Education Evolutions Newsletter #8

Education Evolutions:

Select Readings on Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age

Here are three curated articles about education, technology, and evolutions in teaching.

  • Facebook and Google: most powerful and secretive empires we’ve ever knownThe Guardian – Ellen P. Goodman and Julia Powles (7 minute read)
    One of the potential dangers of buying into a technocratic dream, or worse what Neil Postman called a technopoly, is just how much private technology enterprises overtake spaces or processes previously thought of as public. The lack of transparency from private institutions should be viewed with skepticism. Moreover, we repeatedly see the prescience of someone like Marshall McLuhan. It is good to see a different cultural perspective, albeit a slight one, that resides a bit further outside the immediate influence Silicon Valley. Plus, considering how much each of these companies wants to be involved in education seems important to continue considering how they operate.
  • Why Teaching to the Test is Educational MalpracticeGadfly on the Wall – Steven Singer (15 minute read)
    There is a notion in education that teaching to the test is alright, so long as it is a good test. This blogpost presents an articulate and well-researched argument against that notion and teaching to a test as a general principle. The nature that teacher Steven Singer’s argument is one I think about a lot regarding Advanced Placement. Also, I like Singer’s recognition that his evidence is neither conclusive nor does he think it should never be used as a strategy. Still, there are a number of points definitely worthy of deep consideration.
  • Tracing Personalized Learning Research Back to the 1970sEdWeek Digital Education blog – Benjamin Herold (10 minute read)
    Reporter Benjamin Herold traces the idea of personalized learning back to the mastery learning trend that dates back to the 1970s. Considering just how hot a topic personalized learning is in education and edtech, this seems like information definitely worth understanding. One issue that Herold never really addresses is how often personalized learning is conflated with adaptive learning, using a device as the mediator that typically uses some kind of artificial intelligence to adjust based on student response. Adaptive learning is a definite branch off the mastery learning and behaviorism tree. I am deeply skeptical about these trends and hope that education reaches far beyond these paradigms.

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