What role should A.I. play in education?

Listening to podcasts has become a new habit of mine during the pandemic, when cooking or doing dishes, on the way to pick up my toddler, or when my eyes need a break from the screen. Last week, I listened to an interesting episode of the EdSurge Podcast titled What Role Should AI Play in Education? A Venture Capitalist and an EdTech Critic Face Off. This episode features a discussion between Neil Selwyn and venture capitalist Ryan Craig.

My Statement of Graduate Advising

Following advice from a fantastic leadership coach from my university, I drafted a statement of advising philosophy in the past summer (yes the summer has already passed in MN). Here it is! Please feel free to leave suggestions via Hypothesis annotations. The other project that I haven’t accomplished this summer is to create a Résumé of Failures. Hope I don’t need to wait for the next summer because that will be a big failure :).

A Call for Third-Order Change in Learning Analytics

[Disclaimer: It’s summer time, meaning time for some bold statements.] “Any educational intervention, for the obvious, common-sense reasons mentioned above, can do harm… ignoring side effects is one of the main reasons for the perpetual wars and pendulum swings in education.” — Yong Zhao (2018) Education often turns to other disciplines for inspirations. In medicine, precision medicine “takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person” when treating diseases.

Automate for Whom?

I have been working at a large public R1 university long enough – 4 years – to witness steady changes with technology installed in public restrooms. Below is a newly installed automatic paper towel dispenser in our office building. As someone who tends to use 1 paper towel, I was very frustrated by the design that doesn’t keep me – a user – in the loop and forces me to use that much paper.

Open Textbooks and Open Educational Practices

I was included in an MN Daily story about open textbooks last week. It was actually a bit embarrassing as I thought a few other colleagues would ‘co-star’ with me in this story because there are exciting work on open textbooks and affordable content going on at UMN. University of Minnesota professors use their free time to write free textbooks: @mndailynews @bod0ng @dernst @UMNews #UMNproud #CEHD Learn more: @open_textbooks #oer @LTMediaLab @UMN_CI pic.

Episodes from my trip in China

I am not an ethnographer. But there were a few episodes from my trip to/in China last month that caught my attention, or ‘gaze’. To put these episodes into perspective, my most recent trip to China took place in October 2016. On the Escalator As more subways are built underground, I encountered more of those super long escalators in mega cities. On one escalator in Shanghai, I heard its accompanying ‘voice reminder system’ saying:

Web Annotation of Research Articles in Learning Sciences

As a member of the Outreach Advisory Board of the Journal of the Learning Sciences (JLS), I was really glad to see the journal putting together a web annotation event during December 11-22, 2017. This activity is yet another move made by the editorial team to engage its readership on various social media venues. Coming Soon: Web annotation of JLS articles in The first article is a study by Akkerman and Bruining published in 2016 in Volume 25 (2).

The Forest

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia) The universe is expanding, but at what price. The Milky Way is a beauty, but at what price. The Sun is shining, but at what price. The Earth looks blue, but at what price. All continents are moving, but at what price. Civilizations boom, but at what price. A wall defends ‘us’, but at what price. Pyramids are built tall, but at what price. Boats cross the ocean, but at what price.

AERA-NSF Workshop: Data Sharing and Research Transparency (Part II)

Story continued, after Part I. In the 2.5 days of the workshop, the group continued to deepen the discussion on Data Sharing to more concrete and practical items. In Part II of my personal reflection, I summarize key Data Sharing resources/initiatives to be aware of, possible action items, and some personal random thoughts on future directions. The 3-day workshop on "Data Sharing and Research Transparency at the Article Publishing Stage" comes to a close today in D.

AERA-NSF Workshop: Data Sharing and Research Transparency (Part I)

It was an honor to be invited to attend the AERA-NSF Workshop on Data Sharing and Research Transparency at the Article Publishing Stage in Washington, D.C. during July 25‐27, 2017. I am attending as an early career scholar from the International Society of the Learning Sciences — my academic home. It’s only a half-day into the workshop but I’m already amazed by so many great thoughts from a full room of journal editors, program officers from funding agencies, and early career peers.

Changing Value and Valuation in Education

In his arguments against the Common Core, Prof. Yong Zhao, a known educational thinker, referred to his home village: When I was growing up, the most valued talent was the ability to handle water buffalos used to plow the rice field, other than physical strengths to carry things such as newly harvested rice or sweet potatoes. I don’t know for sure how good a water buffalo handler she [Lady Gaga] could be, but I am quite sure she will not be able to run on bumpy muddy paths with 200 pounds of sweet potatoes dangling on each end of a bamboo pole.

Graphing the Reddit Place Sensation with Neo4j

I’ver never liked the April Fool’s Day, until this year when Reddit decided to launch a social experiment called Reddit Place. The idea is simple. The whole world – or all Reddit users – were given a 999 x 999 blank canvas to draw on. Some simple rules apply: Each user could choose one pixel from 16 colors to place anywhere on the canvas. They could place as many pixels of as many colors as they wanted, but they had to wait a few minutes between placing each one.

A biased introduction to Learning Analytics: Kicking-off #UMNLACoP

Today, we kicked off our Learning Analytics Community of Practice at UMN (#UMNLACoP)! Launching this CoP has been a joint effort among the Center for Educational Innovation, the College of Liberal Arts, the Libraries, and the College of Education and Human Development. During today’s kick-off event, I spent 15 minutes presenting a quick introduction to the field of Learning Analytics. Below is an audio recording of my presentation. The next event will be hosted on April 10, 2:30-4:00pm, in Anderson 110.