Tag Archives: Lifestream

TWEET: Use data to build better schools

“Learning is not a place but an activity”

Andreas Schleicher talks about the PISA test.  This is a global measurement that ranks countries against one another and uses the data to help schools improve.

“Measuring how much time people spend in school or what degree they’ve got is not always a good way of seeing what they can actually do”

PISA tests whether students can extrapolate what they’ve learned and apply their knowledge in novel situations.  Apparently we’re so, so in the rankings of the readiness of our young people for today’s economy.

Most relevant to this algorithmic cultures block “Data can be more powerful than administrative control or financial subsidy through which we usually run education”

TWEET: too easily distracted

A shocking indictment of how ineffective those side bar adverts can be that I’m having to force myself to look at them.  In contrast the ads that appear in the timeline are virtually impossible to miss, which is probably why people find those more annoying.

Possible learning here for the placement of information in e-learning design.

TWEET: Pinterest

Apparently it’s a setting we don’t have access to or needs a plugin. I’ve mentioned before that the idea of embedding content from lots of sources has been problematic for me.  My recommendation for  future iterations of this course would be to ensure that all the major embed format are fully supported.

Actor-Network Theory in Plain English

Actor-Network Theory in Plain English
via YouTube

Relevant extracts from Knox, J. K. (2014).

Perspectives on technology

“Hamilton and Friesen suggest that educational research is dominated by instrumentalist or essentialist perspectives, the former viewing technology as the transparent means to accomplishing educational aims, and the latter assuming innate and absolute properties (2013). These determinist perspectives maintain a separation between human beings and technology that posit either as the driving force that regulates and controls the other. Drawing from Dahlberg (2004), Kanuka suggests that educationalists tend to adopt one of three positions: ‘uses determinism’ involving the view that technology is a transparent tool for the realisation of educational aims (aligning with instrumentalism); ‘technological determinism’ concerning the effects of technology on individuals and society (aligning with essentialism); and ‘social determinism’ which perceives societal contexts to drive changes and uses of technology (2008)”  

“I suggest that both behaviourism and connectivism have tended to adopt determinist views: either perceiving technology to influence preferred conduct and supress undesired behaviour (Kanuka 2008), or to be the invisible means to achieving educational aims (Hamilton and Friesen 2013), in this case the formation of connections with other participants in the form of a Personal Learning Network (Siemens 2010, Kop et al. 2011).”

Sociomaterial Theory

“I suggest that the fundamental difference hailed by sociomaterial theory is a shift away from the identification of determining factors and towards a consideration of what is produced through co-constitutive relations (Fenwick et al. 2011). Rather than beginning with the foundational categories of ‘technology’, ‘society’ or the ‘user’, the most radical sociomaterial approach contends that ‘[a]ll things – human and non-human, hybrids and parts, knowledge and systems – emerge as effects of connections and activity’ (Fenwick et al. 2011, p3 emphasis original). In other words, a clear determinist position is impossible because any object, concept, person or thing is necessarily determined by other relations. More generally, the sociomaterial signals a range of 46 © ISSN: 2255-1514 Campus Virtuales, 01, III, 2014 approaches that foreground the relationships and entanglements between what is considered social and human, and what is thought to be material and non-human”

Knox, J. K. (2014). Active algorithms: sociomaterial spaces in the E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC. Campus Virtuales, 3(1): 42-55.

SEO Lesson 8 Keyword Optimizing Header Tags H1 – H6 on Each Webpage by Tidyrank

SEO Lesson 8 Keyword Optimizing Header Tags H1 – H6 on Each Webpage by Tidyrank
via YouTube

One of the concerns about algorithms is the way that certain information can be privileged over other information due to its position in search rankings, and the bias that can be introduced by only showing search engine users links to content that is similar to content they’ve previously looked at.  This video shows some of the mechanisms behind how that happens.

SEO Lesson 7 Using keywords in the title of the webpage to improve your rankings and click through r

SEO Lesson 7 Using keywords in the title of the webpage to improve your rankings and click through r
via YouTube

One of the concerns about algorithms is the way that certain information can be privileged over other information due to its position in search rankings, and the bias that can be introduced by only showing search engine users links to content that is similar to content they’ve previously looked at.  This video shows some of the mechanisms behind how that happens.

TWEET: Adchoices from the advertiser’s perspective

A rather telling quote from the opening of this blogged article reads “The good news for advertisers is that [the Adchoices] icon is fairly small and unobtrusive; most consumers don’t even notice it.”  However, the closing remarks are more positive from both a consumer and advertiser perspective.  “I’d love to see Google go the extra mile and offer additional information to advertisers.  Sharing information gleaned from muted ads could be a game changer for PPC advertisers. […] Analyzing the results from this would allow advertisers to understand whether their ads simply aren’t resonating with their audience, or if they are too repetitive. Armed with this information, they will know when they need to create fresh ads or adjust their ad delivery settings.”  This feels like a good example of how analytics can be used to drive improvements, although it appears in this case that the data isn’t being made available to those who could make the best use of it.

Incidentally, in a moment of pure serendipity, while tweeting the above I noticed a link to follow my nephew’s partner on Twitter – algorithms in action!