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.

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Hosting Futures

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I'm still in the mindset of "about what piloting a mashup of LAMP and Docker-container based hosting might look like." So I'm just as interested as Jim Groom in QUBES: “a community of math and biology educators who share resources and methods for preparing students to tackle real, complex, biological problems.” Groom adds that "QUBES is built on top of a project that came out of Purdue University called HUBzero, a service which provides focused community sites, course spaces, open educational resource sharing, and access to applications used heavily in the sciences, such as R, Latex, Jupyter Notebooks, etc." This whole space is moving forward at breakneck speed; it's exciting but really hard to keep up.

Today: 114 Total: 114 Jim Groom, bavatuesdays, 2018/05/25 [Direct Link]

First Law of Robotics

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The problem isn't with automated systems or artificial intelligence. The problem is with companies deploying such systems with the same due care and attention they pay to their customers needs and interests on a day-to-day basis. Case in point: Uber. "There were no software glitches or sensor breakdowns that led to a fatal crash, merely poor object recognition, emergency planning, system design, testing methodology, and human operation." For example, "Uber chose to disable emergency braking system before fatal Arizona robot car crash, safety officials say." I think we can trust artificial intelligence in learning, but not artificial intelligence managed by Silicon Valley corporations in learning.

Today: 100 Total: 100 Metafilter, 2018/05/25 [Direct Link]

The Great Remake is Underway

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This is a bold claim: " One of the biggest shifts in the history of education is underway across the country as rote memorization makes way for deeper learning, standardized tests are replaced by whole-student assessments, and lecture-style classrooms turn into collaborative hands-on learning spaces." Bold, but backed up with examples of funded projects "to support new learning opportunities that equip students with deep content knowledge and creative capacities, but also the skills and traits needed to thrive in a rapidly changing world." No links for any of them, sadly, but a diligent reader wielding the project titles and Google search could find enough background reading for a full weekend.

Today: 88 Total: 88 Sunanna Chand, Ani Martinez, Remake Learning, 2018/05/25 [Direct Link]

Blockchain technologies face a maturity problem

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The first problem is scalability, which shows up immediately in the amount of time it takes to verify that a transaction is authentic. Visa performs 40K transactions per second, while Ethereum and Bitcoin are capable of between 7-15 per second. You see the issue. The energy cost is another factor, "currently around 180 million KWh for just 200,000 transactions." Again, you see the issue. A third issue centres around hacking; while the blockchain itself is secure, the systems around it might not be. This is how the recent Ethereum hack worked. Choice is also becoming an issue; "there are dozens of different networks you can employ, each with their own features and capabilities." Where is this headed? The article suggests (and it's hard to disagree) that we'll see more emphasis on private blockchains; "pragmatists understand that businesses need solutions that are both scalable and flexible to their needs, even if in being ‘permissioned’ they aren’t true to Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision." Oh well, I guess I'll just go play with cryptokitties.

Today: 149 Total: 149 Dan Swinhoe, IDG Connect, 2018/05/25 [Direct Link]

Implementation of an Intelligent Library System Based on WSN and RFID

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This paper describes the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) to automate the process of finding, borrowing and returning books at the library. This would be an advance over scanning barcodes, which still require a lot of human intervention. The obvious analogy here is with the no-checkout store unveiled by Amazon earlier this year. The paper described the algorithms in detail and describes a test of the system. My only criticism is to question why we still need to borrow physical books. But of course the same approach can work with any educational resource.

Today: 105 Total: 105 Yuping Gao, International Journal of Online Engineering, 2018/05/25 [Direct Link]

Government of Canada launches Future Skills Centre call for proposals and Future Skills Council call for applications

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There's a lot of detail, but here's the gist: "$225 million over four years, and $75 million per year thereafter, in Future Skills. The Future Skills Centre and Future Skills Council will be tasked with exploring new and innovative approaches to skills development, identifying the skills employers will need now and in the future and sharing information to inform future investments and programming." Here's the backgrounder. Here's a background paper from last year. Here's the application process. There's a webinar June 7.

Today: 115 Total: 225 Employment and Social Development Canada, Cision, 2018/05/24 [Direct Link]

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