Another dot in the blogosphere?

Posts Tagged ‘artefact

I hesitate to make my correction given the spirit in which the feedback was provided. But I trust that the person who gave it will see the spirit I am responding with.

“Artefact” is British English; “artifact” is US English. Artefact is not misspelt (or misspelled).

My reaction to the feedback is this: “Artefact” is British English; “artifact” is US English. Artefact is not misspelt (or misspelled).

One teachable moment is that we need to nurture learners who adopt a world view mindset. This could be as simple as realising that the same words might be spelt differently in other parts of the world.

Another is knowing when to go online to look things up. Spelling is a good example of factual rigour given how official online dictionaries are checked and revised carefully.

Complex phenomena, on the other hand, should not be fed by a single “source” like Facebook. Instead, we need the mindset and skills of deep searching, critical consumption, and methodical processing of complexities like vaccine effectiveness and climate change.

Reality is not just black or white even if you are taught this to be the case. It is not even continuum of shades of grey (or gray, if you are in the USA). Reality is multicoloured and sometimes beyond the visible spectrum. We need to teach our learners that reality and help them grow the mindset to deal with it.

Two days ago, I mentioned that I attended a Zoom-based meeting to celebrate the graduation of a few Masters students. I opted not to use an artificially generated background and relied on what I had in my study instead.

Obviously not all will agree with that choice. They might wish to embellish or hide natural backgrounds as a matter of personal choice.

Zoom, with natural background.

I choose to use a natural background in part because it suits my purpose — it is a study, it looks studious, and I teach via video conference if it is necessary.

It is also for pedagogogial and technical reasons that I opt for a natural background. An artificially replaced background requires software algorithms to work hard to keep track of where the person is. This creates artefacts when the person moves.

At the latest Zoom meeting, a participant with an artificial background tried to show an item by holding it up. But since the Zoom algorithm is optimised for people, it removed the object from view. If a teacher did the same, her students would not be able to see what she was trying to illustrate.

The choice of a tool is not straightforward. Once chosen, its usage is not fixed because its designers and creators cannot foresee every contextual use. This is why the choice and use should not be left only to vendors and administrators. The actual users need to weigh in as well.


Usage policy

%d bloggers like this: