The FAA’s position is as simple as it is inane. If a realtor films buildings for fun using a remote controlled quadcopter that’s legal. But if she takes that same quadcopter and films buildings as part of her job, that is illegal. If a farmer flies a model aircraft over his cornfield doing barrel rolls and loops, that’s legal. But if he uses the same model airplane to determine how to conserve water or use less fertilizer that’s illegal. This is government regulation at its worst.
The FAA decision is a reversal from the initiatives entertained at different universities:
Drone Technology Advancements Yield New Education Opportunities
An interactive discussion on the Innovating Pedagogy 2019 report from The Open University
About the Guest
Rebecca is a senior lecturer in the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) at The Open University in the UK and a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her primary research interests are educational futures, and how people learn together online and I supervise doctoral students in both these areas.
Rebecca worked for several years as a researcher and educator on the Schome project, which focuses on educational futures, and was also the research lead on the SocialLearn online learning platform, and learning analytics lead on the Open Science Lab (Outstanding ICT Initiative of the Year: THE Awards 2014). She is currently a pedagogic adviser to the FutureLearn MOOC platform, and evaluation lead on The Open University’s FutureLearn MOOCs. She is an active member of the Society for Learning Analytics Research, and have co-chaired many learning analytics events, included several associated with the Learning Analytics Community Exchange (LACE), European Project funded under Framework 7.
Rebecca’s most recent book, Augmented Education, was published by Palgrave in spring 2014.
Mor, Y., Ferguson, R., & Wasson, B. (2015). Editorial: Learning design, teacher inquiry into student learning and learning analytics: A call for action. British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(2), 221–229. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12273
Hansen, C., Emin, V., Wasson, B., Mor, Y., Rodriguez-Triana, M., Dascalu, M., … Pernin, J. (2013). Towards an Integrated Model of Teacher Inquiry into Student Learning, Learning Design and Learning Analytics. Scaling up Learning for Sustained Impact – Proceedings of EC-TEL 2013, 8095, 605–606. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-40814-4_73
Artificial intelligence could erase many practical advantages of democracy, and erode the ideals of liberty and equality. It will further concentrate power among a small elite if we don’t take steps to stop it.
Ordinary people may not understand artificial intelligence and biotechnology in any detail, but they can sense that the future is passing them by. In 1938 the common man’s condition in the Soviet Union, Germany, or the United States may have been grim, but he was constantly told that he was the most important thing in the world, and that he was the future (provided, of course, that he was an “ordinary man,” rather than, say, a Jew or a woman).
n 2018 the common person feels increasingly irrelevant. Lots of mysterious terms are bandied about excitedly in ted Talks, at government think tanks, and at high-tech conferences—globalization, blockchain, genetic engineering, AI, machine learning—and common people, both men and women, may well suspect that none of these terms is about them.
Fears of machines pushing people out of the job market are, of course, nothing new, and in the past such fears proved to be unfounded. But artificial intelligence is different from the old machines. In the past, machines competed with humans mainly in manual skills. Now they are beginning to compete with us in cognitive skills.
Israel is a leader in the field of surveillance technology, and has created in the occupied West Bank a working prototype for a total-surveillance regime. Already today whenever Palestinians make a phone call, post something on Facebook, or travel from one city to another, they are likely to be monitored by Israeli microphones, cameras, drones, or spy software. Algorithms analyze the gathered data, helping the Israeli security forces pinpoint and neutralize what they consider to be potential threats.
The conflict between democracy and dictatorship is actually a conflict between two different data-processing systems. AI may swing the advantage toward the latter.
As we rely more on Google for answers, our ability to locate information independently diminishes. Already today, “truth” is defined by the top results of a Google search. This process has likewise affected our physical abilities, such as navigating space.
So what should we do?
For starters, we need to place a much higher priority on understanding how the human mind works—particularly how our own wisdom and compassion can be cultivated.
Guess what … I searched for Brenda Perea (in hopes of maybe getting some information on how they set up their system) … One of her current positions is with Credly … Do we still want to reach out to her?
despite China’s many technological advances, in this new cyberspace race, the West had the lead.
Xi knew he had to act. Within twelve months he revealed his plan to make China a science and technology superpower. By 2030 the country would lead the world in AI, with a sector worth $150 billion. How? By teaching a generation of young Chinese to be the best computer scientists in the world.
Today, the US tech sector has its pick of the finest minds from across the world, importing top talent from other countries – including from China. Over half of Bay Area workers are highly-skilled immigrants. But with the growth of economies worldwide and a Presidential administration hell-bent on restricting visas, it’s unclear that approach can last.
In the UK the situation is even worse. Here, the government predicts there’ll be a shortfall of three million employees for high-skilled jobs by 2022 – even before you factor in the immigration crunch of Brexit. By contrast, China is plotting a homegrown strategy of local and national talent development programs. It may prove a masterstroke.
In 2013 the city’s teenagers gained global renown when they topped the charts in the PISA tests administered every three years by the OECD to see which country’s kids are the smartest in the world. Aged 15, Shanghai students were on average three full years ahead of their counterparts in the UK or US in maths and one-and-a-half years ahead in science.
Teachers, too, were expected to be learners. Unlike in the UK, where, when I began to teach a decade ago, you might be working on full-stops with eleven-year-olds then taking eighteen-year-olds through the finer points of poetry, teachers in Shanghai specialised not only in a subject area, but also an age-group.
Shanghai’s success owed a lot to Confucian tradition, but it fitted precisely the best contemporary understanding of how expertise is developed. In his book Why Don’t Kids Like School? cognitive Dan Willingham explains that complex mental skills like creativity and critical thinking depend on our first having mastered the simple stuff. Memorisation and repetition of the basics serve to lay down the neural architecture that creates automaticity of thought, ultimately freeing up space in our working memory to think big.
Seung-bin Lee, a seventeen-year-old high school graduate, told me of studying fourteen hours a day, seven days a week, for the three years leading up to the Suneung, the fearsome SAT exam taken by all Korean school leavers on a single Thursday each November, for which all flights are grounded so as not to break students’ concentration during the 45 minutes of the English listening paper.
Korea’s childhoods were being lost to a relentless regime of studying, crushed in a top-down system that saw them as cyphers rather than kids.
A decade ago, we consoled ourselves that although kids in China and Korea worked harder and did better on tests than ours, it didn’t matter. They were compliant, unthinking drones, lacking the creativity, critical thinking or entrepreneurialism needed to succeed in the world. No longer. Though there are still issues with Chinese education – urban centres like Shanghai and Hong Kong are positive outliers – the country knows something that we once did: education is the one investment on which a return is guaranteed. China is on course to becoming the first education superpower.
Troublingly, where education in the UK and US has been defined by creativity and independent thinking – Shanghai teachers told me of visits to our schools to learn about these qualities – our direction of travel is now away from those strengths and towards exams and standardisation, with school-readiness tests in the pipeline and UK schools minister Nick Gibb suggesting kids can beat exam stress by sitting more of them. Centres of excellence remain, but increasingly, it feels, we’re putting our children at risk of losing out to the robots, while China is building on its strong foundations to ask how its young people can be high-tech pioneers. They’re thinking big – we’re thinking of test scores.
soon “digital information processing” would be included as a core subject on China’s national graduation exam – the Gaokao – and pictured classrooms in which students would learn in cross-disciplinary fashion, designing mobile phones for example, in order to develop design, engineering and computing skills. Focusing on teaching kids to code was short-sighted, he explained. “We still regard it as a language between human and computer.” (My note: they are practically implementing the Finland’s attempt to rebuild curricula)
“If your plan is for one year,” went an old Chinese saying, “plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees. If your plan is for 100 years, educate children.” Two and half thousand years later chancellor Gwan Zhong might update his proverb, swapping rice for bitcoin and trees for artificial intelligence, but I’m sure he’d stand by his final point.
Significant Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption in K–12 Education
Improving Digital Literacy.
Schools are charged with developing students’ digital citizenship, ensuring mastery of responsible and appropriate technology use, including online etiquette and digital rights and responsibilities in blended and online learning settings. Due to the multitude of elements comprising digital literacy, it is a challenge for schools to implement a comprehensive and cohesive approach to embedding it in curricula.
Rethinking the Roles of Teachers.
Pre-service teacher training programs are also challenged to equip educators with digital and social–emotional competencies, such as the ability to analyze and use student data, amid other professional requirements to ensure classroom readiness.
p. 28 Improving Digital Literacy
Digital literacy spans across subjects and grades, taking a school-wide effort to embed it in curricula. This can ensure that students are empowered to adapt in a quickly changing world
Education Overview: Digital Literacy Has to Encompass More Than Social Use
The American Library Association (ALA) defines digital literacy as “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate or share information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.” While the ALA’s definition does align to some of the skills in “Participate”, it does not specifically mention the skills related to the “Open Practice.”
The library community’s digital and information literacy standards do not specifically include the coding, revision and remixing of digital content as skills required for creating digital information. Most digital content created for the web is “dynamic,” rather than fixed, and coding and remixing skills are needed to create new content and refresh or repurpose existing content. Leaving out these critical skills ignores the fact that library professionals need to be able to build and contribute online content to the ever-changing Internet.
p. 30 Rethinking the Roles of Teachers
Teachers implementing new games and software learn alongside students, which requires
a degree of risk on the teacher’s part as they try new methods and learn what works
p. 32 Teaching Computational Thinking
p. 36 Sustaining Innovation through Leadership Changes
shift the role of teachers from depositors of knowledge to mentors working alongside students;
p. 38 Important Developments in Educational Technology for K–12 Education
Consumer technologies are tools created for recreational and professional purposes and were not designed, at least initially, for educational use — though they may serve well as learning aids and be quite adaptable for use in schools.
Drones > Real-Time Communication Tools > Robotics > Wearable Technology
Digital strategies are not so much technologies as they are ways of using devices and software to enrich teaching and learning, whether inside or outside the classroom.
> Games and Gamification > Location Intelligence > Makerspaces > Preservation and Conservation Technologies
Enabling technologies are those technologies that have the potential to transform what we expect of our devices and tools. The link to learning in this category is less easy to make, but this group of technologies is where substantive technological innovation begins to be visible. Enabling technologies expand the reach of our tools, making them more capable and useful
Affective Computing > Analytics Technologies > Artificial Intelligence > Dynamic Spectrum and TV White Spaces > Electrovibration > Flexible Displays > Mesh Networks > Mobile Broadband > Natural User Interfaces > Near Field Communication > Next Generation Batteries > Open Hardware > Software-Defined Networking > Speech-to-Speech Translation > Virtual Assistants > Wireless Powe
Internet technologies include techniques and essential infrastructure that help to make the technologies underlying how we interact with the network more transparent, less obtrusive, and easier to use.
Bibliometrics and Citation Technologies > Blockchain > Digital Scholarship Technologies > Internet of Things > Syndication Tools
Learning technologies include both tools and resources developed expressly for the education sector, as well as pathways of development that may include tools adapted from other purposes that are matched with strategies to make them useful for learning.
Adaptive Learning Technologies > Microlearning Technologies > Mobile Learning > Online Learning > Virtual and Remote Laboratories
Social media technologies could have been subsumed under the consumer technology category, but they have become so ever-present and so widely used in every part of society that they have been elevated to their own category.
Crowdsourcing > Online Identity > Social Networks > Virtual Worlds
Visualization technologies run the gamut from simple infographics to complex forms of visual data analysis
3D Printing > GIS/Mapping > Information Visualization > Mixed Reality > Virtual Reality
p. 46 Virtual Reality
p. 48 AI
p. 50 IoT
more on NMC Horizon Reports in this IMS blog