Why I dread the thought of benign algorithms

Science fiction writers would have us believe that intelligent machines will either enslave us or get rid of human beings altogether. But what if they were extremely benign and protective towards us? What could possibly go wrong? This article may be used as the basis for a discussion with your pupils.

Read More

Let’s hear it for the lurkers!

Thinking RFIDLurkers – those people who hang around in forums and other online places, saying nothing but seeing everything – have a pretty poor reputation. They are generally viewed as takers rather than givers. But, as a part-time lurker myself, I think lurking has much to recommend it, and is not all bad for everyone else.
Read More

25 ways to make yourself unpopular: #24 Do not contribute to education technology discussions

Intellectual DiscussionThere is little I find more annoying than being lectured to by people who have all the answers, but do not engage in (rational) discussion on the subject. 

For example, a deputy headteacher once informed me that his school was going to spend thousands of pounds on instruction technology known as “integrated learning systems”, and that they were going to get the least able students to work on them all day.

I told him that some recent research said that the benefits of such systems was short-lived if all you did was use them and nothing else, and that such intensive use of them was counter-productive anyway. This had no impact at all, because

Read More

E-Moderation

It is a matter very much to be regretted that, over the years, management types have usurped perfectly innocuous phrases and converted them to euphemisms or, worse, their precise opposites.
Read More