Thursday, March 29, 2012

Choose your own Adventure

Matt Hintze delivered an interesting TEDxUF talk titled "Choose your own Adventure" as a way for online education to teach the same content in multiple different ways. This seems to be very close to my thoughts on the future of education, but another roundabout way of getting there. Student's personality and learning styles would certainly come into the decision making process of which method / teacher to learn from. But I hadn't considered making it overtly part of the process by giving a minute snippet to see whether the student likes the style presented. Yet more good ammunition for the recommendation engine to process.

Could learning style and teacher presentation style also be captured by data analysis? You could map the student onto other students who have successfully completed the learning activity by comparing their learning landscape up to that point. Close matches can be used as trailblazers to recommend certain exit paths, with an indication of likely successes or failures along that path. Adding a student's goal into the mix could also help the system target high success paths leading from the current activity to the goal. Would learning styles and teaching styles be captured in data like that? I don't mind the idea of a 1 minute preview, apart from it being still too long for someone to make an effective decision between potentially hundreads of options. Maybe the recommendation engine gives them a default that they can opt out of by watching the teaser video?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Future of Attribution?

During the FutureOfEducation web seminar I attended today, I managed to ask David Warlick a question regarding attribution:
There seems to be a broadening of attribution from traditional books & journals to all sorts of online media such as blogs / podcasts / even presentations like this. At the same time there is another method of attribution gaining popularity: that of the kudos to another user in web 2.0. EG: like button for facebook, or +1 in Google +, or the kudos in slashdot, or the the favouriting of images in flickr.
Do you believe that these two systems will eventually merge where attribution goes from a simple +1 all the way up to published works?
 It didn't come out as eloquently as I'd written it, but David's response went a different direction than what I was expecting. He mentioned that attribution is having a resurgance in schools now as a focus for critical thought. Instead of simply attributing an idea to another authorative source, the degrading of authorative sources on the net means that students need to be able to create their own critical analysis and apply their own logic to the problem.

Sounds like a little bit of swings & roundabouts as I'm sure those same set of students will find out (possibly at Uni) that standing on the shoulders of giants allows a more targeted analysis for those developed critical thinking skills.

Open content

A very interesting talk on moving beyond textbooks to open content. This fits in very well with my ideas on virtual education and highlights an important part of the puzzle: the curriculum needs to be solid and dependable.Since we have just moved to a national curriculumm, I would like to think that this is an almost ideal time for something like this to be adapted to the australian primary and secondary education system. Initially I was thinking this could be open repositories for moodle, but it looks like a wiki with links to anthing is a better way to go.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Inventing on Principle

Great talk by Bret Victor regarding Inventing on Principle: choosing a principle to stand by and making it your responsibility to change the world to that principle. Great insights into new programming tools to accomplish his principle: Creators need to immediately see what their changes do.

Monday, March 19, 2012

GameLog 238-241

Another missed bi-weekly log. Must remember to check alarm :/

Crusader Kings 2 (120h) - Very polished update of Crusader Kings. The 7 deadly sins also make much more sense as one of the major character changes are the virtues & vices. Tried multiplayer with Sandy, but it's laggy and drops out over LAN (?). Currently into the 4th generation of the Strathearns 

Jagged alliance (40h) - Good take on the old series. Bit concerned about no fog of war when paused though. If it weren't for Crusader kings, I'd have probably finished this one off.

Realm of the Mad God (6h) - Tried this one out for LAN, which may still be a goer, but it's simple enough for Cameron to play too.

Fallen Enchantress beta (4h) - New beta and the experience point system feels a little wonky now. Lots of other pieces coming together though.

Grepolis (4h) -Game finally came to an end with EN pushing once again over top of an inactive player on our wonder islands. Some went over to join Evolution, but that's it for me. More time for notorious now.

Dwarf Fortress (2h) - New version finally! Adventure mode is a little bit better, but possibly even more viscious than before.

League of Legends (2h)
Dungeon Defenders (1h)
Terraria (1h) - Quick couple of games with cam.

GameLog 242-244

Another 3-week report :/

Stronghold Kingdoms (100h) - Steam has this one out at 253 hours, but It's really been sitting in the background most of the time. It is VERY sticky though, much more than Grepo. There seems to be always things to check, but if you sit and look to find time between decisions, there actually is a fair bit to be had. Seems a good diversion when playing Crusader Kings II, but has also stitched itself into almost all my daily activities.

Crusader Kings 2 (20h) - The Strathearns are now into their 5th dynasty and own Scotland, Ireland and a cousin sitting in Denmark. Norway may be next with a shaky succession line to interfere with, or some more land in Egypt from the infidels.

Realm of the Mad God (15h) - LAN and Cam.An interesting take on permadeath. Items are the main part of progression, but only 8 slots and no shops to sell to makes it an interesting levelling up process.

Dwarf Fortress (2h) - Adventure mode is still viscious. Haven't got a character past 2 battles yet. Tempted to bump it up to Demigod, but I feel that there isn't that much of the game once he gets a couple of levels.