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George Station
Works at getting from this day to that
Attended Cal State Monterey Bay
Lives in Unremitting Beta
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George Station

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Do you incorporate all six tips into your bio? If not, how will you update your bio after reading this?
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+Laura Gibbs +Liz Stevenson Perhaps this is the way to find out what our campuses are up to? :-)
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After what they did to me in the last interview, I don't think I wanna know!
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George Station

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OK—we'll have to try harder. There's no pleasing some people...

#paleoclickbait #headlines
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Our #edtech maven +Audrey Watters had fun at #ISTE2015:

...if we want education that is more just and more equitable and more sustainable, that we need to get the ideologies that are hardwired into computers out of the classroom.

#computers #education #technologyandsociety
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Sometimes I am tempted to say: keep the computers and give up on the schools. Let's all just go to the library instead...
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George Station

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All you #librarians (New Round)

What are you telling students about #search these days?

#GoogleSearch and other?
 
Does Google Really Slant Search to its Favor?

A recent paper authored by Tim Wu and presented at  Oxford University's Antitrust Enforcement Symposium is beginning to make headlines for a couple of notable reasons: First, Tim Wu used to be a Google Fellow and he is credited with both inspiring Google's mobile strategy and coining the term "net neutrality". That doesn't mean he understands search well, though so a sense of caution is advisable here. 

His point, presented in his paper, is that Google uses G+ to artificially promote its own properties and services over those of others. There are a couple of things to keep in mind here. 1.  G+ from its very inception was (and still is) the only viable shortcut to boosting one's presence in search. In the early days in particular the G+ signal was disproportionately strong because there were insufficient counterpoints available to it. 2. Semantic search depends upon its ranking on the verifiablity and trustworthiness of signals. Google has publicly stated on a number of occasions that it regards social signals from Twitter as "dirty signals" because they are hard to analyse as to their importance and not always available and, of course, Facebook is a walled garden. Other sources such as Yelp, for instance, have a patchy history of access because Yelp reviews themselves are not always trustworthy (http://goo.gl/B1G7np) and Yelp and Trip Advisor went on the warpath back in 2011 to make sure that Google did not use their reviews (http://goo.gl/wxiiU). 

So, now we get to this. How accurate is it? Had it been penned by anyone other than Wu I doubt we would even be looking at it. Wu, however did get paid by Yelp to do this study so at least it's unlikely to be entirely impartial. 

The fact that reviews which come up when G+ is stripped out of it are more than when it is, is a reflection of Google's earlier reworking of its algorithm to accommodate Yelp and Trip Advisor concerns. But that fact does not show how trustworthy those reviews are nor how the people who made them are themselves weighed, both attributes that within G+ have had an impact from the very start. 

Still, coming as it does at a time when the European Commission is critically looking at search this is likely to create perceptions that only turn up the heat for Google. It is important to keep an open mind on this and actually wait for a response from the company (if any is coming) before any judgement can be made and keep in mind that on the European front the EU vs Google thing is more along political and ideological lines than practical ones. 

Semantic search depends transparency and accountability that does not sit easily with everybody. 
Tim Wu, author of The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, argues in a paper that Google is knowingly degrading its search results to favor its own properties.
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Must read later. Thanks for the series shares!
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George Station

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Anybody know anything about this one? Looks interesting!

#advantageous   #dystopia   #scifi  
Here's how director Jennifer Phang made her sci-fi "anti-cynicism movie."
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You have to first let go of the fear that, if you’re not working, your company will fail.
If you're stressed all the time, it can affect your productivity and damage your relationships. It's time for a change.
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#PDA (maybe not the best tag but it's what comes to mind for sharing this)

h/t +David Amerland
 
The Race to Be Our Best Digital Assistant is ON! 
Including Apple Siri, Google Voice, Microsoft Cortana and even Amazon Echo.

Including in the article for discussion: 
My perspective on the Evolution of Digital Assistants now and in the future...

In the early stage the “assistant” was just text based and was basically a pattern recognition system. (The steps are not necessarily in required order, just organized to give a general progression.)

1. Text pattern matching: This evolved to recognizing simple basic questions and delivering content from a digital search or taking a specific action like “lights on.”

2. Basic speech recognition: The next level was “understanding” natural speech. Able to break down full sentences and identify what we are taking about and what we are wanting. 

3. Anticipating future questions and understanding context: Next was the anticipating ahead of what we want just as we do consciously as humans.  Even Google Voice search has evolved to this level. Google is able to anticipate and understand the context if it has enough info about both us and the topic. The assistant is at a “self-learning” stage, the basic level where Google search is now. Apple Siri just keeps getting better and better at responding like a favorite friend. For example, my friend asked Siri, “Siri find me a steakhouse” and Siri ‘s response was “The only possibility I found is (Name of place), which averages 2 stars and is moderately priced.” 

4. Understanding our emotional tone and facial expressions: This upcoming next step is attempting to understand the emotional tone of the question and responding. This is where we as humans get easily hooked even if this is partly simulated. Once we think the digital assistant is beginning to understand us emotionally, even if it is not fully doing this, we will project more human qualities onto to it than the digital assistant had earned. 

5. Full ongoing dialogue: Next level will be having an ongoing dialogue where it asks for more information and initiates expected and unexpected comments--the ability to have an extended conversation. Maybe even the digital assistant initiating a conversation that it computes would be appreciated at that time. For example a digital assistant noticing that our driving pattern is showing up like something is wrong and asking if we may need to take a break from driving. 

6. Beginning of self-awareness: One definition of self-aware is the digital assistant is aware of itself in relationship to other things around it, perceived from different perspectives. This would be like the a home robot that identifies a distorted reflection of itself in a shiny bowl as itself. Step 5 and 6 may happen in different order. This was depicted in the 2013 movie “Her”, set sometime in the near future where a man falls in love with a new artificially intelligent operating system called OS1 (I will let you decide if “Her” should be under 6 or 7 if you see the move). 

7. Technological singularity: Last would be digital assistants reaching technological singularity which by that time digital assistants would be fully integrated into autonomous robots. At the level of technology singularity, computers would theoretically be capable of recursive self-improvement (redesigning themselves), or of designing and building computers or robots better than themselves. This is what Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk say we need to be prepared for so they don’t make us into house pets. I think we are a good way off from that but being prepared is not a bad idea.  Of course Kurzweil sees it more as part of our own evolution. I am ready and hope to see it in our future since I sometimes find myself, after watching the news, asking if there's intelligent life on earth to start with.



Thanks to +Janelle Vadnais +Cramer Gallimore +David Amerland +Eric Enge and may others for their strong resources / help used in this article. 

#Digitalassistants   #AmazonEcho   #GoogleVoice   #AppleSiri  
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How NASA broke the gender barrier in STEM. For the first time, half to the astronaut class is women. NASA now offering new opportunities for female tech entrepreneurs, too. http://www.fastcompany.com/3047618/strong-female-lead/how-nasa-broke-the-gender-barrier-in-stem
For the first time, half of the astronaut class is women, and now NASA is offering new opportunities for female tech entrepreneurs.
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Thanks for this, I just directed it to some women who do just this sort of work.
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George Station

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2015
Or
The Year One as I like to call it...
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Year One. That's excellent. 
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Education
  • Cal State Monterey Bay
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • United States Naval Academy
  • And yes, Howard Rheingold University
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Gender
Male
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Tagline
Aboard the higher education ocean liner in a sea of changing affordances, and... wait, what is that? Looks kind of like a big white mountain, only...
Introduction
UPDATE, JUNE 23, 2015: I joined CLMOOC (Connected Learning MOOC). More to follow.

Seeking
 conversations about education, teaching & learning, and edtech. Also into classic TV, movies, sci-fi, and comics. I talk a little about politics and a little about race, because education and pop culture are full of both. But I try not to repeat conversations I had online back in the '90s or face-to-face before that. You'll figure it out.

I'm a college lecturer (adjunct) using real name for most activities, and several screen names that arose because of multiple accounts in different spaces that said to pick a user name. A couple of those names stuck and it's easier just to keep them. I live in "unremitting beta" around teaching, learning, and technology. Overall, I also seem to be "awaiting moderation" (thanks to +Meg Tufano for the phrase as it applies to humans). I continue to learn a lot (one hopes) from Howard Rheingold's own study of social media. He shares most of it and you could do worse. You may want to read Howard's book Net Smart for more, or just take an online class with him.

In the fall, I teach a first-year transition course that seems to go through a top-down, significant change every couple of years. Current theme for my class is Technology & Society, go figure. My life lesson so far: Happy classes of freshmen are all alike. Each unhappy class is unhappy in its own way. (Thank you, Mr. Tolstoy!)

I have also taught an intro technology class, basic computer architecture, and a 200-level class called Cyberdemocracy that is a work in progress, but strives to have participants "become their own historians" as they consider the US political process over time, through various technology lenses.

My social media time & emphasis:
  • Google+: Most time, most emphasis, most in-depth conversations. "Best" PLN for my edtech & social media interests. This is the online space that feeds & fulfills me. I have a G+ academic presence too (campus logo & no hoodie in that profile image) that is more for support of my classes and less about my personal interests.
  • Facebook: Real-life friends & family who may not be using other social media. It's FB or no contact with some of them. They know what a phone is but they don't use it to talk. ;-) Also, I like to observe what some businesses & education & NGO types think they should be doing on FB. (Lookin' at you, ISTE and New Media Consortium.) For the record, in 2015 I'm reconsidering my views & usage of Facebook. I've been connecting with more educators and some former e-mail friends who basically don't do e-mail list conversations anymore.
  • Twitter: Second-best for my edtech & social media interests. Best for short exchanges. PLN overlaps but is not the same as G+ PLN. Some tweeps don't like G+ and some G+ers don't like Twitter.
  • Blog writing/commenting: Sigh... Can I use the "writer's block" excuse? I do comment frequently under a screen name (so I can have a life elsewhere) but rarely write full posts anymore.

I have other interests. My positions on most issues will be apparent if I've posted more than one item. (Sometimes I just share a stand-alone item to generate conversation.) Most of what I share here is "Public" with a smattering of "Private."

Credit to +Gregor McNish for the phrase "a sea of changing affordances" in my tagline.

Update, May 22, 2014: Meg (see above) has inspired a metaphor adjustment because we educators may be like the classic frog in the slowly heating pot: Boiling the Titanic.

UPDATE, JUNE 23, 2015: I joined CLMOOC (Connected Learning MOOC). More to follow.
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Yes, these are in fact my shoes.
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Lecturer in Quite Large State University System
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  • getting from this day to that
    Lecturer, present
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