A brief reflection on Kate Bowles’ keynote at OER 19

Kate Bowles gave a great Keynote at the Open Education Resources 2019 (OER19) conference in Galway last night. In it she indicates how politicians, economists and even universities themselves measure their growth at the level of imports/exports and even compare it with mining in a cynical way to describe the movement of their educational resources and students.

Slide from Bowle's talk with an image of a heavily mined and damaged site. The slide is entitled "This is how the expanded university talks" and contains the quote:'What do iron ore, coal and Australia'sinternational education sector have in common? They're the top three exports for Australia, with recent international trade data showing that the international education sector contributed AUS$32.2 billion (US$24.7 billion) dollars to the economy in 2017' --ICEF Monitor, 2018

Slide from Bowle's talk with an image of a heavily mined and damaged site. The slide is entitled "This is how the expanded university talks" and contains the quote: '81 per cent of Australians grasp that international education makes a major contribution to national prosperity. This overwhelming public support rises again--to 85 per cent--when Australians learn exactly how much income this sector brings into the Australian economy each year.'--Universities Australia, March 2019
A slide from

“What a chilling thing to say about young people crossing the world to learn.” –Kate Bowles (in response to the slide immediately above)

The fact that businesses, governments, and even universities themselves would take such an ugly standpoint on teaching and learning is painful. It reminds me that one of the things that I think the open IndieWeb movement gets right is that it is people-centric first and foremost. If you can take care of people at the most base level, then hopefully what gets built upon that base–while still watching it carefully–will be much more ethical.

The IndieWeb is a people-focused alternative to the “corporate web”.

As a result of this people-centric vision, I’m seeing a lot less of the sort of ills, unintended consequences, and poor emergent behaviors caused by the drive toward surveillance capitalism within the giant social media silos like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al.

I’m reminded of a part of the thesis that Cesar Hidalgo presents in Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order from Atoms to Economies of the idea of the personbyte and what that looks like at a group level, then a corporate level, and I wonder how it may grow to the next level above that. Without ultimately focusing on the person at the bottom of the pyramid however, we may be ethically losing sight of where we’re going and why. We may even be building an edifice that is far more likely to crumble with even worse unintended consequences.

Here’s her talk in full. I highly recommend it.

Following Virtually Connecting

Followed Virtually Connecting (http://virtuallyconnecting.org/)

logo for Virtually Connecting featuring what looks like the Earth, but the landmasses are faces looking at each other and the globe is wearing headphones

Enhancing the virtual event experience

The purpose of Virtually Connecting is to enliven virtual participation in academic conferences, widening access to a fuller conference experience for those who cannot be physically present at conferences. We are a community of volunteers and it is always free to participate.

Using emerging technologies, we connect onsite conference presenters and attendees with virtual participants in small groups. This allows virtual conference participants to meet and talk with conference presenters and attendees in what often feels like those great spontaneous hallway conversations, something not usually possible for a virtual experience. There is only room for 10 in each session but we record and, whenever possible, live stream, to allow additional virtual attendees to participate in the discussion by listening and asking questions via Twitter.

Following Association for Learning Technology

Followed Association for Learning Technology (alt.ac.uk)

ALT logo

The Association for Learning Technology (ALT) represents individual and organisational Members from all sectors and parts of the UK. Our Membership includes practitioners, researchers and policy makers with an interest in Learning Technology. Our community grows more diverse as Learning Technology has become recognised as a fundamental part of learning, teaching and assessment.

Our charitable objective is "to advance education through increasing, exploring and disseminating knowledge in the field of Learning Technology for the benefit of the general public". We have led professionalisation in Learning Technology since 1993.

How we define Learning Technology

We define Learning Technology as the broad range of communication, information and related technologies that can be used to support learning, teaching and assessment. Our community is made up of people who are actively involved in understanding, managing, researching, supporting or enabling learning with the use of Learning Technology. We believe that you don't need to be called 'Learning Technologist' to be one.

What we value and what we do

Our current strategy sets out our aims for 2017-2020:

Increasing the impact of Learning Technology for the wider community, strengthening recognition and representation for the Membership at a national level and leading professionalisation for individual Learning Technology professionals in a broad range of roles.

You can explore the strategy slides, download the full text in PDF or Google docs. Visual content is available on Flickr.

🔖 ETUG 25 Call for Proposals now open

Bookmarked ETUG 25 Call for Proposals now open by Clint Lalonde (etug.ca)
The Call for Proposals for the 25th anniversary ETUG conference is now open until April 5, 2019.
Share your knowledge, projects and ideas with the BC post-secondary education technology community at TRU in Kamloops, BC on June 20 & 21st. Program Theme & Topics Our overarching confe...

I’m planning on proposing an OER or other book related session at the upcoming IndieWebCamp New Haven next weekend. If you’re interested or want to propose other ideas for or , I hope you’ll join us either in-person or remotely.

Not sure what to expect at a camp? Here are some additional details for both in-person and remote attendance.

Read How I'm able to take notes in mathematics lectures using LaTeX and Vim (castel.dev)
A while back I an­swered a ques­tion on Quora: Can peo­ple ac­tu­al­ly keep up with note-​taking in Math­e­mat­ics lec­tures with LaTeX . There, I ex­plained…

This is awesome though I’ve also heard of cases in which students use shared Google docs to collaboratively take notes like this as well.

Replied to Innovate Pasadena Friday Coffee Meetup: 5G in Pasadena (Meetup.com)

Fri, Mar 8, 2019, 8:15 AM

5G is a transformational change from 4G. 5G has the potential to provide 20X faster data speeds and carry a massive amount of data for a large number of simultaneous users.

Like the innovations that changed the world before, 5G is making a whole new era possible. 5G will enable giant advances in VR, AR, AI, robotics and totally new technologies. 5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology. But users will know it as one of the fastest, most robust technologies the world has ever seen. That means quicker downloads, outstanding network reliability and a spectacular impact on how we live, work and play. The connectivity benefits of 5G will make businesses more efficient and give consumers access to more information faster than ever before. Super-connected autonomous cars, smart communities, industrial IoT, immersive education—they all will rely on 5G.

A recent episode of the New York Times’ The Daily podcast provides some more sober analysis and thought about 5G and what it means for the world economy compared to the presentation which had a far too rosy picture: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/25/podcasts/the-daily/5g-technology-huawei-china-us.html

And for those interested in delving in further, here’s a very recent and more technically accurate (and reasonably accessible) discussion of 5G and its current state following the recent Mobile World Conference: 

It features Stacey Higginbotham a journalist who has covered telecom, the FCC, and technology for the past decade+.


See the related checkin.

🎧 PressED WordPress and Education twitter conference | Radio #EDUtalk 27-02-19 | EduTalk

Listened to Radio 27-02-19: PressED WordPress and Education twitter conference from EDUtalk

Pat Lockley talking  about PressEd the conference about WordPress run completely on twitter. PressEd uncovers many aspects of the use of WordPress in all areas of education.

We discussed some of the aspects and features of running a conference on twitter the previous and upcoming conferences. Pat invites anyone who uses WordPress in any area of education to submit a proposal to the conference.

While listening to John Johnston on this topic, I couldn’t help but think how cool it would be if PressEd, an education related conference that is held online via Twitter, could actually be held on WordPress itself. There was a quick mention by Pat Lockley about their consideration of using the P2 theme to effect this, but they’re right in that P2 has been left behind on the side of the road.

I think that such a conference could be held online and actually use WordPress; it would require more of the participants to be using IndieWeb philosophies and technology/plugins like Webmention and perhaps one of the more modern feed readers that are using Microsub.

Alternately, I could see a place where a platform like IndieWeb.xyz could be leveraged as a location to which all the participants could syndicate their content to a particular sub there (it has the ability to force Webmentions for people who can’t send/receive them yet) and then act as the reader in which the conference was taking place. In this sense IndieWeb.xyz would act a bit like an impromptu planet to aggregate all the conversation. I haven’t looked, but if IndieWeb.xyz also had RSS or other feeds coming back out of individual subs, then it would be a bit more like a traditional planet and people could subscribe in their feed reader of choice, and with WebSub or an occasional manual refresh, a conference like this could be done directly from WordPress (or honestly any IndieWeb friendly platform/website) and have much the same impact. In fact, perhaps a bit more impact since all the presenters and participants would and could have archival copies of the conference on their own websites at the end of the day and the ephemeral nature of such an online conference could tend to disappear.

Incidentally, I could almost hear the gears turning in John’s head as I’m sure he was thinking much the same thing. He carefully restrained himself and managed to keep the conversation on track though.

Now I’ll have to brainstorm an IndieWeb for Education using WordPress proposal for this year’s pending PressEd Conference if there’s time left.

I loved the short snippet at the end of the episode where Pat Lockley gave a brief bio on his Twitter handle and domain name. It reminds me a bit of the podcast My URL Is, which I hope comes back with more episodes soon.

👓 ‘The goal is to automate us’: welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism | John Naughton | The Guardian

Read 'The goal is to automate us': welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism by John NaughtonJohn Naughton (the Guardian)
Shoshana Zuboff’s new book is a chilling exposé of the business model that underpins the digital world. Observer tech columnist John Naughton explains the importance of Zuboff’s work and asks the author 10 key questions

If you can’t read Zuboff’s new book in full, this article/interview may convince you that you should anyway. It may be one of the most important things you read all year.

👓 Literature, Technology, and Representation: The Interface | Michigan State University // Spring 2019

Read Literature, Technology, and Representation: The Interface (machines.kfitz.info)
Michigan State University // Spring 2019

👓 Technology and Distracted Students: A Modest Proposal | The Tattooed Professor

Read Technology and Distracted Students: A Modest Proposal by Kevin Kevin (The Tattooed Professor)
A few days ago, news broke in the higher-ed sphere about a new paper in the Educational Psychology Review, “How Much Mightier Is the Pen Than the Keyboard for Note-Taking? A Replication and Extension of Mueller and Oppenheimer (2014),” which seemed to undercut a study that’s become the go-to ...

Testing out Posting to WordPress via email

A test looking back at some old school methods of posting to the web

I haven’t posted to my WordPress site via email in a long time, so I thought I’d give it another try to see what has changed. I’m also curious about how this might work best in an IndieWeb setting and how these pieces dovetail with things like Post Kinds, potential syndication methods, and other tidbits I’ve got set up on my website.

Let’s see how it goes?

👓 Maybe Only Tim Cook Can Fix Facebook’s Privacy Problem | New York Times

Read Maybe Only Tim Cook Can Fix Facebook’s Privacy Problem (New York Times)
The cold war between Facebook and Apple over data use and privacy is heating up. How far should Mr. Cook take it?