This post is a translation of a letter by a group of Italian teachers warning of the dangers of handing over the responsibility for online learning to private interests and "to push the government to finally invest in the creation of a public infrastructure based on free software for scientific communication and teaching." As I've learned though my own career, that's a hard sell, as there are commercial interests at stake who will not easily let go of such a lucrative market, and yet the dangers pointed to in the letter are real.
According to this article, "unless a student was personally motivated to behave and learn, there really was very little anyone else could do except offer advice." In other words, "Inevitably, and universally, it is the student who is responsible for their thinking, behaviour and learning." This is the core concept of what is described here as 'Responsibility Theory' and attributed to William Glasser. There's an aspect of it, at least as presented here, that feels a bit cult-leaderish, with talk of their 'powerhouse' and as when the teacher says "let’s read the question together once more and then we’ll look at six important answers that can help you change your life" (their italics). On the other hand, the idea of avoiding power struggles between teacher and student feels to me like a good one, especially struggles you can't win, as is usually the case with online learning.
Under legislation being introduced today in Canada, firms that violate privacy could face fines and other costs. It would also give the privacy commissioner "the ability to force an organization to comply and to order a company to stop collecting data or using personal information." And it would include a Canadian version of the 'right to be forgotten'. Michael Geist calles it Canada's GDPR Moment (he also has the most detailed coverage of the legislation). More from the Financial Post, Ottawa Matters.
On Friday I wrote about Apple computers telling Apple abouit programs you run. A reader writes "you’ve over-inflated what actually happened here." This article appears to confirm the 'phone home' aspect of Apple, but says the author was wrong in some of the details, eg. It doesn't send a message every time, just some of the time, and it sends a developer hash, not a program hash. The bug, an issue with the fail open works, was noted in the original article. These are fair enough criticisms, though of course I don't know how to verify one way or another. But I think I still agree with the tenor of the original article, even if the criticisms are accurate. But of course there's no reason you should agree with me, and so I link to this article and also the privacy protections section on the Apple Support page, which the reader also sent me. Image: Little Snitch.
I saw an item in my feed reader from Mark Pegrum titled 'Attentional Literacy As A New Literacy' in CJLT, but it just resulted in a link error (so I assume it was from a forthcoming issue? here is the link - good luck). In view of the item on 'feedback literacy' - another new type of literacy - I thought I'd note it anyway. I searched on Google and found a lonely article by Christy I. Wenger with just 1 mention - but it was behind a paywall, so no link here either. I had better luck with preprint by Sarah Hartman-Caverly, who says "Attentional autonomy and attentional literacy are proposed as remedies for the attention engineering effects of learning analytics and other persuasive technologies." It's also mentioned in a blog post by Kay Oddone. But it goes back further; Howard Rheingold mentioned it in a blog post in 2009 (via). And Vesa Kornhonen, citing even earlier writers, talks of "appreciative and attentional literacy which means learning to adopt shared thinking and cognition, creative joint inquiry, collaborative way of working, and also joint democraticresponsibility." So I guess it's a thing (though Pegrum may need to change his title). Image: Buffy Hamilton.
Paul Sutton first defined 'feedback literacy' as "the ability to read, interpret and use written feedback." Carless and Doud define it more broadly as "the understandings, capacities and dispositions needed to make sense of information and use it to enhance work or learning strategies." The contribution of the present paper is to propose that there are discipline-specific feedback literacies, and not just one generic feedback literacy. It does this by exploring whether and how feedback literacy is recognized as a graduate outcome in graduate outcome in National Qualifications Frameworks (NQF) or Subject Benchmark Statements (SBS). The authors found "minimal evidence (with the exception of ‘making judgements’) of the identification of feedback literacy" within these statements, but undaunted, assert that this "indicates that critical discussion is needed over the importance of these skills for interpersonal and professional functioning." Image: Carless.
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