I work in the Learning and Performance Support Systems program at the National Research Council, a multi-year effort to develop personal learning technology and learning analytics. I am one of the originators of the Massive Open Online Course, write about online and networked learning, have authored learning management and content syndication software, and am the author of the widely read e-learning newsletter OLDaily.

SUBSCRIBE TO OLDAILY DONATE TO DOWNES.CA

~ ~ Vision Statement ~ ~

Canadians 'reluctant' to accept new police powers, prefer privacy online, government finds

Icon

I think we already knew that Canadians expect online privacy and security, but in true Canadian tradition the government conducted an inquiry. They found that large majorities (on the order of four fifths) expect even basic subscriber information (such as name, home address, phone number, and email address) to remain private, and they  a law mandating telecom companies maintain interception capabilities. There are also concerns that the government won't respect their wishes. ""The Liberals promised to do this (to roll back surveillance allowed by Bill C-51), and they've been in office for two years, and we're getting to a point where there's a certain amount of anxiety as to whether they're going to follow through."

Today: 170 Total: 170 Matthew Braga, CBC News, 2017/05/23 [Direct Link]

The Internet Is Broken’: @ev Is Trying to Salvage It

Icon

@ev is Evan Williams, known for co-creating such things as Blogger, Twitter and Medium. One sold out to Google. The other simply sold out. The third is trying to sell memberships. There's a nice analogy in this: "The trouble with the internet, Mr. Williams says, is that it rewards extremes. Say you’re driving down the road and see a car crash. Of course you look. Everyone looks. The internet interprets behavior like this to mean everyone is asking for car crashes, so it tries to supply them." 

Today: 136 Total: 257 David Streitfeld, New York Times, 2017/05/22 [Direct Link]

New AWS Training and Certification Portal

Icon

Technical Certificate programs have been around for a while now - long-time professionals will recall things like the Certified Novell Engineer (CNE) exams, for example. So this portal by Amazon isn't new, particularly, except that oit's connected to their cloud environment so that when they say yopu need "one or more years of hands-on experience designing available, cost efficient, fault tolerant, and scalable distributed systems on AWS" to qualify for an exam, they don't have to take you at your word. All of this surveillance is broken by ad blockers, though. 

Today: 118 Total: 242 Amazon Web Services, 2017/05/22 [Direct Link]

These are the arguments against net neutrality — and why they’re wrong

Icon

I am unambiguously in favour of net neutrality, but I think that the strongest argument against it isn't any of the arguments listed here but the unassailable fact that the net is not neutral now and that therefore 'net neutrality' pits one form of unequal distribution of wealth against another. Today, because of asynchronous internet access, people cannot run web servers from their homes. Additionally, because of content distribution networks, professional content will run more quickly than private content. Finally, overhead costs and technology (for example, digital certificates) make it more difficult for individuals to offer online content. These all favour technology companies, but their dominance is being challenged by media and telecommunication companies who feel their advantageous position ought also to be favoured by pricing advantages.

Today: 118 Total: 273 Devin Coldewey, TechCrunch, 2017/05/22 [Direct Link]

From Pikachu to Patients: The Rise and Rise of Augmented Reality

Icon

It's an unusual "rise and rise" that includes a significant retrenchment, but that's what's documented here: "In 2012 AR, along with virtual reality (VR), was being hailed as the next generation technology to watch, with markets estimated at £600 billion (approximately $776 billion) by 2016. Today those estimates have been revised (reflecting passage along the Gartner Hype Cycle) to a more conservative $90 billion annually by 2020." Yes, there is a role for AR to play in online learning. But no, it's never going to be the whole.

Today: 67 Total: 167 Jeremy Miles, GP Strategies, 2017/05/22 [Direct Link]

Toward an open empowered learning model of pedagogy in higher education

Icon

Relevant and realistic: "The separation of assessment from learning could have significant ramifications for the outcomes of learning because a schism could appear in the alignment of the curriculum in a disaggregated model. Quality assurance of learning and certification of its outputs become problematic so new ways of aligning and assessing learning outcomes and arranging academic support for students will be needed." We've been gradually drifting toward this outcome, and when we reach a tipping point higher education will appear to have been enveloped in crisis overnight. 21 page PDF. Image: Patricia B. Arinto.

Today: 165 Total: 318 Shirley Reushle, Amy Antonio, Mike Keppell, ResearchGate, 2017/05/22 [Direct Link]

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