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D-Cent, European Union, May 21, 2018

D-CENT (Decentralised Citizens ENgagement Technologies) is "a Europe-wide project developing the next generation of open source, distributed, and privacy-aware tools for direct democracy and economic empowerment." "The EU-funded project started in October 2013 and ended in May 2016." Here's the white paper (15 page PDF). The tools include: Decisions, to let people sign up to receive notification of recent decisions; Mooncake, an event notification system; ... [Direct Link]

A/B testing shows that Pavlovian gamification does not work, Donald Clark, Donald Clark Plan B, May 18, 2018

When somebody says "does not work" the first question should be about what counts as "working". Here Donald Clark writes that an A-B test (basically, you compare two interventions side-by-side) shows that "the gamification lesson plan fared worse than non-gamified lesson plans." In the report (20 page PDF) from 2016 the researchers use a platform to conduct "rapid randomized controlled trials (RCT), the evidentiary gold standard of evaluation for assessing ... [Direct Link]

Skills Strategy Implementation Guidance for Portugal, OECD, May 17, 2018

Portugal is a compelling case study for educational development. It's inside Europe and benefits from EU membership. But it faces employment challenges and comparatively low levels of education. This report builds on previous 'diagnostic' studies (pictured) and focuses on what the OECD believes Portugal should do. Some of the recommendations make sense: promote community learning centres, increase the availability of educational opportunities, and especially promote the value of ... [Direct Link]

Myths of Early Math, Douglas H. Clements, Julie Sarama, Education Sciences, May 17, 2018

This is a good article (8 page PDF), and I would say that many of its points can be made about logic and critical thinking as well. What points? Well, "Children can put together what they know and invent ways to solve... problems." They don't need a whole lot of domain knowledge first; they can model the problem in their own terms. Another important point: "good mathematics is about engagement and interest, not drudgery and drill." And another: "High-quality, good ... [Direct Link]

How Can We Trust?, Ashwin J. Mathew, EDUCAUSE Review, May 09, 2018

This is a report from a survey asking respondents "to rate the importance of particular channels for gaining information about new attacks and novel approaches, and we asked how willing they would be to share information across these channels." Even looking at the research it's hard to get a sense of who the participants were, save that (I assume) they were higher education information security experts (see this paper (61 page PDF) starting at page 5). Not surprisingly (I think) ... [Direct Link]

Weak demand forces Springer Nature to cancel 3.2 billion euro float at last minute, Arno Schuetze, Reuters, May 09, 2018

This is a really interesting story, not simply because it shows the weakness of established publishers today, but because the prospectus (426 page PDF) paints a clear picture of the market today. I was most interested in the list of risks (pp. S16-S18 and expanded in much greater detail after p. S54). Among them: declines in subscription renewals, open access publishing, and even the potential failure to attract editorial board members and editors. In an email Joseph Greene points to the ... [Direct Link]

New North-South-South project to be launched: EPICA, eLearning Africa, May 07, 2018

Here's the entire post in eLearning Africa: "EPICA, funded by the European Union research programme Horizon 2020, is a project 2018 - 2020 coordinated by ICDE with 4 partners from Africa and 4 partners from Europe. The project will develop and implement ePortfolio in Sub-Saharan Africa. For more information about the project:" Related: The Learning Portfolio in Higher Education (40 page PDF). [Direct Link]

Transformative Learning and Critical Thinking in Asynchronous Online Discussions: A Systematic Review, Joshua P. DiPasquale, May 07, 2018

A paper published last fall by William Hunter in the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology called  'Critical Thinking in Asynchronous Online Discussions: A Systematic Review' caught my eye. It was is behind a paywall so I'm not even linking to it. But I wanted to follow up and conducted a search hoping to find a free copy of the paper. No luck, but I did find a 2017 dissertation by Bill Hunter's student called 'Transformative Learning and Critical Thinking in ... [Direct Link]

What is RCS, the Successor to SMS?, Cameron Summerson, How-To Geek, May 04, 2018

According to this article, Rich Communication Service (RCS) "is the future of 'texting' on your phone" and for internet messaging in general. While the impact on e-learning technology is a few years away, it's useful to be aware of the coming changes. "This is going to turn text messaging into more of a full chat experience—assuming both users have RCS support....  the Universal Profile (v1.0 237 page PDF; v2.1 289 page PDF)... lays out a general set of ... [Direct Link]

Personal Data has Entered the GDPR Era, CLUSIF, May 02, 2018

Good diagram (one page PDF) outlining the General Data Protection Regulation being implemented in Europe. It's complex but rewards a closer look. The important bits are to the lower left, in the green box, where the specific user rights (or actions) are listed, including the right to be forgotten, the right to object, and the right to disallow automatic processing. There are also limitations on data portability and copying, as well as on downstream uses of the data. The user also has the ... [Direct Link]

The State of Innovation in Higher Education: A Survey of Academic Administrators, Andrew J. Magda, Jill Buban, Online Learning Consortium, The Learning House, Inc., Apr 24, 2018

I'm not sure administrators are the best people to ask about innovation at educational institutions, and they'll say typical things like "Administrators often discuss a top-down approach — the president and provost setting the tone and directive for innovation at the institution — as creating the most success in innovation" (I find that consultants say this sort of thing as well, maybe because they are marketing their services to administrators). But the survey ... [Direct Link]

Open Invitation to Contribute to the Draft OER Recommendation Text, UNESCO, Apr 20, 2018

According to this website, "A draft UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER) text is currently being prepared. This open invitation is to call for inputs on the above-mentioned draft text." You can read the draft on the website (7 page PDF). Note the 'no cost' in the definition: "Open Educational Resources (OERs) are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been ...

Assessing the Potential Toward Open Educational Practices in Kyrgyzstan, Anita R Walz, Jyldyz Bekbalaeva, Open Praxis, Apr 20, 2018

This is the first reference to Kyrgyzstan in the almost 30,000 posts in OLDaily over the last 20 years, and proof that open education has become a completely worldwide phenomenon. According to the abstract, "Analysis of the results revealed a higher than expected gravitation toward student-centered pedagogy than previously assumed. The study also identified broad use of digital downloads as learning materials, conflation of open educational resources with free online resources." ... [Direct Link]

The Future of Well-Being in a Tech-Saturated World, Janna Anderson, Lee Rainie, Pew, Apr 17, 2018

According to this survey (92 page PDF) of internet experts, "Some 47% of these respondents predict that individuals’ well-being will be more helped than harmed by digital life in the next decade, while 32% say people’s well-being will be more harmed than helped. The remaining 21% predict there will not be much change." Count me as being among the 47%. Yes, the internet helps people do bad things. And these get all the headlines. But the internet also helps people do good ... [Direct Link]

Creative Problem Solving, Adobe, Apr 16, 2018

Adobe has released a study (64 page PDF) that appears to be based on a survey of 'policymakes and influencers' and 'educators' (their terms) from the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Japan. The premise is to higjlight the importance of teaching creativity in schools, to suggest it's not happening as much as it should, and to identify the reasosn why (which are mostly related to policy, access to technology, and training). Maybe Adobe could consider lowering some prices to ... [Direct Link]

The Use of E-Textiles in Ontario Education, Janette Hughes, Laura Jane Morrison, Canadian Journal of Education, Apr 11, 2018

"E-textiles, or electronic textiles, refer to 'fabric artifacts that include embedded computers and other electronics'." E-textile programs are now be implemented in some Ontario schools. It's a pretty new part of e-learning, though research dates back to 2012 or so. The authors report (29 page PDF) that e-textiles have been associated with the rise of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) learning in schools. Anyhow, the focus of the current ... [Direct Link]

Humans Wanted, Royal Bank of Canada, Apr 11, 2018

The gist of this report (44 page PDF) is that while technology is eliminating a lot of jobs, it won't eliminate work. But we have to be aware of what new skills and abilities the future workplace will require. Among the skills considered most important: active listening, speaking, and critical thinking. The first was a bit of a surprise - but was also the key skill I used in my last two research projects. You should read the Tony Bates summary, as he uses more words than I can here and ... [Direct Link]

Dimensional Modelling by Example, Barry Williams, Mar 21, 2018

This short book (132 page PDF) contains an overview of the concept of 'dimensional modeling' and then a ton of examples. You can find the origin of dimensional modelling in Ralph Kimball's 1997 Manifesto. "The data that can be measured are called the ‘Facts’ and they are stored with the things that can be measured by, which are called the the ‘Dimensions’." These are also sometimes referred to as 'data marts'. The point here is to support &#... [Direct Link]

An Online Engagement Framework for Higher Education, Petrea Redmond, Amanda Heffernan, Lindy Abawi, Alice Brow, Robyn Henderson, online learning, Mar 20, 2018

This paper (22 page PDF) identifies a set of five major types of online engagement in courses based on a literature search looking at student attitudes, beliefs and actions. The types are: social, cognitive, emotional, behavioural and collaborative engagement. It then identifies indicators for each type of engagement; for example, signs of social engagement might include 'building community, creating a sense of belonging, developing relationships or establishing trust." The authors ... [Direct Link]

No Significant Difference - Unless you are a Jumper, Craig Ruff, Richard J Fendler, Milind Shrikhande, online learning, Mar 20, 2018

The well-documented 'no significant difference' phenomenon (NSD) is the observation that the delivery mode does not impact learning outcomes. The proposition tested in this paper (22 page PDF) is the idea that while NSD may hold in the aggregate, it varies at the individual level. It looks at literature suggesting differences in things like course decisions, aptitudes, and learning styles might result in differences in outcome. The authors model these differences for about 500 ... [Direct Link]

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