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  • Jon Dron commented on a bookmark EdTech Books December 5, 2020 - 12:07pm
    I couldn't add anything on homeschooling that Nicolosus hasn't said far better! Yes, the huge advantage of homeschooling is that you can follow the vein of gold that is a child's curiosity far more effectively than when you have to follow a...
  • Jon Dron bookmarked EdTech Books November 24, 2020 - 12:58pm
    This is a great, well presented and nicely curated selection of open books on education and educational technology, ranging from classics (and compilations of chapters by classic authors) to modern guides, textbooks, and blog compilations, covering...
    Comments
    • Ya this pandemic has been hard on everyone...

      To summarize my school years, from K-5 I was in public school, from 6-12 I was homeschooled. I loved it! But I was also not your typical kid... Smile I love to learn, and I learned at a faster rate than most of the other kids, I flourished in homeschooling as I could go at almost twice the pace. My school year was from October-April/May, and each day was from 8am-12pm. When I was older (14-16) I got jobs with local farmers, and also started lawn mowing for the older ladies who could not do it themselves. My last 3 years of school I worked extra hard and graduated a year early.

      So this was my experience, not your typical! I saw other homeschooled kids and familes with varying degrees of success, and my biggest take away was that if your child needs motivation and guidance, your going to need to invest. If your child is driven like I was, all my parents had to do was find good curriculum and buy it, I did the rest. So tailor your school envirenment to your children, learn how they learn best and work with that. Do some research as well on homeschooling curriculum, there are lots of resources out there, and a good curriculum will fill the gaps where you lack, and you'll probably learn some new things along the way too! Get the teachers guides too, if your going to school when your daughter is older too, solutions manuals for math are invaluable. Mostly, go with your instinct, you know your own daughter best, and obviously want the best for her so you will do great!

      Another tip with homeschooling, just because the books are closed and not in front of you, doesn't mean the learning and teaching have to stop! If your daughter shows an interest in "helping" in the kitchen (our son loves this, he is 3), teach her as you make dinner how things work. If you are adventurous, go hiking and teach about nature while you do it. Planning field trips are a great way to boost your childs learning if it is about what they are interested in.

      Nicolosus December 5, 2020 - 10:48am

    • I couldn't add anything on homeschooling that Nicolosus hasn't said far better! Yes, the huge advantage of homeschooling is that you can follow the vein of gold that is a child's curiosity far more effectively than when you have to follow a curriculum (though definitely worth having a menu of more conventional options and support for the trickier bits as needed). The social aspect, though, is really important - really useful to find other home-schoolers online or (especially) nearby and find ways to learn with others. The most inspiring person I ever met in this regard was Dale J Stephens, who was very young indeed when he did a keynote at a conference I was attending, probably more than 10 years ago. Very smart, delightful person, full of passion, and a great advert for the process. He had just founded Uncollege.org, which is a particularly brilliant resource for older kids and college-age students, though it has some very good resources that are valuable for pretty much anyone. Alas, his book on the subject (Hacking Education) is not open, but it's still worth reading.

      Jon

      Jon Dron December 5, 2020 - 12:07pm

    • Nicolosus and Dr. Dron,

      Thank you so much for your valuable insight into homeschooling. Your comments are highly appreciated and very valuable to me.

      Michelle Dina Lee December 6, 2020 - 8:44am

  • Thanks Rania: though I tend to reuse a lot of slides in my talks, that one was new in this presentation, so I'm glad that it resonated. Over 20 years ago I wanted to call my PhD (which involved the creation of a social bookmarking system designed...
  • Thanks Nicolosus - it's very nice to hear confirmation that it (at least sometimes) works! And yes, that process of searching is so important, and so powerful in helping us to learn to learn. It's also sometimes important, though, when the going...
  • These are the slides from my keynote at the University of Ottawa's "Scaffolding a Transformative Transition to Distance and Online Learning" symposium today. In the presentation I discussed why distance learning really is different from in-person...
    Comments
    • Thank you Prof. Jon,

      Those slides are interesting, I like the comparison between controlling and liberation patterns and I also like how you are able to use this approach within your courses.

      I learned how to learn from you, and I hope to learn how to teach as well.

      Rania Arbash November 23, 2020 - 4:29am

    • Thanks Rania: though I tend to reuse a lot of slides in my talks, that one was new in this presentation, so I'm glad that it resonated.

      Over 20 years ago I wanted to call my PhD (which involved the creation of a social bookmarking system designed to help the crowd to teach itself) 'Getting rid of teachers' but my supervisors (wisely) advised against it. In fact, it was exactly the opposite of what I was really doing, which was capitalizing on the fact that we are all teachers, even when we don't mean to be.  Though software can help to amplify and guide that process, I think it is also implicit in a lot of the human-enacted technologies of teaching: the things we normally refer to as pedagogies. A big part of much effective teaching - especially online - is not about telling people stuff or making them do stuff, but about helping to create conditions that make it easier for them all to learn from one another.

      One of the best side-effects my particular approach to doing that is that I wind up learning more from my students than they learn from me, so thank you for teaching me!

      Jon Dron November 23, 2020 - 10:37am

    • This all has bee encouraging for me to read! And yes you are correct, we all do at times need a little direction, can't overlook that fact, especially with some of us who get disctracted easily, and run down rabbit trails that, while not directly bad for our current study topic, are not exactly good for it either. I am one of those people, I also love to learn, and I want to learn EVERYTHING!

       

      Keep doing what you are doing Prof. Dron, it is encouraging to see and I just learned a little about teaching, and hope to take that with me when I start to teach others as well.

      Nicolosus November 24, 2020 - 1:06pm

  • This is a report on an interesting study which, unsurprisingly, confirms previous findings that the use of popular social media (in this case Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) correlates very closely with negative feelings, reduced well-being, and...
    Comments
    • This insight is very interesting, and it makes sense. Definitely agree that the impacts social media has on people heavily depend on who the users are and how the users use them.

      Jenny Chun Chi Lien November 21, 2020 - 10:57pm

  • Jon Dron commented on a bookmark Course Content - London Interdisciplinary School November 11, 2020 - 9:13pm
    I'm not sure, Nicolosus. Certainly there would be no need to study for multiple degrees, and the various disciplinary perspectives would be far more integrated than in most programs/courses. There are quite a few degrees that work in the way you...
  • Jon Dron bookmarked Course Content - London Interdisciplinary School November 6, 2020 - 12:24pm
    For those in other parts of the world, some translation may be needed here in order to understand what is novel about the London Interdisciplinary School (LIS): a course in the UK is equivalent to a program in North America, and a module is...
    Comments
    • Hi Jon,

       

      If I am understanding your post and the LIS website correctly, the format being used would be an approach more like "The problom I wish to solve would be the constraints of bio-engineering in todays technical limits", and upon that build out a degree program that includes the areas of study needed to work in that specific field, whereas instead with current institutions one would say have to study for a degree in biology, and then a degree in engineering, and maybe even a third in computer science?

       

      If so, how do they award degrees? Is it a customized title based on your criteria? Or more generic?

      Nicolosus November 9, 2020 - 3:13pm

    • I'm not sure, Nicolosus. Certainly there would be no need to study for multiple degrees, and the various disciplinary perspectives would be far more integrated than in most programs/courses. There are quite a few degrees that work in the way you suggest, such as the MSc/MA by Learning Outcomes at the University of Brighton, UK, in which a goal is decided upon, then outcomes are negotiated at the start between student, institution, and employer and modules are chosen to match, but I suspect this is not quite like that.

      If I were designing this then I would most likely identify some fairly broad course (=program) outcomes, addressing things like problem-solving, synthesis, values, and application, then map the specific module (=course) outcomes to those, allowing students to adapt their goals as they learn (unlike the 'by outcomes' approach), but I don't know if that's what LIS are doing here.

      It would be interesting to find out!

      Jon Dron November 11, 2020 - 9:13pm

  • Jon Dron uploaded the file Joyful assessment: beyond high-stakes testing November 4, 2020 - 4:17pm
    Here are my slides from my presentation at the Innovate Learning Summit yesterday. It's not world-shattering stuff - just a brutal attack on proctored, unseen written exams (PUWEs, pronounced 'pooies'), followed by a description of the rationale,...
  • The authors of a recent paywalled article in MIS Quarterly here summarize their findings in another restrictive and normally paywalled site, the Washington Post. At least the latter gives some access - I was able to read it without forking out $15,...
  • Jon Dron published a blog post Asus Flip C234 Chromebook review October 27, 2020 - 6:16pm
    I’ve been thinking for some time that I need to investigate Chromebooks - at least, ever since Chrome OS added the means to run Android and Linux apps alongside Chrome web apps. I decided to get one now because I was going on a camping trip...
  • Jon Dron bookmarked Strange affair of man with the machine October 16, 2020 - 12:03pm
    This stunningly brilliant and passionate essay by my friend, mentor and inspiration, Karamjit Singh Gill (far too formal - he is Ranjit to me) is, sadly, occasioned by the death of his old friend, one of the most insightful, compassionate, humane...
  • This is an extremely fascinating article reporting on a couple of research studies by the author (The Wisdom of Partisan Crowds and Networked collective intelligence improves dissemination of scientific information regarding smoking risks)...
  • Both fascinating and horrific, Gio, thanks for sharing. Your iPhone only stores the data to log you in locally, like PIN and fingerprint data, and it's not your face as such, just a set of data points derived from it: in effect, much the same as a...
  • Jon Dron commented on a bookmark Facebook Conducts 'Mass Censorship' of Climate Activists September 28, 2020 - 12:05pm
    Really interesting - it is particularly disturbing that all of this occurs without transparency!
  • Immediately following its newly announced (and typically self-serving and cynical) initiative to uplift climate science on its site, Facebook showed its dedication to the cause by removing hundreds of climate change activist, indigenous, and social...
    Comments
    • Suspicious...

      There is a worldwide Covid19 self support FB group for Taiwanese overseas (which I am in) that has been operating since March with over 84k members of Taiwanese from all over the world.

      It apparently also happened (posted just 12 hours ago) that 70% of admin's accounts got blocked by Facebook for no reason.  They emailed to Facebook but haven't gotten any replied yet. Some suspected that this is operated internally by certain employee(s) of Facebook but no one really knows what is happening and still waiting for this to be resolved. Whichever cause it is, the fact that this would even happen is pretty bad. 

      screenshot of account

      From Google Translate: 

      "

      Administrator of Taiwan Overseas Covid-19 Self-Help Association

      Admin
      · 12h ·
      Everyone, there is a very serious and heavy question to ask. There are many administrator accounts, which seem to be blocked by FB because of malicious reports. I don’t know if anyone has "experience in retrieving accounts". Please provide Let us have a little information so that we can help these people get it back. Thank you for your help

      Jenny Chun Chi Lien September 26, 2020 - 9:34pm

    • Really interesting - it is particularly disturbing that all of this occurs without transparency!

      Jon Dron September 28, 2020 - 12:05pm

  • Jon Dron bookmarked We still need to unlock the web in the group COMP 650: Social Computing September 26, 2020 - 11:20am
    This is a bit of brainstorming by the ever wonderful and utterly brilliant Ben Werdmüller von Elgg (one of the originators of the Elgg social media framework that sits under the Landing) on methods and standards for setting up payments for...
  • I mentioned this in a reply I recently made to a post by Gio (and comments by Jenny), but it occurs to me that it deserves a more prominent place in a course on social computing so here it is. I consider this very short talk given by Postman to be...
    Comments
    • For all my years in information technology, it seemed that the solutions we come up are supposed to make thinigs better, faster, easier, etc.  The byproduct of such efficiencies are that workload could be reduced and make organizational positions redundant.  Luckily, I have been in good companies, where people that lose their jobs to technological solutions are repurposed into other value-added activites for the company.  I suspect that that is not always the case.  When the question about whether IT is making things better than they were, this situation from earlier in the year came into my mind regaring Clearview AI facial recognition software.  After watching this video, I was creeped out and felt like wearing a hood over anything I do in the public space (I will not really do this....).  To think that any public imagine can be mined by this software and stored for easy retrieval within the app.  If you consider every place where there is a potential image that could be billions of images that are structured (social media sites) and unstructured (street cameras).  The easy access to my likeness is why I don't use the facial recogition feature on my iphone since I am fearful that sombody could reconstruct my imgaine and possibly even create a realistic image of me somewhere that I have never been.  

      https://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2020/02/12/facial-recognition-clearview-ai-shorter-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-artificial-intelligence/

      This next website has a list of facial recognition apps and their main use cases.  I found it interesting to review them and think about whether we are better off as a society with each of them or not.  Which ones do you think are really an asset to society and which ones "creep" you out?

      Gio

      Giovanni Tricarico October 8, 2020 - 11:39am

    • Both fascinating and horrific, Gio, thanks for sharing. Your iPhone only stores the data to log you in locally, like PIN and fingerprint data, and it's not your face as such, just a set of data points derived from it: in effect, much the same as a PIN. It's a piece of information that is only held in one physical place that, with luck, you are in complete control of. Apple go to great pains to try to prevent any possible access to it, even by determined professionals with access to the device. But, if they have that, then you have much bigger problems than facial recognition :-) The local secure storage is what makes it relatively secure, and it is why you need to set it up again independently on all your devices. Not *too* worrying! At least, not as worrying as passwords, the hash of which is stored on a server and thus, in principle, hackable even without physical access.

      But those public face recognition systems certainly are very worrying indeed: interesting to reflect on how your behaviour might change if you know you are in a panopticon (note that behavioural change was exactly the point of Bentham's original dystopic invention), especially one in which the perceivers are incredibly fallible and prone to error. There are lots of counter-technologies, of course - e.g. see https://www.wired.co.uk/article/avoid-facial-recognition-software for a top-down overview with some examples. Knowing your enemy is important - these are not intelligent systems, in the sense of being human-like in their perceptions of you! And, like the iPhone (or equivalents in Android, Windoze, etc), not all are evil. It would be interesting to reflect on precisely what it is about the others that makes them more or less evil - I suspect it might help to get to the heart of understanding how social media (and computers in general) have changed the conversation about privacy, and rights of individuals to it.

      Jon

      Jon Dron October 8, 2020 - 12:30pm

    • Those face recognition systems can go very wrong...

      Here are deepfake videos of Mark Zukerburg/ Obama. It can be extremely difficult for the general public to tell it’s fake ( I myself can't tell it's fake)

      https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/11/tech/zuckerberg-deepfake/index.html

      and even if some of the companies might not have bad intentions when collecting the data, their systems can be hacked and our data can be used on some evil things. Not only facial data, voice data can potentially also be used on restricting our voice to do some unethical/illegal activities.

      I once got a call on my office number earlier this year, and it was strange that I felt the caller keep asking me weird questions ( like, he was asking me a bunch of questions like if I can confirm my email address, and wanted me to answer yes) I just felt wield so while on the phone I decided to google if this was some kind of scam and then I saw this. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/can-you-hear-me-phone-scam-warning-bbb-1.3970312

      Thank goodness I don't usually say the word "yes" but respond to questions with "yeah" ( which really frustrated the scammer that I wouldn't say the "yes" word ...).

      However, if they can deep fake my voice, they can create the word “yes” themselves without me saying it. Here are some more articles on scammers potentially be using deep fakes voice technologies. A CEO in UK was scammed $243,000:

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/jessedamiani/2019/09/03/a-voice-deepfake-was-used-to-scam-a-ceo-out-of-243000/#7fb95fe92241

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/fraudsters-use-ai-to-mimic-ceos-voice-in-unusual-cybercrime-case-11567157402

      https://www.pandasecurity.com/mediacenter/news/deepfake-voice-fraud/

      Jenny Chun Chi Lien October 8, 2020 - 12:58pm

  • And thanks for this, Jenny. As a long-time Reddit lurker (and very occasional contributor) I had not realized that it was funded by Chinese investors, nor did I know about that backlash. Having visited both Taiwan and China I know which system I...
  • This CBC report is one of many dozens of articles in the world's press highlighting one rather small but startling assertion in a recent OECD report on the effects of Covid-19 on education - that the 'lost' third of a year of schooling in many...
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