This US News & World Report opinion is on the right track about the macro trend towards increasingly technology-enabled education:
But it also sounds like what I heard during the dot-com boom of the 1990s when a lot of companies—including Blackboard—began using technology to “disrupt” the education status quo. Since then we’ve made some important progress, but in many ways the classroom still looks the same as it did 100 years ago. So what’s different this time? Is all the talk just hype? Or are we really starting to see the beginnings of major change? I believe we are.
The comments about active learning are particularly on-target. Delivering a textbook electronically or a course on-line is hardly the point. For example, textbooks and courses that understand their subject matter well enough to ask appropriate questions and that can explain the answers, assess the learner’s comprehension, guide them through the subject matter and accommodate their learning style dynamically are where the action will be soon enough. This is not at all far-fetched or years off. Look at Watson and some of these links to see how imminent such educational technology could be!
- Award-winning video of Inquire: An Intelligent Textbook
- Presentation of Vulcan’s Digital Aristotle (PDF slides, streaming recording)
- article on Vulcan’s Digital Aristotle, Aura, Inquire, and Campbell’s Biology (PDF)
We’ve been working for several years on applications of artificial intelligence in education, as in Project Sherlock and this presentation. Please get in touch if you’re interested in advancing education along such lines.