Yochai Benklerexplains: “The various formats of the networked public sphere provide anyone with an outlet to speak, to inquire, to investigate, without need to access the resources of a major media organization.”
Democratic bodies are typically elected in periods of three to five years, yet citizen opinions seem to fluctuate daily and sometimes these mood swings grow to enormous proportions. When thousands of people all start tweeting about the same subject on the same day, you know that something is up. With so much dynamic and salient political diversity in the electorate, how can policy-makers ever reach a consensus that could satisfy everyone?
At the same time, it would be a grave mistake to discount the voices of the internet as something that has no connection to real political situations.
What happened in the UK was not only a political disaster, but also a vivid example of what happens when you combine the uncontrollable power of the internet with a lingering visceral feeling that ordinary people have lost control of the politics that shape their lives.
Polarization as a driver of populism
People who have long entertained right-wing populist ideas, but were never confident enough to voice them openly, are now in a position to connect to like-minded others online and use the internet as a megaphone for their opinions.
The resulting echo chambers tend to amplify and reinforce our existing opinions, which is dysfunctional for a healthy democratic discourse. And while social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter generally have the power to expose us to politically diverse opinions, research suggests that the filter bubbles they sometimes create are, in fact, exacerbated by the platforms’ personalization algorithms, which are based on our social networks and our previously expressed ideas. This means that instead of creating an ideal type of a digitally mediated “public agora”, which would allow citizens to voice their concerns and share their hopes, the internet has actually increased conflict and ideological segregation between opposing views, granting a disproportionate amount of clout to the most extreme opinions.
The disintegration of the general will
In political philosophy, the very idea of democracy is based on the principal of the general will, which was proposed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the 18th century. Rousseau envisioned that a society needs to be governed by a democratic body that acts according to the imperative will of the people as a whole.
There can be no doubt that a new form of digitally mediated politics is a crucial component of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: the internet is already used for bottom-up agenda-setting, empowering citizens to speak up in a networked public sphere, and pushing the boundaries of the size, sophistication and scope of collective action. In particular, social media has changed the nature of political campaigning and will continue to play an important role in future elections and political campaigns around the world.
more on the impact of technology on democracy in this IMS blog:
The light and fluffy version of computer science—which is proliferating as a superficial response to the increased need for coders in the workplace—is a phenomenon I refer to as “pop computing.” While calling all policy makers and education leaders to consider “computer science education for all” is a good thing, the coding culture promoted by Code.org and its library of movie-branded coding apps provide quick experiences of drag-and-drop code entertainment.
playing with coding apps as compared to learning to design an app using code. Building an app takes time and requires multi-dimensional learning contexts, pathways and projects.
Computing and computer science is the equivalent of immersing in a thicker study of music—its origins, influences, aesthetics, applications, theories, composition, techniques, variations and meanings. In other words, the actual foundations and experiences that change an individual’s mindset.
As noted by MIT’s Marvin Minsky and Alan Kay, computational innovation and literacy have much in common with music literacy. Just as would-be musicians become proficient by listening improvising and composing, and not just by playing other people’s compositions, so would-be programmers become proficient by designing prototypes and models that work for solving real problems, doing critical thinking and analysis, and creative collaboration—none of which can be accomplished in one hour of coding. In other words, just as a kid playing Guitar Hero wouldn’t be considered a musician, someone playing with coding apps isn’t exactly a coder or computer scientist.
Like the millennials before them, Generation Z grew up as digital natives, with devices a fixture in the learning experience. According to the survey results, these students want “engaging, interactive learning experiences” and want to be “empowered to make their own decisions.” In addition, the students “expect technology to play an instrumental role in their educational experience.”
to cater to the digital appetites of tomorrow’s higher education learners, technology in education will need to play a bit of catch-up, states the New Media Consortium’s 2015 Course Apps report. According to NMC’s analysts, digital-textbook adoption was one of the leading trends helping to reinvent how higher education students learn. But publishers have not captured the innovations happening elsewhere in the digital marketplace.
The Generation Z report ranked the effectiveness of 11 education technology tools:
Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman When he was young, Kaufman had central auditory processing disorder, which made it hard for him to process verbal information in real time. He was asked to repeat third grade because he was considered a “slow” learner.
Kaufman thinks the traditional IQ test does a good job of measuring general cognitive ability, but says it misses all the ways that ability interacts with engagement. An individual’s goals within the learning classroom and excitement about a topic affect how he or she pursues learning, none of which is captured on IQ tests. Worse, those tests are often used to filter people in or out of special programs.
FOUR PRACTICES TO CULTIVATE CHILDREN’S CREATIVITY
allowing more solitary reflective time in kids’ schedules. Whether it’s the constant demands on attention at school or in after-school activities, there often isn’t enough time in a child’s day when she can switch off the executive functioning network and tap into the imagination network.
“We support obsessive passion, but not harmonious passion,” Kaufman said. He defines harmonious passion as a core part of people’s identity that makes them feel good about themselves. Harmonious passion is characterized by flexible engagement, where a child can abandon the pursuit if it isn’t paying dividends.
give young kids a diverse set of experiences in order to increase the chances of inspiration. “Lots of things add meaning to our lives,” he said.
educators, parents, and policymakers need to reset their mindsets around student ability. “Kids who think differently are not appreciated in our school system at all
it’s even worth measuring imagination, but Kaufman believes that measurement is important so researchers can see how changing behavior affects creative achievement. But he hopes the measurements are never used as another sorting mechanism.
My note: Kaufman makes a new call for an old trend. The futility of testing is raging across the United States K12 system. Higher education is turned into the last several decades (similarly to the United States health care system) into a cash cow. When the goal is profit, then good education goes down the drain. Cultivating children’s creativity cannot happen, when the foremost goals to make more money, which inevitably entails spending less cash (not only on teacher’s salaries).
It’s become increasingly common for hackers to sell compromised streaming accounts for services like Netflix, HBO, and Spotify on the dark web — a section of the internet only accessible from a special web browser. These account passwords are often recovered from phishing attempts, a hacking method that involves tricking someone into giving up their account info to what appears to be a legit source.
Berg, M., & Seeber, B. (2016). Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy. University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division.
“Distractedness and fragmentation characterize contemporary academic life”
A number of factors. Over the last two decades, we’ve seen increases in class sizes, the casualization of academic labour, administrative bloating, the shift toward quantification of our time and our output. Pressures to publish, new technology, the downloading of tasks and the confusion it creates – these all have led to a situation where we spend less time talking face-to-face with each other and more time multitasking. There seems to be less sense of community and collegiality.
ACRL e-Learning webcast series: Learning Analytics – Strategies for Optimizing Student Data on Your Campus
This three-part webinar series, co-sponsored by the ACRL Value of Academic Libraries Committee, the Student Learning and Information Committee, and the ACRL Instruction Section, will explore the advantages and opportunities of learning analytics as a tool which uses student data to demonstrate library impact and to identify learning weaknesses. How can librarians initiate learning analytics initiatives on their campuses and contribute to existing collaborations? The first webinar will provide an introduction to learning analytics and an overview of important issues. The second will focus on privacy issues and other ethical considerations as well as responsible practice, and the third will include a panel of librarians who are successfully using learning analytics on their campuses.
Webcast One: Learning Analytics and the Academic Library: The State of the Art and the Art of Connecting the Library with Campus Initiatives
March 29, 2016
Learning analytics are used nationwide to augment student success initiatives as well as bolster other institutional priorities. As a key aspect of educational reform and institutional improvement, learning analytics are essential to defining the value of higher education, and academic librarians can be both of great service to and well served by institutional learning analytics teams. In addition, librarians who seek to demonstrate, articulate, and grow the value of academic libraries should become more aware of how they can dovetail their efforts with institutional learning analytics projects. However, all too often, academic librarians are not asked to be part of initial learning analytics teams on their campuses, despite the benefits of library inclusion in these efforts. Librarians can counteract this trend by being conversant in learning analytics goals, advantages/disadvantages, and challenges as well as aware of existing examples of library successes in learning analytics projects.
Learn about the state of the art in learning analytics in higher education with an emphasis on 1) current models, 2) best practices, 3) ethics, privacy, and other difficult issues. The webcast will also focus on current academic library projects and successes in gaining access to and inclusion in learning analytics initiatives on their campus. Benefit from the inclusion of a “short list” of must-read resources as well as a clearly defined list of ways in which librarians can leverage their skills to be both contributing members of learning analytics teams, suitable for use in advocating on their campuses.
student’s opinion of this process
benefits: self-assessment, personal learning, empwerment
analytics and data privacy – students are OK with harvesting the data (only 6% not happy)
8 in 10 are interested in personal dashboard, which will help them perform
Big Mother vs Big Brother: creepy vs helpful. tracking classes, helpful, out of class (where on campus, social media etc) is creepy. 87% see that having access to their data is positive
recognize metrics, assessment, analytics, data. visualization, data literacy, data science, interpretation
INSTRUCTION DEPARTMENT – N.B.
determine who is the key leader: director of institutional research, president, CIO
who does analyics services: institutional research, information technology, dedicated center
analytic maturity: data drivin, decision making culture; senior leadership commitment,; policy supporting (data ollection, accsess, use): data efficacy; investment and resourcefs; staffing; technical infrastrcture; information technology interaction
student success maturity: senior leader commited; fudning of student success efforts; mechanism for making student success decisions; interdepart collaboration; undrestanding of students success goals; advising and student support ability; policies; information systems
developing learning analytics strategy
understand institutional challenges; identify stakeholders; identify inhibitors/challenges; consider tools; scan the environment and see what other done; develop a plan; communicate the plan to stakeholders; start small and build
ways librarians can help
idenfify institu partners; be the partners; hone relevant learning analytics; participate in institutional analytics; identify questions and problems; access and work to improve institu culture; volunteer to be early adopters;
questions to ask: environmental scanning
do we have a learning analytics system? does our culture support? leaders present? stakeholders need to know?
questions to ask: Data
questions to ask: Library role
learning analytics & the academic library: the state of the art of connecting the library with campus initiatives
7 Things You Should Know About First-Generation Learning Analytics. Published:
causation versus correlation studies. speakers claims that it is difficult to establish causation argument. institutions try to predict as accurately as possible via correlation, versus “if you do that it will happen what.”