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Sounds of the Bazaar 18

February 25th, 2008 by Graham Attwell

The first of the new series of Sounds of the Bazaar. In this new series we will be experimenting with our programme formats. We will be publishing a series of short podcasts around particular issues in learning and technology. And we will be podcasting as series of podcasts focused on practice. What makes some programmes so compelling and some so dull. Is it down to the technology? Is it a matter of following an instructional design manual? Is it the skills and personality of the teacher? How can social software and web 2.0 be used for learning.The first of the series features a dialogue with Helen Keegan (you can see her official profile here). Helen is a researcher and lecturer at Salford University in Manchester, UK. She has just designed and delivered a new module in advanced multimedia for audio and video students in their final year course at the University. And it certainly seems to have got that wow factor. What is Helen’s secret:

  • contextualisation
  • authenticity
  • situatedness
  • motivation
  • identification

We are going to produce a series of case study support materials around this podcast. Watch this blog for more details. As ever thanks to Dirk Stieglitz for his sterling work on the audio. The interview with Helen was recorded in a hotel in Halle and was not the easiest file to work with. Again we found the music for this volume on the great site Jamendo. This time we featuring the artist Antony Raijekov with his album Jazz U. Thanks to all those musicians who release their music under a Creative Commons license.

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    Cyborg patented?

    Forbes reports that Microsoft has obtained a patent for a “conversational chatbot of a specific person” created from images, recordings, participation in social networks, emails, letters, etc., coupled with the possible generation of a 2D or 3D model of the person.

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    Racial bias in algorithms

    From the UK Open Data Institute’s Week in Data newsletter

    This week, Twitter apologised for racial bias within its image-cropping algorithm. The feature is designed to automatically crop images to highlight focal points – including faces. But, Twitter users discovered that, in practice, white faces were focused on, and black faces were cropped out. And, Twitter isn’t the only platform struggling with its algorithm – YouTube has also announced plans to bring back higher levels of human moderation for removing content, after its AI-centred approach resulted in over-censorship, with videos being removed at far higher rates than with human moderators.

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    Gap between rich and poor university students widest for 12 years

    Via The Canary.

    The gap between poor students and their more affluent peers attending university has widened to its largest point for 12 years, according to data published by the Department for Education (DfE).

    Better-off pupils are significantly more likely to go to university than their more disadvantaged peers. And the gap between the two groups – 18.8 percentage points – is the widest it’s been since 2006/07.

    The latest statistics show that 26.3% of pupils eligible for FSMs went on to university in 2018/19, compared with 45.1% of those who did not receive free meals. Only 12.7% of white British males who were eligible for FSMs went to university by the age of 19. The progression rate has fallen slightly for the first time since 2011/12, according to the DfE analysis.

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    Quality Training

    From Raconteur. A recent report by global learning consultancy Kineo examined the learning intentions of 8,000 employees across 13 different industries. It found a huge gap between the quality of training offered and the needs of employees. Of those surveyed, 85 per cent said they , with only 16 per cent of employees finding the learning programmes offered by their employers effective.

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