Mijn naam is Wytze Niezen en dit is mijn blog over ICT en Onderwijs. Ik werk sinds 2006 in het basisonderwijs. In datzelfde jaar ben ik afgestudeerd aan de Ipabo te Alkmaar. Mijn interesse voor ICT en onderwijs is in de jaren op de Pabo ontstaan.
ICT heeft de toekomst, daar ben ik van overtuigd. Met deze blog probeer ik de ontwikkelingen op ICT gebied voor mijzelf bij te houden. Bloggen werkt rustgevend, het zet mijn gedachten weer op een rij.
Momenteel werk ik in Singapore op de Hollandse School Limited. Een ontzettend insiperende omgeving, ook vanwege de hoeveelheid aan internationale scholen die ik kan bezoeken.

maandag 17 februari 2014

Tablet Centre Learning Analytics

On top of the hype Cycle
There are some big things going on in the big data/ learning analytics world. Now that expectations are at their peak it’s not the easiest to come up with a platform that makes those expectations a reality. But in this blogpost we will give it an honest try. So when you’re getting excited and want a piece of the pie, join us! When you think it’s too early to start thinking about these kind of platforms, fair enough. But hey, someone has got to start anyway! So… here we go.

The basic idea is creating a platform that has an intelligent backend which gives the teacher and learner insight in a learning path. The learning path to follow depends on multiple assets. One of them, as a starting point, the SLO goals. The system analyses the behaviour of the student on multiple platforms and shows both teacher and student the learning progress. The path to follow is based on the students input in the system. Relying on previous experiences from that learner and other learners the system shows a reasonable next step. This can be anything.
Of course the teacher is still the key to good education. So also he or she can add learning progress that the student might have shown in a 1;1 situation, during a presentation, by making a paper test, etc. By given milestones and badges the teachers has full control of adding student progress to the system.

So the fun part in all this is the adaptiveness of the whole system. As a starting point the SLO goals are the first layer of the system, adding milestones to them creates the idea of a learning path. But when more user generated data is being added to this system things start to change… It might be a possibility that most students don’t exactly follow the learning path we’ve been laying out for them in the current methods being used. Or that student A has other needs than student B. When creating a system that analysis this behaviour it can give the right adjustments. Saying things like; “for student A watching this video really helped in reaching the goal, it might work for you as well.” And then, of course, showing the video.

So things are not set in stone, but rely on the input of users. You might think there are already many of these systems in use in current education, and the answer is both yes and no.

Most adaptive programs nowadays rely on harvesting data from the user and making some sense of it. Whether it’s the KhanAcademy or some more basic program to practice skills they all live solely inside that given platform. And that’s the big difference. When adding all these different learning platforms in one and the same system a much richer environment is created. The approach is generating an open platform system, so adding data from any platform is possible.

Of course there are some bumps on the way. The most obvious one is getting all these individual programs to generate the same ‘language’ of data so the system can interpret it in the same way. The second one is where to start…

To start off, we want to begin with the most challenging platform of all, the iPad. And we have a reason for it as well. The iPad is being used more and more in school nowadays. The idea of an iPad is the opposite of the idea to start blending things together. Each app individually has the ability to ‘show’ learning progress, but it stays within that app. On the other hand, the programming of an app is straightforward. Furthermore the content available in the appstore is amazing and the apps for practicing maths or language keeps growing and growing. The most heard off downside is the lack of control that a teacher has over student progress. So we combine the platform that has the most content of software being used in education and is also the most non- cross platform of all. After all the idea of using data being generated by students in multiple apps and showing them in a single platform seems impossible. But what if you do combine these two worlds and show them in a way is helpful to a teacher and also for a student? That would be great and sounds exactly like something you would think of at learning analytics being at the peak of the hype cycle, right?

When looking at the things that need to be covered the easiest part is extracting data from an app and sending it to a data center. Then the more challenging part, how do you show learning progress when one app is talking about a five- star system, the other has ten leaves you can win and the third talks about Winkies being rescued. Furthermore ‘multiplying’ in math app A is totally different then multiplying in math app B. So how are we planning on tackling these, and more, issues…. The status of the project is brainstorming, thinking about solutions and trying to get the word out...

If you’re getting excited and want to help, that would be great! Above post is just the tip of the iceberg and in the background some exciting things are already happening.