Liked IndieWeb Journalism in the Wild by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)
This is a generally brilliant set up for any researcher, professor, journalist, or other stripe of writer for providing online content, particularly when they may be writing for a multitude of outlets.
Bookmarked Does the old school report have a future? (Australian Council for Educational Research - ACER)
When considering the utility and purpose of student reports, it is important to distinguish what it is exactly that teachers are asked to report. The words ‘achievement’ and ‘progress’ are often used interchangeably in student reports and conflated to mean the same thing. Indeed they are highly related concepts; it is often through tracking one’s achievements that a sense of one’s progress can be measured. However, if achievement is taken only to mean the grades, scores or marks received on summative assessment tasks, then progress often appears only to mean whether the child’s standard of achievement (their grades) is improving, maintaining or declining. Where progress is understood differently – to mean ‘increasing “proficiency” reflected in more extensive knowledge, deeper understandings and higher-level skills within a domain of learning’ (Masters, 2017) – an emphasis only on reporting achievement on summative assessments would give very little sense of a child’s progress from where they began.
Hilary Hollingsworth and Jonathan Heard provide some background to student reporting in Australia. One of the challenges that they highlight is the difference between progress and achievement. I have a long history with reporting, one challenge not addressed in this post are the constraints put in place by the platforms and providers of the reporting packages. It would seem that ongoing reporting provides more flexibility. My question is what the future of biannual and ongoing reporting?
Liked Education research and the teaching profession: Barriers and solutions by Dr Deborah M. Netolicky (the édu flâneuse)
Tonight’s #aussieED Twitter chat has been advertised as talking about ‘bad research’ and ‘good research’, and also asking ‘where can a good teacher turn?’ for research. The topic of research in education is a popular one. Teachers are encouraged to use evidence-based and research-informed practices. They are encouraged to know what research is worth listening to, what is worth ignoring, and what has been debunked (hello, learning styles and other neuromyths like ‘we only use 10% of our brains’ and left/right brain learning). Education researchers seek to disseminate their research to the profession. Some organisations seek to bridge the gap between education research and practice. Yet a gap remains.
Bookmarked Labor proposes a new $280m Evidence Institute for Schools, but where is the evidence we need it? by Emma Rowe (EduResearch Matters)
The ALP’s pledge to fund an ‘Evidence Institute for Schools’ lacks attention to what is needed most—funding for schools and classrooms. Further, the effectiveness of this large sum of funding spent on an institute is premised on the notion that it will produce significantly more effective research than is already available. Here’s what could be done
Emma Rowe and Trevor Gale suggest that rather than spending money on a new institute, the government should instead:

  • investigating more efficient ways to encourage the uptake of educational research in our schools and universities
  • improve overall accessibility of education research to the public
Bookmarked The Building Blocks of Interpretability by Chris Olah (Google Brain Team)
There is a rich design space for interacting with enumerative algorithms, and we believe an equally rich space exists for interacting with neural networks. We have a lot of work left ahead of us to build powerful and trusthworthy interfaces for interpretability. But, if we succeed, interpretability promises to be a powerful tool in enabling meaningful human oversight and in building fair, safe, and aligned AI systems (Crossposted on the Google Open Source Blog) In 2015, our early attempts to visualize how neural networks understand images led to psychedelic images. Soon after, we open sourced our code as De...
Is it just me, or is this new article exploring how feature visualization can combine together with other interpretability techniques to understand aspects of how networks make decisions a case of creating a solution and then working out how or why it works? Seems reactive or maybe I just don’t get it.
Bookmarked Eight steps to write a literature review (W. Ian O'Byrne)
A literature review is not an annotated bibliography. An annotated bibliography is a document in which you briefly summarize briefly each article that you have reviewed. The literature review does contain a summary of your research, but it goes beyond the typical annotated bibliography by focusing on a specific topic of interest and includes a critical analysis of the relationship among different works, and relating this research to your work.
Ian O’Byrne summarises eight points to work through in thinking about literature review:

  • Define a topic and audience
  • Iteratively search and re-search the literature
  • Take notes as you read
  • Consider the type of review you’re writing
  • Keep your review focused, but also broad
  • Think critically and be consistent
  • Develop a logical structure to your argument
  • Use critical feedback as your guide

I never knew that literature reviews were so nuanced. Along with his post on annotated bibliographies, these resources are those to save for a later time.

Bookmarked Cursive Handwriting and Other Education Myths (Nautilus)
The grip that cursive has on teaching is sustained by folklore and prejudice.
This is a deep dive into the benefits of cursive handwriting. This is another one of those ‘the way it has always been done’ stories. It is useful to read this along side Bernard Bull’s post and the Future Tense podcast which explores handwriting in general.
Bookmarked What I would like to see in online learning in 2018: 1: a theory of classroom affordances (tonybates.ca)
Under what conditions and for what purposes is it better to learn in a face-to-face context rather than online? And when and how should they be used to complement each other when both are readily available?
Tony Bates suggests that there is research needed in regards to online learning, as well as a theory of learning. I am reminded of Richard Olsen’s post on link between research and theory. I wonder where this fits with Dron and Anderson’s Teaching Crowds and Ian Guest’s investigation into Twitter.