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    Stephen Downes, stephen@, Casselman Canada


    Why Learning Design Should Incorporate Spacing

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    I certainly feel the effects of what Hermann Ebbinghaus described as the "forgetting curve". For me, it's a case of "use it or lose it". You can see this effect in action in the first 20 minutes of this video where I try to remember how to create an Ubuntu container. Crazy. I felt like a novice again. So I understand the reason for saying "learning design should incorporate spacing". You want people to keep going back to what they've previously covered. But here's the thing. If you're not actually using the stuff you learned at the start of the course later on in the course, then why did you learn the stuff at the start of the course? It seems to me that 'spacing' is just a response to bad course design. It's what you do if there really was no reason to learn the stuff, but it's in there anyway.

    Today: 39 Total: 39 Vidya Rajagopal, Upside Learning Blog, 2022/06/13 [Direct Link]

    How Science Fuels a Culture of Misinformation

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    The problems described in this paper exist not only in our field but in pretty much every endeavour. Journals compete for readers and page views, authors for media mentions and H-values, and so scientific publishing is pushed toward the salacious and the sensational. With technical jargon and university press releases fueling the fire, it's not surprising so many people misinterpret so much science. What's the solution? To ban preprints or one-paragraph scientific 'letters'? No, science depends on open communication. A system of registered reports that would revolve not around the outcome but around the process? Maybe. It might not be profitable, but I think the answer is this: scientists publish anything and everything, these contributions are reviewed by scientific boards after the fact, and only those very few that are recognized as such receive the stamp of 'discoveries'.

    Today: 36 Total: 36 Joelle Renstrom, Open Mind, 2022/06/13 [Direct Link]

    Am I on the IndieWeb yet?

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    My introduction to WebMentions was to write code that completely supported the W3C specification only to find it wasn't working because there's so much more you have to do, like set up h-cards, remove duplicates, and block self-references. Miriam Suzanne writes, " I'm an experienced web developer, and I can figure it out. But the steps aren't simple, and most of my friends are not web developers. So, to me, this all feels like the prototype of an idea – a proof of concept." I think that's right. The concept makes so much sense. But documentation like this isn't helping anyone. Via Geoff Graham.

    Today: 38 Total: 38 Miriam Suzanne, 2022/06/13 [Direct Link]

    Why the return to the office isn’t working

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    OK, I know schools aren't the same as the office. And also that not everybody works in an office. But as this story makes clear, there's no going back to the way things used to be. "I don't gain anything besides a commute," says one employee. "I see a lot of these ads for these teamwork apps — they always show these pictures of people sitting at a conference table and they have paper and all sorts of things on the wall and they're really collaborating on product development or something," Melissa said. "And I'm like, that's not what we're doing." In 20 years at NRC I did the wall-and-paper based collaboration thing maybe a total of five days. Even if we wanted to, the building just isn't set up for that. For me, going to the office means driving for 40 minutes, sitting in my office all day, maybe having a meeting in a tiny cramped videoconferencing room, then driving home. Amenities - like the building's cafeteria - were removed long before I arrived. I have no plans to ever return to the office. I would imagine there are students who have no plans to ever return to the campus. I wouldn't.

    Today: 42 Total: 42 Rani Molla, Vox, 2022/06/13 [Direct Link]

    Google engineer put on leave after saying AI chatbot has become sentient

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    I'm definitely taking Blake Lemoine's claim with a grain of salt. The Google engineer "described the system he has been working on since last fall as sentient, with a perception of, and ability to express thoughts and feelings that was equivalent to a human child." OK, maybe not. Judge for yourself. But what's more concerning here is Google's reaction after he released a transcript of the conversations. "Google said it suspended Lemoine for breaching confidentiality policies by publishing the conversations with LaMDA online, and said in a statement that he was employed as a software engineer, not an ethicist." In other words, says Ton Zijlstra, "the engineer should not worry about ethics, they've got ethicists on the payroll for that. Worrying about ethics is not the engineer's job."

    Today: 58 Total: 58 Richard Luscombe, The Guardian, 2022/06/13 [Direct Link]

    Escaping The Web's Dark Forest

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    This is a terrific article from last fall that deserves more exposure (and gets it here via Jan Boddez). In a nutshell, it starts with a discussion of why the author has chosen to work less openly online, and evolves into a discussion of 'system 1' versus 'system 2' thinking, how the former finds enemies lurking around every corner, and how social media made this the default ("when something is easy, people will do more of it"). It talks briefly at the end of alternative 'friend of a friend' models. For a contrasting view, this episode of yesterday makes the point that the web's dystopia is not caused (and solved) by technological factors, but by human ones. To me, the question is (and has always been) how we put limits on the excesses of scale-free networks.

    Today: 61 Total: 61 Steve Lord, Tales FromThe Dork Web, 2022/06/13 [Direct Link]

    Ethics, Analytics and the Duty of Care

    This MOOC covers all applications of analytics in learning, surveys criticisms, describes ethical approaches, and examines the ethics of analytics with a view to recent ethical theory.

    Connectivism

    This paper presents an overview of connectivism, offering a connectivist account of learning and a detailed analysis of how learning occurs in networks.
    Coronavirus / Covid19 quick reference kit, to take your class or conference online cheaply and in a hurry:

    Creating an Online Class or Conference - Quick Tech Guide

    Stephen Downes works with the Digital Technologies Research Centre at the National Research Council of Canada specializing in new instructional media and personal learning technology. His degrees are in Philosophy, specializing in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science. He has taught for the University of Alberta, Athabasca University, Grand Prairie Regional College and Assiniboine Community College. His background includes expertise in journalism and media, both as a prominent blogger and as founder of the Moncton Free Press online news cooperative. He is one of the originators of the first Massive Open Online Course, has published frequently about online and networked learning, has authored learning management and content syndication software, and is the author of the widely read e-learning newsletter OLDaily. Downes is a member of NRC's Research Ethics Board. He is a popular keynote speaker and has spoken in three dozen countries on six continents.

    • The Future of Online Learning 2020, April 28, 2020.

    • TSupporting Open Educational Resources, January 7, 2022.

    • The Agile Approach to Learning Design, Online Educa Berlin, December 7, 2015.

    • Your Instant Decentralized Learning Community, April 6, 2021.

    • The MOOC Ecosystem, Association of Medical Educators of Europe (AMEE) E-Learning Symposium, Glasgow, Scotland, September 6, 2015.

    • LMS vs PLE, July 10, 2012.

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    Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.

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    Last Updated: Jun 13, 2022 4:30 p.m.