👓 The Blockchain for Education: An Introduction | Hacked Education

The Blockchain for Education: An Introduction by Audrey Watters (Hacked Education)
Is blockchain poised to be “the next big thing” in education? This has become a question I hear with increasing frequency about a technology that, up until quite recently, was primarily associated with the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The subtext to the question, I suppose: do educators need to pay attention to the blockchain? What, if anything, should they know about it?

A facile introduction with some interesting directions that education could take with it. Still, none seem so strong as to be worthwhile/valuable.

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E-book “Education and Technology: Critical Approaches”

E-book "Education and Technology: Critical Approaches" (Diálogos sobre TIC & Educação!)
Following months of hard work, we are finally ready to publish our 2017 e-book, Education and Technology: critical approaches. This bilingual collection brings together 12 chapters written by researchers based in Brazil, Australia, Scotland, England and USA. The work has been edited by Giselle Ferreira, Alexandre Rosado e Jaciara Carvalho, members of the ICT in Educational Processes Research Group, who maintain this blog (mostly in Portuguese – at least so far!). From the editors’ Introduction: "This volume offers a measure of sobriety in reaction to the excesses and hyperboles found in the mainstream literature on Education and Technology. The pieces (…) tackle questions of power and consider contextual and historical specificities, escaping the usual euphoria that surrounds digital technology and adopting different perspectives on our current historical moment."

Available as a free .pdf download.

👓 Link: The futility of science communication conferences by John Hawks

Link: The futility of science communication conferences by John Hawks (johnhawks.net)
Rich Borschelt is the communication director for science at the Department of Energy, and recently attended a science communication workshop. He describes at some length his frustration at the failed model of science communication, in which every meeting hashes over the same futile set of assumptions: “Communication, Literacy, Policy: Thoughts on SciComm in a Democracy. After several other issues, he turns to the conferences’ attitude about scientists...

John’s note reminds me that I’ve been watching a growing and nasty trend against science, much less science communication, in the past several years. We’re going to be needing a lot more help than we’re getting lately to turn the tide for the better. Perhaps more scientists having their own websites and expanding on the practice of samizdat would help things out a bit?

I recently came across Science Sites, a non-profit web company, courtesy of mathematician Steven Strogatz who has a site built by them. In some sense, I see some of what they’re doing to be enabling scientists to become part of the IndieWeb. It would be great to see them support standards like Webmention or functionality like Micropub as well. (It looks like they’re doing a lot of building on SquareSpace, so by proxy it would be great if they were supporting these open standards.) I love that it seems to have been created by a group of science journalists to help out the cause.

As I watch some of the Domain of One’s Own community in higher education, it feels to me that it’s primarily full of humanities related professors and researchers and doesn’t seem to be doing enough outreach to their science, engineering, math, or other colleagues who desperately need these tools as well as help with basic communication.

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👓 Mob Mentality and Toxicity in Academia by Allison Harbin, Ph.D.

Mob Mentality and Toxicity in Academia by Allison Harbin, Ph.D. (Post-PhD)
I’d like to thank the incredible outpouring of support and emails that I have received. If I have not yet responded to your email, have patience, and please keep writing me. If you are a dean or tenured professor, thank you so much for reaching out. Let’s keep this conversation going. We owe it not just to ourselves or to academia, but most of all, to those whom we educate. As of posting on Monday at 1:30, my blog has received over 160,000 hits. I am also now in the top 0.01% of the most searched for people on academia.edu. This is bigger than any of us know. This is no longer about the suspected misappropriation of my work, nor even about the depressing reality that legal action was brought against Dr. Mao by another graduate student a year prior to my own. This is now about how and why this was allowed to happen, and about the mob mentality of those in academia who refuse to acknowledge the writing on the wall.

I’m so glad to see that there are others paying attention to this issue. I hope the issue keeps moving forward.

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👓 A Field in Which the Old Devours the Young is a Field that is Dying: A Post about Graduate Student Empowerment by Allison Harbin, Ph.D.

A Field in Which the Old Devours the Young is a Field that is Dying: A Post about Graduate Student Empowerment by Allison Harbin, Ph.D. (Post-PhD)
When I was in graduate school during course work, a fellow grad student told me this anecdote: Just as their seminar had finished up, and the 10 or so students were mulling around and packing their things, the professor, who was nearing retirement, turned to them and said: you have no idea how much the faculty is afraid of you graduate students.
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👓 Why I Left Academia: Part III, The Aftermath by Allison Harbin, Ph.D.

Why I Left Academia: Part III, The Aftermath by Allison Harbin, Ph.D. (Post-PhD)
The next few days following my defense, or to be honest, the next few weeks, still feel emotionally distant, almost as if it happened to someone else. I felt numb, the dumb shock of the loss of my career, was, and in many ways, still is too acute to bear. I was in mourning for the passion and love I had poured into my dissertation. I was mourning the reality that my ethics-driven account of how intersectional feminism can-and must- be applied to contemporary art history didn’t matter, that it had never really mattered.

The academy already has some horrific problems. Those shown here in gory detail really make me want to vomit. This feels to me like it should be the equivalent of Susan Fowler writing about Uber in her damaging article Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber, but she’s writing about the academy. Somehow it feels like this story is not going to be damning enough or get the traction it needs to make sweeping changes where they ought to happen either at her former institution or at institutions across the world.

I hope that trustees at universities and colleges everywhere read this and push hard for change since it appears that the issue isn’t being solved at the Dean level. This type of academic dishonesty is rotting away at the structure that underpins the enterprise–it’s not just a small blemish on the exterior of the facade.

If you’re not following Dr. Harbin, I recommend her blog.

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👓 Why I left Academia: Part II by Allison Harbin, Ph.D.

Why I left Academia: Part II by Allison Harbin, Ph.D. (Post-PhD)
The two weeks leading up to emailing my dissertation to the entire committee plus my outside reader (a professor from a different university who also need to approve your dissertation, a requirement for most humanities Ph.D.s) are a blur. Every waking moment was spent writing, editing, and emailing drafts that never received comments, or even acknowledgement that they had been read. This was followed by proof-reading and re-writing my dissertation entirely on my own. This was nothing new. I had to email my dissertation mostly un-read by my advisor to my entire committee (a scandal in and of itself), because, as my advisor wrote in a terse email to me, they did not have time to read it.

The harrowing plot thickens…

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👓 Why I left Academia: Part I by Allison Harbin, Ph.D.

Why I Left Academia: Part I by Allison Harbin, Ph.D. (Post-PhD)
This is my personal story of why I decided to leave Academia. While sad, I know I'm not the only one to have experienced this. This is why I am sharing the story of my Ph.D, my dissertation, my dissertation committee members, my experience with the dean, how my defense went, and why.

A gut-wrenching story with a brutal ending. I’m hoping that multiple outlets will pick up this entire story and give it greater exposure.

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👓 A Domain of One’s Own in a Post-Ownership Society | Hack Education

A Domain of One's Own in a Post-Ownership Society by Audrey Watters (Hack Education)
The University of Mary Washington’s initiative, “Domain of One’s Own,” is phrased thusly as a nod to Virginia Woolf’s essay “A Room of One’s Own,” in which she famously quipped that “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” We can critique – and certainly we should – the class implications and expectations in Woolf’s commandment here; and we must consider both the financial burden and the transaction mechanism of a push for domains in education – as Maha notes, for example, many students in Egypt don’t have a credit card with which to make online purchases. “Give her a room of her own and five hundred a year, let her speak her mind and leave out half that she now puts in, and she will write a better book one of these days,” Woolf wrote in 1929. (That 500 quid is the equivalent to about $37,000 when adjusted for inflation.) But Woolf is not simply talking about having a piece of paper – a title, for example – that decrees she owns the room. It’s about having the financial freedom and a personal space to write. To own is to possess. To own is to have authority and control. To own is to acknowledge. It implies a responsibility. Ownership is a legal designation; but it’s something more than that too. It’s something more and then, without legal protection, the word also means something less.

There is some important internet philosophy going on in this article. Though written for an education-based audience, I think it’s got an important message for everyone about owning their own space online and being able to write and freely express themselves.

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👓 Why Are Coding Bootcamps Going Out of Business? | Hack Education

Why Are Coding Bootcamps Going Out of Business? by Audrey Watters
Within the past week, two well-known and well-established coding bootcamps have announced they’ll be closing their doors: Dev Bootcamp, owned by Kaplan Inc., and The Iron Yard, owned by the Apollo Education Group (parent company of the University of Phoenix). Two closures might not make a trend… yet. But some industry observers have suggested we might see more “consolidation” in the coming months.

Some great observations on non-profit vs. for-profit educational institutions and the social inequality that exists between the two.

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Reply to I defy the world and go back to RSS by Bryan Alexander

I defy the world and go back to RSS by Bryan Alexander (bryanalexander.org)
It may be perverse, but in this age of Facebook (now 2 billion strong) I’ve decided to rededicate myself to RSS reading. That’s right: old school, Web 2.0 style. Why? A big reason is that Facebook’s front page is so, so massively unreliable. Despite having huge numbers of people that are my friends, clients, and contacts, it’s just not a good reading and writing service. Facebook’s black box algorithm(s) may or may not present a given’s user’s post for reasons generally inscrutable. I’ve missed friends’ news about new jobs, divorces, and deaths because the Zuckerbergmachine deems them unworthy of inclusion in my personalized river of news. In turn, I have little sense of who will see my posts, so it’s hard to get responses and very hard to pitch my writing for an intended audience. Together, this makes the FB experience sketchy at best. To improve our use of it we have to turn to experiments and research that remind me of Cold War Kremlinology.

Bryan, so much of what you’re saying is not only not backwards, but truly awesome and inspiring, and not just with respect to RSS.

I’ve lately become more enamored of not only RSS, but new methods for feeds including lighter weight versions like microformats h-feeds. A few months ago I was inspired to embed the awesome PressForward plugin for WordPress into my site, so I could have an integrated feed reader built right in. This makes it far easier to not only quickly share the content from my site, but it means I can also own archival copies of what I’m reading and consuming for later reference, some of which I store privately on the back end of my site as a sort of online commonplace book.

There also seems to be a recent renaissance with the revival of blogrolls. I’ve even recently revived my own to provide subscribe-able OPML lists that others can take advantage of as well. Like your reading list, it’s a work in progress.

On the subject of blogs not being dead and decrying the abuses of the social silos, you might be interested to hear about the Indieweb movement which is helping to both decentralize and re-democratize the web in useful and intelligent ways. They’re helping people to take back their identities online and let them own their own content again. They’re also using open protocols like Webmention (a platform agnostic and universal @mention) and Micropub or syndication methods like POSSE to make it easier to publish, share, and interact with people online anywhere, regardless of the platform(s) on which they’re publishing.

As an example of what they’re doing, I’m publishing this comment on my own site first, and only then sending it as a comment to your post. If you supported Webmention, this would have happened seamlessly and automatically. I’ll also syndicate it as a reply to your tweet, and if you reply on twitter, the comment will be pulled back into my comment stream at the original.

As you may expect, some educators are also using some of these tools and specs for educational reasons.

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👓 Another tenure-track scientist bites the dust | Science

Another tenure-track scientist bites the dust by Adam Ruben (Science)
Matthew knew the deal when he joined his department: 10 years of work, and then you have to apply for tenure. “But,” he told me, “nobody talks about, ‘What if I run out of money beforehand?’”

We’ve really got to reorganize how research is done in this country. The brain drain is destroying our tremendous lead in basic research.

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👓 Teaching With Emerging Technologies | Inside Higher Ed

Teaching With Emerging Technologies by Michelle Pacansky-Brock (Inside Higher Ed)
Michelle Pacansky-Brock says digital learning is reshaping the higher ed landscape, and suggests five things instructors need to succeed. As online and blended learning reshape the landscape of teaching and learning in higher education, the need increases to encourage and support faculty in moving from delivering passive, teacher-centered experiences to designing active, student-centered learning. Our new social era is rich with simple, free to low-cost emerging technologies that are increasing experimentation and discovery in the scholarship of teaching and learning. While the literature about Web 2.0 tools impacting teaching and learning is increasing, there is a lack of knowledge about how the adoption of these technologies is impacting the support needs of higher education faculty. This knowledge is essential to develop new, sustainable faculty support solutions.

This might make an outline for a nice book, but as an article it’s a bit wonkish and doesn’t get into the meat of much.

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WPCampus 2017 (WPCampus.com)
A two-day event filled with sessions, networking, and social events covering a variety of topics, all dedicated to the confluence of WordPress in higher education. The second annual WPCampus conference will take place July 14-15, 2017 at Canisius College in lovely Buffalo, New York.

How did I manage to miss this? I know they livestreamed the sessions, but did they manage to record them?

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