There's a lot to like in this interview and I certainly think Barbara Oakley has a handle on the subject. At times, though, I find it hard to tease out what she means when she blends cognitive psychology and neuroscience. The conversation flows in and out of metaphors quite smoothly (not a bad thing!) When she says, for example, "Your working memory can reach in and gather sets of neural links, holding them as you’re manipulating information to solve a problem," this can't be a literal description, but it's not clear what she means. Still, the distinction she draws between declarative and procedural knowledge is quite useful, as is the concept of "drill and chill", and as is the declaration that "a little effort to improve students’ abilities to learn has a significant impact."
Given what we know of contemporary AI, this should come as a surprise to no one, but it's important to actually do the research and generate the data. Here's the gist: "A student researcher has reverse-engineered the controversial exam software - and discovered a tool infamous for failing to recognize non-white faces." Akash Satheesan published his findings in a series of blog posts. Again, none of this is news. "Black students have described how frustrating and anxiety-inducing Proctorio’s poor facial detection system is."
As Elizabeth Lopatto correctly points out, what's new about this announcement is the way it was announced. "This style of scientific release is unusual; ordinarily, videos like this are supplementary material to peer-reviewed papers published in scientific journals. Those papers contain data that can be checked by other scientists." She provides examples where similar work has been done in the past. In fact, I would refer readers to this comprehensive Wikipedia article on Brain–computer interface (BCI). It points us to the OpenBCI project, which lets people do their own BCI experimentation; software is here on GitHub, though the hardware has a cost. If you have a smartphone, though, you can use audio input as a receiver and lower the cost dramatically. So the future of BCI is easy to predict: open source systems leading the way, followed by commercial ventures that leverage their marketing and connections to create a product line.
This article begins with a good criticism of systems change, then recommends an alternative approach that essentially amounts to the same thing. Oh, but the difference is explained by saying "the critical difference is that it is emergent." I agree that the best (and only) way to change society is through emergent change, that is, where the change is driven by the people, not the leaders. But in this article, 'emergent' means "driven by scale-obsessed doer organizations." No. Take education, for example. So many reformers feel we can effect change by redesigning educational systems (and if followed the advice in this article, administrators, rather than funders, would be driving change). But education changes only if people as individuals decide to learn differently. Right now (as suggested by Chomsky here) people still consent to the existing model of education. It's when that consent changes - and not until - that education changes.
I find that the title of this article is a dramatic overstatement of what's actually contained in the content. There, we read that the government is recommending that departments "limit the times at which primary and secondary school students take part in online learning to ensure they are getting enough sleep." We also read of proposals "for greater regulation and management of private online tutoring in terms of both content and consumer rights." None of this would raise too many eyebrows here, and given that "cram schools, exam preparation classes – and nowadays online classes – are considered an essential purchase for many Chinese families" this sort of regulation seems all the more important.
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