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Education Reading List

September 25, 2015

This week we have selected articles that bring a critical view over the edtech contribution to education and the importance of the "human factor" in the classroom. Additionally, we've included a long read about the possibilities for self-directed learning offered by the new digital fabrication tools and the makers movement.

Enjoy this week's selection and have a great weekend!

Friendly reminder: If you find EDU news that is eminently share-worthy, tip us off by submitting the link here. Tweet with us @StartupDigestED.

Education Reading List Startup Digest is curated by:
Deborah Chang

Deborah Chang - Educator Entrepreneur

Contact Deborah Chang at

Aurelio Jimenez Romero

Aurelio Jimenez Romero

Contact Aurelio Jimenez Romero at

Vicky Guo

Vicky Guo - Tech investor

Contact Vicky Guo at

Global Startup Battle is back for 2015!

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What about Qualitative Research in the “New Data Science of Learning?”

Amy Collier - Keep Learning

This. Absolutely. --> For many of us trained in qualitative and critical traditions in social sciences, the quantitative moment we are seeing in higher education is unsettling [...] The pressures of accountability, combined with continued policy moves and budget cuts, are creating an increasingly untenable environment for the pleasure of learning [...] It does not have to be qualitative only in service of adding layers of description to empirical research. It can be qualitative leading the way to our asking better questions, developing empathy, and deeply understanding what matters in education.

The VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) isn’t the problem, the sediment is

Martin Weller - The Ed Techie

“Are learning technologies fit for purpose?“ [...] We develop administrative structures and processes which are couched in terms of the specific technology.” [...] There are ways to combat it I think, for instance frame the processes in terms of the generic function, not the specific technology – what do we want our VLE to do? How do we make effective use of asynchronous communication to enhance student interaction? Can we design the use of tools in course to improve retention?

Why Do We Separate the Teacher From the Tech?

Tom Whitby - ASCD Edge

It’s not the tech, it’s the human --> Whenever I read an article, or post, pointing out the failures of technology in the classroom, my first question is: How well was that teacher trained in the use of that technology and its new methodology in the classroom? My second thought is: was that technology mandated to be there without teacher buy-in, or support? Without both of those requirements being met, coupled with what we know of the teacher’s impact on students in the class, how could technology ever be successful?

[Long read] [PDF] The Maker Movement. Implications of new digital gadgets, fabrication tools and spaces for creative learning and teaching

Sandra Schön, Martin Ebner and Swapna Kumar - Open Education Europa

Making is creating, expressing, participating in real, hands-on projects. Different versions of the maker movement include the Fablab, Do-it-yourself (DIY), Makerspaces, Hackerspaces, etc. These are rooted in a theory of education called constructionism. The potential of the maker movement to transform education include developing maker students, maker teachers, and maker tools and content.

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