Teaching Machines

I’ve just finished reading Audrey Watters long awaited book, ‘Teaching Machines’. I would have read it earlier but it is difficult to get,at least in Spain, taking four weeks to reach me courtesy of Blackwell in Oxford. And it is every bit as good as others have said. It is rare that I get so engrossed in what is  for me a ‘work book’, but Audrey really is a  very good writer. Anyway here are my eight main take aways from the book. Ed-tech is not a recent invention. There is a clear line of development between the mechanical teaching […]

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Are people better than AI?

I am struggling with the wealth of distractions that twitter and the web offer up each day. I’ve even taking to getting up earlier to have more time to read in the mornings. Anyway here is one of today’s offerings, courtesy of Bloomberg Opinion. Parmy Olson has written an article entitled “Much Artificial Intelligence Is Still People Behind a Screen.” She says: The practice of hiding human input in AI systems still remains an open secret among those who work in machine learning and AI. A 2019 analysis of tech startups in Europe by London-based MMC Ventures even found that […]

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#AIinEd – Pontydysgu EU 2021-09-20 16:58:58

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash Empowering Learners for the Age of AI is a free, international online conference, organised by part of a national team from Australia representing leading researchers in the role of data, analytics and AI in learning, to empower both learners and teachers. They are seeking a public conversation to engage productively with societal infrastructure powered by data, analytics and AI. The questions for the conference include: What’s actually happening with AI and how is it changing classrooms, teaching, and learning? How can data, analytics and AI be used not to disempower or automate work, but […]

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Data governance, management and infrastructure

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash The big ed-tech news this week is the merger of Anthology, an educational management company, with Blackboard who produce learning technology. But as Stephen Downes said “It’s funny, though – the more these companies grow and the wider their enterprise capabilities become, the less relevant they feel, to me at least, to educational technology and online learning.” And there is a revealing quote in an Inside Higher Ed article about the merger. They quote Bill Bauhaus, Blackboards chairman, CEO and president as saying the power of the combined company will flow from its ability […]

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Artificial Intelligence and ethics

I have written before that despite the obvious ethical issues posed by Artificial Intelligence in general – and particular issues for education – I am not convinced by the various frameworks setting down rubrics for ethics, often voluntarily and often  developed by professionals from within the AI industry. But I am encouraged by UK Association for Learning Technology’s (ALT) Framework for Ethical Learning Technology, released at their annual conference last week. Importantly, it builds on ALT’s professional accreditation framework, CMALT, which has been expanded to include ethical considerations for professional practice and research. ALT say: ALT’s Framework for Ethical Learning […]

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