Startup Weekend EDU took over Florida International University and brought together one of the most diverse group of people to hack away at problems in education and learn how to take any idea from concept to creation. The weekend was nothing short of magical!
Imagine a classroom where IBM’s Watson or another artificial intelligence system served as a co-teacher, capturing data, conducting classroom management tasks, and intelligently making suggestions to the teacher.
Complicated problems often have multiple variables that behave in many different ways and at times, unpredictably. When we look for a silver bullet, we run the risk of investing significant sums of money in an unrealistic solution that will never deliver the expected returns. In this post I discuss a case in education where over $1 billion was spent on an silver bullet that did not work.
A tool is only useful if you have the understanding and underlying know-how to use it adequately. Furthermore, you have to have a purpose first, then a strategy/model/plan to achieve your goal, and finally can you then begin to consider the appropriate tools to employ. Then and only then do tools take on a clear meaning, become easier to learn, and stand the chance of delivering results.
In this post I discuss some of the fundamental issues with edtech as it stands today. Recently, the Los Angeles Unified School District received a lot of publicity for a failing iPad program. While I don’t believe the case is hopeless, there are some fundamental issues that must be addressed for the initiative to improve. Other schools can certainly avoid these mistakes.