Like a torn kite in a storm

Our friend, Donal, has had a posthumous book published. His author’s name is Daniel.

Donal died in January this year after an arduous and serene dealing with terminal cancer.

Donal’s book is titled Dancing to My Death. It chronicles the last months of his life. We saw Donal as he was about to start on his book.

We have seen reviews of the book in Australia and we have ordered a copy of Dancing. We have all Donal’s books with us. All of them were gifts from him.

The publication of the book has brought home the devastation we have felt after Donal’s death. My wife, Sue, knew Donal for over forty years. We miss him profoundly but we hope to follow his guidelines about dancing … “And when you get the chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance. I hope you dance.

Vale, Donal. (Link)

Connectivity, Invisibility, Awareness, and Agency

Katrin Etzrodt and Sven Engesser (2019) have been looking at ubiquitous tools, connected things and intelligent agents (link).

Their paper seeks to disentangle the terminology used in discussions of ubiquity. They suggest theoretically disentangling terminology “results in four distinct analytical dimensions (connectivity, invisibility, awareness, and agency) that facilitate and address social implications”.

I enjoyed their discussion of these four concepts and thought they spoke to the discussions we are having about connections in a digital age.

Karen and Sven visualise their disentanglement in Figure 1 in their paper:

They note that in this Figure these dimensions are assigned “to two super-dimensions — connectivity and invisibility deal with aspects of integration, while awareness and agency are concerned with intelligence issues”. They propose that integration “focuses on natural interaction between humans and computers, which is accomplished through invisible technological components and wireless connection”.

Photo Credit

Vivaan Trivedii on Unsplash

One size fits one

Stephen Downes shared a paper about learning in today’s OLDaily (link).

He wrote:

The first sentence of this paper makes me want to reframe the learning styles debate. Here’s the sentence: “It has been proven that adopting the ‘one size fits one’ approach has better learning outcomes than the ‘one size fits all’ one.”

Given the interest coaches have in learning styles, I do think this is a fascinating post and a great lead into Othmane Zine, Aziz Derouich, and Abdennebi Talbi’s paper (link). Their paper appears in The International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning. I do think its location in that journal and its title (IMS Compliant Ontological Learner Model for Adaptive E-Learning Environments) does not place it at the top of coaching links to be read voraciously. However its insights are very important to conversations about coaching and pedagogy more generally.

Othmane, Aziz, and Abdennebi’s paper discusses a learner model as “a data structure used to describe, record, track, retrieve and update a learner’s characteristics which may be relevant for adaptive learning”.

They propose that “this model provides the necessary information about each learner to the environment to facilitate the learning process and the acquisition of knowledge, the learning path and interface adaption and suitable feedback and support providing”.

They note: “In order to derive learner model information, adaptive learning systems usually so- licit the user directly via forms, quizzes, and menus (static acquisition), as the communication flow between the learner and the system requires direct feedback from the learner”.

Othmane, Aziz, and Abdennebi’s of Moroccan learning contexts, particularly in distance learning is ongoing. Their detailed analysis of semantics and learner models through the use of ontologies is ongoing. Their next step will be to explore some of the psychological dimensions of their learner model that will be of further interest to coaches wherever they are in the world of sport.

Stephen concludes in his post:

If the learning styles sceptics are right, then it should be true that “one size fits all”. This paper adopts exactly the opposite posture, and indeed, so does most literature based on learner models, customization and personalisation.

Although we do not bump into The International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning everyday, I do think Stephen’s post is a great nudge to coaches to look again at some of the conversations we have about learning styles and personal performance optimisation.

Photo Credit

Souq Waqif (Laika, CC BY-ND 2.0)