Tag Archives: IFTTT

TWEET: Massive-scale online collaboration

After re-purposing CAPTCHA so each human-typed response helps digitize books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good. In this talk, he shares how his ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the Web quickly and accurately — all for free.

Massive-scale online collaboration

via Twitter https://twitter.com/nigelchpainting

January 25, 2017 at 08:57AM

On one level I admire the idea of harnessing the combined efforts of millions of individuals to solve a problem.  I’m aware that similar ‘crowd sourcing’ has been used to identify potentially habitable planets and in the identification of abnormal cells.  In a similar vein I tried (unsuccessfully) to get the company I work for involved in using the processing power of our PCs for cancer research, while the computers were not being used a night.

My only issue with this type of distributed / networked effort is when it’s done in a covert way.  I’ve mentioned the ulterior motive of RECAPTCHA to a few friends and work colleagues and none of them knew that it was being used to digitise books.  As a result their first reaction was a feeling of having been ‘used’, regardless of whether digitising the books in question would be to the greater good.

In my view this type of ‘covert’ activity, however well intended, risks adding to public fears about the misuse of data.

TWEET: Two viewpoints on reCAPTCHA

Adapted from https://www.scienceabc.com/innovation/how-does-captcha-work-google-recaptcha.html

Two viewpoints on reCAPTCHA – assisting Google to digitise books its AI can’t read. https://t.co/kmFURVwlMs https://t.co/zwEqKf8HC3

via Twitter https://twitter.com/nigelchpainting

January 25, 2017 at 08:51AM

New AI System Can Learn Like A Human, And Store Info Like A Computer

New AI System Can Learn Like A Human, And Store Info Like A Computer https://t.co/F9ESobvqWq

via Twitter https://twitter.com/nigelchpainting

January 25, 2017 at 08:41AM

I’ve returned to this earlier post having completed several weeks of the course as it feels very relevant to algorithmic cultures block and the question of whether artificial intelligence is a substitute for human pedagogy.

I’ve grappled with this question in a later post.

Google Trend comparison of search term “technology enhanced learning” v “e-learning” v “online learning” https://t.co/pPRccbd4hd #mscedc https://t.co/pPRccbd4hd

Haven’t figured out yet why my links aren’t pulling though from Twitter with IFTTT.

I’m manually adding them for now, which rather defeats the object. That and my smart watch telling me I just need to do another 26 steps makes me wonder about the whole idea of technology being subservient to humans.


from http://twitter.com/nigelchpainting

Edit 1st April 2017 and explanation of why I posted…

This trend analysis seems to be at odds with Bayne’s (2015) paper:
“A rapid analysis of search frequency on these terms, using Google Trends, shows a steady decline of searches on ‘learning technology’ and ‘e-learning’ since 2004, and a rise in the new terminology of ‘technology-enhanced learning’ (TEL) which is specific to the UK. ”

Looking at the analysis since 2004 there was a decline in searches for ‘Online learning’ although the trend appears to be increasing again now.  Searches for e-learning have declined but searches for ‘technology enhanced learning’ have been very low throughout that period and certainly don’t appear to have increased.

However, this doesn’t in any way detract from Bayne’s arguments as to whether education is ‘enhanced’ by technology.


Bayne, S. (2015) What’s the matter with ‘technology-enhanced learning’?, Learning, Media and Technology, 40:1, 5-20, DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2014.915851

Do genes influence our social media use?


from http://twitter.com/nigelchpainting

Group of school children with tablet PC in classroom – image from iStock

“Online media use such as social networking and gaming could be strongly influenced by our genes, according to a new study by researchers from King’s College London.”

“Professor Robert Plomin, senior author from the IoPPN at King’s College London, said: ‘The key component of this gene-environment correlation is choice, such that individuals are not simply passive recipients of their environment but instead actively select their experiences and these selections are correlated with their genetic propensities.'”

As Knox, J, outlined in the pre-reading for this course “The humanist foundation of education severely limits our understanding of technology, precisely because the essence of the human subject is preserved as a bounded entity, entirely separate from the outside world of objects: technologies, environments,and other “nonhuman” things.”  This news story brings an interesting dimension to the dichotomy between whether “human agency drives technological change” (social determinism) or “digital devices define and govern how people use them” (technological determinism).  It suggests that the former is more likely and is, at least in part, due to genetic predisposition.

Given the prevalence of digital and digital social interaction in education this research could have wider implications for those of use working in this field.