„Carpe Diem“ MOOC für Pädagogen lehrt kollaboratives Kursdesign für eLearning

MOOC ist nicht gleich MOOC (Massive Open Online Course): Professor Gilly Salmon von der Swinburne University of Technology Melbourne, Australien, startet am 10. März 2014 einen massiven Onlinekurs der „konnektivistischen“ Art (cMOOC): „Carpe Diem – Learning Design“ für Trainer, Lehrer und eLearning Experten soll mehr bieten als Online-Videokonserven von Vorlesungen.

carpe diem MOOC participants on world map

Shon mehr als 900 1200 Teilnehmer aus der ganzen Welt haben sich für diesen kostenlosen Onlinekurs der Swinburne Univerity in Melbourne angemeldet. Jeder kann sich die Farbe seiner Stecknadel aussuchen und die Menge an Kontaktinformationen bis hin zu vollkommener Anonymität festlegen. Aus Deutschland hat bisher nur einer außer mir sein Fähnchen gesteckt.

Der weltweit zugängliche, kostenlose Onlinekurs nutzt die Plattform Coursesites um den Teilnehmern ein erprobtes Grundgerüst für das Konzept von aktivierenden Blended Learning Maßnahmen und Online-Kursen an die Hand zu geben. Dabei wird auf kollaboratives Lernen und Interaktion in Form von „e-tivities“ in Gruppen mit max. 28 Kommilitonen Wert gelegt. Eine informelle private Facebook-Gruppe begleitet das Ganze schon im Vorfeld. Gamification-Elemente wie Badges – das sind diese lustigen Abzeichen, die man früher als Pfadfinder bekommen hat – lassen die Lehrtätigen am eigenen Leib spüren, wie modernes Online-Lernen idealerweise funktioniert. Der gesamte Kurs hat eine Dauer von 6 Wochen, wobei man 3-4 Stunden pro Woche einplanen sollte. Die Methode „Carpe Diem Learning Design“ kommt seit mehr als zehn Jahren an Lehrinstitutionen weltweit zum Einsatz. Das 5-Stage-Model von Prof. Gilly Salmon findet man in den Standardwerken im Bereich eLearning. Bis heute haben sich bereits über 900 1200 Menschen aus allen Teilen der Erde registriert (siehe Weltkarte). Ich übrigens auch 🙂

Hier kostenlos einschreiben: Carpe Diem MOOC | Swinburne University.

 

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The Cause of Death of Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable by Clay Shirky

„When a 14 year old kid can blow up your business in his spare time, not because he hates you but because he loves you [by copying and sharing your content], then you got a problem.”

The American intellectual, writer and NYU professor for new media Clay Shirky explains matter-of-factly what’s happening in publishing houses worldwide (ignorance; panic), why it’s happening (the world changes) and what they can do about it (nothing but adapt and get on with their lives, doing something else).

Some parts in his article especially resonate with me because some of my clients are the very large publishers who are cought in the midde of this revolution.

I’ll copy and share huge parts of his article here because that’s what people do nowadays and the author is cool with it (over 130 people wordlwide have done the same so far and therefore spread his word, drawing attention to him and his work).

Shirky’s following observation made me laugh and sigh at the same time, because part of my job over the last 8 years was to „bring innovation“ to old media structures and particularly to set up Innovation Departments for the news media:

„Leadership becomes faith-based, while employees who have the temerity to suggest that what seems to be happening is in fact happening are herded into Innovation Departments, where they can be ignored en masse.“

Here’s his post:

Clay Shirky: „(…) The unthinkable scenario unfolded something like this: The ability to share content wouldn’t shrink, it would grow. Walled gardens would prove unpopular. Digital advertising would reduce inefficiencies, and therefore profits. Dislike of micropayments would prevent widespread use. People would resist being educated to act against their own desires. Old habits of advertisers and readers would not transfer online. Even ferocious litigation would be inadequate to constrain massive, sustained law-breaking. (Prohibition redux.) Hardware and software vendors would not regard copyright holders as allies, nor would they regard customers as enemies. (…)  And, per Thompson, suing people who love something so much they want to share it would piss them off.

Revolutions create a curious inversion of perception. In ordinary times, people who do no more than describe the world around them are seen as pragmatists, while those who imagine fabulous alternative futures are viewed as radicals. The last couple of decades haven’t been ordinary, however. Inside the papers, the pragmatists were the ones simply looking out the window and noticing that the real world was increasingly resembling the unthinkable scenario. These people were treated as if they were barking mad. Meanwhile the people spinning visions of popular walled gardens and enthusiastic micropayment adoption, visions unsupported by reality, were regarded not as charlatans but saviors.

When reality is labeled unthinkable, it creates a kind of sickness in an industry. Leadership becomes faith-based, while employees who have the temerity to suggest that what seems to be happening is in fact happening are herded into Innovation Departments, where they can be ignored en masse. This shunting aside of the realists in favor of the fabulists has different effects on different industries at different times. One of the effects on the newspapers is that many of their most passionate defenders are unable, even now, to plan for a world in which the industry they knew is visibly going away.

The curious thing about the various plans hatched in the ’90s is that they were, at base, all the same plan: “Here’s how we’re going to preserve the old forms of organization in a world of cheap perfect copies!” The details differed, but the core assumption behind all imagined outcomes (save the unthinkable one) was that the organizational form of the newspaper, as a general-purpose vehicle for publishing a variety of news and opinion, was basically sound, and only needed a digital facelift. As a result, the conversation has degenerated into the enthusiastic grasping at straws, pursued by skeptical responses.

Round and round this goes, with the people committed to saving newspapers demanding to know “If the old model is broken, what will work in its place?” To which the answer is: Nothing. Nothing will work. There is no general model for newspapers to replace the one the internet just broke.

With the old economics destroyed, organizational forms perfected for industrial production have to be replaced with structures optimized for digital data. It makes increasingly less sense even to talk about a publishing industry, because the core problem publishing solves — the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public — has stopped being a problem.

(…)

That is what real revolutions are like. The old stuff gets broken faster than the new stuff is put in its place. The importance of any given experiment isn’t apparent at the moment it appears; big changes stall, small changes spread. Even the revolutionaries can’t predict what will happen. Agreements on all sides that core institutions must be protected are rendered meaningless by the very people doing the agreeing. (Luther and the Church both insisted, for years, that whatever else happened, no one was talking about a schism.) Ancient social bargains, once disrupted, can neither be mended nor quickly replaced, since any such bargain takes decades to solidify.

And so it is today. When someone demands to know how we are going to replace newspapers, they are really demanding to be told that we are not living through a revolution. They are demanding to be told that old systems won’t break before new systems are in place.

They are demanding to be told that ancient social bargains aren’t in peril, that core institutions will be spared, that new methods of spreading information will improve previous practice rather than upending it. They are demanding to be lied to.

There are fewer and fewer people who can convincingly tell such a lie.

If you want to know why newspapers are in such trouble, the most salient fact is this: Printing presses are terrifically expensive to set up and to run. (…)

The old difficulties and costs of printing forced everyone doing it into a similar set of organizational models; it was this similarity that made us regard Daily Racing Form and L’Osservatore Romano as being in the same business. That the relationship between advertisers, publishers, and journalists has been ratified by a century of cultural practice doesn’t make it any less accidental.

Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism. For a century, the imperatives to strengthen journalism and to strengthen newspapers have been so tightly wound as to be indistinguishable.

That’s been a fine accident to have, but when that accident stops, as it is stopping before our eyes, we’re going to need lots of other ways to strengthen journalism instead.

When we shift our attention from ’save newspapers’ to ’save society’, the imperative changes from ‘preserve the current institutions’ to ‘do whatever works.’ And what works today isn’t the same as what used to work.

We don’t know who the Aldus Manutius of the current age is. It could be Craig Newmark, or Caterina Fake. It could be Martin Nisenholtz, or Emily Bell. It could be some 19 year old kid few of us have heard of, working on something we won’t recognize as vital until a decade hence.

Any experiment, though, designed to provide new models for journalism is going to be an improvement over hiding from the real, especially in a year when, for many papers, the unthinkable future is already in the past.

For the next few decades, journalism will be made up of overlapping special cases. Many of these models will rely on amateurs as researchers and writers. Many of these models will rely on sponsorship or grants or endowments instead of revenues. Many of these models will rely on excitable 14 year olds distributing the results. Many of these models will fail. No one experiment is going to replace what we are now losing with the demise of news on paper, but over time, the collection of new experiments that do work might give us the reporting we need.“

Read the whole article here: Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable

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Mixed Reality makes sense for Ford Ka and saves big bucks

Many might still ponder about he usefulness outside geek-world of Augmented Reality applications if they watch videos about cute virtual pets or  cartoony Japanese girls invading your desktop. In the middle of this video however even the biggest skeptics will see at least one (if not more) down-to-earth useful scenario which makes not only sense but also saves lots of money for automobile companies (Ford obviously digged it): With AR you only need ONE sales room in order to present endless models and all thinkable customized versions of the cars you’re seling. It looks like it’s real, rotating gravefully before your eyes and the sales person is right next to it. Way to go, Ford!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about „Mixed Reality makes sense for Ford Ka…„, posted with vodpod

You can subscribe to this blog (and keep me writing): It’s about the Metaverse – 3DWeb, social web, virtual worlds, Artificial Intelligence etc. For more frequent updates please follow me on Friendfeed or subscribe to my automatically updated Metaverse Newsfeed on Friendfeed and never miss what’s going on in the metaverse

One blog is enough

I decided recently that it was just too much of a hassle to maintain this blog, since blogging is just my way to keep track of my research in a nice chronological manner. Since most of my concepts are written in German it’s far easier for me to ditch the English blog (this one) and keep posting in German (Metaversability on Blogger).

But I had an idea: Since some of my English speaking friends would actually miss my blog, I integrated a „Google Translate“ Widget in my German blog so you can have it all with one mouse-click. Try it out – it really works! Those of you using Google Reader have the option to instantly translate anything anyway. I also transferred all articles to the other blog so it’s all in one place now.

I might cross-post some HowTo articles in the future so I’ll keep this blog up and running as an archive. Something like „How to Move from Tumblelog to WordPress, from Blogger to WP and from WordPress back to Blogger while keeping all your posts“ (that last one was a tough one, I can tell you!)

Bye for now,

Gaby aka Consiliera

Self-developing, adaptive robots soon to be available – thanks to Darwin

humanoid_front

The iRobis Brainstorm® technology facilitates and accelerates the development of humanoid self-learning robots – like this little fella. HR-2 walks, talks, imitates and „evolves“. He is already 3 years old by now (he was a prototype developed within 3 months with help of the early Brainstorm® system), but the video about HR-2’s abilities is still worth watching. Want! [picture: Almir Heralic]

From the press release: „The Institute of Robotics in Scandinavia (iRobis) has announced that the world’s first “complete cognitive software system for robotics” is ready for application. The system turns robots into self-developing, adaptive, problem-solving, “thinking” machines. Brainstorm® automatically adapts to on-board sensors and actuators, immediately builds a model of any robot on which it is installed, and automatically writes control programs for the robot’s movements. It can then explore and model its environment. Through simulated interaction using these models, it solves problems and develops new behavior using “imagination.” Once it has “learned” to do something, it can use its imagination to adapt its behavior to a wide range of circumstances. A methodology known as genetic programming (GP) is “the trick” that makes it all possible. GP is an automated programming methodology inspired by natural evolution that is used to evolve computer programs.“

You can’t download their system right away – iRobis is rather looking for high-potential partners/companies/researchers with whom they can develop prototypes like toys or perhaps household robots. Please hurry – I really want some kind of little robot fella on my desktop or maybe a little bit larger so he can get me a coffee or pizza from the kitchen.

Here’s the full iRobis press release

Digg deeper: More information about the technology and history behind iRobis Brainstorm® by Roger F. Gay


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Making Computers Based on the Human Brain – BusinessWeek

„Thanks to advances in our understanding of biology, scientists believe they can model a new generation of computers on how the brain actually works—the microscopic chemical interactions and electrical impulses that translate sensations into knowledge and knowledge into decisions and actions. It’s a successor to the old ideas about artificial intelligence, and a handful of companies have initiatives under way, among them IBM (IBM) and Numenta, a Silicon Valley startup.“

From: Business Week http://ping.fm/B3GEb

Another way to talk to machines: Jacking into the brain

Bill Diodato, Scientific American]

Photo: Bill Diodato, Scientific American

While people still have to gesture wildly in front of a giant computer display when they go with a human-machine interface á la Minority Report (see previous article), futurist Ray Kurzweil’s dream has been rather to jack directly into the brain (in order to upload it to the net to live forever, but that’s another story, called Singularity and all).

The Scientific American recently ran an article about the current research in neuro-technology regarding brain-machine interfaces. The first page is a little dragging, mentioning all the crazy ideas of science-fiction authors of the past 30 years, but the rest of the article is about current research programs like using the brain as an interface for prosthetics, steering through virtual worlds by mere thought or improving our memories with an artificial hippocampus. If you don’t have time skip to page 4 of the article. Full article on Scientific American: Jacking into the Brain – Is the Brain the Ultimate Computer Interface?

Although we appearently still don’t know jack about jacking into the brain and doing something really useful with it, there is the next best thing that you can order now (will be shipped to US addresses only by the end of the year for 299 US$): The EmotivEpoc headset taps your neurons from the outside and translates your intentions, facial expressions and emotions into commands for 3D games and virtual worlds. Their technology also lets you control a wheelchair just using mind control (video). Spooky, huh? And damn useful if it works. Here’s a video showing how it works with games.

No more typing lol (laugh out loud)

No more typing "lol" (laugh out loud)

Mac support is planned but scheduled for later – „the market conditions dictate that Windows comes first“ is what Jonathan Geracifrom the Emotiv team told me in July. But they offer an open API set for developers so the range of supported games and virtual 3D platforms should be impressive.

Read more about the sensor-laden headset or order it now if you are living in Obama land at the Emotiv Website. (No chance for the rest of the world without US address yet)