Interesting report that observes that few newspapers use research of any sort (beyond asking each other whether it's a good idea) before implementing paywalls (it's a summary of a recent paper that is not available online (I searched)). The research also looks at the value of paywalls and reports that, even in the success stories, "paywalls most likely will not offset steep losses in advertising revenue." But another report suggests that the real value in paywalls might not be the subscription fees, but rather the user data. Erica Sweeney writes, "demographic data can help publishers tailor and recommend specific content, which could increase subscriptions and the value of content." Of course, this means that as you read your newspaper, your newspaper is reading you.
This is one of the major reasons we have focused on creating a personal application in LPSS. According to this report, "Canadians deeply value privacy, but fear they are losing the control they have over their personal information. It’ s imperative we find ways to enhance that sense of control so that people feel their privacy rights are being respected." It doesn't help that we also discovered this week that Canada's security agency CSEC has been monitoring millions of users' file downloads in an (ostensive) effort to identify terrorists. "Every single thing that you do – in this case uploading/downloading files to these sites – that act is being archived, collected and analyzed."
From the moment an application came into existence that allowed people in the same general area to make anonymous comments to each other it became inevitable that students would use it to criticize a professor (hence, the 'Yik Yak attack'). It is also inevitable that within a few minutes to the incident the Chronicle would publish an article lamenting the behaviour. Steve Kraus describes the coverage (here (the original Chronicle article is paywalled). I won't pretend the behaviour was not offensive and abusive (from the snippets I saw). But I also don't blame the technology for the behaviour - I blame the environment, I blame the entitled students who think there are no limits to their behaviour, I blame a media environment which promotes this sort of behaviour on a daily basis. And how does this help: "The only student so far punished in connection with the Yik Yak incident is one who stepped forward and confessed?" Alex Reid says, " Ultimately some mechanisms of social interaction arise to regulate behavior." Not unless you can remove or kick off the offenders. The trolls and the haters don't bend to social pressure; that's kind of what defines them.
A few talks ago I cause a twitter in the audience by comparing big data analytics to astrology. It was no more than a half-formed thought, but as it turns out I'm not the only one who has had this thought and this author - via the mediation of Thomas Adorno - has given it substance. Robin James writes, "Scaled up in size and in processing power, big data could be the realization of what Adorno called 'the potential danger represented by astrology as a mass phenomenon.'" Their apparent objectivity allow them to be represented as value-neutral - but "astrology rearticulates unfashionable superstitions in the occult, in mysticism, and so on, by presenting them in empirical rather than supernatural terms— star charts and tables, for example. Upgrading the medium in which they are expressed, obsolete social myths gain new life as apparent fact." Just as does big data analytics. "Down-to-earthness is precisely the problem with forecasting: It only ever reproduces society and its most conventional norms, values, and practices. All that data up in the cloud opens no new vistas; it just repackages tired social, political, and economic institutions (white supremacy, capitalism, patriarchy) in new, hip abodes on more seemingly solid ground." Yeow!
It's a sad commentary. Doug Johnson writes, "despite the popularity of the iPad in schools, Chromebooks seem to be making huge inroads. It may well be that because there is one complaint not mentioned above that still persists about the iPad: it is a SOB to manage in an institutional environment that likes control... We in education just don't much care for things we can't control easily." That said - the next time I'm looking for a tablet, I'll be looking for an Android, not Apple. Why? Because Apple maintains tight control of the device, I have to pay pay pay for anything useful, and there's a closed application and content marketplace. Oh, and I can't change the battery.
I love the way the first paragraph of this article cuts straight through to the heart of the issue in a manner that is compelling and evocative. I won't spoil it for you. It's just cracking good writing, and I appreciate that. The article as a whole is less about the three questions and more about the idea that data-driven decisions can be more reliable than human intuition. Of course, I think that human intuition is driven by data, and that it's largely a matter of exposing it to the right information (ie: a discussion between you and your buddies in the s-suite isn't going to cut it). And additionally, data-decision decision-making is more effective when dealing with mass, not individuals. Netflix doesn't care about the 5 percent of users who hate all of its new original series, because they can make an excellent return on the remaining 95 percent. But in disciplines like education and health care, we can't afford to simply throw the 5 percent under the bus. And data leaves us guessing in these cases.
This report should be read if only for the fascinating account of the history of the Carnegie Unit - now known as the 'credit hour' - as a unit of academic measurement. Inside Higher Ed summarizes the rest of the report concisely: "The credit hour is an inadequate unit for measuring student learning. Yet no better replacement for higher education’ s gold standard has emerged, and getting rid of it right now would be risky." I remember back in the 90s writing that time would be replaced as the unit of academic instruction. I thought it would be replaced with knowledge units. But what is a knowledge unit? A competency? This requires a focus on assessment, but as the report authors write, "a great deal of very difficult design, development, and improvement work needs to be done to build the standards and assessments required to make education more transparent and to transform emerging design innovations from compelling concepts to sources of educational rigor at scale."
Join the EDEN Community (video invitation) in the inspiring city of Barcelona to share your research, projects and practice at the 2015 EDEN Annual Conference - #EDEN15. Networking and interactivity, sharing and discussion will be core aspects of the conference experience, focusing on what you can learn from and with your peers.
In collaboration with:
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Magical and innovative - Barcelona, the City of Marvels:
On 15-16 January, EDEN President Antonio Teixeira hosted a meeting in Lisbon at the Universidade Aberta with with EADTU President and Dutch Open University Rector Anja Oskamp. The co-operation of the two leading European associations in open, distance and e-learning has entered a new phase since last year and the Presidents' meetings became regular. The consultations about the European policies and actual developments will result activities with benefits for the membership of both EDEN and EADTU in 2015.
EDEN is pleased to inform you that thanks to a recent Agreement, EURODL articles are now also published on the sophisticated electronic content hosting and distribution platform of the De Gruyter Open company. The first isssue with this new service has just been released. The European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning – EURODL is an open-access peer-reviewed learned journal on distance and e-learning distributed on the Internet and indexed by ERIC, DOAJ, Cabells, EBSCO. The newly published full articles are:
Antonio Teixeira invited EDEN Vice-President Airina Volungeviciene to write us today's guest blog post. She recently represented EDEN at the “Mapping the European MOOC Territory” conference, held in Porto. Read the full posts as well as his previous and the former presidents's, Executive Committee members' blog posts at the President's blog.
TALOE Webinars, CARER+ Final Conference, Open Discovery Space Summer School, LACE Learn Live events, many more news: read about latest research findings, newsletters and valuable events related to e-learning practices and applied ICT supported learning here. Currently running projects here.
In this podcast, Jisc's Allen Crawford-Thomas shares his five tips for getting technology use embedded in colleges, looking at good practice in Henley College, South Worcestershire College, Hereford Sixth Form College and South Staffordshire College. Links mentioned in the podcast can be found in Allen's original blog.
Jisc is searching for a leading figure from the UK higher or further education arena to take on the role of Jisc chair.
As the education and research sectors own body for digital technology, Jisc is one of the most important components in the sector's success. The role and leadership contribution of the chair is crucial in enabling the charity to continue to deliver in this respect.
Jisc is looking for someone with:
A strong track record of leading boards in complex contexts
Significant experience of strategy and financial management
A good understanding of the role Jisc plays
The commitment necessary to drive forward Jisc’s business model with energy
“We are looking for a new chair to follow in the immensely successful footsteps of Professor Sir Tim O’Shea and more recently Professor Martin Hall. There is now the opportunity to contribute directly to the future success of Jisc.
This position will play a key part in the next steps for the organisation and we are excited to have the opportunity to welcome a new enthusiastic individual to our board.”
Special thanks is due to Martin Hall, who will be retiring shortly from the position of chair. During his tenure he contributed considerable time, passion and vision to Jisc and the delivery of our mission: to enable people in education and research to perform at the forefront of international practice by exploiting fully the possibilities of modern digital technology.
If you are interested in applying for the post to lead the board of Jisc, to help universities and colleges harness the potential of digital approaches for their individual and collective advantage, please contact Susan Ehmann for an information pack.
Closing date for receipt of applications: 18 February 2015.
We're at BETT 2015 this week chairing the Technology in Higher Education Summit - a space for higher education professionals to share ideas, future-gaze and streamline technology decision-making. In this podcast, Jisc's Tim Marshall discusses the findings from a day of sessions on the topic of 'maintaining your institution's competitiveness'.
We're at BETT 2015 this week chairing the Technology in Higher Education Summit - a space for higher education professionals to share ideas, future-gaze and streamline technology decision-making. In this podcast, Jisc's Sarah Davies discusses the findings from a day of sessions on the topic of 'Developing pedagogy', and Esther Barrett tells us what caught her eye around the exhibition.
In the recent article “Simulating Learning Networks in a Higher Education Blogosphere – At Scale“, Fridolin Wild and Steinn Sigurdarson introduce into a simulation model built from the iCamp trial data and educational model assumption: they wanted to see what would happen, if trials are scaled up an order of magnitude. The simulation results are [...]
One year after we succesfully went through iCamp project’s last official review, we are wirting down a new post for wellcoming a new version of our Handbook. This is the time for its Spanish version, issued by Win-Win Consultores, with the financial support of the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Turism under its “avanza2” [...]
The iCamp partner AGH – the University of Science and Technology in Krakow, Poland, has published recently a Polish version of the iCamp handbook on how to use social software in education. Please click here to get the electronic version.
Since the iCamp experience was very successful in making use of new media for cross-cultural collaboration iCamp competes for the MEDEA Awards, respecively in the European Collaboration Award.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed!
We now received the final review report where our external reviewers commend us on our excellent work and our valuable contribution to European research in Technology Enhanced Learning.
Here are some quotes from the report, which can also be downloaded:
… In the opinion of the reviewers the products and outcomes of the project are of considerable [...]