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UK needs an ethics council and digital chief in every department – ©[theguardian.com]

UK needs an ethics council and digital chief in every department – tech experts | Technology | The Guardian

The UK government should establish an expert technology ethics body to help address complex challenges, including health monitoring, autonomous vehicles and legal disputes such as the right to be forgotten, an independent review has recommended.

The ethical body, which would be similar to those in medicine and academia, is just one of a slate of wide-ranging recommendations in the Making Digital Government Work for Everyone review published on Tuesday, which explores how technology and digital services could be better used to help citizens.

Commissioned by Labour and written by an independent panel of more than 20 advisers and volunteers, the review has been in progress since December 2013.

via UK needs an ethics council and digital chief in every department – tech experts | Technology | The Guardian.

Peter Gray’s new book says kids need free play to thrive – ©[bc.edu]

Playing with other children, away from adults, is how children learn to make their own decisions, control their emotions and impulses, see from others’ perspectives, negotiate differences with others, and make friends,” says Gray, an expert on the evolution of play and its vital role in child development. “In short, play is how children learn to take control of their lives.”

All children are born with an innate curiosity, playfulness, sociability and deep desire to learn, but at some point after they enter school, what was once fun and engaging begins to feel forced, he explains. And, anxiety and stress levels among youths are at an all-time high: they are bogged down with homework, over-scheduled with extracurricular activities, deprived of free play, and faced with the pressures of getting into a top college.

via Peter Gray’s new book says kids need free play to thrive.

Ubiquitous, light, easy to operate, it’s, it’s … | Omniprésent, léger, facile à utiliser, c’est, c’est … | plerudulier

I can’t believe that over the years I have maintained this blog I haven’t written once about TiddlyWiki. In a nutshell it’s a non linear personal web notebook… which doesn’t mean much to many I suppose. There’s no point copying and pasting here descriptions of what it does there, right ? Makes more sense to explain what it does for me and how I use it.

via Ubiquitous, light, easy to operate, it’s, it’s … | Omniprésent, léger, facile à utiliser, c’est, c’est … | plerudulier.

5 Countries That Do It Better: How Sexual Prudery Makes America a Less Healthy and Happy Place | [alternet.org]

To extreme social conservatives of the far right, the word “prude” is not an insult — it’s a badge of honor. “Prudes,” they would argue, should be upheld as exemplary role models because a sexually repressive society is also a society with fewer unplanned pregnancies and fewer sexually transmitted diseases. But not only do the facts not bear that out, they also demonstrate that the exact opposite is true. Countries that embrace many of the things social conservatives detest comprehensive sex education, pro-gay legislation, nude or topless beaches, legal or decriminalized prostitution, adult entertainment tend to be countries that have less sexual dysfunction than the United States, not more. And when one compares sexual attitudes in the United States to sexual attitudes in Western Europe, it becomes evident that there is a strong correlation between social conservatism and higher rates of teen pregnancy, abortion and sexually transmitted diseases.

via 5 Countries That Do It Better: How Sexual Prudery Makes America a Less Healthy and Happy Place | Alternet.

A Simple Equation: More Education = More Income – NYTimes.com

Imagine if the United States government taxed the nation’s one-percenters so that their post-tax share of the nation’s income remained at 10 percent, roughly where it was in 1979. If the excess money were distributed equally among the rest of the population, in 2012 every family below that very top tier would have gotten a $7,105 check.

This is hardly trivial money. But it pales compared to the gap between the wages of a family of two college graduates and a family of high school graduates. Between 1979 and 2012, that gap grew by some $30,000, after inflation.

via A Simple Equation: More Education = More Income – NYTimes.com.

Why e-learning should be in perpetual beta – [clive-shepherd.blogspot.com.es/]

Why e-learning should be in perpetual beta

I once asked the CEO of a major e-learning company how much of their work was maintenance of existing content, thinking that this would be a substantial revenue earner. I was surprised to find that hardly anyone maintains their content. They just wait four or five years for the content to become obsolete, then they start all over again.

A right first time approach works if you are building skyscrapers or making Hollywood movies. The safety considerations or the cost of re-work simply demand it. And if you are sending out physical product, like printed books, it is clearly uneconomic to keep printing and distributing new versions.

But in an era in which software apps and web content are updated almost constantly and usually painlessly, there is simply no argument for treating e-learning content as if we were making $100m movies or printing books.

Agile development of learning content is a process of successive approximation – getting closer and closer to what is right for the user.

via Why e-learning should be in perpetual beta.

How five U.S. innovations helped improve schools in Finland even as American’s ignore the same reforms [impactlab.net]

Pasi Sahlberg, a Finnish educator and scholar, is one of the world’s leading experts on school reform and educational practices. He is the author of the best-selling “Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn About Educational Change in Finland?”and a former director general of Finland’s Center for International Mobility and Cooperation. Sahlberg is now a visiting professor of practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has written a number of important posts for this blog, including “What if Finland’s great teachers taught in U.S. schools,” and “What the U.S. can’t learn from Finland about ed reform.”

In this post Sahlberg writes about what constitutes real education innovation, a topic that was the subject of a recent eport by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, about which I wrote and questioned here. Sahlberg notes how U.S. innovation has helped many successful education systems around the world even as Americans ignore those very same reforms. This is important reading.

via How five U.S. innovations helped improve schools in Finland even as American’s ignore the same reforms | Impact Lab.

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