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Judge orders FCC to hand over IP addresses linked to fake net neutrality comments. from r/technology
Judge Orders FCC to Hand Over IP Addresses Linked to Fake Net Neutrality Comments
The Times’ lawsuit follows reporting by Gizmodo that exposed multiple attempts by the FCC to manufacture stories about hackers attacking its comment system. In reality, the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) crashed, both in 2015 and 2017, after Last Week Tonight host John Oliver instructed millions of his viewers to flood the agency with pro-net neutrality comments.
For over a year, the FCC claimed to have proof that distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks were behind the comment system issues. In August 2018, however, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai finally admitted that wasn’t true. After an inspector general report found no evidence of an attack, Pai sought to pin the blame on his staff—and, for some reason, former President Barack Obama.
Pai stated in an agency memo in 2018 that it was a “fact” that Russian accounts were behind the half-million comments. His attorneys, meanwhile, were arguing the exact opposite in court.
more on net neutrality in this IMS blog
The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Unleashed A Revolution In Education: From Now On, Blended Learning Will Be The Benchmark
Enrique Dans ITORS’ PICK|28,492 views|
Classes that will continue as best they can, voluntarism, online teaching seen simply as a side dish, students without access to computers or an internet connection, teachers who simply assign essays based on reading material, or measures such as a universal pass have become sadly common.
The change will be permanent: educational activity will no longer be face-to-face or online but a blend, able to move from one to another immediately fluidly, continually, through a student’s life, way beyond the school, college or university years.
Firstly, we need to resolve the so-called digital divide
Secondly, this will mean that teachers must reconsider all their methodologies and prepare them for this new, blended learning environment.
Thirdly, institutions, both educational and normative, must understand that, in this new context, some ways of teaching no longer make sense.
Online teaching will not consist of turning a handle while students learn on their own. On the contrary: it will require teachers to engage more than ever, who will spend many hours in forums moderating conversations and opening new threads.
Teaching synchronously? Asynchronously? Which is really better?
An example of “doing both”
How to Reconnect With Students and Strengthen Your Remote Course
APRIL 09, 2020
how to structure a supportive learning environment, and how that might apply to an emergency situation such as this, where many students struggle to stay focused, or find it difficult to learn with unfamiliar systems and technologies.
- Normalize the abnormal.
- Create an online presence.
- Explain, and then explain some more.
- Take advantage of the technology.
- Foster community.
more on synchronous vs asynchronous in this IMS blog
Faculty Members Fear Pandemic Will Weaken Their Ranks
APRIL 09, 2020
Covid-19 is being described as both a crisis and an opportunity for higher education. But how “opportunity” is defined depends on where one stands in the academic hierarchy. While some hope the pandemic provides a chance to reverse troubling trends toward the adjunctification and casualization of academic labor, administrators may see it as a different sort of opportunity, to realign institutional priorities or exert greater authority over their faculties.
A statement by the Tenure for the Common Good group offers 20 recommendations for administrators, including that they “resist using the current crisis as an opportunity to exploit contingency further by hiring more contingent faculty into precarious positions.”
As faculty members are asked to take on greater teaching, advising, and administrative responsibilities, faculty development and retention “will be more important to institutional resilience — survival — than ever before,” Kiernan Mathews, executive director and principal investigator of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education, wrote on Twitter.
To DePaola, the pandemic doesn’t pose new problems to academe as much as it magnifies existing ones. “Everything was held together with gum and paper clips, and coronavirus came and just sort of knocked it all down at once,” DePaola said. “I think none of the crises that this virus is causing are new. They’re just accelerated greatly. And the contradictions of the system are heightened all at once for people to see.”
The Small World Network of College Classes: Implications for Epidemic Spread on a University Campus
Beginning in March 2020, many universities shifted to on-line instruction to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, and many now face the difficult decision of whether and how to resume in-person instruction. This article uses complete transcript data from a medium-sized residential American university to map the two-node network that connects students and classes through course enrollments. We show that the enrollment networks of the university and its liberal arts college are “small-world” networks, characterized by high clustering and short average path lengths. In both networks, at least 98% of students are in the main component, and most students can reach each other in two steps. Removing very large courses slightly elongates path lengths, but does not disconnect these networks or eliminate all alternative paths between students. Although students from different majors tend to be clustered together, gateway courses and distributional requirements create cross-major integration. We close by discussing the implications of course networks for understanding potential epidemic spread of infection on university campuses.
#twitterstorians, in the fall, I’m teaching a course called “Fake History,” which will explore commonly held myths and lies about the past. What myth/lie/misconception about the past troubles, irks, annoys, or bothers you the most? (I’m trying to figuring out what I’m missing)
— Eladio Bobadilla (@e_b_bobadilla) April 9, 2020
more on history in this IMS blog
Increase your Instagram followers with a simple Python bot
more on Python in this IMS blog
Our Bodies Encoded: Algorithmic Test Proctoring in Higher Education
While in-person test proctoring has been used to combat test-based cheating, this can be difficult to translate to online courses. Ed-tech companies have sought to address this concern by offering to watch students take online tests, in real time, through their webcams.
Some of the more prominent companies offering these services include Proctorio, Respondus, ProctorU, HonorLock, Kryterion Global Testing Solutions, and Examity.
Algorithmic test proctoring’s settings have discriminatory consequences across multiple identities and serious privacy implications.
While racist technology calibrated for white skin isn’t new (everything from photography to soap dispensers do this), we see it deployed through face detection and facial recognition used by algorithmic proctoring systems.
While some test proctoring companies develop their own facial recognition software, most purchase software developed by other companies, but these technologies generally function similarly and have shown a consistent inability to identify people with darker skin or even tell the difference between Chinese people. Facial recognition literally encodes the invisibility of Black people and the racist stereotype that all Asian people look the same.
As Os Keyes has demonstrated, facial recognition has a terrible history with gender. This means that a software asking students to verify their identity is compromising for students who identify as trans, non-binary, or express their gender in ways counter to cis/heteronormativity.
These features and settings create a system of asymmetric surveillance and lack of accountability, things which have always created a risk for abuse and sexual harassment. Technologies like these have a long history of being abused, largely by heterosexual men at the expense of women’s bodies, privacy, and dignity.
Their promotional messaging functions similarly to dog whistle politics which is commonly used in anti-immigration rhetoric. It’s also not a coincidence that these technologies are being used to exclude people not wanted by an institution; biometrics and facial recognition have been connected to anti-immigration policies, supported by both Republican and Democratic administrations, going back to the 1990’s.
Borrowing from Henry A. Giroux, Kevin Seeber describes the pedagogy of punishment and some of its consequences in regards to higher education’s approach to plagiarism in his book chapter “The Failed Pedagogy of Punishment: Moving Discussions of Plagiarism beyond Detection and Discipline.”
my note: I am repeating this for years
Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel’s ongoing critique of Turnitin, a plagiarism detection software, outlines exactly how this logic operates in ed-tech and higher education: 1) don’t trust students, 2) surveil them, 3) ignore the complexity of writing and citation, and 4) monetize the data.
Cheating is not a technological problem, but a social and pedagogical problem.
Our habit of believing that technology will solve pedagogical problems is endemic to narratives produced by the ed-tech community and, as Audrey Watters writes, is tied to the Silicon Valley culture that often funds it. Scholars have been dismantling the narrative of technological solutionism and neutrality for some time now. In her book “Algorithms of Oppression,” Safiya Umoja Noble demonstrates how the algorithms that are responsible for Google Search amplify and “reinforce oppressive social relationships and enact new modes of racial profiling.”
Anna Lauren Hoffmann, who coined the term “data violence” to describe the impact harmful technological systems have on people and how these systems retain the appearance of objectivity despite the disproportionate harm they inflict on marginalized communities.
This system of measuring bodies and behaviors, associating certain bodies and behaviors with desirability and others with inferiority, engages in what Lennard J. Davis calls the Eugenic Gaze.
Higher education is deeply complicit in the eugenics movement. Nazism borrowed many of its ideas about racial purity from the American school of eugenics, and universities were instrumental in supporting eugenics research by publishing copious literature on it, establishing endowed professorships, institutes, and scholarly societies that spearheaded eugenic research and propaganda.
more on privacy in this IMS blog
Second, another reason that there cannot be a definitive answer to this question is the diversity of stakeholders in online education. Yong Zhao: Does it Work? The Most Meaningless Question to Ask about Online Education https://t.co/LNqv2YYb40 pic.twitter.com/SKG1jCyudo
— Ana Cristina Pratas (@AnaCristinaPrts) April 2, 2020
One of the most frequently and persistently asked questions about online education is “does it work” or “is it effective.”
The question is meaningless because there cannot be any definitive answer for a number of reasons.
First, online education (and its variants such a online instruction, online teaching, distance education and distance learning) is a big umbrella that covers a wide array of different practices, which vary a great deal in terms of quality. Comparing the effectiveness of online education with face-to-face education has been the most common research approach to examine the effectiveness of online education. And the answer has been, for a long time, that there is no significant difference between the two. This answer, however, does not mean online is effective or not, it simply means there are plenty of effective and ineffective programs in both online and face-to-face education. In other words, the within variation is larger than the between variation.
Second, another reason that there cannot be a definitive answer to this question is the diversity of stakeholders in online education.
And unfortunately what works for one stakeholder may not work for the others.
Third, even within the same program and with only students as the stakeholder, there cannot be a definitive answer because no program can possibly have the same effects on all students equally.
Fourth, yet another reason that the question cannot have a definitive answer is the multiplicity of outcomes. Education outcomes include more than what has been typically measured by grades or tests.
Fifth, the rapid changes in technology that can be used to deliver online education add to the elusiveness of a definitive answer to the question. While pedagogy, design, and human actors certainly paly a significant role in the experiences of online education, so does technology.
more on online education in this IMS blog
The Difference Between Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning
Moving instruction online can enable the flexibility of teaching and learning anywhere, anytime, but the speed with which this move to online instruction is expected to happen is unprecedented and staggering.
“Online learning” will become a politicized term that can take on any number of meanings depending on the argument someone wants to advance.
Online learning carries a stigma of being lower quality than face-to-face learning, despite research showing otherwise. These hurried moves online by so many institutions at once could seal the perception of online learning as a weak option
Researchers in educational technology, specifically in the subdiscipline of online and distance learning, have carefully defined terms over the years to distinguish between the highly variable design solutions that have been developed and implemented: distance learning, distributed learning, blended learning, online learning, mobile learning, and others. Yet an understanding of the important differences has mostly not diffused beyond the insular world of educational technology and instructional design researchers and professionals.
Online learning design options (moderating variables)
- Fully online
- Blended (over 50% online)
- Blended (25–50% online)
- Web-enabled F2F
- Self-paced (open entry, open exit)
- Class-paced with some self-paced
- < 35 to 1
- 36–99 to 1
- 100–999 to 1
- > 1,000 to 1
Role of Online Assessments
- Determine if student is ready for new content
- Tell system how to support the student (adaptive instruction)
- Provide student or teacher with information about learning state
- Input to grade
- Identify students at risk of failure
- Instructor Role Online
- Active instruction online
- Small presence online
Student Role Online
- Listen or read
- Complete problems or answer questions
- Explore simulation and resources
- Collaborate with peers
Online Communication Synchrony
- Asynchronous only
- Synchronous only
- Some blend of both
Source of Feedback
More on online learning in this IMS blog
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