Landing : Athabascau University

Activity

  • An article for Aeon by Jon Tennant on the heinous state of affairs that gives unscrupulous publishers profit margins that put Apple to shame while hiding publicly funded research from the public that pays for it. It is a shamefully broken system...
  • Jon Dron commented on the blog Office 365 June 23, 2018 - 11:25am
    I totally agree, Mike, both about O365 and the Landing. I'm not so worried about the bugginess and annoying features of O365 as I am about its cavalier attitude to standards and the fact that we are locked in, totally beholden to whatever Microsoft...
  • Sadly published behind a paywall (but, happily, also available at SciHub) this is a fascinating sequence of studies from Hafenbrack & Voh that, firstly, appears to demonstrate that mindfulness (meditative practice) actively reduces...
    Comments
    • Joh,

      I really appreciated your detailed response to this paper,especially your comments on this study employing a behaviorist model, as well your discussion the experiences connected with mindfulness.

      Thanks.

      Gerald

      Gerald Ardito July 4, 2018 - 11:32pm

  • The BBC's Shipping Forecast is one of the great binding traditions of British culture that has been many a Brit's lullaby since time immemorial (ie. long before I was born). Though I never once paid attention to its content in all the decades I...
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  • Jon Dron commented on the file Jon Dron May 29, 2018 - 3:44pm
    Hi Jeff - sorry for the delay, lots going on. I'm aiming to have marking finished by the end of this week so you shouldn't have to wait much longer! best Jon  
  • I thought this might be of interest to this group...  
  • Thanks Jennifer. Daniel Pink uses self-determination theory a lot in his writing. My personal favourite writer and speaker on the topic is Alfie Kohn. His book 'Punished by Rewards' should be required reading for all parents, teachers and...
  • Thanks Jennifer! The cooperative teaching pattern involves people doing things for their own benefit and sharing them, as distinct from a collaborative pattern in which a group works together for a common goal. It's the only way to do the social...
  • Sure, Daryl - A traditional LMS course is quite static. Apart from in limited microhabitats like FAQs and forums, mostly the environment reflects the teacher's (or course team's) own design decisions. If it changes, it is because the design team...
  • Terrible network problems, sorry - if this fails, try https://t.co/lPcC8U73Qq - works for me.  
  • Reposted after technical difficulties first time round... Slides from my talk at the International Federation of National Teaching Fellows World Summit 2018 in Halifax, NS, May 2018. In this I discuss the motivational strengths and weaknesses of...
    Comments
    • >>...because it is very rare for two people to be at the same point and working at the same pace. 

      Ah that makes sense with my experience so far as well as it's not just students having different start times, but also some may do five courses a semester taking 4-6 months whereas some may try to complete one course every month or two.

      >>If students are doing things that interest them and are not being too overtly manipulated, rewarded or punished (which is death to intrinsic motivation)...

      So agreed. I really enjoyed Daniel Pink's talks years ago on the limits of carrot and stick motivation as well as a couple of his books I read during a post grad certificate in Career Development.

      And likewise, I've especially been enjoying project-based courses such as COMP444 and your COMP266. Being able to choose a project and focus of research/learning (providing we map to the learning objectives) is much more satisfying and engaging than, for example, courses where the exams are 100% multiple choice requiring regurgitating facts rather than applying knowledge or doing any real thinking.

      Also, thank you for the links. I have bookmarked them for now, but will surely read them once I've made more progress on COMP266. :)

      Jennifer Davies May 10, 2018 - 6:08pm

    • Thanks Jennifer. Daniel Pink uses self-determination theory a lot in his writing. My personal favourite writer and speaker on the topic is Alfie Kohn. His book 'Punished by Rewards' should be required reading for all parents, teachers and educational administrators, I think, but virtually all his work is brilliant.

       

      Jon Dron May 10, 2018 - 8:30pm

    • Nice. I recognize some of those book titles/topics, but don't believe I've read any of them as of yet. Thank you for the suggestion -- it's really thoughtful of you. :)

      And now I'm trying to decide whether next to take COMP306 (as I'm currently doing a Lynda.com course on C++) or get Punished by Rewards and take EDPY200 Educational Psych for my Learning Tech minor.

      (C++ will probably win out due to timing...unless I go with a 3rd option and work on some core CIS courses. hehe)

      Edit: I'm going to sign up for that C++ course now. As I'm already working on the Lynda.com course, it will be nice to have the assignments for COMP306 to work on at the same time. :)

      Jennifer Davies May 10, 2018 - 8:50pm

  • Slides from my talk at the International Federation of National Teaching Fellows World Summit 2018 in Halifax, NS, May 2018. In this I discuss the motivational strengths and weaknesses of self-paced courses for both learners and teachers, and ways...
    Comments
    • Hi Jon,

      I am having the same problem with the file.

      Gerald Ardito May 4, 2018 - 1:45pm

    • Terrible network problems, sorry - if this fails, try https://t.co/lPcC8U73Qq - works for me.

       

      Jon Dron May 5, 2018 - 7:09am

    • Jon,

      I was able to access thepresentation at last.

      I really enjoyed it and appreciated the informal nature of the presentation, which seemed really appropriate to talking about a learning environment that learns.

      I found this piece  earlier this week. I was struck by (and related to) the description of teachers has typically very little autonomy. 

      Gerald Ardito May 5, 2018 - 8:28am

  • One thing that bothers me a bit about TBL's stance is that such clustering will occur no matter how open and distributed the network - it's built into the very nature of the web that he designed. Subreddits are functionally equivalent to websites...
  • TBL is rightfully indignant and concerned about the fact that “what was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms.” The Web, according to Berners-Lee, is at...
    Comments
    • Thank you for sharing the article, Jon.

      I agree on your points on Facebook.  Though I still use Facebook, it is more of a observational standpoint now.  It is interesting to see the developments of news and opinions through the lens of Facebook.  For example, I find it interesting how certain population of my friends on Facebook have specific viewpoints that strongly go against other segments of my friends (i.e. left vs. right wing political viewpoints).  There doesn't seem to be any middle ground for the most part; you are either on one side or the other.  Moderates are drowned out.  Its the formation of social media bubbles.

      I find Reddit running into this issue now too, as people seem to only congregate into their favourite subreddits.  Subreddits are like specific factions now in a sense, as sometimes these subreddits 'brigade' other subreddits.  There is more polarization, too.

      Interesting times we are in.

      Cheers,

      Viet

      Viet Nguyen March 14, 2018 - 1:19am

    • One thing that bothers me a bit about TBL's stance is that such clustering will occur no matter how open and distributed the network - it's built into the very nature of the web that he designed. Subreddits are functionally equivalent to websites or, for that matter, newsgroups of old in that regard. When we get to choose what we see and who we interact with, echo chambers are inevitable. Nothing new here apart from scale and the length of the long tail.

      Filter bubbles, on the other hand, are far from inevitable. Where I think he is right to be worried is that the perspective you see on Facebook and, in principle, might see via Google, depending on the degree of 'personalization' (I greatly dislike use of the term to mean something done to somebody rather than by somebody) you let it get away with, is determined not by individuals but by secret algorithms. This means that, especially in the case of Facebook (that knows and ruthlessly exploits the value of polarization in driving engagement) your view of what your 'friends' are saying is not necessarily determined by the natural spread of opinion among them but by the system's deliberate manipulation of what you see which, thanks to FB's largely repulsive algorithms, represents a tiny fraction of the whole.

      One part of the answer might lie in making those algorithms scrutable. This opens up a can of worms inasmuch as it makes it easier for evil-doers to exploit them but, much as open source can be more secure than closed source because people can spot and fix the bugs (only works when there is much ongoing active development), it would certainly encourage the perpetrators to tread more carefully. Another part lies in making them not just scrutable but personalizable (in the true sense of the word). Unfortunately, as Judy Kay (and I, for that matter, in a slightly different way) found a decade or two ago, the chances of people even understanding the effects of changes to weightings, let alone actually applying them, are slim. Most will simply accept defaults. The more you force it on them, the more sophisticated the filtering you enable, the less usable (and used) the system will be. There is almost certainly at least a partial answer to this problem - it's a design problem that can in principle be solved by a sufficiently inventive technology  - but I've yet to find it.

      Another part of the solution - which speaks more to echo chambers than filter bubbles - lies in culture and literacy. It is natural to be drawn to others that share interests or other commonalities with you, and for those that are not part of your sets to be considered as other, with all the bad things that entails. Escaping these traps means making an active decision to do so. If we, as individuals, put greater value on diversity - for instance, we actively seek things that conflict with our views, that are not in our comfort zones, that are not among our self-decided interests, that are randomly chosen, or serendipitous - and try to understand them, then there's a much better chance that the world will become a better place. One of the big reasons that Canada is a better place to live than most others in the world is that, as a culture, we celebrate and embrace such diversity. The same can and should be true of our online lives.

      Jon Dron March 14, 2018 - 1:00pm

  • Jon Dron commented on a bookmark JavaScript Is Eating The World in the group COMP 266 March 6, 2018 - 10:49am
    Good points, Louise, thanks - I was certainly being unfair on C#, though I still think it is a redundant and pointless (and largely pointerless!) language that was more a result of marketing than genuine need. I guess the big thing I like about...
  • This is brilliant - how common algorithms work, presented in the form of IKEA-style assembly instructions. No screwdriver needed.
    Comments
    • This is actually the best way to explain algorithms. I was thinking about it this week. I was wondering why don’t text books include as much models and figures or these kind of drawings to explain a problem solving method. I do find images helpful to understand a new concept, maybe because I learn this way better than reading boring paragraphs.

      Zakaria Bakkal February 21, 2018 - 3:15am

  • Jon Dron bookmarked Facebook has a Big Tobacco Problem February 18, 2018 - 12:08pm
    A perceptive article listing some of Facebook's evils and suggesting an analogy between the tactics used by Big Tobacco and those used by the company. I think there are a few significant differences. Big Tobacco is not one company bent on profit no...
  • A small pilot study, so no firm conclusions can be drawn, but this is an interesting and novel use of video games to help schizophrenic patients to control their hallucinations without drugs. The technique actually has almost nothing to do with the...
  • The end of Facebook couldn't come soon enough, but we've been reading headlines not unlike this for around a decade, yet still its malignant tumour in the lungs of the Web grows, sucking the air out of all good things. Despite losses in the youth...
    Comments
    • The best we can do is offering and promoting alternatives. It's not easy and it's time consuming, but it's rewarding and for a good cause.

      Viorel Tabara February 14, 2018 - 11:31pm

  • I don't know about you, but I am getting increasingly bothered about the vast numbers of dubious permissions, unwanted tracking ads, and risky bits of software available via Google's App Store. F-Droid is a fully open source replacement for the...
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