What I like about this paper is that it translates mathematical scribbles into human language. For example (pictured) the author is here indicating parts of the equation and saying "you take the weights and you just add noise." That's nice. It's explaining why some part of an equation is in there, and it helps viewers understand that the mathematics is just a way for researchers to say some very ordinary things. "What if you fiddled with this value?" "Try turning up the input volume." "Make it respond to the frequency." Whatever.
A lot of my early thinking about online learning was based on my experience with online role-playing games (RPG) such as MUDs - Multi-User Dungeons - which were open-ended online multi-user gaming environments (here's me doing a presentation in one at Diversity University in 1995; here's a CADE conference we ran in our own MUD in 1996). They contrasted well with the linear content-heavy media of email list servers and Usenet discussion boards. Learning Management Systems, however, focused on content over community, and so the idea of online learning as open-ended environment languished. Still, it informed what we were trying to do with MOOCs, and, according to this article, may inform the next generation of Learning eXperience Platforms (LXP). "LXPs with its philosophy, its use of data science, its personalization, with it being social in nature, providing for continuous learning needs and updating personal skill sets is as close to an RPG and a new way in which we learn in our modern world."
One of the major difference between computing and mobile devices is the degree of control the manufacturer has over the platform. In particular, mobile applications must be distributed through an 'app store', which limits the apps allowed (often to the manufacturer's advantage) and from which the manufacturer claims a 30% cut. In-app purchases must also be made through the manufacturer, from which a similar cut is extracted. The big story here is that a wildly popular application, Fortnite, has openly violated the rules, been kicked off the Google and Apple platforms, and launched a lawsuit. It also produced a brilliant video mocking Apply as the huge corporate overlord it once sought to rebel against. Epic, which produces Fortnite, has received statements of support from Spotify and Match. See also CNN, BBC, The Verge.
Innovation Adoption and Diffusion of Virtual Laboratories
Krishnashree Achuthan, Prema Nedungadi, Vysakh Kolil, Shyam Diwakar, Raghu Raman, International Journal of Online and Biomedical Engineering, 2020/08/14
This is quite a good paper about the use of virtual labs (VL) in India. Though the paper mentions some of the features and advantages of VL, the main point is to discuss the diffusion of usage through the use of a distribution network consisting of partner institutes and nodal centres; the latter provided communication, training and development support for VL. The authors surveryed 43K VL users using questions based on Roger's theory of innovation diffusion (that's the one with 'early adopters', etc). "VLs are perceived as having relative advantages, being more compatible, less complex, observable, and trial-able and connected through accessible communication channels. However, VLs may need constant adaptations to improve its relative advantages over current resources and practices." There's a lot of detail, numerous illustrations, and reasonably deep discussion.
This short Twitter post offers links to three OER texts on proof. As Richard Hammack says in the introduction to his text, "This book will initiate you into an esoteric world. You will learn and apply the methods of thought that mathematicians use to verify theorems, explore mathematical truth and create new mathematical theories." I had some exposure to this world while studying the philosophy of mathematics (and Philip Kitcher remains a fave). This link will probably interest nobody (readers will probably already know this stuff, or won't be interested, though maybe educators might want to look at the different presentation styles) but there's no way I can leave these three items unlinked. Because there's always someone who says "learning should start with the foundations" and I want to raise my eyebrow, say "really?" and ask them "which treatment of set theory we should start with then?"
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