Part of the problem with using 'scientific evidence' is that it mistakes efficiency for learning. Nick Shackleton-Jones makes this point quite nicely: "If someone wants to pass a test, the most efficient process is to give them the answers so that they can copy them into the paper." This is essentially what direct instruction amounts to, and so it's not surprising that the evidence people like Paul Kirschner cite reach this conclusion. The other side of the coin, though: "So what is it then – if it’s not storing facts in your head? (This question will not be on the test)." That's what connectivism seeks to answer.
This is the other side of the 'scientific evidence' debate. I have no doubt that the evience has led Paul Kirschner to the conclusions he has reached (just as it has let the also-mentioned John Hattie to reach his conclusions). The question is: can we trust the evidence, and can we trust the inference that leads to the conclusion? For Kirschner, the answer is clear. "Cognitive load is about how our cognitive architecture affects how we learn and how this interacts with instruction. There are possibly two thousand scientific articles that show that the theory generally holds."
Ada is a chatbot "which uses artificial intelligence to answer more than 1,000 queries each day from students and staff." It is credited with laudable achievements: "the chatbot has increased learner retention, reduced teacher workload and bureaucracy, increased mental wellbeing and enhanced support for visually impaired students." The service plans to expand using mobile apps and Alexa voice recognition. More here.
For a few years I held an annual donation campaign to support OLDaily. I discontinued it last year because I cut my server hosting costs and so didn't have the need. But the campaigns never came close to what it would cost to support OLDaily if I didn't have a day job. It was an object lesson in humility (it would be nice to do OLDaily full-time, but it isn't going to happen) and it points to the question being discussed in this article: can we depend on charity to support valuable open source content and services? The author suggests that we can't, and my own experience makes it hard to disagree.
Analysis of the Apple News announcement: “I’m sure Apple News+ will be fine, but man is it weird to hear a tech company describing 'human-curated news' as some high-concept innovation, and not the way news was selected and distributed for 400 years before the sorted feed era."
This is a list of 149 products and services that have been killed by Google over the years. It stands as an object lesson in why you should not depend on commercial vendors and platforms for critical services. Source is on GitHub. Via TheNextWeb.
The pushback against 'scientific evidence' in education continues (I put 'scientific evidence' in quotes because in reality it is neither). This article calls for "an urgent halt to the imposition of ‘evidence-based’ education on Australian teachers, until there a fuller understanding of the benefits and costs of narrow, statistical evidence-based practice." It substantiates that call with some very reasonable points: "In education, though, students are very different from each other. Unlike those administering placebos and real drugs in a medical trial, teachers know if they are delivering an intervention. Students know they are getting one thing or another. The person assessing the situation knows an intervention has taken place. Constructing a reliable educational randomised controlled trial is highly problematic and open to bias."
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