Rationalizing Those 'Irrational' Fears of inBloom

Audrey Watters, Hack Education, Mar 16, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

On certain levels, I think this is a good article. It makes the point that "while 'personalized learning' might be a powerful slogan for the ed-tech industry and its funders, the sweeping claims about its benefits are largely unproven by educational research," and makes the case that "the public’s 'low tolerance for uncertainty and risk' surrounding student data is hardly irrational." But there's a false dichotomy in the idea that "the unreasonable effectiveness of data will supplant theory." For one thing, I think "theory" argues for its own replacement with something, anything. Maybe "data" isn't it (and certainly not the narrow data available to most systems extant today).

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