This report (21 page PDF) is based on interviews with "500 U.S. education professionals". What do teachers want? Presentation tools, textbooks an d classroom technologies. What don't they want? Social learning, gamification, and maker tech. Barriers to tech include the concern that it is a distraction to learning and costs too much. These tie into the decision-making process, where ease of use, cost and compatibility are the major factors. They are guided in their decisions by word of mouth, online reserach, and conferences. I'm not sure how much I trust this report (there is almost no information on methodology). Note that if you go to the website you have to register with them, but the direct link to the PDF works (for now) without registration.
A new report from the National Education Policy Center (55 page PDF) argues that schools should be prohibited from collecting student data unless rigorous safeguards are put into place, that algorithms used in personalized learning should be openly available for examination, and that the use of such technology shoulds require thirs-party assessments for validity and utility, including examinations of the technology (including, presumably, data sets) for bias and error. It's hard to disagree with such requirements (and I don't), but there are some open questions: who does the assessing? And how do we prevent the cost of such assessments from effectively elimining free and open source technology from the options available to schools?
Om Malik emerges from a year-long hiatus with an interview with Wired co-founder Louis Rossetto. It's an interesting look at the state of media and technology then (in the 1990s) and now. Where are we going? Malik opines, "The next achievements of the world are based on environments. I think most of the verbiage as we know it, which is text and some photographs, goes away and becomes much more visual. It becomes more interactive on a visual plane." Rossetto replies, "The idea that linear thought stems from books stems from the Gutenberg era. Logic and rationality are an important method of storytelling and conveying ideas, we’re going to need those kind of forms in the future." This makes me wonder what non-linear logic and ratuionality are like? The concepts of parallel processing and distributed representation give us an idea. Recognition is a type of non-linear rationality. Something to think about.
I learned about Bayes Theorem while studying probability in the 1980s, but I never imagined it would have the influence it has today. It's a mechanism for calculating the probability of X given Y. For example (as Sherlock Holmes would say), if you've ruled out all the other possibilities, the probability of the one that remains, no matter how unlikely it seems, equals 1. Anyhow, I found this paper an interesting, if dense, read. Instructional designers will find the diagram of the path through 40 major papers (end of the article) interesting. It starts out with 'easy and theoretical', but at paper 4, jumps into 'really difficult and theoretical'. Is that the best path through the material?
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