Index - rants
- Access Denied - Scholarly Publication (February 05, 2011)
- Cognitive Surplus (July 22, 2010)
- iBooks (July 01, 2010)
- Harumph. Representation of gender (May 20, 2010)
- Telephone Spam (March 07, 2010)
- Rant: advertised pick-up time (June 09, 2009)
February 05, 2011
I am working on an awesome idea for a term project, and wanted to get a more thorough grounding in research. I found what looked like a great foundational paper that was published in 1993. So, I logged in through my library's system and accessed the article. But, I got a big fat error on the publisher's website, because my university only has licenses to view articles as old as 1996. BAHHHH! Evil publisher preventing my access to research!!! Why do publishing companies do this? How is this helping anyone?
Wait, I am not done the rant yet. The website even goes so far as to put little icons next to each paper that look like padlocks. The icon shows "unlocked" if you have access and "locked" if you don't. There are other variations - perhaps you have access to the abstracts or other partial access. So, the padlock icon has various other forms. I find this enraging because I, as a user, have absolutely no control or influence over these things. Everywhere else, a little changing icon like this would mean "personalization". But in this case, it is my university is the entity that is paying the big bucks so that I can have access (thank you, U of S!) and everyone in my community is under the same restriction. So, when a publisher flaunts a padlock icon at me, it is just insulting. Naaa nya na na naaa, naa -- you can't access this article! And there is nothing you can do about it! Ha, ha!
Okay, I am done now. For today.
July 22, 2010
I skimmed a recent WIRED article about a concept Clay Shirky calls " Cognitive Surplus".
I have two reactions:
One: In terms of "Hours of Free Time", how do you account for a person's energy levels? We are not machines; we have peak productive times, we get hungry, sleepy, foggy-headed. Therefore, 2 hours of spare time does not equal two hours of creativity and collaboration. I quote the late Michael Jackson who said, "Let it simmer." Although he was referring to a moment in a song, this applies also to thought and ideas and our minds. Sometimes they are very active, but sometimes they also need to simmer. Resting and time away from "production / output mode" are important.
Two: I am supremely jealous of these people who apparently have loads of free time, either to watch television or to motivate themselves to use technology to collaborate and build stuff together, or whatever. Where is MY free time? What gives???
I concede that lately I have been able to pick up the odd paperback, and find the time to read them. As my daughter gets older she is able to spend more time playing by herself for several minutes at a time. During these interludes, although I am not totally free to my own devices (like, I am still unable to pick up a technical research paper because these take like 30 minutes of concentration, not the 5 that is available to me) but indeed I can read fiction. Can you believe it? Working Mommy Grad Student reading a paperback novel? I am halfway through Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon. Not long ago I read Anathem. Hot on my list next is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
How do I do this? I am aware of my energy levels and I am able to optimize certain kinds of activities accordingly. So, yeah -- Free Time, Energy Levels, and Cognitive Surplus.
Oh, and I also use my time to be a kickass blogger. Hence the addition of this entry to the "accomplishments" category. ;)
July 01, 2010
I learned that Apple had recently released some new titles on the iPad's iBook store. Excitedly, this morning I went "shopping" over my morning coffee.
After browsing through dozens of them, I finally "picked one up" and downloaded the sample chapter. Not knowing anything about the author, I began to read. I enjoyed the writing style and was beginning to relate to the main character. But then, the main character entered conflict with a group of people and started referring to them in a racist way. Uncomfortable, I thought: well maybe the author is just getting set up to make a social commentary or create some moral of the story. So I kept reading, but then halted altogether at a sexist remark. I thought, "WTF??" and I reversed out of the book. Not immediately seeing a publication date, I Googled, and found it: 1917
Still today, authors publish racist and sexist works, but, HOLY CRAP was I balking at this one. Needless to say I did not purchase the book.
I will likely try iBooks again some other time, but I will be more wary about things like publish date. Normally I might have been able to tell from the appearance of the book, but,this time I was foiled! And maybe if knew the publish date ahead of time I would not have been caught so off guard.
May 20, 2010
I just received a heavy envelope with a glossy booklet about training for business executives, addressed to me personally.
I am always happy to consider professional development opportunities, but out of the 19 photos of unnamed executives within the document, how come only 2 of them are women?
Thanks for making me feel welcome. *eyes roll*
March 07, 2010
Do telephone spammers have some kind of magical sensor installed in my house to know the EXACT MOMENT when my fussy toddler FINALLY falls asleep for her nap, and they cause the telephone to ring at this peak moment to wreck my entire afternoon? Why does this happen to me so frequently?
June 09, 2009
I went to go pick up a dress from the seamstress at the mall. When I arrived, I handed the clerk the pickup slip and she came back saying, "Sorry, it isn't ready yet." Then she pointed at my slip, and it said "Tuesday, June 9th" -- which is today, which is the day I had marked on my calendar, which is the day the lady told me when I dropped off the dress - "It will be ready for you on Tuesday!", which was why I was there to pick up the dress, which is why I was confused.
Then the clerk clairified, "it says 5 p.m.".
Now, if you ask me, 5 p.m. is the END of the day. If you needed another day to work on my dress, you could have EASILY told me that the pickup day was Wednesday, June 10th, which would have saved me loading my baby into the truck and driving all the way over to your shop. UGH!
There. Rant is over.
I feel kinda silly now for getting irritated over something so small. It's not like I had any injustices done to me or anything, and there are people in the world right now suffering from things that are orders of magnitude worse than this.
But I still think it would be better business practice for them to clarify the dates on their pickup receipts. I'll check their website to see if they have a suggestion box.
Index to Steph's NotesFeb. 24th 2007 - Weee! This new part of my website is not an entry, but rather a permanent fixture whose purpose is to "Look Down on All Those Notes With Some Grand Vision of Organization". Wish me luck. LOL
- Representing meta-data (fuel) & the different kinds of "hooks" that intelligent systems can use (how fuel is injected into the motor of the engine)
- Motivation: Semantic net / Rationalizable to a machine
- Semantic network
- Genetic graph
- Prerequisite AND/OR graph
- Constraint Satisfaction Problems
- Bayesian networks / causal graphs
- Technology & Philosophy: RDF, modus ponens,
- Predicates, Logic & situation calculus
- What kinds of data? - What kinds of meta-data would an AIEd system possibly need, and how is it represented?
- task domain knowledge
- "is-prerequisite-to"-type knowledge
- interactions with learning objects & other learners - (location, composition is-a/part-of, sequencing by restricting navigation, personalization, ontologies for LO context)
- lesson plans, curriculum plans, practicing sessions (What is stored, what is generated on the fly? What is remembered?)
- How to organize it - When is it stored in a database? Meta-data? Agent memory banks? Protocols? Repositories? XML files? Home-servers? WSDL services? Frameworks? Portable banks? P2P access?
- Database of object-agent interactions
- Concept of "Home" on a P2P network -- maybe the bulk of a learning object's usage data is on its home server and can be queried using WSDL or something ? Similar homes for each student's usage history, etc. Baggage problem.
- Links to the ontologies
- referring to a concept/relationship - ex. AgentOwl?
- Generation of this data
- Rationalization: For use by other AIEd systems
- What is generated - discuss items under part I.C.
- When it's generated - describe procedural model, which parts of the engine generate what (isa-part-of data, XML feeds, web services, meta data bout groups and collaboration, protocols, examples Friend of A Friend FOAF project)
- Technical notes of HOW it's generated: JENA, issues of implementation demo, my Hermione & Ron agent examples, lol
- Usage of this generated data - see part IV. A.
- Given the engine, who uses it?
- Students / Learners / "Me"
- instructional planning, student model, pre-requisites, tutoring, coaching, collaboration,constructivism
- Teachers / Educators / "Me"
- putting together lessons
- be able to browse through task domain knowledge in an objective / encyclopaedia format, then be able to pick-and-choose what you need for your students
- compose examples, design explanations, pull together diagrams, learning objects, etc. Haystack Relo?
- Administration / Governement / Structure / Crowd Control
- as restrictions/obstacles/sand pit to the robot in agent environment
- can't just have a swarm of students and teachers out there -- need structure of courses, curriculum, objectives, requirements (at least, we do in this day and age!) - Report cards, evaluation, feedback
- government, marks, certificates, requirements, funding, curriclum, attendance, delinquent, non-attending, motivation
- school''s images, goals, strengths, payroll, HR, security, accounts, permissions, privacy
- registration, failed courses
- User Environment -- How does this engine work? What does the user see on the screen?
- Introduction - Given a background in educational psychology, how does the system present itself -- what does the user see, and were does this data come from? Links to thoughts from part I.)
- Task Domain Browsing - Suppose you're you're just idly browsing through the "raw" content. How would it look when it's not wrapped around a learning-context or lesson or tutorial or anything. 'Cross between browsing a raw task domain ontology and browsing a learning object repository.
- Cleaning up the data -- Visualizing the data for humans to pick through the task domain and work on it. Suppose the "Subject Expert" discovers an advancement in science and needs to update the "world's" domain knowledge. (I used the "Subject Expert" terminology from Ontologies to Support Learning Design Context - Thanks Chris) How would they make corrections to ontologies and learning objects, or at least point the users of "old" objects towards adopting the newer ones.
- "Modes" - Learning & Lessons / Checklist - Homework, Assignments, Courses being taken / Collaborative mode / Teaching mode / Calendar- email -adminisrative mode -- See also the different kinds of scenarios in the ActiveMath system
- Evolution of this engine
- target some key implementation hooks discussed in part I - design an experiment/demo
- scrape a page - (Note, scraping can only give objective data, not in-context dat)
- LO repository - related to browsing the task domain?
- a learners "To Do" list - where does it come from? Assignments, courses.
- sample group scenario
- sample teacher lesson planning
- sample data "left behind"
- sample use of that data
- Data mining (for what? lol )
- discovery / generation of ontologies - when do you need to hunt for them, and when do you have to have a solidly-known & predictable ontology?
- I/O - where it happens, which languages, protocols, which agents perform i/o and when, precepts, actuators
- Role Assignments
- My Environment Adapts to me
- Displaying feedback from the server on JSP pages (Software engineering considerations)
- Sketching out a design (Content planning vs. Delivery planning)
- agent negotiations / social structures / ummm... Web 2.0 ?
- garbage collection of meta data
- Artificial Intelligence & Evolution
- Memory Culling: Necessary part of intelligence? (artificial or human)
- Applications for the Genetic/Evolutionary algorithm
- open learning environments
- Agents, pets, grouping, Community modelling
- Protocols - finding groups, cyber dollars, state diagrams (?)
- "Community Studies" - graphs & communication hubs, types of communities (free-for-all, hierarchy of authority, etc.)
- implications of joining a community - what do you share, which parts of your student model are relevant
- Walls & sand traps -- deliberate restrictions as problem-solving for learning
- Communication channels - individual-to-individual, individual-to-community, chat channels, agent-only "administrative" communications, ex. requests for related learning objects in a particular community, etc.
- Educational/Pedagogical focus (this part probably shouldn't be its own section but rather incorporated into the whole picture, but it's separate for me right now because I'm still only just starting to learn about it.)
- Semantics - what there is to talk about in Education
- ex. Merril's First Principles of Instruction, linking educational terms to AI terms
- Pedagogical skills for tutors -- supporting human *and* artifical tutors
- Student modelling - what the machine needs to know about the student, pedagogically-speaking, about learning history/preferences
- Roles - Simulated students, Coaches, Tutors, Teachers,