Category: Edge of Learning

The Invasive Valley of Personalization

About 9 months ago, I gave a presentation at the World Future Society Conference called The Promise and Perils of Personalization. After thinking, reading, discussing, and musing about personalization for about a year, I realized that there is a fine line between useful personalization and creepy personalization. It reminded me of the “uncanny valley” in human robotics. So I plotted the same kind of curves on two axes: Access to Data as the horizontal axis, and Perceived Helpfulness on the vertical axis.  For technology to get vast access to data AND make it past the invasive valley, it would...

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Full version of Algeboats is out!

In case you’ve been waiting, the full version of Algeboats is out in the iPad store for $4.99. You can see some of the gameplay for the Lite version of Algeboats on Youtube. The game is designed to teach students about what algebraic variables mean and to begin to understand equations. It’s clever because the students don’t see equations to solve, but in the process of finding crate values that “make” the flags, they begin working backwards and thus solving the equations created by boat=flag. I’ve seen learners as young as 5 be absolutely delighted by the game (and the...

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4 Predictions about the Age of Technology-Enhanced Learning

I’ve been thinking about the Arthur C. Clarke quote: “Anyone who can be replaced by a computer should be.” and this led me to do some deep thinking about the consequences of technology for education. Based on the principles of capitalism and the pressures to educate more students with better results, I arrive at the following four predictions about the marriage between technology and learning. Please pay attention to the bolded words. They are important. (1) Learning that involves information transfer will be replaced by technology. (2) Any repetitive assessment or learning task that can be replicated by a...

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Silicon-Valley Tinted Glasses (and MOOCs)

A great deal of Ed Tech (and the VC money that supports the industry) seems to be viewing the world through lenses that are quite different than those of us who have taught students at public institutions. They are building ed tech in their own image, and many of them either dropped out of school and self-taught or attended ivy-league institutions.  The Silicon-Valley view of the problem of education reminds me of Lake Wobegon (where all the children are above average) and is based on something like this: Higher Education: Where all the learners are motivated, everyone has Internet,...

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Board Games that Change Attitudes

Two weeks ago I attended the APF ProDev Gathering in Orlando on the future of Games and Simulations. A great time was had by all, and we had an enlightening time thinking about what games and simulations would be used for 10-15 years from now. Several games I learned about are worthy of mention here: Buffalo (by tiltfactor) is a game that has been shown to change your attitude about stereotyping careers based on gender and ethnicity. You wouldn’t really know that from playing it, but players walk away being more aware of how much they know (or didn’t know)...

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