Why Technology Will Never Fix Education

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Educational Innovation Weekly Review for Academics
Curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation
May 26, 2015
Contact us observatorio@itesm.mx
Why Technology Will Never Fix Education
The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • While technology helps education where it’s already doing well, technology does little for mediocre educational systems. Even when technology tested well in experiments, the attempt to scale up its impact was limited by the availability of strong leadership, good teachers, and involved parents.
  • The real obstacle in education remains student motivation. Especially in an age of informational abundance, getting access to knowledge isn’t the bottleneck, mustering the will to master it is. And there, for good or ill, the main carrot of a college education is the certified degree and transcript, and the main stick is social pressure.
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/TechWillNever

Keywords: education, technology, edtech, MOOCs
Schools that ban mobile phones see better academic results
The Guardian
  • It is a question that keeps some parents awake at night. Should children be allowed to take mobile phones to school? Now economists claim to have an answer. For parents who want to boost their children’s academic prospects, it is no.
  • According to research by Louis-Philippe Beland and Richard Murphy, “Ill Communication: The Impact of Mobile Phones on Student Performance”, after schools banned mobile phones, the test scores of students aged 16 improved by 6.4%. The economists reckon that this is the “equivalent of adding five days to the school year”.
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/MobilesBanned

Keywords: education, mobile phones, technology, research
What Does ‘Personalized Learning’ Look Like? Video Series Aims to Go Beyond Hype
The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • An education blog whose authors believe there’s too much hype around “personalized learning” technology has posted a series of video case studies about the trend. The result is an unusual look at five colleges trying high-tech classroom experiments and wrestling with how new teaching methods change the role of students and teachers. 
  • The case studies, divided into short segments covering different topics, together resemble a MOOC. Michael Feldstein, founder of the blog and a host of the videos, hopes that some teaching-with-technology centers will use the videos in their professional-development workshops.
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/PersonalizedLrningVideos

Keywords: personalized learning, professional development, MOOCs
Myths and Misconceptions about Competency-Based Education
Eduventures
  • At a time when higher education is actively experimenting with competency-based education (CBE), confusion abounds about what CBE is and the extent of its contribution to the present transformation of higher education.
  • Eduventures has spoken with over 300 higher education industry leaders about this practice. Part of our goal was to better understand myths and misconceptions about CBE, of which there are many. Here are five of the most common myths and misconceptions we heard.
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/MythsCBE

Keywords: competency-based education, CBE
Report: Competency Ed Needs To Show 'Credible Evidence' To Prove Validity
Campus Technology
  • The new report, titled, "Measuring Mastery," provides best practices for schools in how to validate assessments and establish performance levels that tie to "real-world mastery." CBE programs need to be validated against external standards in order to prove to employers that a competency-based education is "credible evidence of students' career readiness."
  • "CBE programs have generally done a good job defining the relevant competencies, that is, what students need to know, and what they'll learn," said Katie McClarty, director of the Center for College & Career Success. "The next critical step will be gathering empirical evidence that documents the relationship between competency mastery and future success."
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/CBEEvidence

Keywords: competency-based education, CBE
PhD: is the doctoral thesis obsolete?
Times Higher Education
  • The average doctoral student spends about six months of their four-year programme writing their thesis, and another three “waiting for it to be examined”. Is this really appropriate for the modern world? Communication within the science world and with the public is becoming shorter and snappier, yet our PhDs still seem to be stuck in the 1960s.
  • What about going further and abolishing the thesis entirely, and instead allowing students to submit a bundle of papers?  The “integrated format”, as the UK Council for Graduate Education calls it, is already common in many European countries. The UKCGE report attributes the integrated format’s rise to growing pressure on students to publish their findings prior to graduation – not least so that they can compete for postdoctoral positions in an increasingly international job market.
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/PhDThesisObsolete

Keywords: graduate education, postgraduate education, PhD, thesis, research
A Simple DIY Approach to Tracking and Improving Student Learning Outcomes
Campus Technology
  • David A. Wood, Jr., a professor and former dean of performance excellence at San Antonio College uses Excel data to inform his instruction and achieve better learning outcomes for his students.
  • Here's Wood's magic formula: He tracks how each student does with each test question and performs an item analysis after each exam, which tells him "right away" where his students have understanding and where they're struggling. Having those results tells the faculty member where he needs to put the emphasis in the next section of the course.
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/DIYLrningOutcomes

Keywords: learning, data analytics
Harvard School of Ed Launches Free Online Library of Student Work
Campus Technology
  • The Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) has launched the Center for Student Work, an online collection of exemplary student projects.  A collaborative project between HGSE and Expeditionary Learning, the free resource includes videos, writing samples and other work designed to provide teachers foundations to create their own projects.
  • The searchable collection includes projects in English language arts, health and wellness, math, performing arts, science and technology, social studies, visual arts and world languages. 
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/LibraryStudentWork

Keywords: education, open resources, online collection
Trying Team-Based Inquiry to Teach Research Skills in the Humanities
Inside Higher Ed
  • Teaching research as a team-based activity is probably old hat to those in STEM, but in the humanities, many of us still cling to the solitary research process of toiling away in some dark library corner.
  • This semester I took a different approach: instead of setting students up for the conventional research paper, I structured my class around a collaborative research process. I hope these takeaways can help you think of ways collaborative projects can make your classes more engaging and fun to teach.
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/CollaborativeHumanities

Keywords: humanities, research, research skills
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Educational Innovation Weekly Review is curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's  Observatory of Educational Innovation. With the highlights of the week on innovation, technology and education. If you require more information about a specific note, please email us: observatorio@itesm.mx. TECNOLÓGICO DE MONTERREY, 2015.

Observatory of Educational Innovation

Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation: We identify and analyze the educational innovation trends that are shaping the future of learning and education. 

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