A few links to things I'm reading.

Ian Quillen has blogged recently about very, very preliminary research on the psychological impact of digital media. His post reminds me of one of my favorite set of facts: The first television station in the U.S. began broadcasting in the 1920s. The first regular commercial broadcasting in the U.S. began in the 1940s. The first recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics for television viewing were published in 1984.

Back in April, after my AERA talks on Are Great Wikis Born or Made? (born) and Do People Actually Collaborate on Wikis? (not much), Emily Schneider invited me out to coffee. She's a first year doctoral student at Stanford&mdashthe hope of the profession!&mdashand she has some cool research plans ahead about the role of technology and learning in for profit colleges.

My friends at the Berkman Center finished editing the recording of a talk I gave in March at the Hewlett Grantee Meeting. The talk, "When Open Encounters Different Classrooms," is built around a simple premise: in places with profoundly inequitable school systems, our conceptual models of technology-enhanced education systems always need to account for these inequalities.

It's remarkable that in 2012 you can wake up in the morning and see a front page article in the New York Times depicting various young black men as "freaks" who "throw tantrums" and "do the first negative thing he can find" with computers. #notapostracialsocietyyet

I had a great time last week on RadioBoston chatting with Matthew Chingos about his study comparing an online statistics course with face to face course. Matt and his colleagues wanted to know whether the online version of a course had the same effect on student achievement (as measured by passing rates, grades, and standardized test scores) as a fairly traditional intro stats class. To make this comparison, they used a research method called a randomized control trial, where participants (students in this case) volunteer to be randomly assigned to either the regular (control) class or the online (intervention class). ...

Kevin Simpson and colleagues took me up on my offer to host reports from EdCamps around the world on this space. Here are some of the big insights from the very first EdCamp Dubai and the first EdCamp in the Middle East! Looking forward to hearing about many more in the future.

Yesterday, I was on WBUR's RadioBoston with Matthew Chingos, discussing his new study about online learning in higher education. Matt's study involved recruiting several hundred Introductory Statistics students at several college campuses who were willing to be randomly assigned to either a regular class or a hybrid online class. In the hybrid online class, students took an online version of Intro Statistics mediated entirely by a computer, with online readings, quizzes, activities and so forth. They also met once a week for a discussion section to answer questions.

Today, I received my doctoral robe from my advisor, Richard Murnane, and tomorrow I'll receive my diploma. I am now fully qualified to give advice about doctoral studies in education.

I have a commentary published in this week's Education Week paper titled Use Technology to Upend Traditional Classrooms. In it, I propose three ways of thinking about how emerging technologies can transform the traditional factory model of education. In the factory model, we envision the process of education as the delivery of standardized learning objects into containers (brains) brought by students. One thing we could do with technology is to try to make the factory run more cheaply. For instance, we could have students take self-paced online courses and replace teachers with security guards. Another thing we could do with ...

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