher education institutions and enhance international cooperation in higher education."
This article combines two parts mythology with one part fact to come to a conclusion that is accidentally a good one. The purpose of the mythology (in my view) is to appeal to readers who already believe these things. The myths? Carol Dweck's comment that, “When teachers are judging [students], [they] will sabotage the teacher by not trying." Also, Jessica Lahey's assertion that "parents and teachers have become adversaries." Even more, the assertion that "Teacher grades, for example, are subject to grade inflation." You can paint a picture of who the article is appealing to here.
But the conclusion - that the acts of teaching and evaluation should be separated - is a good one. Not for any of the reasons listed here, but because it allows students to learn in any way they wish. The danger of this model is that it could create a commercial evaluation industry. And this article (whose author is an advisor for one such company) is an example of the spin being produced to support this idea. So we need to be careful about how we separate the functions of teaching and evaluation. There needs to be an ethical standard here that the commercial sector has heretofore failed to demonstrate that it can meet.
This article looks at consciousness from the perspective of “Rethinking Consciousness: A Scientific Theory of Subjective Experience.” Neuroscientist and psychologist Michael Graziano writes that "consciousness is simply a mental illusion, a simplified interface that humans evolved as a survival strategy in order to model the processes of the brain." I think that the very idea of saying that consciousness is an illusion suggests that there is something else which it actually is, an account that I find difficult to sustain. My own view is that consciousness is real, that it is experience, and nothing more or less.
It's hard to find a topic that is more current and more entangled in current events. This set of slides (second source here) from Doug Belshaw makes clear the need to get on top of the various problems of surveillance capitalism and misinformation, and recommends an approach to digital literacies as a response. It's hard to argue against that, but it's also hard to say exactly what should be done. Professional trolls (as reported in this Rolling Stone article) are expert at dodging your cognitive defenses. "The professionals know you catch more flies with honey. They don’t go to social media looking for a fight; they go looking for new best friends. And they have found them. Disinformation operations aren’t typically fake news or outright lies. Disinformation is most often simply spin." So, what to do then? It's no panacea, but this article in the Verge is better than most. It describes how to check facts, look at sources, and weigh the evidence. It's still not perfect - but it's better than just trusting the authorities.
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