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Ed tech must reads: column #83

First published in Campus Morning Mail 30th May, 2023

Learning to work with the black box: Pedagogy for a world with artificial intelligence from British Journal of Educational Technology

Margaret Bearman and Rola Ajjawi (Deakin) make a strong case for embracing uncertainty when it comes to the use of GenAI tools in learning and teaching, given that the technology is largely an unknowable ‘black box’. Instead of focusing our efforts on trying to understand these tools, they suggest orienting students to quality standards surrounding AIs and creating meaning opportunities to engage with the tools.

Minute Papers: the ultimate teaching tool for busy educators from Teche

Reflection is learning is often paid lip service but its value in embedding understanding of concepts is often sadly underutilised. Karina Luzia from Macquarie Uni discusses a highly effective and easy to deliver teaching activity in the form of the Minute paper. (60 seconds, not tiny). This asks students to ask a couple of quick questions at the end of a class about what they feel they have learnt in the session and what they are still struggling with. In addition to allowing learners to contextualise the material with the rest of their understanding, overall student progress is very quickly on display to the educator.

Cameras Optional? Examining Student Camera Use from a Learner-Centered Perspective from TechTrends

It’s been a little while since the vexed question of whether educators should/could require students to keep cameras on in Zoom sessions but it is nice to see some tangible evidence instead of feelpinions. Trust & Goodman (UMass) apply psychological principles to find that there can be very valid reasons for students to struggle with being on camera that impact their learning. The authors do offer suggestions on working with learners to find a balance that comes closer to meeting the needs of everyone.

US Sues Online Learning Company Over Students’ Data Privacy from Human Rights Watch

This is a US story but concerns about Big Tech misusing personal data are universal. In this rather egregious example, Edmodo is being sued by the US Govt for using school students’ data to deliver targeted ads to them during the shift to online learning in the pandemic.

Education and Learning: a helpful distinction from Third Space Perspectives – Exploring Integrated Practice.

If there is one thing I have noticed in HE it is the love that many people have for a robust debate about the best terminology to use in a given situation. I throw my hat into the ring here, making a case that we can add clarity to the purpose and activities of Third Space staff (learning designers, education technologists etc) with judicious use of the terms ‘learning’ and ‘education’.