Editorial

The impact of Al on the labour market

The debate goes on. Here is the latest discussion organised by the OECD. On February 1 from 1600 to 1700 CET. Go here to register. What do we know about the impact of AI on the labour market? Will it further automate jobs and, if so, which ones? Will it improve job quality, or worsen […]

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Open Covid Pledge for Research in Education

Pontydysgu are happy to have signed the Open Covid Pledge for Research in Education. Th pledge says” We pledge to make our intellectual property openly and freely available to the world to support educators, students and decision-makers, to help educational organisations survive and thrive, and to build a fairer and more resilient education system. We […]

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Audio biographies

September 14th, 2020 by Graham Attwell

Here is something a bit different. Welsh Political Icons is a series of audio biographies of Welsh political figures commissioned and edited by Daran Hill. Each audio file has been written and presented by the ascribed author. Subjects may be alive or dead: the only rule is they must have a strong Welsh connection.

This issue is about William Henry Mainwaring, an educator, intellectual, Royal Commissioner and powerful political organiser who served as MP for Rhondda East from 1933 to 1959. In a personal and compelling audio biography, Dr Daryl Leeworthy stresses his importance as a politician and a historian in the context of the making of the politics and identity of “American Wales”

Algorithmic bias explained

August 27th, 2020 by Graham Attwell

Yesterday, UK Prime Minister blamed last weeks fiasco with public examinations on a “mutant algorithm”. This video by the  Institute for Public Policy Research provides a more rational view on why algorithms can go wrong. Algorithms, they say, risk magnifying human bias and error on an unprecedented scale. Rachel Statham explains how they work and why we have to ensure they don’t perpetuate historic forms of discrimination.

Latest from Wales Wide Web

What is Machine Learning

January 20th, 2021 by Graham Attwell

I am copying this from Stephen Downes’ ever informative OLDaily newsletter digest. It features an article entitled What is machine learning? – A beginner’s guide posted on the FutureLearn website. This is quite a good introduction to machine learning. If you don’t know what it is and would like a quick no-nonsense introduction, this is […]

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Subscriptions to streaming learning provision

January 19th, 2021 by Graham Attwell

Soon after MOOCs had burst onto the scene, I was talking to a senior manager at a UK university. He was charged with leading their development of MOOCs. But despite his enthusiasm,he thought he would only be given two or three years to get things right. And the big thing he had to get right […]

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AI and Edge computing

January 7th, 2021 by Graham Attwell

A recent MIT Technology Review Insights reports on a survey of 301 business and technology leaders around their use and future planned us of Artificial Intelligence. The survey confirms that the deployment of AI is increasing, not only in large companies but also in SMEs. It also points to the emergence of what is known […]

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Word of the Day

January 7th, 2021 by Graham Attwell

Rather than comment on the goings on in America yesterday, I will leave it to Susie Dent and her extremely timely Word of the Day tweet.

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Latest from Pontydysgu Blogs and Speakers' Corner

Celebrating Martin Luther King – Revisiting a German radio program of January 2017

January 19th, 2021 by Pekka Kamarainen

Yesterday, on Monday 19.01.2021 our American friends celebrated  Martin Luther King Day as a national holiday. This reminded me of a blog that I wrote four years ago on the important travels of Martin Luther King Sr and Jr (father and son) to Germany. Both visits had consequences and it is worthwhile revisiting the memories […]

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“Working & Learning” after working life – thoughts on further blogging

January 13th, 2021 by Pekka Kamarainen

Last year I finished my blogs with thoughts on retirement and retreat. I came to the conclusion that I need to rediscover myself as a blogger now that I am no longer an active researcher in the field of vocational education and training. So, gone are the stories of fieldwork, European projects, transnational meetings and […]

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Designing Age-appropriate, Process-oriented and Interactive in-company further training in SMEs through the use of AR- technologies (API-KMU)

December 15th, 2020 by Daniela Reimann

The aim of the BMBF-funded research project “API-KMU” is to enable age-appropriate, process-oriented and interactive further training in existing companies and the securing of experiential knowledge with the help of concrete approaches and methods or through a learning and tutor system by the SMEs themselves. As a result, companies will be able to proactively cope […]

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Thoughts on retirement and retreat – Part Two: Blogging vs. engagement with social media

December 9th, 2020 by Pekka Kamarainen

In my latest post I started to share my thoughts on my transition to retirement and the consequences for blogging. I made the point that for me going on retirement was coupled with retreat to my home country Finland. Thus, I had left behind the ‘battle grounds’ in project work, activities in research communities and […]

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    News Bites

    Racial bias in algorithms

    From the UK Open Data Institute’s Week in Data newsletter

    This week, Twitter apologised for racial bias within its image-cropping algorithm. The feature is designed to automatically crop images to highlight focal points – including faces. But, Twitter users discovered that, in practice, white faces were focused on, and black faces were cropped out. And, Twitter isn’t the only platform struggling with its algorithm – YouTube has also announced plans to bring back higher levels of human moderation for removing content, after its AI-centred approach resulted in over-censorship, with videos being removed at far higher rates than with human moderators.


    Gap between rich and poor university students widest for 12 years

    Via The Canary.

    The gap between poor students and their more affluent peers attending university has widened to its largest point for 12 years, according to data published by the Department for Education (DfE).

    Better-off pupils are significantly more likely to go to university than their more disadvantaged peers. And the gap between the two groups – 18.8 percentage points – is the widest it’s been since 2006/07.

    The latest statistics show that 26.3% of pupils eligible for FSMs went on to university in 2018/19, compared with 45.1% of those who did not receive free meals. Only 12.7% of white British males who were eligible for FSMs went to university by the age of 19. The progression rate has fallen slightly for the first time since 2011/12, according to the DfE analysis.


    Quality Training

    From Raconteur. A recent report by global learning consultancy Kineo examined the learning intentions of 8,000 employees across 13 different industries. It found a huge gap between the quality of training offered and the needs of employees. Of those surveyed, 85 per cent said they , with only 16 per cent of employees finding the learning programmes offered by their employers effective.


    News from 1994

    This is from a Tweet. In 1994 Stephen Heppell wrote in something called SCET” “Teachers are fundamental to this. They are professionals of considerable calibre. They are skilled at observing their students’ capability and progressing it. They are creative and imaginative but the curriculum must give them space and opportunity to explore the new potential for learning that technology offers.” Nothing changes!


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  • RT @BERANews Join #BERA_SocialTheory Book Launch: Social theory and the politics of higher education: critical perspectives on institutional research" 12 February with @CiaranBurkeSoc @cristinacost @socialtheoryapp @rillera bera.ac.uk/event/book-lau… pic.twitter.com/xSllRfqI1a

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