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Ed tech must reads: Column #29

First published in Campus Morning Mail 5th April 2022

Zoom and Room: Hidden labour from Lawrie : converged

Sometimes the problem with doing a job well is that few people see how much effort is put in behind the scenes. This reflection from Lawrie Phipps, a UK based education technologist describes some of his experiences in the early stages of hybrid/hyflex teaching – or as he calls it “Zoom and room”. While leaders will say to skittish academics, ‘just turn up, do your lecture, some students will be in person and some will be online’, students online need to be supported, audio feedback in venue must be dealt with and recordings captioned and put online.

Why has higher education decided on Zoom? From Bryan Alexander

Education futurist posed a simple but revealing question on Twitter last week – why has so much of Higher Ed moved to Zoom for teaching? After all, Zoom isn’t a conventional education technology and there are many options in the marketplace. From the myriad responses, he has crafted this summary post. Some of the key reasons identified included reliability/stability, familiarity, cost and ease of use. But there are many more. He digs into the pedagogical side of Zoom’s success as well in this thought-provoking piece.

Short and sweet: the educational benefits of microlectures and active learning from Educause

While we are thinking about the use of video in learning and teaching, the continuing shift to recorded content has created opportunities to reimagine the timing of learning and teaching activities. Freed from synchronous time, the trend towards chunking ideas and content does appear to be providing more effective educational experiences. This piece from Hua Zheng describes such a scenario and offers some valuable guidance for doing it well.

AI art and copyright from Kate Crawford (Twitter)

I’ve shared my fascination with AI generated art here previously and this Twitter thread uncovers some of the interesting issues emerging in terms of where AI generated content sits in terms of IP law. (In a nutshell, without a human element, it can not be copyrighted). With AI flourishing in the text generation space as well and contract cheating services increasingly adding this to their bill of fare, this is an area to keep an eye on.

Libertas Veritas: Freedom and Truth from Luke Watsford (Deakin Uni)

Twine is a beautifully simple yet powerful free tool that can be used to build interactive decision tree type text games. Luke Watsford, the copyright officer at Deakin, has used it well to create an engaging simulation where you are tasked to lead the misinformation/propaganda unit for a foreboding totalitarian regime. Shift public opinion and keep the glorious leader happy as you explore key ideas in information and media literacy.