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Reading: Editors’ Choice: COVID-19 Roundup

From Editors’ Choice: COVID-19 Roundup

A superb set of reviewed links by the editors of Digital Humanities Now.

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a range of reflections and resources related to digital humanities, especially on digital pedagogy, labor, data visualization, and online collections.

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Reading: Teaching in the Time of Coronavirus, Part II

From Teaching in the Time of Coronavirus, Part II

Thank you to Aaron Barlow for calling the online fallback. Much of what I was reading on the tech and distance ed boards took the attitude of Unfortunate But Necessary. Many posters and teachers went with Opportunity Knocks. But ask the students and a different sense comes out:

This was confirmed last Wednesday when I quizzed them about their loud negative reaction to the college’s closing. Few of the students like the online tools we use every day; none of them sees the move online in a positive light. They feel their educations are being disrupted and suspect that the replacement they are being offered is a sham.

And it is.

[…]

Most educators have a somewhat cynical view of student attitudes. We think that, like most of the rest of society, they have bought into the factory model of education, that they are in school only to get the degrees that will further their upward movement in society. We forget that many of them are actually interested in learning—even though they may appear to be sleepwalking through at least some of their courses. They want their degrees to mean something, to be more than just magical pieces of paper.

Our students, of course, are shoved into as difficult a situation by coronavirus as we are. This is no vacation for them, and they know it. They also recognize that the colleges and universities are lying to them through the very act of replacing their classes with online approximations—though they, too, know the lying may be necessary. They feel frustrated, for they do not want to delay their progress toward their degrees; they feel they have no choice but to accept what is happening. But they do not like it and some of them feel—and are—technologically unprepared for the new situation. Though almost all of them have smartphones, not everyone has a computer at home for writing papers.

The lying isn’t necessary; but the universities are not in a position to offer much more than online versions right now. That’s our fault. The unwelcome move online might reveal another crack in the papered-over system. We’ll need to repair things later. We’ll need to repair a lot of things Later.

But, Barlow suggests, we need to change teaching and learning Right Now.

If we work at it, it may prove better than anything we have done before, though it will not be categorizable and will not even be the online coursework we are trying to ram down our throats and our students’ throats.

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Reading: Academic Freedom and the LMS

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Timid university administrators bow to bullying system admins, aggressive accreditation institutions, and a political use of FERPA by local IT admins to keep the adjuncts in their assigned place and their LMS contracts sacrosanct.

The problem: mandatory use of a system-sanctioned LMS.

The solution: regaining the discussion, invoking standards of teaching.

The most important standard I would bring to any discussion about what technology should be employed on campus and the faculty role in how it should be employed is that faculty deserve the same prerogatives when they use an online tool as they do when they are teaching in an entirely conventional face-to-face classroom. To suggest anything else defeats the purpose of moving any part of a class online in the first place.

The second standard I would bring to any discussion of how technology like the LMS should be employed on campus is that faculty should be offered as many technological choices as possible and that they should be the ones who make the final decision about which ones they use.

The final standard I would bring to a discussion of the LMS is that the result should be as close to the open Internet as humanly possible. That means faculty have to be able to employ tools that exist entirely outside their LMS if they so choose, like Slack or Hypothes.is, the open source web annotation program.

Because

college campuses are the kinds of places that are supposed to be on the cutting edge of technology since they have so many smart people on them. Treat those smart people like the average corporate peon when it comes to how they teach – the action at the center of their job descriptions – and you are going to have a lot of very unhappy smart people on your hands.

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Reading: It’s Time to Move Away from the Digital Classroom in Our Smartphone-Altered Universe

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Smartphones and pervasiveness could help us undo the knots education admin created for online learning.

Education administrators who have bought into the various digital-platform models, on the other hand, have long seen their avenues of digital instruction as a way to reduce reliance on teachers by regularizing curricula through digital replication and turning the teachers into overseers, people there simply to solve problems as students take more and more control of their education. The digital, these people dreamed, could make most teachers redundant.

Though student control of their own education is a laudable goal, that’s not the only goal of those pushing online education. Cost-cutting and streamlining are even more important ends. Producing a workforce augmentation implemented seamlessly also is.

The growth of the student as a person and a citizen is not. Education, as we have defined it in the United States (until recently), is not.

Thing is, the digital landscape our students inhabit has changed dramatically since the old assumptions about digital utility in education were formulated. The smartphone has become student interface with much of the world, including families and, yes, classrooms. Anyone simply looking around today can see that the smartphone should be changing all of assumptions about utility of digital tools–but it hasn’t.

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Reading: Education in the Corporate Oz | ACADEME BLOG

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Online Ed is a swindle. MnSCU endorses it. Corporate culture endorses it. Some faculty endorse it. Even students endorse it when it serves them to side-step a requirement. Part of the swindle has public ed selling off public resources to corporate interests under the guise of filling a gap. But the gap is between solid face to face education and lower quality DE. It can’t be filled, but there is money to be made in selling filler.

This swindle lies behind Carey’s essay. To save money, many universities are moving more heavily than ever before into online education, charging as much, sometimes, for their new courses as they do for their more costly (to the institutions) on-campus courses. Even public institutions are involved: They charge the same for online and hybrid (partly online and partly classroom) courses as they do for classroom-based ones, though it costs much less for the institutions to offer such courses. This saves so much money that the colleges and universities are loathe to signal that they are providing a lower-standard product through their online and hybrid catalogs. So, they maintain the fiction by charging the same for both. They want to keep that money coming in; they don’t feel they can afford to admit, through a separate pricing structure, that the online and hybrid courses are not on the same level of instruction as what goes on when the focus of education is at least three hours a week of personal “interface.”

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What I’m reading 8 Jul 2016 through 19 Jul 2016

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What I’m reading 13 May 2016 through 30 May 2016

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What I’m reading 19 Mar 2016 through 22 Mar 2016

  • The Purpose of Online Discussion – Hybrid Pedagogy – Whether this article addresses the matter of //purpose// is open, but there is this matter of mediation rephrased: "While the introjection of machines is an interesting opportunity for further educational research, as an instructor, plan for student participation with this in mind: they are interacting with a machine and not people. An online discussion is more like a computer’s lecture than an IRL discussion, no matter how interactive."

    Mediation is opportunity. So suggests McLuhan. – (cmc de )

  • How Will Keeping A Notebook Help You Hack Your Life – WebSeitz/wiki – Bill Seitz on using a wiki as a notebook. It's more than a hack. It's a way of life. – (en3177 notebooks notetaking DH )
  • ‘I Love My Label’: Resisting the Pre-Packaged Sound in Ed-Tech – Tapping into a volume of historical data, the predictive algorithm guides course selection in a way that improves academic success and drives on-time degree completion.” But just like the predictive modeling in music, this process should prompt us to ask a lot of questions about what feeds that algorithm and what are the results: What sorts of classes get recommended? Are students offered something that sounds familiar, comfortable? What signals to the algorithm what a student might find familiar? What happens in the face of an algorithmic education to intellectual curiosity? To risk-taking, to exploration, experimentation, play? To the major that many of us pursue for a while, “Undecided.” Does the educational system as-is, with or without an algorithm, value these things? And what happens when classes are devised in order to perform well according to this algorithm? – (corporateculture d2l )
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What I’m reading 6 Jan 2016

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What I’m reading 8 Aug 2015 through 26 Aug 2015

  • The Fraught Interaction Design of Personalized Learning Products – The underfunded universities are going to paying a lot for suggestions about time management from the machine. And are students going take those suggestions or are teachers setting up to enforce them? Ah, you make learning fun!

    "the perceived value of the product is directly related to the confidence that students and teachers have that the product is rendering an accurate diagnosis. That’s why I think products that provide black box diagnoses are doomed to market failure in the long term. As the market matures, students and teachers are going to want to know not only what the diagnosis is but what the basis of the diagnosis is, so that they can judge for themselves whether they think the machine is correct." – (de d2l prescriptivism predictive )

  • ELO 2015: The End(s) of Electronic Literature August 5. – Just in case you missed it: streams from the ELO, Bergen, Aug 2015 – (DH ELO )
  • elearnspace › White House: Innovation in Higher Education – Seimens's blog report on a secret White House thinktank with the for-profit education sector. Watch your back. The private sector wants your tax dollars. – (education disruption )