Performance-Based College Funding [...]

Performance-based funding regimes are most likely to work in non-complex situations where performance is easily measured, tasks are simple and routine, goals are unambiguous, employees have direct control over the production process, and there are not multiple people involved in producing the outcome. In higher education, it may be easy to count the number of graduates, but the process of creating a college graduate is anything but simple. (Source)

Machine Bias [...]

Brennan testified that he didn’t design his software to be used in sentencing. “I wanted to stay away from the courts,” Brennan said, explaining that his focus was on reducing crime rather than punishment. “But as time went on I started realizing that so many decisions are made, you know, in the courts. So I gradually softened on whether this could be used in the courts or not.” (Source)

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Paying Skilled Workers [...]

Unfortunately, our research does not provide an explanation for why wages do not reflect relative labor market conditions across occupations or skills. However, the data clearly indicates that wages for workers with scarce skills are too low compared to wages for workers with a more abundant skill set. It would seem that this provides a profitable opportunity for companies that are able to be flexible in their compensation policy. By paying more for certain skills, an employer would have no trouble attracting workers with those skills in sufficient quantity and quality, giving the company an undeniable edge over its competitors. (Source)

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De-Legitimization [...]

You have to assume your allies have good intentions and are being thoughtful and reflective about their practice. You have to treat differences in approach as differences in personal theories of change, not as tests of moral fiber. That means engaging respectfully with the person’s underlying assumptions instead of challenging their motives or character. And not only engaging with those assumptions, but doing it with the understanding that they have thought as long and hard about about their chosen path as you have about yours. (Source)

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Defaults [...]

Who do they entrench? Who do they avoid? Who do they hide? Who do they improve? Who do they enhance? Who to they leave behind? (Source)

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Brains aren’t computers [...]

Because neither ‘memory banks’ nor ‘representations’ of stimuli exist in the brain, and because all that is required for us to function in the world is for the brain to change in an orderly way as a result of our experiences, there is no reason to believe that any two of us are changed the same way by the same experience. If you and I attend the same concert, the changes that occur in my brain when I listen to Beethoven’s 5th will almost certainly be completely different from the changes that occur in your brain. Those changes, whatever they are, are built on the unique neural structure that already exists, each structure having developed over a lifetime of unique experiences. (Source)

See the reverse of this in Technology doesn't want

Homework and Adaptive Platforms [...]

I have spoken to a lot of students and teachers about the homework problem. Many of the best teachers either don’t count homework toward the course grade or count it just a little—enough to communicate to the students that the homework matters, but not enough to trigger the what’s-the-minimum-I-have-to-do calculation. They use the grade as just one tool in an overall strategy designed to help students see that the “what” questions they are learning to answer in their homework are relevant to the far more interesting “why” questions about which the teachers are passionate and would like their students to become passionate about too. They pose mysteries at the end of class that the students can only solve with the knowledge they can from doing the homework. Or they have little verbal in-class quizzes to keep the students on their toes, in the context of a discussion of how the tidbit in the verbal quiz matters to the larger topic being discussed. (Source)

For more commentary on how students can need lots of context and support to use these tools well, especially if closing achievement gaps is the goal, see Learning Adaptive Learning

The Audience Experience [...]

Now I do like to make people laugh :) but my final point is:

  • Make them learn something about themselves And that's the basis of the experience. I come into a presentation not thinking that the audience is lacking something which I can provide, I come in thinking that the audience already has the essentual skills or abilities, which I can help them realize.

This means every presentation is different, because every audience is different. Even the same group from the same place (as I discovered delivering this talk three times in two days to the same conference). Every place is different. Every context is different. (Source)

See also: Defaults

Millennials Are People, Too [...]

Millennial students are human beings like any other. Their desire for stimulating, collaborative, gratifying things is identical to the same desires held by previous generations. There are some generational differences, namely that Millennial students report being more prone to anxiety and depression than previous generations, but this is not because of some inherent character defect, and is instead due to a systematic divorcing of learning from schooling, and a culture of standardization and high-stakes testing. (Source)

Personalized learning in context [...]

...simply asking what works stops short of the real question at the heart of a truly personalized system: what works, for which students, in what circumstances? Without this level of specificity and understanding of contextual factors, we’ll be stuck understanding only what works on average despite aspirations to reach each individual student (not to mention mounting evidence that “average” itself is a flawed construct). Moreover, we’ll fail to unearth theories of why certain interventions work in certain circumstances. And without that theoretical underpinning, scaling personalized learning approaches with predictable quality will remain challenging. (Source)