This Week’s Trends in Education and Technology (Feb 28-March 5)

by | Mar 5, 2020 | TWTET

[The Week in Education and Technology is a weekly summary of news, events, and ideas related to education, technology, and culture.]

Notable Quote

Over the last two decades, OER providers have made a clear and resounding declaration that everyone, regardless of their background or circumstances, should have free access to high-quality learning materials.
Rob Reynolds, Executive Director at TEL Education

Things That Caught My Attention


There’s plenty of news about assessment these days, much of it still related to stagnant PISA scores. The overall scores of U.S. students are disappointing to some, are relatively stable. What’s changing is the growing gap between high and low performing students. Researchers suspect that the main problem could be how we separate these groups into different tracks, thus splitting resources and narrowing the diversity of peer groups.

Not surprisingly, since chronically low Math scores get the extra buzz, there is renewed criticism about the way we teach Math.

Classes here often focus on formulas and procedures rather than teaching students to think creatively about solving complex problems involving all sorts of mathematics, experts said. That makes it harder for students to compete globally, be it on an international exam or in colleges and careers that value sophisticated thinking and data science.

Some argue that it’s time we moved beyond test scores and broadened our definition of student success.

In a large study of more than 150,000 students in all 133 of Chicago’s public high schools, Jackson has calculated that schools that build social-emotional qualities such as the ability to resolve conflicts and the motivation to work hard are getting even better short-term and long-term results for students than schools that only boost test scores.

And, since COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind presently, UNESCO is reporting that 290 million students are out of school due to the virus.

Higher Education

Speaking of COVID-19, Bryan Alexander has a great post on its possible implications for higher education. And, this post addresses how online learning and OPM providers, in spite of recent issues with some providers, offer a model for dealing with remote study in times of crisis.

Those “recent issues with OPM providers? I’m talking about the closure of Concordia University Portland and its struggles with HotChalk. There are lessons about being more farsighted in this story, and some argue that institutions should be more proactive about considering mergers.

Also, this year’s EDUCAUSE Horizon Report™ is out and emerging practices and technologies include (1) adaptive learning, (2) AI/machine learning, (3) analytics for student success, (4) the elevation of instructional design, learning engineering and UX design, (5)open educational resources (OER), and XR technologies.

On the OER front, I’m particularly happy to share TEL’s new initiative, TEL Learning, which provides free, openly licensed access to all TEL course materials.

Finally, I recommend this article on student-loan debt from the Chronicle for Higher Education

Technology and Finance

By the way, in case you were waiting for another sign that combustion-engine cars really are going to disappear in the not-too-distant future, take not of GM’s unveiling of their aggressive plans to produce electric vehicles. The automaker says it will invest $20 billion by 2025 to catch up with Tesla.

Also, if you’re keeping score in the global race to dominate the Ai industry, Bloomberg reports that the majority of promising AI startups are still based in the U.S.

Research Articles and Posts for the Week

TEL Library Posts You May Have Missed

Episode 17: Do We Really Need That? (Education and Technology Futures Videocast)

Episode 18: One Person’s Mountain is Another’s Tourist Destination (Education and Technology Futures Videocast)

The Candy Store (A Parable)

Education Futures Episode 12: The Future Is Unlikely to Be What We Imagined (Podcast)

Episode 19: Separate But Unequal (Education and Technology Futures Videocast)

K-12 Education

DeVos Grilled Over Education Budget Proposal at Congressional Hearing

Assessment Trends in 2020

The Value of Professional Certifications for Secondary Education Students

New Research on KIPP Shows that Charter Middle Schools Can Improve Early College Outcomes

3 relationships schools shouldn’t underestimate in closing opportunity gaps

Social-emotional development is better than raising test scores study finds

Student Assessment and PISA

Math scores stink in America. Other countries teach it differently – and see higher achievement

How E-Learning Can Help Educators Deliver Deeper Learning

Higher Education

Impact or Headlines: In EdTech they’re not always aligned

Unraveling the Complexity of America’s Student-Loan Debt

When Is a Learning Community Not a Learning Community?

CC Deal with Southern New Hampshire U Could Hurt In-State Universities

The OPM Industry, Concordia University and COVID-19

Concordia University Portland Closure: There’s more to the story

When Enrollment Comes at a Cost

OPINION: A holistic approach to the student debt crisis

Make mergers of colleges strategic and mainstream, not desperate and a last resort

What does COVID-19 mean for higher education? Looking ahead.

NC-SARA report paints detailed picture of distance education landscape

Learning Design, Learning Theory, and Educational Technology

The Moral Problem of Grading: An Extended Analysis

Martin Weller: 25 Years of Ed Tech

Labor Trends, Workforce Readiness/Education

When Colleges Sign ‘Inclusive Access’ Textbook Deals, Can Students and Professors Opt Out?

Media, Publishing, and Cultural Trends

Open Educational Resources Are ‘Moving Up the Adoption Ladder’ Around the World

Technology and Financial Trends

GM challenges Tesla with ‘Ultium’ batteries and fleet of EVs

Majority of Promising AI Startups Are Still Based in the U.S.

The social contract in the 21st century

In emerging markets, integrate integrate integrate

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