This is more of what has been a lot of discussion in recent months about redesigning the education systems. For some, it is clear that a lot of change needs to happen, while by contrast I'm hearing from elsewhere that after the pandemic things will spring back to normal. But they won't, because we'll be paying for the pandemic for the rest of our lives, and because we're still looking at more huge global changes as we're hit with climate change and social upheaval. This article lays out the 'conventional wisdom' on a number of fronts, and then lays it out against the measure of reality. The article is weak, frankly, on solutions, but it lays out the challenges well.
As Catriona MacCullum wrote on the Scholarly Kitchen last week: "biases (in publishing) favor men over women and the old guard over the young or stack the deck in your favor if you are white, or straight, or from the ‘right club’… If you’re not published in the right journal or trained at the right institute or come from the right region, you have many more hurdles to overcome than those that do fit the ‘required’ but often unspoken phenotype.” And as PLOS CEO Alison Mudditt writes this week, "It’s not simply about fully open research, more work from home, less travel, diversifying our editorial boards and reviewers, a commitment to DEI or an embrace of our global communities (although it is also all of these things). For me and now for PLOS, this is a very intentional embrace of a moment of transformation.... For scholarly communication as elsewhere, this has to mean a shift in power, a recognition that communities are the best designers of their own future." I'm hoping for this, I really am. But the powerful don't give up power lightly, not even while they are burning down the world.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) contains what are foften called 'the 26 words that created the internet': "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." I personally think 'created the internet' is overstated, but the judicial interpretation (in the U.S.; in other jurisdictions, where the internet still exists, the law is different) is important: it says platforms are not required to moderate content, but in the interests of a better experience, they may. That's what the current hearings in the U.S. are about, and while everybody has an interest in both tighter regulation and looser regulation by the platforms, right now in the U.S. nothing much is likely to change. In my view what we really need are decentralized platforms that give us platform choice and the ability to manage our own preferences, but that's not what they're arguing about. More from the Verge, CNN, the Guardian.
One of the benefits of cloud technology is that it allows you to run your own version of fairly complicated applications with a minimum of cost and effort; all the work is done upfront to create and configure an image, and once that's done, anyone can use that image. And that's what we have here is PeerTube being run in a cloud environment by Jim Groom. PeerTube is like YouTube, except you host it yourself, and it connects to (or 'federates') with other instances of PeerTube. " So, for example,"
says Groom, "can federate my own instance, bava.tv, with ds106.tv and folks who come to either can explore what’s on both. Even better, there’s the ability to provide redundancy so we can back-up each others videos in the event of server issues, take-downs, etc. It’s everything ad-revenue and premium video sharing services are not." there's additional note to this article here.
I attended Bryan Alexander's session on VR and AR today. For example, there's what ASU is doing with their Dreamscape Learn platform. It felt a lot like the rise of Second Life again, except with more expensive hardware. Roxanne Ripkin asked about social VR, for example, AltSpace, which seems like a step forward. Of course, I am more interested in decentralized federated social VR. A quick search landed me on this resource listing a number of blockchain-based distributed VR networks, including for example Cryptovoxels, Somnium Space, and The Sandbox.
Starting today, Atlas of the Future is offering a series of talks on the future of education. "Every Thursday, for seven weeks, an international expert will connect online to present their ideas about the future of education and answer questions from the public." It's an interesting mix of presenters, a blend of UN experts and educational leaders. The sessions are free and will be available on YouTube.
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