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The junction between digital technologies and distance education
Program or be programmed?
Big-Data and Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is now a reality and not a realm of science-fiction. No one could have foreseen the enormous progress in this field during the last decade. We now have self-driving drones and cars, just to cite one example. Another example: it is now possible to determine with a certain degree of uncertainty when a person has caught or is at risk of catching the flu11 from the data generated by the smartphone and other wearable electronic devices the person is carrying. Nowadays it would be too risky to state that there is any activity or profession that can only be performed by humans and is not susceptible of being automatized in the future. We are in the presence of machines that gather all our data in real-time and maybe know more about us and our activities than we ourselves. All these advances in AI have been made possible through Big Data and its associated machine learning techniques and this will have profound consequences on our society, our economy, and in all certainty, on our educational system.
The Network Effect
In face of the inexorable wave of labor mechanization created by AI, I prefer to err on the optimistic side: human creativity will be better appraised in the future. Should this also be supplanted by AI, then we'd be irremediably screwed. On the other hand, mechanization of labor is a good thing when it liberates us from the burden of performing tedious tasks in favor of more transcendent and enjoyable activities. I confess that for me at least, administrative tasks inherent to the job of an educator are among that tedium. In contrast, I have fond memories of the social contact with student that occurred in more conventional classroom settings when I worked in non-distance education institutions.
Heutagogy and the preponderance of the individual
- See Simon, 2016.
- See Brünner, 2003, pp. 153-154.
- I have not yet translated this essay into English.
- See Corredor, 2016, p. 20.
- See Corredor, 2016, p. 17.
- See the Wikipedia article on the web 2.0.
- See Corredor, 2016, p. 5.
- HTML means Hyper Text Markup Language. It is one of the standards of interoperability or technical specifications of the web 2.0 that we were referring to earlier. The web 2.0 is not really a radical change in these standards and technical specifications, but rather a design philosophy or an added layer of functionalities with which web sites are built.
- If you are curious to try it, go to the Mathematics I course page, wait for the page to load completely and under the "Autoevaluación" section, write 12345678 next to the "Cédula" field. For "Objetivo" choose any from 1 to 5 and then click on "Ir a quiz" (Go to quiz), where you will be shown 5 multiple choice questions based on the selected learning outcome. Once you answer the questions and click on the "Corregir" button, you will be given your quiz results and my feedback for your answers.
- SThe original quote by Douglas Rushkoff is more dramatic: In the emerging, highly programmed landscape ahead, you will either create the software or you will be the software. It’s really that simple: Program, or be programmed. Choose the former, and you gain access to the control panel of civilization. Choose the latter, and it could be the last real choice you get to make.
- See Williamson, 2010.
- These were emergent research methods ... in the sixties!
- By the way, I am noticing that the assistance to these tutoring sessions is decreasing while the amount of on-line tutoring sessions is increasing.
- See Graham, 2004.
- This is one of the conclusions that Rifkin (1995) draws in his prophetic book, "The End of Work".
- Blaschke, L. M. & Hase, S. (2016). Heutagogy: a holistic framework for creating twenty-first-century self-determined learners. En B. Gros (Ed.), The future of ubiquitous learning (pp. 25-40). Berlin: Springer-Verlag. doi:10.1007/978-3-662-47724-32
- Brünner, J.J. (2003). EDUCACIÓN E INTERNET - ¿LA PRÓXIMA REVOLUCIÓN?. Santiago, Chile: Fondo de Cultura Económica.
- Corredor, Z. (2016). LAS TIC EN EDUCACIÓN A DISTANCIA - Retos y desafíos para la Universidad Nacional Abierta de Venezuela. In UNA INVESTIG@CIÓN, VIII(15). Available at http://biblo.una.edu.ve/ojs/index.php/UNAINV/article/download/1439/1394.
- Graham, P. (2004, julio). Great hackers. Retrieved from http://paulgraham.com/gh.html
- Rifkin, J. (1995). The end of work. Putnam Publishing Group.
- Romero P., J. L. (2011). "La Era de la Información: ¿Ilustración o Ignorancia?". Blog post. https://unamatematicaseltigre.blogspot.com/2016/12/la-era-de-la-informacion-ilustracion-o.html.
- Rushkoff, D. (2010). "Douglas Rushkoff: 'Program or be programmed' - Talks at Google". Video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXjRaoTPlPE.
- Simon. (30/06/2012). "The future is behind you". Blog post. http://www.omniglot.com/blog/?p=7237.
- Wikipedia. (2016a). Network effect - wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Network effect&oldid=743865302/a>.
- Wikipedia. (2016b). Web 2.0 - wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre. Retrieved from https://es.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Web 2.0&oldid=95717923.
- Williamson, J. (2010). The philosophy of science and its relation to machine learning. In M. M. Gaber (Ed.), Scientific data mining and knowledge discovery: principles and foundations (pp. 77-89). Berlin: Springer-Verlag. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-02788-84.