Time to Understand Blockchain

What is blockchain? A blockchain is a digital scaffolding for transactions.  We've heard a lot about it recently in relation to Bitcoin. Blockchain was developed about 10 years ago to scaffold cryptocurrency transactions.  Investopedia explains blockchain (referring to cryptocurrencies) as 'a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as "completed" blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order, it allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central recordkeeping. Each node (a computer connected to the network) gets ...

Wikispaces is Closing

Wikispaces, a part of TES, announced last week that the site will close starting 31 July 2018. 'Sparse, scale-free network' flickr photo by sjcockell https://flickr.com/photos/sjcockell/8425835703 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license Why is Wikispaces closing? It costs too much: 'Over the last twelve months we have been carrying out a complete technical review of the infrastructure and software we use to serve Wikispaces users. As part of the review, it has become apparent that the required investment to bring the ...

MOOCs, Artificial Intelligence, and Models of Thinking

A little background reading for this post: First, a quick Wikipedia definition of MOOC: 'A massive open online course is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as filmed lectures, readings, and problem sets, many MOOCs provide interactive user forums to support community interactions among students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs). MOOCs are a recent and widely researched development in distance education which were first introduced in 2006 and emerged as a popular mode of learning in 2012.' ...

Animating Still Life

I hope you remember reading a post of mine which was published on this site at the end of July this year titled Transforming the meaning of evidence and truth. If not, go have a look, and then watch this video, and read on below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?30=&v=-RetOjL1Fhw "What use is there for this technology, you may be asking? Well, with Facebook’s involvement, it is quite possible that users will be able to animate their profile picture and cause it to react to stimuli ...

Searching for the Truth

Continuing my thoughts and writing about fake news, fake web pages, teaching search skills, and ultimately, trying to find the Truth of a matter, this post brings together for your consideration two web articles which are not new, but which work well together. The first is Why Students Can't Google their Way to the Truth, by Sam Wineburg and Sarah McGrew, published 1 November 2016.  The authors describe their research at Stamford University: "Over the past 18 months, we administered assessments that ...

Is it fake nature, or is it a story?

First, I'd like to explore the "Is it fake nature" part of my post's title: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMZlr5Gf9yY "The 1958 Disney documentary into lemmings that won the academy award. Footage of lemmings jumping off cliffs was later found out to be faked. Edited version just showing the fake footage." My guess is that most of you reading this post are not old enough to have watched the above television show when it was first broadcast in 1958.  (I will admit that I remember it vividly.  It ...

Encoding and Decoding

Anyone connected to ICT and education is familiar with the word "code" - and recently "Teach the kids to code" is all the rage. It usually implies that we should teach kids the fundamentals of computer programming. (In this post I'm going to use the word "kids" as a code word for "learner of any age".) But if you think about it, we also teach kids to code, as in reading and writing, all their lives, all the time.  Let's explore this ...

The IB Learner Profile, ATL and Anti-Plagiarism Software

I recently found myself involved in the review of a school's Academic Honesty Policy, which led me to some background reading, which (as often happens) caused me to fall down an internet rabbit hole: First stop: NPR ED "Turnitin And The Debate Over Anti-Plagiarism Software" (August 25, 2014, Heard on All Things Considered) [audio mp3="https://blogs.osc-ib.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/20140825_atc_turnitin_and_the_high-tech_plagiarism_debate.mp3"] Coming as I do from the IB world, this phrase in the post caught my eye: The fact that anti-plagiarism software can't tell the difference between accidental and intentional plagiarism is just one reason ...

Differentiation with Social Media Tools

This week I was notified of a change on a shared Google Spreadsheet I "follow" which is collecting "Differentiation with Social Media Tools". As I write, there are  109 online social media tools listed, with the type, URL, a short assessment or review, and suggestions for content, process and product differentiation. The page was built and is maintained by John McCarthy, an Education Blogger  at Edutopia - George Lucas Educational Foundation. You can learn more about him on his web page. Linked to ...

PADagogy Wheel 4.1 Update

Allan Carrington's Padagogy Wheel 4.1 has undergone a number of iterations over the years. It encourages educators to use and adapt the Padagogy Wheel under Creative Commons license 3.0. The most recent English version 4.1 has set a notable target for creating the Padagogy Wheel in 22 other languages by the end of 2016.     The current  Padagogy Wheel Poster 4.1 can be printed as an A3 or A2 size poster or used electronically by clicking on the links on the online ...