Weekend Funny  – Dr Evil meets Lego

Weekend Funny – Dr Evil meets Lego

I found this on Ars Technica. “At a meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Seattle earlier this month, Anderson described how he figured out how to focus sound-wave energy precisely enough to knock over a single Lego minifig without disturbing other minifigs clustered around it.”

Basically physicist Brian Anderson used a “frickin Laser” and a sonic blaster to selectively target individual Lego minifigs. I expect to see this in next seasons Lego Masters.

Xmas present ideas for teachers

Xmas present ideas for teachers

I know when Xmas is coming because my inbox and feed reader gets bombarded with “gift ideas”. If you’re stuck for ideas there might be something in this list.

TechCrunch – Gift guide for anyone working from home

TechCrunch – Gift guide: 11 gift ideas for the friend who is on way, way too many video calls

Edutopia – 7 Meaningful gifts for teachers

elearning Industry – 12 Secret Santa Gifts For Coworkers That Everyone Will Love

Women’s Health – 35 Best Teacher Gifts Of 2021 For Your Favorite Educators And Their Classrooms

The Butterfly Teacher – 7 Tech gifts for teachers

Digital Transformation is happening in your organisation, but what does that mean?

Digital Transformation is happening in your organisation, but what does that mean?

Digital transformation *(Dx) is the woolly undefined way that technology is changing the way things get done. Obviously it means different things to different organisations depending on their needs and resources.

The crux of this is change, and the core of Dx implementation needs to be change management. A fairly common problem I’ve encountered is the over promotion of the tools and processes, with less focus on inclusive strategies that progressively bring people on board. The technology aspect should be the ‘what’ of your change process, it’s not the ‘how’.

What are the universal levers and strategies that will assist your staff to shift in attitude and practice?
Have you effectively sold the WFM (What’s in it For Me) aspects to your staff?

It’s important for all education staff to have a broad understanding of Dx. It is happening whether we like it or not, and it is better to be informed so we can effectively participate and contribute to the process.

If you want to get your head around the issues, Campus Technology have recorded some expert interviews and put together some links on Dx the process.

*The use of ‘Dx’ is not particularly helpful, as upper case DX is the universally accepted abbreviation for Digital Experience.

Is Google making you think you’re smarter than you are?

Is Google making you think you’re smarter than you are?

This ARS Technica article “Could search engines be fostering some *Dunning-Kruger?” is a summary of some research by Asst Prof Adrian Ward out of the University of Texas. People mistake the internet’s knowledge for their own

It’s not about algorithms reinforcing our biases by showing us what it thinks we want to see. It’s about the effect internet searches have on our memory.

It’s a bit convoluted but the idea is that Google search throws up information so fast that when asked to reflect on why they know something the participants thought the knowledge was already in their head rather than something they found in a search. It potentially results in people having an inflated idea of their inherent mental prowess.

On the other hand people who used Wikipedia tended to remember where they got the information from.

From a teaching perspective I’m not too sure what to do with this information. In a school or university setting the effect would be negated by the requirement to make meaning from information e.g. in an assignment, and unsupported pseudo intelligence gets quickly found out when you have to pass a test. But it does present a trap that makes learning harder than it needs to be.

*Dunning-Kruger Effect – “people with low ability at a task overestimate their own ability, and that people with high ability at a task underestimate their own ability.”

If you liked this post, you might want to look at a previous post on Data Fallacies

Weekend funny – Secret Santa for the nasty

Weekend funny – Secret Santa for the nasty

Naomi Kritzer of Will Tell Stories for Food blog has been posting an annual list of Gifts for People you Hate (guide to passive-aggressive gifting) for over a decade.

Perhaps you weren’t considering a hoodie with a laser eyed T-Rex being ridden by a sloth, maybe you are now.

Laser TRex

So, if you know someone who would hate a kit for making tiny bowls out of embroidery thread, or an overly horrific skull pen organiser, this is the list for you. Be warned a lot of these gifts aren’t that bad, in fact I would consider giving about a quarter of them to my geek friends. (mmm, it looks like the hoodie comes in my size).

Tool Tips – Free Resources to include in your 2022 planing.

Tool Tips – Free Resources to include in your 2022 planing.

Campus Technology has produced a pretty good, and fairly long list of learning applications. Free Resources to Help with Remote Learning in 2022. November is probably a good time to start looking at it ahead of Semester 1 2022.

There’s too much to work through in one sitting. It’s probably worth bookmarking the page and spacing your review over a week or two. The focus is on free tools and resources so you wont find things like Articulate and Captivate on the list, but it does include freemium applications i.e. less functional versions of paid tools.
I may review a few myself and post them on the blog. Is there one you want to see?

(I have a small problem with the “Remote” part of the title. Digital learning tools are just elements of normal classroom teaching and training in the developed world.)

What does the next step in Higher Education look like?

What does the next step in Higher Education look like?

Educause have produced this article Top 10 IT Issues, 2022: The Higher Education We Deserve. It’s a reflection on the enforced changes caused by Covid and the ongoing impact those changes will have on university teaching. A lot of articles have been written over the last 12 months about the post Covid future but if you’re only going to read one this is probably it.

For what it’s worth here are my thoughts on the topic.

In many universities the pandemic just accelerated existing plans. I think a major change was the shift in digital competence and the acceptance of digital teaching tools by teachers (willing or otherwise). I think we have probably leapfrogged 8 years of change management programs and professional development training.

There is certainly more pressure around the balance of brick and mortar vs digital off campus teaching and support. The article doesn’t mention a major Australian concern which is the potential impact on international student enrollment if the campus experience changes.

A large area not specifically touched is the potential effect on the brand value of individual universities given the increasing number of courses that rely on essentially the same couseware from the likes of Pearson or Harvard cases.

Overall there is nothing particularity new for those of us involved in learning support and training during the pandemic but it does provide food for thought.

Weekend funny – re-visit Geocities, a time when the internet was awesome.

Weekend funny – re-visit Geocities, a time when the internet was awesome.

In the 90’s if you wanted to create a free website you went to Geocities. It launched in 1994 and closed in 2009. At it’s peak it had over 38 million sites and claimed to be the third most visited site on the web. It was a simpler time when more was never enough.

Cameronsworld.net (no relation) has created a Geocities homage page with images and animations salvaged from the archives.

A common feature of modern “influencers” is the carefully curated effort to appear “authentic”. If you want to see what real, “gloves off” authenticity looks like, visit Cameron’s World and scroll through the mayhem. Enjoy the awesomeness!