Looking back at my previous post Apps To Retain Language another way people are attempting to retain their language is via crowdsourcing. Live and Tell is a language website which allows anyone to contribute translations and stories to save and learn languages such as Navajo. As brilliant as that initiative is some people such as Maurice Claypole make the accurate observation that errors and inaccuracies can be made and thus learnt and repeated – that is not successful learning. Claypole argues only when professionals donate their time to help with such crowdsourcing as translations, will inaccuracies be reduced. Then again time is precious; so how many professionals can afford to give up this valuable commodity?
Could crowdsourcing be used within the classroom for marking assignments? One professor at Duke University teaching a “This Is Your Brain On The Internet” class, tried this method in 2009 allowing students to evaluate class assignments, where crowdsourcing was used to grade each other. Professor Cathy N. Davidson tested this assessment approach via dividing fifteen students into rotating teams of two and assigned them to teach each class/come up with assignments by using a list of sources she provided. The same students were then to read and grade each assignment. Much criticism was written on Professor Davidson’s blog about her “experiment” yet she continued to defend it saying; “Education is way behind just about everything else in dealing with these [media and technology] changes. It’s important to teach students how to be responsible contributors to evaluations and assessment. Students are contributing and assessing each other on the Internet anyway, so why not make that a part of learning?” There wasn’t much of an update or final evaluation of the “experiment” however, I do believe Professor Davidson may have been correct in introducing this scheme in the classroom. The question is will this become a sign of the future? If the use of crowdsourcing assessments and grading in the classroom increases strict rules should apply to achieve “fair” marking. All in all though, a great and innovative idea.
This week I will be discussing crowdsourcing within online and offline education. I thought it would be nice to start out with a video explaning what crowdsourcing actually is. Enjoy!
Its never too late to learn and with the ever increasing presence of online learning courses and unpredictable recession more and more adults are turning to the internet to learn a skill and/or advance their cv. Looking at my previous post – Online Learning Infographic – the results for a demand in online courses are evident with institutes reporting a 73% increase in applications for online learning courses. The Open University is one such online source offering a myriad of courses ranging from Arts and Humanities to Social Sciences; it has something to appeal to almost anyone. Providing options to study in a postgraduate program, towards a degree or an introductory module and with over 22,000 students in the postgraduate program alone – The Open University is incredibly popular.
I spoke to Nikki – who is studying Spanish and French with The Open University – about her experiences with the online learning service which she referred to as “sometimes DIY”. Nikki continued to reveal that the Open University were very flexible with assignments and tutor’s are helpful via providing appropriate feedback. Moving on I wanted to discuss the notion of privacy; the Open University stores highly personal details of each student such as their date of birth, address, even income and bank details. I asked Nikki if she had any concerns of her private details being stored on the Open University’s database “not really, just type your name into google – 15 seconds of fame!” was Nikki’s reply. This relaxed attitude is very common. But, when it comes to your privacy and identity is there cause for concern when enrolling with an online learning source? It is noteworthy to explain in regards of privacy this article will refer to the storing and retaining of personal details on a website database. After all, there are some very easy ways to steal one’s identity. Professor and software developer Herbert H. Thompson conducted an experiment in 2008 to see how easy it was to steal one’s identity – the results were shocking. The average internet user is (in my opinion) completely unaware of how little privacy they really get when they put any information on the internet. As is evident from Herbert H. Thompson’s article, all you need is a few details about a person to access their bank account. In the words of Steve Rambam private investigator specialising in internet privacy “privacy is dead – get over it”. As petrifying as this is, I doubt there will be a decrease in people enrolling for online courses, however, I wonder if an increase in identity theft and loss of privacy will result in this? Only time will tell………
This week I will be discussing online learning and privacy issues, but to start the topic I’ve included an infographic with some brilliant facts and figure about the increasing use of online learning courses.
A special iPod and iPad app has been created for the language of Senconten (from the Salish language family). Used as audio dictionaries, they come with a definition and an audio example of each word accompanied by a picture of video for the word. Creating this application is a fantastic idea and will allow the Salish language to thrive and continue via the wonderful world of digital media. Working with the younger generation (who very often identify themselves as avid mobile users) via these apps will no doubt prove a success and with (according to research by Nevada University) 85.5% of young people in education owning a mobile, the creation of this app will no doubt prove successful – best of all its free!