At the end of this week, "ceremonies in Bolivia, Morocco, and the Philippines will mark the conclusion of the Wikimedia Foundation’s flagship teacher training program, 'Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom.'" I think this is interesting on a number of levels - first, it addresses the oft-stated need for teacher training with actual teacher training. Second, it advances the case for using Wikipedia and other Wikimedia products in learning, and so advances the case for open learning resources. And finally, there is the practical benefit of learning how to use digital media in learning generally. You can subscribe to the monthly newsletter if you want to keep track.
This is an interview with Joris van Rossum, who is a publishing consultant, and Lois Jones, peer review manager at the American Psychological Association (APA). The proposal is that a shared taxonomy of peer review is needed. The reason is "the emergence of new review models which are loosely labelled as ‘open peer review’." These have been defined differently by different agencies. All very fine, and here is the new taxonomy. Just one problem: a large class of what we would call 'open peer review' is reclassified as 'post publication commenting'. But this, I think, has a very different meaning and is, a cynic might say, a diminuation of open peer review being proposed to protect the interests of commercial publishers.
This report (27 page PDF) explores the relation between gender-responsive data protection and data rights and privacy protection through "qualitative interviews with digital rights, gender and sexual justice activists; technical and policy analysts; and legal experts across South Africa." The report looks at the necessary legal framework, research needs, public awareness campaigns for diverse marginalized groups, and the responsibility of the technical community for "carrying out public engagement and sharing information on how their systems work to ensure accountability and trust of AI based innovations."
More grist for the learning styles debate. Suppose you are playing a video game where you're flying something, and you want to go up. Do you push your joystick forward or do you pull it toward you? Are you sure? Whatever you picked, a large number of people do it the other way, even to the point of inverting their controls so they push or pull their joystick their preferred way. The big question is: why? Is it something we've learned? Is it an innate preference? Does it depend on the equipment? This article reports on a project "to gain insight into how an individual’s visual perceptual abilities may affect how they interact with both real and virtual environments." Why? "Understanding these sorts of individual differences can help us better predict where to place important information."
Traditional blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are based on 'proof-of-work', which is a requirement that providers solve long cryptographic problems before being allowed to add new data to the chain. This takes a lot of time and creates a huge processing cost for each transaction, so Ethereum has long been working toward an alternative 'proof-of-stake' requirement. This week marks the beginning of that transition. Announced by Russo-Canadian developer Vitalik Buterin in 2013, Ethereum is intended to be used for a wide range of transactions (including educational records and contracts), not just digital currency.
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