The title of this latest edition of Andy Marken's newsletter makes me think of AIs creating content and AIs viewing that content in a cycle of production that gets weirder and weirder over time. It's not quite that bad, but he does describe a movie called “Sunspring,” produced in 2016, that was written, directed, and even given a musical interlude by an AI. "If you’re kind," he writes, "you call it an incoherent sci-fi B-movie that had all of the elements – intrigue, romance, murder, a dark future world – but fell short … far short." Maybe, but it doesn't follow that quality content won't be produced by AI, only that it hasn't been yet. I would expect more and more of the job to be handled by automated systems in the near future. And even if not, this post shows a number of ways AI is already influencing content production, from constructing compelling reasons to to diversity your content to showing that it's cheaper to crash a real 747 than it is to do it by CGI.
According to the author, learning analytics "is seldom used to support collaborative learning particularly in face-to-face (F2F) learning contexts," something this paper hopes to correct. Specifically, the analytics in question here provide support for collaborative argumentation. What that means is that a group of people works together in order to jointly create an argument, with each person contributing their own perspectives and ideas. The analytics engine in this case would do more that just help them visualize their argument, it would also analyze it and provide feedback. This student develops a F2F collaborative argumentation (FCA) dashboard and solicits student responses to it.
An application programming interface (API) is a source of third-party data web applications can access. A good example is a weather API; your dashboard application could connect to the API and input real-time weather information, which you can then display however you want. This specific service is an API that lists public APIs. You can see it at work in the Public APIs web page, which helps you search for APIs (or just browse through the entire list). The potential set of applications for education and development applications is limited only by your imagination. Some more examples: a job board aggregator, Associated Press, the laws of British Columbia, CORE database of open access research papers, GMail, and so on and on. Here's the GitHub for it, in case you want to build your own.
RedwoodJS is a router used to support serverless web applications. It has two parts, a 'frontend' which is the web interface users use to enter commands and view results, and a 'backend', with is the API interface it uses to route these commands to requests to cloud services such as databases or file storage applications. Last week I explored Redwood in some detail, following an article on CSS-Tricks and producing a three-hour-video installing and configuring Redwood to produce a simple serverless web site. The video isn't a set of instructions - it is a documentation of my efforts to understand follow the instructions, showing me 'working out loud', and giving you a glimpse into my thought processes as I reason my way through what was often incomplete and sometimes incorrect instructions.
This is a measure of 'flourishing' created by The Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University's Institute for Quantitative Social Science. Probably the closest thing to compare it to is the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI), and I would position this as a conservative alternative, because it adds measures of 'meaning', 'character' and 'close social relationships'. The 'measures' in this supposedly quantitative assessment are in all cases based on self-assessment (for example, "I always act to promote good in all circumstances, even in difficult and challenging situations?"). More usefully, there are also activities you can take to promote flourishing (as defined by them). See also UPenn, Authentic Happiness, which is cited at various times.
This is a short post with some useful photos demonstrating a standing set-up for remote teaching. Why would you stand? Well, it provides more flexibility in using other tools, for example, the whiteboard behind you. For myself, I tend to stay seated, but then I never use a whiteboard.
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