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Ban Spam

May 31st, 2011 by Graham Attwell

Politicians don’t really get the internet. And governments fear the freedom of expression teh internet provides. Last week President Sarkozy of France joined those calling for the internet to be subjected to governmental regulation, however that could be done. already France has joined other European countries in imposing ever more draconian laws against file sharers to try to uphold copyright laws propping up long business models and forms of production.

But whilst they continue to pursue file sharers, governments seem to turn a blind eye to the one thing they could do to help develop creativity on the internet – BAN SPAMMERS. According to Wikipedia, Cisco reported in 2009 that 7.7 trillion spam messages originated from Brazil and 6.6 trillion from the USA. Surely these countries could so more to stop such misuse of the web. Not only does it waste an incredible amount of bandwidth but forces us to waste valuable time setting up filters and anti spam blockers, rather than being able to promote richer conversations and interactio0ns.

Our spam protection works pretty well on the Pontydysgu site, every day filtering out spam messages which are manually posted (robots are automatically blocked). But this weekend we were deluged by spammers registering accounts, forcing us to temporarily suspend new account registration. We will find a way to block the spammers out and reopen registration for those genuinely wanting to contribute but once more we are being forced to waste ti9me and effort on things we would rather not be doing.

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    Open Educational Resources

    BYU researcher John Hilton has published a new study on OER, student efficacy, and user perceptions – a synthesis of research published between 2015 and 2018. Looking at sixteen efficacy and twenty perception studies involving over 120,000 students or faculty, the study’s results suggest that students achieve the same or better learning outcomes when using OER while saving a significant amount of money, and that the majority of faculty and students who’ve used OER had a positive experience and would do so again.

    Digital Literacy

    A National Survey fin Wales in 2017-18 showed that 15% of adults (aged 16 and over) in Wales do not regularly use the internet. However, this figure is much higher (26%) amongst people with a limiting long-standing illness, disability or infirmity.

    A new Welsh Government programme has been launched which will work with organisations across Wales, in order to help people increase their confidence using digital technology, with the aim of helping them improve and manage their health and well-being.

    Digital Communities Wales: Digital Confidence, Health and Well-being, follows on from the initial Digital Communities Wales (DCW) programme which enabled 62,500 people to reap the benefits of going online in the last two years.

    See here for more information

    Zero Hours Contracts

    Figures from the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency show that in total almost 11,500 people – both academics and support staff – working in universities on a standard basis were on a zero-hours contract in 2017-18, out of a total staff head count of about 430,000, reports the Times Higher Education.  Zero-hours contract means the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours

    Separate figures that only look at the number of people who are employed on “atypical” academic contracts (such as people working on projects) show that 23 per cent of them, or just over 16,000, had a zero-hours contract.

    Resistance decreases over time

    Interesting research on student centered learning and student buy in, as picked up by an article in Inside Higher Ed. A new study published in PLOS ONE, called “Knowing Is Half the Battle: Assessments of Both Student Perception and Performance Are Necessary to Successfully Evaluate Curricular Transformation finds that student resistance to curriculum innovation decreases over time as it becomes the institutional norm, and that students increasingly link active learning to their learning gains over time

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