Sunday, July 08, 2018

No TECH Updates or TECH Dozens magazine until August 2018

DLL Editor's note -- Summertime is usually slow news for colleges and universities, providers of #EdTech, info tech companies, hackers, and #DiversityInTech activists, but this summer seems to be a bit slower than usual. Therefore the DLL will suspend publication of its midweek "Tech Update" and its weekend "TECH Dozens" magazine until August. I apologize for any inconvenience this suspension will cause for any of our readers.

Roy L Beasley, PhD
DLL Editor

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P.S. I intend to use my time off as follows:

1) Professional development
I will finish the last two weeks of the fifth course in a five part series of calculus courses offered by Professor Robert Ghrist, University of Pennsylvania, via Coursera. At the beginning of the first course Professor Ghrist warned students that this sequence of courses would be "hard." At first, I thought it would only be the intense refresher that I needed to better appreciate some important points in statistical learning/machine learning and other essential tools for data scientists. It has been an intense refresher, but at least half of its topics weren't discussed in the rigorous calculus courses that I took as a freshman and sophomore almost sixty years ago. Who knew that there were so many interesting new things under the calculus sun!!! In my opinion this is one of the best set of online courses I have ever taken, so I commend it to anyone who wants to take refresher courses that remind students that calculus really is, to use the professor's own words, "one of the grandest achievements of human thought." ... :-)

2) Reorganize "TECH Update" and "TECH Levers"
This will also be a good time for me to make some major changes in the Digital Learning Lab (DLL) blog notes that reflect some major changes in my thinking in the last few years. 

For example, as per my recent note "No More MOOCs", I sincerely believe that the MOOC Wars are over and that the undisputed winners were students all over the world who want to take online courses. Continuing to call some of these online courses by a special name, e.g., "MOOCs", because they are offered by colleges and universities working with edEx or Coursera is likely to mislead many students into overlooking great online courses offered by Udacity, DataCom, Microsoft/LinkedIn/Linda.com, Udemy, etc, etc, etc, platforms that have no university affiliations. Student's should never ask, "What's the best online course on this subject?" They should ask, "What's the best online course for ME on this subject given my prior knowledge, aptitude, and preferred learning format?" Sometimes the answer might be a course offered by a university professor via edX/Couresera, and sometimes it might be a course offered by an experienced practitioner via a non-university platform.

Accordingly, as of August the EdTech section of the DLL's publications will go back to referring to all online courses as just that, "online courses", and it will included tweets linked to discussions of online courses on all platforms ... no more "MOOCs" ... :-(

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