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Expert opinion from IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society


Archive for the 'ICT in education' Category

Slow down you move too fast, you got to make the meaning (sic) last

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 4 January 2018

‘Slow’ human intelligence must be valued more holistically if we are to really benefit from the power of AI, says Rose Luckin. 
The end of 2017 brought some worrying observations about the progress of Artificial Intelligence with respect to UK Education. It illustrated that many people are far too willing to equate speed and reduced cost with success. We are in danger of missing what really matters in education; in danger of missing the meaning of what education should about. This is dangerous for education and for the progress of learners and educators of all ages.
First came the publication of the first report from the Data Science Behavioural Insights Team (BIT); this stressed the value of speed. Second came the 19th evidence session of the House of Lords select committee on AI, which focused on AI and education.[1] This revealed the potential for machine learning AI to reduce the cost of delivering the current school curriculum, and at the same time reduce the value of human intelligence.
The BIT report marks the first anniversary of the data science team and is the demonstration of its raison d’être and the value of data science for policy. In the report, (more…)

Collaborative problem-solving and why it matters for learning

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 21 November 2017

Rose Luckin. 
The results of the 2015 PISA collaborative problem solving assessments are published in Paris this morning.[1] I was delighted to read 
In Andreas Schleicher’s editorial, his confirmation that solving problems with others (collaborative problem-solving) is a key skill for the workplace, and its importance is only likely to grow as further automation takes place.  He urged educational systems to do better in helping their students to develop these skills.
The necessity to attend to the future needs of our students, including their ability to solve problems collaboratively, was also prevalent in discussions at a recent symposium for educators in Sydney about education in a changing world. The PISA report published today, whilst giving cause to celebrate the excellent performance from many students across the world, also gives cause for concern about the lack of high-level collaborative problem-solving skills amongst students from all countries, including those who performed the best. This is something that all societies need to address with some urgency.
Bearing in mind that the OECD assessment (more…)

Let’s open up the silos in the sky and supercharge AI to enhance education

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 16 October 2017

Rose Luckin.
Sunday 15th October saw the publication of Growing the Artificial Intelligence Industry in the UK, the report of the independent review announced as part of the UK Digital Strategy in March. It also builds on the recognition in the Industrial Strategy Green Paper published in January that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a major, high-potential opportunity for the UK to build a word-leading future sector of our economy. The two chairs of the review Dame Wendy Hall, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, and Jérôme Pesenti, Chief Executive of BenevolentTech, have done a great job in raising the profile of UK AI and highlighting the tremendous opportunities and the significant challenges we face. They urge the government to help the UK become the clear world leader in the development of AI – “to boost productivity, advance health care, improve services for customers and unlock £630bn for the UK economy.” (more…)

How can digital library systems help teachers support children’s reading for pleasure?

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 9 October 2017

Natalia Kucirkova & Teresa Cremin. 
Children need to be able to read well to function in society and their engagement as readers needs nurturing from birth. Digital library systems offer enormous opportunities to tap into children’s interests and enhance teachers’ skills as literacy mentors.
They can help teachers and children find relevant content, archive readers’ responses to individual books and share them with others on a large scale. These systems can support reading for pleasure, acting as free book depositories (e.g., International Children’s Digital Library), providing tailored recommendations for new titles on a regular basis (e.g., Epic!) and offering children multimedia story experiences as in a virtual library (e.g., StoryPlace). Teachers’ resistance or openness to the sustained use of such technologies dictates their potential to make a difference to children’s learning.
In our new paper in the Cambridge Journal of Education we explore (more…)

Students need support in order to build skills for the future

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 28 June 2017

Mutlu Cukurova and Rose Luckin. 
There is a growing interest globally in teaching approaches that allow university students to work independently, often in group activities. However, our research suggests that leaving students to do their own investigations without any support is a practice that should be approached with caution if we want to promote effective learning in higher education.
These teaching approaches include Enquiry-Based Learning, Problem-Based Learning, Practice-based Learning, and Project-Based Learning. This focus, at least in part, stems from discussions about the impact of automation on the future of employment and the (more…)

Priorities for a new Government: advice from our academics part 3 – school leadership, ICT and educational psychologists

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 19 May 2017

The IOE blog has asked colleagues from across the Institute what’s at the top of their wish list. We are publishing their replies during the run-up to the election. 
School leaders and leadership   
The new Secretary of State faces a potentially combustible set of issues in England, especially if they are a Conservative charged with introducing more grammar schools. The new funding formula, piled onto the tight funding situation already facing many schools, will also occupy the headlines. Behind these issues sit some fundamental questions about where the system is heading – Local Authorities have been decimated since 2010, but the new model of Regional Schools Commissioners is far from established and less than half of schools are yet academies.
The emerging Multi-Academy Trusts are facing serious challenges, with limited evidence of impact overall and a continuing stream of bad news stories about the (more…)

Call for regulation on securing children’s data in personalised reading

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 17 May 2017

While children’s reading experience is being transformed with digital reading formats, personalised and interactive books allowing for more personalisation, there are risks around the data this releases. Natalia Kucirkova and Rosie Flewitt identify four main areas of concern and call for regulation. Natalia is Senior Research Associate, and Rosie is Reader in Early Communication and Learning, both at University College London, Institute of Education. This post is republished from the LSE blog.

Digital reading formats mean a child’s reading experience can be ‘personalised’ at many levels. Their name can be added into a popular fairy tale, or they can even add their own drawings to a story, make their own voice-overs or replace the main characters’ names with their own (e.g. Mr Glue Stories). Personalised books are now available as interactive digital books downloadable on touchscreens (e.g. Put Me In The Story®) as well as classic printed books (e.g. Lost My Name). This can make reading more enjoyable for young children, and the personalised data that is generated can be used to create adaptive algorithms to match texts to each child’s reading level, language scores or genre preferences (see the iRead project).

Key concerns

On 16 March 2017 we hosted a meeting with some of the UK’s key players in the children’s app and print publishing industry, international researchers and representatives from Book Trust and National Literacy Trust… Read the full post here

[Header image credit: B. Flickinger, CC BY 2.0_08] Photo licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

Cyber attack: 7 tips to help you vanquish the Shadow Brokers

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 15 May 2017

Rose Luckin. 
Earlier this year I blogged about how our education system needs to be an important part of our defenses against a growing risk of cyber attack. I highlighted the fact that we all need to understand enough about computers and the internet to ensure that we don’t leave the virtual door open to our private property for anyone who wants to come along and misuse it. We can’t merely rely on our software to protect us from problems, because there is a small army of hackers who will always be trying to exploit any weaknesses in our software systems.
As a society we have a responsibility to provide people with the knowledge and understanding to protect themselves, and as individuals we must take responsibility for doing our bit to protect ourselves and our families, because no system will ever be completely bullet proof.
The ransomware behind the cyberattack that caused cancelled hospital operations, (more…)

Children are analogue beings navigating a digital world

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 21 March 2017

Sandra Leaton Gray
If you are a child today, you live your life almost completely in the public domain. Your baby photographs might be on Facebook before the first nappy change. By the time you start primary school, you will have appeared on at least a dozen local and national Government databases, and various commercial organisations will have been sold your details, targeting your parents for years with invitations to buy you consumer goods and products. Your movements around the local area will be tracked on CCTV.
When you arrive in secondary school, your digital footprint will intensify. You will be uploading materials to the Internet via your mobile phone or your bedroom computer. You will have a number of online profiles, some more secret than others. Homework will be submitted online via third party servers, some of which may be in countries with weak, cloud-based data protection policies. By the time you are 18, your digital footprint will be enormous, and even though there is ‘right to be forgotten’ data protection legislation in (more…)

Hey mum, the fridge has just let the burglars in

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 17 March 2017

Rose Luckin
I was stopped in my tracks as I was leaving the house the other morning when I heard Donald Toon, Director of Cyber Security at the National Crime Agency, talking to John Humphrys on the BBC Today programme. They were discussing the risks that arise when devices such as home freezers and fridges are linked to the Internet of Things and can be hacked to launch a cyber attack or to steal our personal information.
Mr Toon explained that hackers can use a range of tools and specialist software to harness the power of the Internet of Things. “Freezers you say!” exclaimed an incredulous Mr Humphrys. “Why would I want to connect my freezer to the internet?” Ah, well, explained Mr Toon to an increasingly agog interviewer, as long as an appliance, such as a fridge or freezer, is capable of being connected to the Internet, it can be hacked, even if the appliance is not actually currently connected to the Internet.
This is because hackers can still use software to trigger a connection and then connect to (more…)