This article will be of those interested in tracking the progress toward robot tutors (a.k.a. AI assistants). The first part of this article offers a taxonomy of five levels of personal assistants. To date, our best is level three: "those that can handle naturally-sounding, multi-turn interactions, are hard to build." The second part of the article describes in some detail how to build a level three assistant, outlines some of the challenges (entity disambiguation), and next steps. By the time I'm at the point where I can think of incorporating AI assistants into a personal learning environment, we'll probably be at level four.
P2PU has two thinks being announced this week. The first is the Learning Circle Course Creation Guide. Learning circles are "free, facilitated study groups for people who want to learn together. Guided by the principles of peer learning, learning circles offer much of the structure and community of formal education without the barriers to access." This guide is available through Google Docs. It offers suggestions for creating and publishing your learning circle course (including, but not limited to, Course-in-a-Box). See also: the P2PU Learning Circles Handbook. More: Barry Kramer on learning circles. Image: Tofas, learning circle framework.
This is an upgrade to P2PU's 'Course in a Box'. The project uses GitHub Pages to allow you to quickly create and host your online course. You create an account in GitHub, clone their repository, and then make some edits to get your course up and running. Edit the course content collaboratively in GitHub, and you can also use Jekyll (a static site generation tool that converts markdown into full HTML (think of it in the same category as WebPack and Gulp)) to modify the look and feel of the course. This week P2PU announced they've "refurbished" Course-in-a-Box: "we've overhauled the site, simplified the tech, and vastly improved the getting-started documentation."
This is a set of boxes within boxes in the developer's roadmap we've been discussing this week. The idea of these boilerplates is to automate the process of creating a basic web application (similar sets of boilerplates exists for pretty much every framework out there). Note the date in the title - this is important, because this world is changing so rapidly that advice that was current for 2017 is out of date today (and examples often will not build). When I use Google searches for this stuff, I often set the date range to a maximum of 1 year; when I look at code in GitHub I'm always looking for the last update date.
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