👓 She lived for 99 years with organs in all the wrong places and never knew it | CNN

Read She lived for 99 years with organs in all the wrong places and never knew it (CNN)
Oregon medical students were shocked and surprised when they opened the cadaver of Rose Marie Bentley.

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.

Replied to a tweet by Laura GibbsLaura Gibbs (Twitter)

I’m curious if you use Inoreader’s OPML subscription functionality at all? It’s kind of like Twitter lists in a sense, but a lot more open and distributed.

Much like your version piped into an LMS, it could be used used to create a planet of all of the participants in a course, but set up in such a way that only one person needs to create and maintain an OPML file that everyone else can use instead of needing to manually find and subscribe to a bunch of feeds or worry about missing out on that one feed of the student who joined the course two weeks late.

As an example, here’s an OPML file on my own website (through my following page) of all the educators I’m following who are tangentially involved in the IndieWeb movement. If you subscribe to the OPML file in Inoreader, when I update it with additional feeds, you get all the changes synced automatically.

I’d be interested to see exactly how you’re using Inoreader–particularly the off-label methods. Have you written up any of the details anywhere? It looks like you’re using tags in Inoreader and piping those details back to the LMS so that you can filter portions of the class content?

I recently documented some of my personal use here: Using Inoreader as an IndieWeb feed reader. A big portion of it is about being able to use Inoreader to interact within its interface, but also have those interactions reflected on my own website (aka digital commonplace book) which sends notifications to the original content on the web instead of just leaving it siloed within Inoreader.

Quoted from email about "Policy change in regards to Social Media use for social learning from Centre for Innovation, Leiden University" by Tanja de Bie, Community Manager (Centre for Innovation, Leiden University via Coursera)

The Centre for Innovation of Leiden University has always strongly supported social or collaborative learning in online learning:  the interaction between learners facilitating learners, whether that is in discussion forums, peer review assignments or in our Facebook groups, contributes to a deeper understanding of subjects, and prepares learners to apply their knowledge.

However, the Centre for Innovation has a responsibility to our teachers, learners and volunteers, under GDPR and our own Privacy Policy. Based on this we conducted a review of different platforms that we made use of for collaborative, social learning and have decided to move away from those that do not allow us to meet our obligations and promises to those in our care.

Therefore we have decided to close all Facebook groups, Whatsapp groups and Instagram accounts currently under control of the Centre for Innovation, per the 29th of March 2019, and have adjusted our courses accordingly.

You can direct any questions or remarks in regards to this policy to MOOC@sea.leidenuniv.nl.

Kind Regards,

On behalf of Centre for Innovation, Leiden University,

Tanja de Bie, Community Manager

At least part of Leiden University is apparently making the moral and ethical call to close all their Facebook related properties. Kudos! They’ve already got a great website, perhaps they’ll move a bit more toward the IndieWeb?

🔖 Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning by James M. Lang

Bookmarked Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning by James M. Lang (Jossey-Bass)

Employ cognitive theory in the classroom every day

Research into how we learn has opened the door for utilizing cognitive theory to facilitate better student learning. But that's easier said than done. Many books about cognitive theory introduce radical but impractical theories, failing to make the connection to the classroom. In Small Teaching, James Lang presents a strategy for improving student learning with a series of modest but powerful changes that make a big difference—many of which can be put into practice in a single class period. These strategies are designed to bridge the chasm between primary research and the classroom environment in a way that can be implemented by any faculty in any discipline, and even integrated into pre-existing teaching techniques. Learn, for example:

  • How does one become good at retrieving knowledge from memory?
  • How does making predictions now help us learn in the future?
  • How do instructors instill fixed or growth mindsets in their students?

Each chapter introduces a basic concept in cognitive theory, explains when and how it should be employed, and provides firm examples of how the intervention has been or could be used in a variety of disciplines. Small teaching techniques include brief classroom or online learning activities, one-time interventions, and small modifications in course design or communication with students.

hat tip: Robert Talbert

👓 Three teaching habits that support active learning | Robert Talbert

Read Three teaching habits that support active learning by Robert Talbert (Robert Talbert, Ph.D.)
Teaching is behavior and behavior is founded on habits. How can teachers build good teaching habits for active learning?

🔖 Virtually Connecting March 18-20 at Digital Pedagogy Lab Toronto!

Bookmarked Virtually Connecting March 18-20 at Digital Pedagogy Lab Toronto! by greeneterry (Virtually Connecting)
The Digital Pedagogy Lab – Toronto event is on March 18-20, 2019. We are virtually connecting to you from the Gladstone Hotel in Queen West Village with two (maybe three!) opportunities to connect to this wonderful event from afar. Join us at a distance for a hangout with keynotes, track...

👓 A ‘Creepy’ Assignment: Pay Attention to What Strangers Reveal in Public | New York Times

Read Opinion | A ‘Creepy’ Assignment: Pay Attention to What Strangers Reveal in Public (New York Times)
An exercise I gave my students helps illustrate the risks to privacy in our everyday, offline lives.

I saw some on Twitter say that this was a terrible assignment and that they can accomplish the same goal without being so creepy, but naturally they neglected to give any details about improving on it.

👓 Book review by Nicolas Rashevsky of Information theory in biology | The bulletin of mathematical biophysics

Read Book review of Information theory in biology by Nicolas Rashevsky (The bulletin of mathematical biophysics, June 1954, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 183–185)

While sifting through some old bookmarks from CiteULike which is going to disappear from the web soon, I ran across one for this book review of Henry Quastler’s book Information Theory in Biology (1953).

The last page of the review had an interesting information theoretical take on not only book reviews, but the level of information they contain with respect for improved teaching and learning in an era prior to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s ideas about “flow”.

As it isn’t the easiest thing to track down, I’ll quote the relevant paragraphs from page 185:

The purpose of a scientific book (we at least hope!) is to store and convey information in a given field. The purpose of a review is to convey  information about a book. It is therefore legitimate to attempt a mathematical theory of writing books and to find the optimal conditions which make a book good. At first it may seem that the optimal conditions consist of maximizing the amount of information per page, that is, in minimizing the redundancy. But a certain amount of redundancy may not only be desirable, but necessary. When presenting a new subject to young students who have never heard of it, a judicious amount of repetition is good pedagogy. Giving an exact abstract definition and then illustrating it by an example already constitutes a logical redundancy. But how useful it frequently is! The minimum of redundancy that is found in some well-known and excellent mathematical books (nomina sunt odiosa!) occasionally makes those books difficult to read even for mathematicians.
The optimum amount of redundancy is a function of the information and intelligence of the reader for whom the book is written. The analytical form of this function is to be determined by an appropriate mathematical theory of learning. Writing a book even in a field which belongs entirely to the domains of Her Majesty the Queen of Sciences is, alas, still more an art than a science. Is it not possible, however, that in the future it may become an exact science?
If a reviewer’s information and intelligence are exactly equal to the value for which the book has been optimized, then he will perceive as defects in the book only deviations from the optimal conditions. His criticism will be objective and unbiased. If, however, the reviewer’s information and intelligence deviate in any direction from the value for which the book is intended, then he will perceive shortcomings which are not due to the deviation of the book from the optimum, but to the reviewer’s personal characteristics. He may also perceive some advantages in the same way. If in the society of the future every individual will be tagged, through appropriate tests, as to his information and intelligence at a given time, expressed in appropriate units, then a reviewer will be able to calculate the correction for his personal bias. These are fantastic dreams of today, which may become reality in the future.

Some of this is very indicative of why one has to spend some significant time finding and recommending the right textbooks [1][2] for students and why things like personalized learning and improvements in pedagogy are so painfully difficult. Sadly on the pedagogy side we haven’t come as far as he may have hoped in nearly 70 ears, and, in fact, we may have regressed.

I’ve often seen web developers in the IndieWeb community mention the idea that “naming things is hard”, so I can’t help but noticing that this 1950’s reviewer uses the Latin catchphrase nomina sunt odiosa which translates as “names are odious”, which has a very similar, but far older sentiment about naming. It was apparently a problem for the ancients as well.

👓 asciinema for recording command-line terminal sessions | Rayna M. Harris

Read asciinema for recording command-line terminal sessions by Rayna M. Harris (raynamharris.com)
Live coding screencasts are way more awesome when the text can be copied. asciinema makes this possible.

The ability to copy and paste from video like this is tremendously awesome! Because it’s text-based, it also looks like I can annotate it with Hypothes.is too. Example: https://hyp.is/-Ay6wD7nEemnq3uyMRrhrA/asciinema.org/a/3uHCusbqQd6KAYNZ15NSv21bQ

This could be an awesome teaching tool, particularly for programming.

👓 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 ...

📑 Read Write Respond #037 | Read Write Collect | Aaron Davis

Annotated Read Write Respond #037 by Aaron DavisAaron Davis (Read Write Collect)

Learning and Teaching

Letter Grades are the Enemy of Authentic & Humane Learning: Bernard Bull discusses how grades work against authentic and self-determined learning. Although they are ingrained in education, he recommends considering the aspects of life free from grades and having these conversations with others. What is interesting is this is only one post being shared at the moment. Bill Ferriter shared his concerns about the association between standard grades and fixed mindset, while Will Richardson argues that grades only matter because we choose to let them matter.This continues some of the points discussed in Clive Rose’s book The End of Average and Jesse Stommell’s presentation on grades and the LMS. It is also something that Templestowe College has touched in the development of alternative pathways to higher education.  

Thanks for aggregating a variety of sources here!

I’d recently come across Robert Talbert’s post Traditional Grading: The Great Demotivator which likely fits into this same sub-topic.