This is an interesting article where Martin Hawksey reports from his new job, but I want to highlight his "big thought", extracted from an MIT Technology Review article: "Even as the world rapidly embraces more and more complex technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), it’s still the human connection that gets our attention. That makes emotional intelligence (EQ) more important than ever." I don't think this follows. I mean, first, it's not like it's an either-or. We can be (and should be) interested in both. And second, it's not like the human connection is exactly a new arrival. We've been doing it for a long time. We're been talking about things like 'immersion', 'engagement' and 'presence' for a long time. So it isn't clear how it suddenly becomes more important than it was in the past.
Although "one college student per village" may not sound like much, I can easily imagine its importance (I can still remember the impact of our 'one college student', Duff Crerar, from the time I attended school in rural Ontario; I fginally met him years later when I was teaching at Grande Prairie Regional College in Alberta) and also note that it's the tip of a wider presence. Like this: "As local residents are mainly engaged in agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery, the University developed learning resources, which can be easily accessed via mobile applications from anywhere, including while working in the field or on the farm." Again, it doesn't seem like much, but the difference between having and not having answers when you need them is huge.
This article promotes the Aurora Institute as "a leading advocate for CBE" and makes the case for its definition of competency-based education (CBE). The idea is that students learn using "individual learning pathways... using different schema and varied pacing... (and) have agency over learning decisions," see assessment as "meaningful, positive, and empowering" and "are provided with common, rigorous expectations for learning." I see this as still focused on the content (even if we define the content as a 'skill' or 'competency'). I mean - it's OK to have education that supports skills, etc., but is this the main thing? Sure, it's more important than seat time - but what isn't? It's more important than "point-chasing treadmill that focuses more on arbitrary carrots & sticks such as homework grades, extra credit, participation grades, reductions for late work, etc.," but again, what isn't? I guess I see CBE as better than what we have, but not exactly the end goal. Competencies are a means to an endd, not an end in themselves, and that's the thing to focus on when talking about CBE.
This is mostly just a clip from a much longer New York Times article where Ezra Klein interviews science fiction writer Ted Chiang. There's some good stuff in the interview (for example: what would a comic where the superhero opposes the status quo look like?) but it being the Times readers might have trouble accessing it. The key point in the excerpt is expressed in the headline. "It’s not that technology fundamentally is about putting people out of work. It’s capitalism that wants to reduce costs and reduce costs by laying people off" (my emphasis). I know the two are often presented hand in hand, but it's not the case, and people like me, at least, spend a lot of time thinking about how tech can make people's lives better, safer and more secure.
While I was studying the article I mentioned the other day on adding structured data to Canada.ca web pages I noticed the use of '@type' in the JSON example. Today I say the same sort of thing in an example on the ODRL mailing list. It's not JSON itself, of course, it's JSON Linked Data (JSON-LD). OK, I knew about that, but what's the '@type' notation? Well, JSON-LD is designed to be compatible with RDF, and the '@' symbol is used to point to schemas as defined (usually) at schema.org. So, for example, if we have "@type": "Hotel" then what we mean is 'Hotel' as defined by https://schema.org/Hotel. This article explains all that (and I found it surprisingly hard to find when I was searching).
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