Monday, December 17, 2012

Undignified Social Media

(apologies for weird formatting)

Alex Hayes wrote:

I'm noting a substantial shift in what I have decided is aggressive
marketing on LinkedIns behalf.

Ignore privately?

Repeatedly send me reminders that someone has friended me?

Despite numerous attempts to quell this unending stream it is the
faceless communication that causes me to imagine deleting the
application out of my life altogether.

Your experiences similar?

I replied:
Yeh I get this rubbish from LinkedIn as well. As well as notifications that person X has verified that I have skills in Y that I didn't even include in my LinkedIn profile. They are doing as Google 
does, as noted by Eli Pariser in The  Filter Bubble - trying to turn us into the person they think 
we want to be.
Of course Facebook does it par excellence. Podomatic does it, YouTube does it, Twitter does
it. It's all so undignified. All these social media sites clamouring over each other trying to get usto divulge more and more of who we are and what we do and believe so they can on-sell the aggregated data to third parties for profit and suck in more advertisers. It used to be so excitingbeing part of social media out there on the cutting edge but it's become well and truly mainstream and is now just an irritating pain. But that's now what we've got. Business models that capitalise on the bits and bytes of our activity.
Interesting to note that some social media sites DO NOT do this - Flickr, Delicious, Blogger to name a few.
What do I do about these annoying pestering exhortations to check out what my network is up to? Ignore them and delete and sigh.

Monday, December 10, 2012

IDEA12 Conference Notes

Keynote Speaker: Erik Duval (Catholic University, Leuven, Belgium)

Erik was clearly invited to provoke and stir things up. His talk had 3 foci:

1) Open Learning
2) the end of the LMS
3) Learning Analytics

Open Learning

He is a member of the Ariadne Foundation, and GLOBEa one-stop-shop for learning resource broker organizations, each of them managing and/or federating one or more learning object repositories.

His Engineering classes are completely open.

- tries to prepare his students to solve problems that don't exist yet with technology that doesn't exist yet.

Q: "what does training for an unknowable future mean? what does it look like?

  • In short they should die! They block innovation and are closed to the rest of the web. Discourage collaboration between organisations and across geographical borders.
  • In Erik's classes the learning platform is the open web.
Learning Analytics: 
  • data that students leave behind that can be tracked to improve their learning
  • can be used to track all manner of web activity: blogs, Twitter, ie including non-LMS activity.
  • uses Engagor: a commercial tool that offers social media analysis, including sentiment analysis - a description of the mood of blogs, Tweets based on language used! (Engagor have free 14 day trial).
  • Recommended Resource: Public Parts by Jeff Jarvis
"A visionary and optimistic thinker examines the tension between privacy and publicness that is transforming how we form communities, create identities, do business, and live our lives."

Panel: Challenges and opportunities for digital learning

Matt Farmer (Dept of Ed and Early Childhood Development - Victoria)
"Challenges can't be solved in the old ways."
" The new challenge is disruptive change."

We need to stop presenting information about the new world operating around the world of education as a cautionary tale about some future time because it is here now. Things are already, chaotic. messy and challenging. In the New Game

  • disruption is normal
  • one needs to harness the wisdom and power of the crowd
  • we need to explore new business models


Ramona Pierson - How predictive decision support is changing the face of schooling OR
Big Data: Powering the Change we need
  • investing in education has pronounced effect on GDP
  • Africa is world's #1 user/developer of 5G wireless
  • "the world is exploding with content"
  • technology is changing children cognitively; re plasticity of brain
  • there's the 'transformative' word again...
  • 70% of US prison population have LL an N problems
  • degrees are a buffer against poverty (of course there are other factors at play here)
  • we continue trying to maintain a book based system..."system change is a necessity" "we have to change our teaching practices" - become guides; facilitators more often
  • govts and corps need people with 21st century skills
What's next? How do we move forward?
  • help teachers become more effective mentors/guides - HOW DO YOU DO THIS???
  • part of it is customizing the delivery
  • use  data to show learning needs of kids/students??? - think she's advocating Learning Analytics and/or via APIs that track/monitor/advocate data; and algorithms - v much a tech solution to better/more effective learning
  • capture interests by taking students to places they cannot easily go - (harder to do the less proficient students are proficient with technology)

[what are 21st c skills?? (again!)] See  below...

PANEL SESSION: Authentic Assessment and Learning Analytics (Duval et al)

why does everyone want to talk about assessment all the time???? my first task is to teach - help students learn!!!! (Duval); assessment comes later (couldn't agree more.)

Group Discussion:
  • what are the drivers for the assessment driven model? are they still appropriate? (Gary Putland) - accountability/risk aversion/efficiency/bang for buck
  • observation from group member: until 21c skills are assessed lecturers will ignore them
  • q from audience: will assessment become something based on observation, against student created criteria? (rather than externally imposed standards)

Patrick Griffin (Executive Director of the Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills project)

More on 21st century skills here. Very expensive book available here.

PANEL SESSION: Engaging learners in a digital world: Identity, Devices and other matters

Ruth Wallace (CDU) - Engaging Learners in a Digital World
  • In indigenous north the new season is thought to have arrived when the weather changes! Not because it's March!
  • technology represents a linear version of knowledge - not true IMO; networked learning is quite rhizomic  


New Models of Content Delivery - VijayKumar (MIT) beamed in via vc link;  describes himself as an educational futurist (!)
  • Opportunities for change
  • educational costs are increasing
  • new forms of knowledge and information
  • increasing numbers of non-trad students
  • we are witnessing the intersection of Technology (networks, software, data, devices, community) and Open (tools, resources, content) 
Open resources does not mean they are of inferior quality. Some examples:
Point: MIT have a great deal quality software that adds depth to their open materials
  • Network and open > new ways of configuring the learning experience (cf Weller)
  • David Wiley's 4 Rs of open: remix, revise, reuse, redistribute
  • Access, cost and quality - this combo has been disrupted by MOOCS (John Daniels)
  • NOTE: what do we keep from the old model of education???
Q: Why is Open Content NOT a threat to traditional education?
A: Because an industry can be built around it???? offers opportunities; not a threat if you can figure how to change! 

Carl Ruppin (in place of Delia Browne) - Copyright Law Reform and OER; Slides

  • are existing copyright laws now irrelevant? blocking use of OER resources? yes, and they are too complex
  • content in digital environment is promiscuous
  • in Australia the compulsory fees to Copyright Ausralia (CAL) means nothing is free in the educational  world (unlike other countries); students can do 'reasonable' things for free; teachers cannot
  • "current copyright laws are broken"; reform needed, and OER plays a part in this
  • Australian law Reform Commission is currently conducting a review of copyright law
  • we need to future proof the copright act for the digital economy

Nigel Ward (Uni of Melbourne)
  • (national eresearch on collab, tools and resources)
  • building several virtual labs
  • this is about big data and big science (Astronomy), but also Humanities Network Project - will allow new forms of research across disciplines {check HUNIdatasets}
  • building a research cloud (which is now live)

NBN Education Trials

Debra Panizzon (Monash), and Nathan Bailey ( - Virtual Science

(the better the connection/video - the closer you feel to the action ie more connected, less peripheral, not just an observer)
  • class connecting kids around Australia but taught from Melbourne - mvp! - uses Webex, and video conferencing
  • they want to produce science creators
  • [occurs to me that science can benefit from NBN more than humanities ? (except see Music below!)]

OHSGame - White Card - Mark O'Rourke (Victoria Uni)
  • suitable for VET learners who are more visual than verbal
  • games are good for education because they present challenges in the 'zone of proximal development' that are achievable; and you get immediate response

Dror Ben-Naim (Smart Sparrow) BEST Network - Biomedical Education Skills and Training Network
  • product is an example of adaptive tech - adapts to needs of ind students
  • allows educators to create highly interactive 'multimedia' content, data rich; uses  national medical image bank

Colin Cornish - Australian Youth Orchestra
  • they run short residential courses where people can play together ie music can be a collaborative process
  • NBN will allow people in regional areas - esp those with large instruments! - to audition locally rather than have to travel to capital city - mostly for teaching purposes
  • access to master classes; could hone into rehearsal of orchestras, with conductor comments, etc

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Inspiring Event

Went to an Adelaide Netsquared event recently to listen to speakers in four separate locations in a Google Hangout hookup between Adelaide, Melbourne, Auckland and Wellington. Tom Hawkins intro'd the session and made reference to co-working spaces.

Will from Melbourne was the next speaker talking about the Global Poverty Project. Aiming to "gangify resistance to global poverty." Referred to an app now available from Global Citizen.

John in Wellington followed talking about Loomio (an open source tool for collaborative decision making), and Enspiral - a platform to increase the numbers of people working on 'big problems'.

Another Will from Melbourne spoke about Squareweave and the quest to redirect more money to charity. He predicted that the next fast growing industry on the Net will be harnessing big data. Quote: "anonymous giving to charity doesn't fly with the young generation!" They want us and their friends to know about it!

Evan in Adelaide then spoke about Our World Today, an alternative media outlet that focuses on positive stories. (In contrast to mainstream media which has conflict as a core value.)

Other site mentioned:

Just inspiring to sit and listen to a bunch of people using the web for good And all of them were under 35.


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