I will be offering a webinar this Thursday on 'How to Help Students Succeed by Taking Ownership of Their Learning Online Through Personal Learning' - click on the link to register. It's one of the series of free webinars Contact North has been offering this year. All the webinars are recorded so you don't need to worry about being on vacation or just busy at 11:00. Even better, there are several dozen webinars on this page that have already been recorded - just scroll down and select 'past' on the dropdown under 'Find a Webinar' - you'll see Curt Bonk's recent talk, as well as Audrey Watter's, and many more.
This short article describes and points to Creately, a web-based tool that allows users to collaboratively create designs using a common interface. It's a nice idea that incorporates some back-end sleight-of-hand to make the visuals appear more quickly on the screen. But what caught my eye was this: "In-built video conferencing. We added video calls right inside Creately so it’s one less hassle to work with each other on a shared visual space." I think that's what we're going to see now, video-conferencing inside everything as a service.
This is a curated list of different GPT-3 projects using the AI to create resources (the page calls it GPT3 throughout, without the hyphen, but I checked and it's GPT-3). There's only one item listed under 'education' - Replit Code Oracle, which "demos a use case where you can ask what a code does, and it will provide more context around it." Which isn't very 'educational'. I don't expect this list to be useful for very long, because it's haphazardly put together, but it's useful for now.
There's a few things going on in this short post. One is the previously-made observation that employers are now testing for skills rather than relying on degrees. This isn't that new. When I was 18 I failed to get two separate jobs because of skills tests (one for typing, another for bilingualism). Buit it's a trend. A second is a recent Gallup poll stating that college alumni feel they could have learned more job-skills, especially networking and computer software. Employers have said the same thing. Daniel Christian, though, wraps this all up by saying "students are left holding the bag of debt - and not getting the jobs." The debt, yes, and we've addressed that in the past. But is their education the reason they're not getting the jobs? That doesn't sound right. If graduates are not getting jobs, it's because there aren't jobs. If jobs need doing, and if they need special skills, employers will hire quality people (ie., college graduates) and train them. Focusing education on job skills is just a way of subsidizing corporate training, at the expense of the student paying the fees.
This is the second of four proposals in a series of posts on eliminating structural inequities in computer science education, but it stands up well on its own and is applicable to other subjects as well. "If we pre-allocate, ration, or otherwise curve 'down' grades so that the top scores are a scarce resource in a competitive system," writes Mark Guzdial, "we are privileging the most prepared students and disadvantaging the least prepared students... Aim to help every student achieve their potential, and if you have to make a choice, make choices in favor of the students with less privilege and less computing background." Quite right. Why is an A a scarce resource? What is the purpose of that? Image: Inc., The rugged individualist is dead.
Canadian colleges and universities will "largely remain online in the Fall of 2020," according to this article. It reports on a survey conducted by the Canadian Pulse Project that will "provide a snapshot of 273 faculty and administrator perspectives on whether they are optimistic or pessimistic about the future of higher education over the next 2 years." The results are a mixed bad, and suggest that there will need to be changes. One respondent states that, “I believe it is our responsibility to ensure future generations of learners have access to higher learning” while a second says “there is a need to be more learner-centered, more flexible, and nimble. This situation has identified the stodginess of higher education institutes.” Quite so.
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