The New Stuff

Students – The Real Winners of New Age Technology Trend


Impatience characterizes the technology sector’s approach to education. Disruption is taking place in all other sectors of society — so, why not education? I know too well, whether at Pearson or in the classroom, the challenges and frustration of developing and using digital tools that improve outcomes for students.

But I’m optimistic. We are on the verge of a tide of smarter innovation that, if allowed to spread, will turbocharge the learning experience for students. Here are four areas worth watching:

1. Using technology to learn from learners

Every great digital product constantly evolves by learning from its users, adding capabilities, and improving its performance. If it’s true for your Facebook feed, then why not education?

The potential is there, as the OECD’s recent report on Students, Computers and Learning(OECD) incidentally showed how clickstream and tracking navigation in digital readers can be used to see how students process online text and arrive at the answer in different ways.

In practice, companies like Renaissance Learning can point to the small margins of usage (4.7 minutes) of its reading program, separating the top performing and lagging students.

Akin to how Amazon “knows what you want before you buy it,” edtech companies are also starting to build algorithms that can make learning more personal. For instance, based on behaviors of successful students, we can begin to predict whether a learner is on track or at risk.

This allows teachers to intervene and provide assistance when a student most needs help before they fall behind. It also allows education content creators to tweak learning material – such as the length of a video or article – based on how a student interacts with it and progresses in subsequent activities.

Learning products should continually evolve to benefit learners and learning. Developers should make sure the best ideas from learning science, education practice, teacher feedback, and learning analytics inform those changes. The constant iteration, investment and learning baked into Teach to One provides a great example of what young companies should be emulating.

When I look at the growing Education Innovation Clusters or the useful tips on better ed-tech pilots provided by Digital Promise, I’m excited to see the idea of continuous improvement and learning being baked into the development and effective use of digital learning products.

2. Using technology to adapt to how students feel

Adaptive learning technologies today address what a student knows and can do. Programs such as Knewton alter what lessons are offered based on how individual students do in solving problems and where they may have gaps in knowledge.

However, a large body of research shows that how a student feels – frustrated, bored or confused – influences how much learning takes place. Can technology adapt to this to increase learning? DARPA thinks so–and is willing to invest in great ideas to get at what they call Full Spectrum Learning.

We are already seeing some examples of this in lab settings. Researchers have tracked student emotions while using Crystal Island–a game-based learning environment– and used that research to predict how students will react in other learning situations  The London Knowledge Lab is exploring the creation of a tool which will allow the feedback to be adjusted based on a student’s emotional state. These efforts align with a larger body of research into how tools, such as intelligent tutors, which are aware and can adapt to student’s emotions (or “affect”) can better serve students and contribute to improved student outcomes.

3. Building invisible assessments that are less intrusive

Teach. Stop. Test. Teach. Stop. Test.

 It’s disruptive for teachers; it’s annoying for parents; and it’s not fair on students. We are finally seeing examples of a move away from this approach to assessment.

Teachers can now use the enormous amounts of data gathered in rich environments, such as games and virtual reality, to understand student progress and where to go next, in a way that’s personalized for each student.

Take SimCityEdu: Pollution Challenge – developed by GlassLab Games – where students learn how city-planning is impacted by environmental issues. As they play the game, the system is capturing their actions – such as the sequence of what they do or requests for help – and interprets patterns in data to assess how well the player understands important concepts. This helps teachers better evaluate how a student solves problems, rather than just the final product of their work.

In time, learning games like this should decrease reliance on stop-and-test exams and provide more real-time and actionable information to teachers.

4.  Keeping pace with technology in the classroom

As we shift from print to digital educational tools, the volume of tools available to teachers has increased dramatically. Some tools – often apps – are rooted in research, pedagogy, and continuous improvement. Others are no more than junk food in a student’s educational diet. How is a teacher or parent to tell the difference?

The following two tabs change content below.

Ebenezer Obasi

Senior executive editor at EwtNet
A web developer, IT undergrad, terrible entrepreneur, internet freak and a man of a few other incongruous talents, Ebenezer has been writing on technology since 2012, and plans to do so until a few days before his ultimate fate: cryogenic preservation. If resurrected, he is likely to go back to writing on technology.

Recieve Free Email Updates!

Subscribe to get new updates instantly delivered to your inbox. Select the specific category you want to recieve updates on and enter your email address below.


*A confirmation message will be sent to you, login to your e-mail account and click on the confirmation link to start enjoying this service.

Get the latest news on your Android mobile, Download our Android App

Recently Published

»

Awale, Backgammon and 1 other Game Technology has transformed

From time memorial, man has indulged himself into seeking ...

YouTube's demonetization aftermath
»

YouTube’s demonetization finally recognized; popular creators mad

YouTube (the behemoth video website and subsidiary of Google [GOOG]) ...

»

Why Pokemon GO Falls Short

Pokemon GO is a augmented reality mobile game that released (without ...

Playstation Plus
»

SONY announces increase in PS+ Pricing. How will this affect the service?

credit: arstechnica.com Just when many PS+ members already felt let ...

»

Plan your Week Ahead: 7 Must Have Android Applications for the Week

Happy Sunday to all EWT readers! This is the 7th month of the ...

MTN Tariff Plans
»

MTN Tariff Plans – Latest Compilation of MTN Tariff Plans and Activation Code

Life with MTN can be a bit tricky. One day you get a notification to ...

»

Airtel Data Plans and Subscription Codes – Android, BlackBerry and Mega Data Bundle with SmartSPEEDOO

Compilation of the latest Airtel data plans for PC, Android, iOS, ...

MTN Tariff Plans
»

MTN Data Plans and Subscription Codes – Complete List with Text and USSD

Compilation of the latest MTN data plans for PC, Android, iOS, iPhone ...

»

Glo Data Plans and Subscription Codes – Full List for Monthly, Weekly, Daily & Campus Data Plans

Compilation of the latest Glo data plans for PC, Android, iOS, ...

Comments

Leave a Reply