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“We urgently need to safeguard free will in the age of big data” | OEB Newsportal

“We urgently need to safeguard free will in the age of big data” | OEB Newsportal | Future gazing | Scoop.it
PeterT's insight:

This could equally well have been categorised under assessment (http://www.scoop.it/t/assessment-by-peter-twining).

 

Knowing what works will become more important than knowing why it works - though we will still need theory. This has massive implications for research (as well as practice). 

 

I have to say that the notion that the challenge to privacy of big data is more like 'Minority Report' than '1984' is somewhat terrifying! 

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Future gazing
Future gazing with an emphasis on education (and/or implications for education)
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Pisa being revamped to test teenagers' online skills - Education - TES News

Pisa being revamped to test teenagers' online skills - Education - TES News | Future gazing | Scoop.it
Breaking education news about schools and further education. Find leading opinion, podcasts, comment and analysis on education from TES News
PeterT's insight:

On-screen assessment is coming to a school near you - its a matter of how soon, not whether it will happen. This is a good thing, because high stakes assessment (e.g. GCSEs, A levels) that is paper-based is almost certainly the biggest barrier to innovation in schools (in countries like England where school/teacher accountability is tied to students' results in these exams). My research (e.g. see http://edfutures.net/ICT_strategy_research) suggests that schools which are doing innovative things with digital technology revert to traditional (paper focussed) approaches about three months before the exams - so that their students can develop hand writing muscles (so they can write for 3 to 6 hours per day without getting cramp) and the almost defunct skill of writing an essay on paper (which requires a different approach to word processing). Moving from paper-based to on-screen high stakes testing is a real challenge (there are lots of practical as well as pedagogical barriers) but it is a move that many countries have already made (including Lithuania, Slovenia and Georgia) and that others are heading towards pretty rapidly (e.g. Finland and the USA). Help make it happen - share examples (via the comments below) of where on-screen testing for high stakes assessment in schools is already happening - and highlight this issue whenever you get the chance ...

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Creativity versus robots | Nesta

Creativity versus robots | Nesta | Future gazing | Scoop.it
More people work in creative jobs today than ever before. But how much of the creative workforce is at risk of losing out to automation?
PeterT's insight:

According to this report the answer is that 'creative jobs' are not at much risk from automation. Of course that assumes that there are people around to pay for the products that these creative jobs ultimately produce - if everyone else is unemployable because their jobs have been automated then who will pay for the creative jobs to be done? 

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With Tech Taking Over in Schools, Worries Rise

With Tech Taking Over in Schools, Worries Rise | Future gazing | Scoop.it
Parent groups and privacy advocates are challenging the practices of an industry built on data collection, and California has passed wide-ranging legislation protecting students’ personal information.
PeterT's insight:

When I think about big data and learning analytics I tend to think about Higher Education. However, as this article makes clear, schools (and other providers of 'education services') are collecting huge volumes of data about children. 

 

I have great hopes of social learning analytics (the use of big data to assess learners' attributes and competences - the sorts of things that traditional assessment tends to ignore but are so important in life today). However, we need to resolve the challenges of responsible/fair use of data - I think that we should each own the data that relates to us. We are going to have to work very hard indeed to reach a point where that is the case ... there is money at stake!

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Report: Cognizant Computing Will Have 'Immense' Impact on Mobile Computing -- Campus Technology

Report: Cognizant Computing Will Have 'Immense' Impact on Mobile Computing -- Campus Technology | Future gazing | Scoop.it
Gartner has unveiled a new report forecasting that cognizant computing, which the company says is the next phase of the personal cloud movement, "will become one of the strongest forces in consumer-focused IT" in the next few years to "have an immense impact across a range of industries, including mobile devices, mobile apps, wearables, networking, services and cloud providers."
PeterT's insight:

I guess that them Siren servers know that I looked up train times to Totnes and booked tickets - and it would have saved me quite a lot of time if my tech could have done that all for me (and coordinated with the other folk who are going to Totnes to the same event) - so I guess most of us will relinquish our privacy in favour of convenience - and cognizant computing (and its associated big brother organisations) will manage things for us ...

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SU2013_MobileLearning.pdf

PeterT's insight:

Inforgraphic re results of large survey on mobile devices in K-12 (US) schools. Interesting data re % of different age groups who own Smartphones, Laptops, Tablets, and/or Digital Readers. Apparently 41% of school principals (who responded to the survey, n=?) will allow students to use their own devices at school this year (but unclear if that means in lessons or not). The full report (which presumably provides the critical details re numbers of respondents etc is available from http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/SU13DigitalLearningPlaybook_EducatorReport.html

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MOOCs: opportunities for their use in compulsory-age education - Publications - GOV.UK

MOOCs: opportunities for their use in compulsory-age education - Publications - GOV.UK | Future gazing | Scoop.it
Research looking at massive open online courses (MOOCs) and how they can be used within compulsory-age education.
PeterT's insight:

Interesting report from the DFE on the potential for use of MOOCs in compulsory age (mainly secondary) education. People (including) teachers are more positive about their potential than I would have anticipated. Issues about support and assessment remain areas in need of further work.

 

Developments like this will change the culture (a step change from the apparent hostility to ICT in schools since 2010) which will help increase senior leaders' interest in digital technology strategies ...

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{c263c451-7633-43e0-9fe8-4b966d3c384e}_140528_MobileTechInfographic.png (800×1580)

{c263c451-7633-43e0-9fe8-4b966d3c384e}_140528_MobileTechInfographic.png (800×1580) | Future gazing | Scoop.it

Infographic on mobile technology survey results from sample of US K-12 school districts.

PeterT's insight:

Nice summary of data from a survey of K-12 school districts in the USA re uptake of mobile devices in schools. Mobiles are coming seems to be the message. I was surprised that only 23% of funding for devices was identified as coming from 'the home' (student' families/BYOD).

 

You can download the full survey report (having registered) from http://go.amplify.com/2014-mobile-report ;

 

Maybe the schools should find out just how much kit their students have at home that they would be allowed, able and willing to use in school every day by using YOTS (www.yots.org.uk). This is a free service from the Open University in the UK (and has versions for the US, England and Australia, as well as versions in French, Bangla and Mandarin(Chinese)). Our early data show that the majority of students in English secondary schools have access to an Internet enabled mobile device that they would be allowed, able and willing to use in school every day.

 

NB: I lead the YOTS team so have a vested interest!

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The Myth and the Millennialism of "Disruptive Innovation"

The Myth and the Millennialism of "Disruptive Innovation" | Future gazing | Scoop.it
PeterT's insight:

I am a fan of Christensen's book 'Disrupting Class' (http://www.claytonchristensen.com/books/disrupting-class/) but find this critique quite persuasive ... 

 

One of my hopes for free schools (in England) was that they might provided a pathway for innovation in schooling - by providing a government funded route to set up alternative schools that might better meet the needs of 'non-consumers' of current schooling. So far I've not seen much evidence of this happening - I suspect that the accountability and assessment systems again act as a major barrier to real innovation in practice (pedagogy/curriculum).

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'Computers affect ability to learn'

'Computers affect ability to learn' | Future gazing | Scoop.it
A teaching union in Northern Ireland voices concern about the impact of modern technology on children's ability to learn at school.
PeterT's insight:

Evidence base is unclear, but too much of anything is probably not good for you ... Links in with Susan Greenfield's criticisms of screen technologies and their impact on the development of children's brains (see http://www.susangreenfield.com/science/ where evidence is presented).

 

Of course it could be that schools also need to change - much of what we get children to do in school is pretty dull and of dubious relevance to their lives outside school (other than providing accreditation/credentials for some) ...

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Cognitive Surplus: The Great Spare-Time Revolution | Wired Magazine | Wired.com

Cognitive Surplus: The Great Spare-Time Revolution | Wired Magazine | Wired.com | Future gazing | Scoop.it
Clay Shirky and Daniel Pink have led eerily parallel lives. Both grew up in Midwest university towns in the 1970s, where they spent their formative years w
PeterT's insight:

Interesting discussion between Clay Shirky and Daniel Pink about motivation (intrinsic better than extrinsic) and what Shirkey calls 'cognitive surplus' - "The build up of [this] free time among the world's educated population - maybe a trillion hours per year - is a new resource".

 

I suspect @Neil_Selwyn might be skeptical about some of the claims that they make re technology and people's motivations for contributing to things like Wikipedia (see http://sco.lt/5q69w1 ;).

 

I also think that the amount of 'cognitive surplus' that we have available to us is going to increase due to automation ... 

 

How do we capitalise on this cognitive surplus? What role should education play in helping us do that?

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Bill Gates: Yes, robots really are about to take your jobs

Bill Gates: Yes, robots really are about to take your jobs | Future gazing | Scoop.it
Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates isn't going to sugarcoat things: The increasing power of automation technology is going to put a lot of people out of work. Business Insider reports that Gates gave a...
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Neuroscience and education: from research to practice? : Article : Nature Reviews Neuroscience

Neuroscience and education: from research to practice? : Article : Nature Reviews Neuroscience | Future gazing | Scoop.it

Cognitive neuroscience is making rapid strides in areas highly relevant to education. However, there is a gulf between current science and direct classroom applications. Most scientists would argue that filling the gulf is premature. Nevertheless, at present, teachers are at the receiving end of numerous 'brain-based learning' packages. Some of these contain alarming amounts of misinformation, yet such packages are being used in many schools. What, if anything, can neuroscientists do to help good neuroscience into education?

PeterT's insight:

According to this article from 2006 much of what the author refers to as 'brain based industry' has told teachers can best be described as 'neuromyths' - it is not founded in neuroscientific 'fact'. Specific mention is made of Brain Gym and learning styles as being based on spurious scientific evidence. 

 

The article does suggest that there are things neuroscience can help educators with but that neuroscientists may not be the best people to communicate with teachers because they provide too much detail and not enough in the way of neat solutions.

 

I wonder how much neuroscience has progressed since 2006 - any pointers?

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One Laptop Per Child Isn't Quite Dead Yet

One Laptop Per Child Isn't Quite Dead Yet | Future gazing | Scoop.it
Fans of the One Laptop Per Child program were shocked and saddened to hear of the organization's imminent demise this week. There's only one problem: OLPC isn't actually dead. Despite what some blogs are reporting, the organization is alive and well… just not as alive and well as it once was.
PeterT's insight:

Looks like cheap technology and a realisation that technology in and of itself isn't a magic bullet is changing the shape and direction of OLPC. Progress of sorts?

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Disadvantaged Students in Georgia District Get Home Internet Service -- THE Journal

Disadvantaged Students in Georgia District Get Home Internet Service -- THE Journal | Future gazing | Scoop.it
Fayette County Schools in Georgia will provide its economically disadvantaged students with free wireless Internet service at home in an effort to close the district's digital divide.
PeterT's insight:

A good news story - disadvantaged students to get (free) wifi at home. Or a less positive story about disadvantaged students being subjected to surveillance and district determined restrictions on what they can access on the Internet?

 

It is interesting to see that in Georgia 'The pen and paper days are gone in schools' - wonder at what point England will start to worry about being left behind in the global education stakes ...

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The Internet Of Someone Else’s Things | TechCrunch

The Internet Of Someone Else’s Things | TechCrunch | Future gazing | Scoop.it
The Internet Of Things is coming. Rejoice! ...Mostly. It will open our collective eyes to petabytes of real-time data, which we will turn into new insights..
PeterT's insight:

Scary stuff - which we all need to get up to speed with if we are going to push things in the direction that we (the people who don't own the Siren Servers) want ... 

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New research reveals why typing really does matter - Microsoft UK Schools blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

New research reveals why typing really does matter - Microsoft UK Schools blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs | Future gazing | Scoop.it
The Microsoft UK Blog for schools, featuring news for schools from Microsoft, case studies within education, and education ICT advice
PeterT's insight:

I wonder how long it will be before some other text entry format takes over. I don't hold out much hope for voice because of challenges to do with ambient noise (all those other people talking to their digital tech). Swype on my smartphone/tablet is much quicker than the standard virtual keyboard - but still is dependent on familiarity with keyboard layout. Surely we can do better (not just in terms of having a better input device but also overcoming the barrier of changing away from keyboards???

 

Separate thought - does it matter whether you touch type or are just very fast at typing (but don't use the correct finger/key combinations)? Are speeds comparable? Does one lead to RSI quicker than the other? What research is out there on this?

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UK Digital Skills

UK Digital Skills | Future gazing | Scoop.it
PeterT's insight:

This interim report from the UK Digital Skills Taskforce suggests four categorisations of people, based on their digital skills:

 

Digital muggle. Requires no digital skills.

 

Digital citizen. Basic digital skills to participate in everyday life, whether it is to communicate, find information or purchase goods/services. Includes: being able to use the Internet, process simple word documents and find information online.

 

Digital worker. Includes (but not necessarily be limited to) using document formatting tools and building spreadsheets, while at the more complex end these might encapsulate using sophisticated tools irectly related to a particular occupation.

 

Digital maker. Could range from less advanced tasks such as writing Excel macros or creating control files for 3D printing to everything from designing the next microprocessor or implementing ground breaking machine learning algorithms.

 

The chair of the UK Forum on Computing Education is reported as predicting that we will need the following proportions of each category of workers:

Digital muggle 7%

Digital citizen 37%

Digital worker 46%

Digital maker 10%

 

The report argues that parents, teachers and students underestimate the importance of digital skills. At the school level they recommend that the Government should coordinate a campaign to tackle this gap between perceptions of importance and the reality. They go on to suggest other strategies to enhance understanding and perception of the importance of digital skills. They then suggest measures to enhance the importance and quality of teaching of Computing (the replacement for ICT in the National Curriculum in England). Perhaps most importantly, they identify the need for a route into apprenticeships that is valued as highly as achieving academic qualifications.

 

All of this is laudable. However, by focussing on Computing (the subject) rather than how digital technology is embedded across the whole curriculum (what I call ICT) they have not only missed the bullseye, but have not even aimed for it. If we are going to raise parents, teachers and students perceptions of the importance of digital skills then we need to address their use throughout all aspects of the curriculum, not just in the teaching of Computing. The key levers for doing this are to:

change the inspection framework for schools - so that you cannot get a 'good' or 'outstanding' rating from Ofsted if you are not using digital technology effectively throughout the curriculum (which might mean having made informed decisions about not using it some of the time) AND 

change the nature of high stakes assessment, moving from paper-based assessments to computer mediated ones.

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NMC and CoSN Release the NMC Horizon Report > 2014 K-12 Edition | The New Media Consortium

NMC and CoSN Release the NMC Horizon Report > 2014 K-12 Edition | The New Media Consortium | Future gazing | Scoop.it
PeterT's insight:

The latest NMC Horizon Report (2014 K-12 Edition) flags up key trends, significant challenges and important developments related to digital technology in schools based on work with key international experts.

 

Key Trends: rethinking the roles of teachers; shift to deeper learning approaches; increasing focus on open educational resources (OERs); increasing use of hybrid learning designs (cf blended learning); rapid acceleration of intuitive technology; and rethinking how school works.

 

Significant challenges: creating authentic learning opportunities; integrating personalised learning; complex thinking and communication; safety of student data; competition from new models of education; and keeping formal education relevant.

 

Important development: BYOD, and Cloud computing (within one year or less); Games and gamification, and Learning analytics (in two to three years); The Internet of Things, and Wearable technology (in four to five years).

 

I am surprised that the impact of summative assessment doesn't feature more in the report as this seems to me to be the biggest challenge to change in schools (particularly in countries such as England where accountability is tied to summative assessment). 

 

Your Own Technology Survey (YOTS) gets a mention (p.34) - though its purpose is mis-portrayed (YOTS is designed to help schools audit the Internet-enabled mobile devices that their students have and would be allowed, able and willing to bring in to school every day) and they don't provide the URL (http://www.yots.org.uk).

 

The tensions within the key trends and significant challenges were not really explored (e.g. between rethinking how school works and competition from new models of education). Overall, this was the first time in reading a NMC Horizon Report that I felt it missed the mark (whilst still being a useful read). 

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K-12 To Nowhere? Preparing Our Kids For Jobs That Actually Exist.

K-12 To Nowhere? Preparing Our Kids For Jobs That Actually Exist. | Future gazing | Scoop.it
We tell our kids to go to school, K-12 (elementary school, middle school, and then high school), and then we tell them to graduate. Perfect. Right message. We then tell our kids to continue on to
PeterT's insight:

If you can get past what to me felt like a hard sell of some stuff the author (and his friends?) have written then there is some useful 'common sense' in here about what is wrong with our education system. As is often the case some of the most interesting aspects of this article are in the comments that people added to it ...

 

I am with the view that schooling/education shouldn't (just) be about 'getting a job' - but also buy the need to build on people's strengths, help them dream challenging dreams and then work towards achieving them (with a touch of reality - not everyone can become a pop star, famous model or star soccer player).

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The Believability Barrier: Automated Essay Scoring (EdSurge News)

The Believability Barrier: Automated Essay Scoring (EdSurge News) | Future gazing | Scoop.it
For a new technology to make it in the market it must hurdle three big barriers. One: Are potential customers aware of it? Two: Does the technology work? Three: Do potential customers actually believe that the technology works?
Many times, the last is the hardest to overcome.
Just consider th
PeterT's insight:

Interesting piece about the adoption of technology - highlighting that the worst thing you can do is over-promise (something that we have consistently done re ICT in education).

 

Let's hope that when automated essay marking comes to your institution they implement it appropriately (using the best systems to complement human markers) ...

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Don’t laugh; the new Google prototype car has implications for your business

Don’t laugh; the new Google prototype car has implications for your business | Future gazing | Scoop.it
It may look amusing and easily dismissed as a novelty prototype many years from production, but take a good look at a technology that in a few short years is going to transform your life and have
PeterT's insight:

Interesting article re automated vehicles which suggests some of the sorts of impacts that they will have over the next few years - well by 2025 at the very latest. Wondering whether the 'new jobs' listed will be new jobs for people or whether many of them will be automated too - though the hint at increased leisure activities ('going out more') is something I think we will all have more time for (but will we be able to afford it if we are unemployed?).

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Digital Learning Now – Report Card

Report Card
PeterT's insight:

Good idea - a set of metrics to identify the extent to which the policy context in a state/country supports change to enhance educational practice (with a particular focus on digital technology).

 

Shame about the metrics - the problem is that I just don't think the metrics they have chosen are the right ones. The report card is based on '10 elements of high-quality digital learning' each of which has a set of metrics (all good so far). However, the focus is heavily on online content delivered (and I use that word deliberately) through online courses.

 

So the report card is really about policy support for (or hinderance of) the development of online teaching, with a major focus on the development of quality online content.

 

Leaves me wondering whether #ETAG could develop a report card for the English school context that would help move policy in directions that enhance students' learning experiences.

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An open letter to Sir Martin Sorrell

An open letter to Sir Martin Sorrell | Future gazing | Scoop.it
I was moved to write this after reading a recent article in the Telegraph, linked below.  If you can help make some noise about this post, I would really appreciate it.  Tweeting me (@jonjalex) and...
PeterT's insight:

I read this with interest and I have to admit much scepticism - advertisers for social good has the same inherent tensions for me as corporate social responsibility. Lets home I am wrong on both counts.

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Follow the story – School in the Cloud

Follow the story – School in the Cloud | Future gazing | Scoop.it
Follow the School in the Cloud story and learn from a global community of educators experimenting with self-organized learning.
PeterT's insight:

Wondering what Sugata Mitra is doing with the million dollar TED prize - then check this site out - where some of the uncertainties and confusions that he is trying to research are being discussed ...

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Preschoolers outsmart college students at figuring out gizmos

In a world where children are learning to use smartphones before they can even tie their shoelaces, it may not be surprising to learn that preschoolers can outperform college students in certain learning tasks because they are more flexible and less biased in their ideas about cause and effect. UC Berkeley psychologists show this in a game they call "Blickets."
PeterT's insight:

If these differences between 'kids' and adults are 'real' then it leaves me wondering whether they are due to our socialisation (really I mean formal schooling) or reduced plasticity (associated with age) or some other explanation ...

 

Does 'traditional schooling' inhibit our ability to learn/reason/be creative? 

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