The simple solution to accelerate open edtech for everyone is to support technology standards set forth by organizations like the IMS Global Learning Consortium. Building digital content and learning technology around open standards ensures that educators and students can determine what’s most effective without worrying about whether different technologies will work together.
It’s true that studies have found that readers given text on a screen do worse on recall and comprehension tests than readers given the same text on paper. But a 2011 study by the cognitive scientists Rakefet Ackerman and Morris Goldsmith suggests that this may be a function less of the intrinsic nature of digital devices than of the expectations that readers bring to them. Ackerman and Goldsmith note that readers perceive paper as being better suited for “effortful learning,” whereas the screen is perceived as being suited for “fast and shallow reading of short texts such as news, e-mails, and forum notes.” They tested the hypothesis that our reading habits follow from this perception, and found it to be correct: Students asked to read a text on-screen thought they could do it faster than students asked to read the same text in print, and did a worse job of pacing themselves in a timed study period. Not surprisingly, the on-screen readers then scored worse on a reading comprehension test.
One of the more articulate and edu focused articles providing a high level overview of student data ownership and a new way that institutions can empower students with technologies. Student pushes data to institution instead of institution collecting data from student.
Scott, 53, who wears a vivid purple shirt with his suit, says retailers already analyse customer information in order to tempt buyers with future deals, and argues this is no different.
“Any time these services are free, eventually it’s the user who ends up paying,”
“In the US more than the UK . . . losing a student is a very expensive loss to an institution because they pay high annual fees,” he says. “If you can get to a student before they drop out, you can keep them in the institution.”
Despite these advantages, research has still revealed discomfort among students about the consequences of technological advances. Two years ago, the UK’s National Union of Students, together with online learning company Desire2Learn, undertook a major study of what youngsters thought of their universities and colleges using online education materials. It found that students were extremely suspicious of any suggestion that technology was replacing human interaction.
The survey — conducted through focus groups and interviews — showed students were reluctant to make their data available due to fears about how they would be judged. Those polled said they did not mind their data being anonymised as part of a study of their whole cohort, but said they didn’t want their lecturers to know that they personally had logged on to the network two minutes before an assignment was due to be handed in, that they read their ebooks late at night or that they were not engaging with their discussion forums.
A growing area of concern for students, says Poettcker, is the role that technology plays in the perceived “privatisation” of higher education, which has been debated in Britain after the tripling of tuition fees three years ago.
In this context, will the monitoring of students’ study habits really seem so bad? “We don’t need to use any of the data about you . . . to try and manipulate you,” he says. “We want to give you the data so you manipulate yourself”.
The BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA) is strongly concerned for British Columbia’s privacy law, following the release of the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
CC toolkit to help advocate for openly licensed resources
Vietnamese translation of Tony Bates Teaching textbook