This post copies word-for-word (without attribution or a link; shame on you) an announcement from Fordham referencing The Supplemental-Curriculum Bazaar: Is What's Online Any Good? (66 page PDF) by Morgan Polikoff and Jennifer Dean. The reviewers "examined over three hundred of the most downloaded materials found on three of the most popular supplemental websites: Teachers Pay Teachers, ReadWriteThink, and Share My Lesson." According to the study "these sobering findings reveal a major mismatch between what content experts think educators should (and shouldn’t) use in classrooms and what teachers, hungry for instructional resources, are choosing to download." But the problem may lie with what the experts think should be used, or more likely, with the criteria used in the evaluation.
This post looks at some of the recent work of Scott Soames arguing against the idea that propositions contain their own meaning inherently. "Sentences in use, you might say are 'inherently representational': but the whole idea of inherence doesn't really fit here. The whole point is that sentences are not inherently representational, but used in certain ways, they are." The idea is that use creates context, and the sentence content plus context creates meaning. "A representation itself is just a concrete thing - like a drawing or a sentence. And it represents not inherently, but by being used in a certain way. People represent things as being certain ways by putting representations to use." Which to me sounds a lot like Wittgenstein, and makes a lot of sense. This - again - shows why learning requires use, and not just presenting. Image: David Baruch, non-representational art.
This post reflects on a paper by Arun Narayanan et al., Recognizing Long-Form Speech Using Streaming End-To-End Models. Mark Liberman observes, " Modern AI (almost) works because of machine learning techniques that find patterns in training data, rather than relying on human programming of explicit rules. A weakness of this approach has always been that generalization to material different in any way from the training set can be unpredictably poor. (Though of course rule- or constraint-based approaches to AI generally never even got off the ground at all.) "End-to-end" techniques, which eliminate human-defined layers like words, so that speech-to-text systems learn to map directly between sound waveforms and letter strings, are especially brittle." What this means is that AI is still (and for the foreseeable future) limited to specific context-insensitive domains.
Learning labs "are flexible learning spaces that allow for easy reconfiguration according to the needs of the learning activity. Their mission is to host innovative learning through learning activities to incorporate new visions on pedagogy, key competences and technology-enhanced learning." This report (32 page PDF) comes from the European Schoolnet (EUN) Future Classroom Lab (FCL) project. The guide "maps out, for school leaders and teachers, the journey from the initial thought that your school may benefit from a learning lab, through planning and implementation to use and evaluation of the impact of your own learning lab," including six case studies. It's a comprehensive guide and would be invaluable for schools deciding whether to pursue this path.
Micro-credentialing as a sustainable way forward for universities in Australia: Perceptions of the landscape
Ratna Selvaratnam, Michael Sankey, Australasian Council for Open, Distance and e-Learning, 2019/12/11
"In a time where knowledge and skills need to be updated constantly, a three- or four-year degree may not suit the currency required in many jobs and other work," argue the authors. Based on a survey of institutional representatives from the Australasian Council for Open, Distance and e-Learning (ACODE), they conclude that "micro-credentialing is growing significantly in Australian higher education institutions. Most institutions already have presence in the space or are planning to do so."
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Copyright 2019 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.