AI Technology is Disrupting the Traditional Classroom. Here’s a Progress Report.

Artificial intelligence has the potential to personalize learning at scale. The challenge: making sure it benefits everyone.

When the Teaching Assistant Is a Robot

Special Reports Faculty members experiment with artificial intelligence in the classroom Premium content for subscribers. Subscribe Today Last spring, Ashok K. Goel pulled off one of the great pranks in the history of artificial intelligence. In an online course, Mr. Goel, a computer-science professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, relied on nine teaching assistants, including…

Why Aren’t Tech-Enhanced Learning Strategies More Widely Used?

Although institutions continue to invest a considerable amount of time and money in technology-enhanced learning strategies, many aren’t seeing widespread adoption. Two Carnegie Mellon professors sought to understand why. Higher education institutions continue to invest a considerable amount of time and money in technology-enhanced learning strategies.

‘Intelligent tutoring systems’ use AI to boost student IQ

We don’t know what we don’t know — former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s famous unknown unknowns — is a… predicament as familiar to the military as it is to data scientists. Ken Koedinger, a professor of human-computer interaction and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, also believes this tenet should shake up how schools teach.

A Transformation to Learning Engineering – The Simon Initiative – Carnegie Mellon University

Bror Saxberg, vice president of learning science at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, gave the fourth annual CMU Simon Initiative Distinguished Lecture. Saxberg discussed challenges in education, different learning science applications, examples of learning engineering and what his learning science group at CZI is trying to do.

Why Professors Doubt Education Research – EdSurge News

Lauren Herckis, an anthropologist at Carnegie Mellon University who has studied the culture of ancient Mayan cities, is turning her focus closer to home these days-exploring why professors try new teaching approaches, or decide not to. She found many professors are reluctant to move away from the way they’ve traditionally taught, even when presented with evidence new approaches might work better.

Cooperative and Collaborative Learning: Student Partnership in Online Classrooms

Cooperative and collaborative learning are not new concepts in the field of education – they have been studied for decades and have been used as classroom practices for much longer than that. Although experts in the field might differentiate between the two, I’d suggest that the subtle differences are not all that important.

What makes Pittsburgh different as an edtech hub? Collaboration – and Mister Rogers

Ask those in Pittsburgh’s thriving education technology community what makes the city different from other edtech hubs such as Silicon Valley, Boston or New York City, and a single word is repeated: collaboration. “Pittsburgh has this incredible collaborative environment,” said Sunanna Chand…

A Pittsburgh Preschool Advances Research – Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences – Carnegie Mellon University

Always a place to play and learn, a small early childhood program once operated where Carnegie Mellon University’s intramural soccer fields now lie. Then in 1968, Founding Director Ann Baldwin Taylor received a grant from the Esso Foundation.

Smithsonian Forms ‘Strategic Alliance’ With Carnegie Learning to Build New STEM Products – EdSurge News

Carnegie Learning, a Pittsburgh-based provider of math curriculum and training resources, is teaming up with the Smithsonian Institution on a “strategic alliance” to “develop new product solutions to help address the growing need for improved and expanded STEM education,” wrote Barry Malkin, Carnegie’s CEO, in an email.

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Building a Shared Vision of the #FutureofLearning

The #EdResearchSummit in Pittsburgh was co-hosted by Montour Schools ( featured here) and Carnegie Mellon University ( featured here). In the opening session of the summit we discussed 10 aspects of the future of learning. Links to recent resources are included below in addition to comments from Pittsburgh educators.

Learning Engineering at 50

A discussion at the 2017 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference focused on learning engineering as an emerging discipline built upon data science, learning analytics and design based research, to better understand how students learn and instructional strategies that enable optimal learning.

Pittsburgh dominating global artificial intelligence competition

Pittsburgh isn’t just a hotbed for artificial intelligence research and development. The city is also tops in the nation for coming up with ways to use the new technology. Pittsburgh had more teams than any other city in the country move to the next round of the $5 million IBM …

CMU: Pittsburgh’s Learning Engine

Fifty years ago Carnegie Tech and the Mellon Institute merged to form Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). With roots in industry and enterprise, CMU grads have gone on to start tech giants , Juniper Networks and Sun Microsystems (now part of Oracle). CMU’s early strength in artificial intelligence yielded Carnegie Learning, a leader in adaptive secondary and postsecondary math software.

Framing ‘failure’ as a necessary educational experience

Though failure is often described solely as a means to determine a path towards success, educators and panelists at a recent two-day event at Teachers College, Columbia University stressed the importance of incorporating failure into learning and the ways to use it productively, in higher ed courses, K-12 classrooms and teacher preparation programs. “We need a new conceptualization of what failure really is,” Xiaodong Lin, a professor of cognitive studies at Teachers College, said.

Koedinger Assumes Hillman Professorship – Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences – Carnegie Mellon University

Ken Koedinger, professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and Department of Psychology, accepted the Hillman Professorship of Computer Science in a ceremony Dec. 6 in the Gates and Hillman centers. The Hillman Foundation established the professorship in 1986 to enable the university to attract world-class educators and researchers to Pittsburgh, building the region’s prestige as a center of teaching and innovation.

Professors have mixed reactions to Blackboard plan to offer tool for grading online participation

Blackboard is planning to introduce a new feature in its learning management system later this year to help instructors grade students’ participation in class discussions online.

Why Faculty Members Still Aren’t Sure What to Make of Education Technology

Their mix of skepticism and enthusiasm results in what one researcher calls “some very weird doublethink.”

RoboTutor Aims to Help 250M Children in Developing Countries | NGLC

The XPRIZE Global Learning Challenge​ inspires teams, like this finalist, to help students in developing countries learn basic skills to lift out of poverty.

Want Change In Education? Look Beyond The Usual Suspects (Like Finland)

In a tiny hamlet in Tanzania, children who have never been to school, and can’t recognize a single letter in any language, are about to start learning basic math and reading. They’ll do this with the help of a cutting-edge, artificially intelligent “tutor” who can hear what they are saying in Swahili and respond meaningfully.

How to Give All Students Moonshot Thinking Skills

This school year, over 1,100 kindergarten through fourth-grade students at the Montour School District, located in the Greater Pittsburgh region, will enter an exciting new school building. The new Montour Elementary School will share a campus with the Montour High School, and focus on what Superintendent Dr. Christopher Stone describes as “creating a culture of moonshot thinkers.”

Educators Tap Into Data – The Simon Initiative – Carnegie Mellon University

August 29, 2017 LearnLab Director Ken Koedinger noticed his lab’s summer school was different from years past. Interests spiked in creating online courses and interpreting the data collected by digital tools to provide evidence that students are learning.

Carnegie Mellon professor: Better tech enables higher-quality online courses

Carnegie Mellon University Professor Bob Monroe discussed in a recent interview with Education Dive how the largely-held perception that Massive Open Online Classes would replace the traditional college lecture was largely overblown.

Anthropologist studies why professors don’t adopt innovative teaching methods

An anthropologist who had the unenviable task of sitting through academics’ meetings and reading their email chains to find out why they fail to change their teaching styles has come to a surprising conclusion: they are simply too afraid of looking stupid in front of their students to try something new.

McLaren Receives NSF Grant to Data Mine Learning from Erroneous Examples

Erroneous examples, step-by-step examples of incorrect problem solving, is a pedagogical approach used in only a few fields, such as medical education.

Marie Cini Lecture Next Generation Technologically-Enabled Post-Secondary Education

Remake Learning Days Offer Sneak Peak Into Next Gen Classroom – The Simon Initiative – Carnegie Mellon University

The future of learning is here, during Remake Learning Days-a regional celebration and exploration of the future of learning. Researchers in Carnegie Mellon University’s Simon Initiative, which aims to transform education by continuously improving teaching and learning based on data, will be an integral part of the event running May 15-26.

An Anthropologist in the 21st Century Classroom – The Simon Initiative – Carnegie Mellon University

Educational tools can make all the difference to the learner, but despite the availability of excellent new options, many of the best technology enhanced learning (TEL) resources are being left on the shelf. Carnegie Mellon University researchers have been working to understand this quandary.

Cutting-Edge Entertainment: CMU Heads to South by Southwest – News – Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University faculty, staff and students will once again participate in South by Southwest (SXSW), the premier annual entertainment and technology festival, March 10-16 in Austin, Texas. “SXSW is a forum for thought leaders in film, music and technology to meet every year,” said Jon Nehlsen, associate dean of Partnerships and Communication Strategy at CMU’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy.

Collaboration and Discussion Tools Help Make Online Courses More Social

Community college students struggling in a college course are 2 percent more likely than their higher performing peers to drop out. In online courses, this number is 4 percent, the Community College Resource Center reports. And while these numbers, admittedly, aren’t huge, DeAnza College in suburban San Jose, Calif.

Going beyond teaching by instinct, by embracing learning science (essay)

I’m a teacher from a family of teachers. My father, who was a school principal, used to talk about hiring good teachers. He believed that some teachers have an instinct for it while others, less so. I believe that too. I have seen it. But what does it mean to have an “instinct” for teaching?

CMU Learning Scientists Featured on e-literate TV – The Simon Initiative – Carnegie Mellon University

CMU Learning Scientists Featured on e-literate TV

CMU postdoc’s play table for children balances virtual, physical worlds

At Forest Grove Elementary School in Robinson Township, along the Ohio River just northwest of Pittsburgh, the Rust Belt is giving way to educational innovation. In a windowless room in the library, first- and second-graders experiment with a strange teaching device that’s a half-computer, half-wooden play table. A touch-screen tablet …

100% Career Placement Every Year for METALS Graduates

The Master of Educational Technology and Applied Learning Science degree is proud to announce that its most recent graduating cohort successfully reached 100% career placement, a statistic they have kept since the program’s inception in 2013. The program, which is a part of the Simon Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University, graduated its first class in 2014 and has been steadily growing since.

Relying on “Smile Scores” To Measure Student Learning Is Not a Good Idea

A recent Academic Anonymous post in The Guardian about how student surveys are affecting a young professor’s confidence got me thinking. Yes, we want students to enjoy our courses. And yes, we want students to find our instructional innovations engaging. But we can’t forget that students’ perceptions of enjoyment or engagement are not measures of instruction’s effectiveness.

Three Scientific Tips for Going Back-to-School – News – Carnegie Mellon University

With more than 205 trillion ways to teach and learn, it’s easy to understand why going back to school can be overwhelming for students and their instructors. Three research-based tips from Carnegie Mellon University can help start the school year right. Free – or very inexpensive – online courses have become a trend in education.

METALS Capstone Sponsor, MARi, finalist in Reach Higher Learning Career App Challenge

It’s not everyday that a Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) capstone project brings you to the White House to present your work, but that’s what happened for Masters of Educational Technology and Applied Learning Science (METALS) student Kathy Yu.

DecimalPoint | Human-Computer Interaction Institute

When it comes to learning math, how much fun you are having is rarely factored into the equation. That isn’t to say that game designers have not tried to turn instruction into more engaging material.

Alumni Spotlight: Mark Potter, METALS ’14

Mark Potter is a 2014 graduate from the Masters of Educational Technologies and Applied Learning Science (METALS) at Carnegie Mellon University. Though he originally was pursuing a career in accounting, his time spent tutoring students helped him realize his passion for improving educational outcomes. What was your background before you entered the METALS program?

CMU Researchers Advance Ed-Tech Pilots in Pittsburgh Schools | Human-Computer Interaction Institute

Technology use continues to rise in schools as an important means for teachers to create a more personalized learning experience for students. Schools are increasingly dedicating significant budgets to apply educational technology to classrooms, as much as 6.6 billion in the U.S. alone.

HCII Takes Home Best Paper Award at UMAP 2016 | Human-Computer Interaction Institute

Can past learning activities predict differences in individual student success? A recent project with researchers from the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) set out to answer just that, and picked up a Best Paper award along the way.

Ogan on Sensors in the Classroom | Human-Computer Interaction Institute

Carnegie Mellon University, like other colleges and universities, is able to create smaller learning cohorts from large lectures by using teaching assistants. These TAs often have varied backgrounds and levels of familiarity with the U.S. educational system, which can make learning experience and outcomes differ from section to section.

Ogan Awarded Jacobs Early Career Research Fellowship

Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) Assistant Professor Amy Ogan firmly believes that the best way to improve educational technologies in international classrooms is to visit those classrooms personally, observing students and learning about how they learn.

Student Spotlight: Ph.D. Candidate Nesra Yannier

Nesra Yannier, a current Ph.D. candidate in the HCII, recently presented her thesis project to an auditorium full of entrepreneurs, faculty, students, alumni and industry professionals at the 20th Show and Tell event for Project Olympus on Thursday, April 14, 2016. The event, supported by the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), includes student and faculty start up projects.

The Future of Education: Virtual Peers | Human-Computer Interaction Institute

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have found a way to improve education for elementary and middle school students.

Want To Teach Kids “Proper” English? Speak Their Language.

In a lab in Pittsburgh filled with sleek computers, doll houses and an assortment of colorful toys, two scientists are trying to find better ways to teach students who speak in non-mainstream dialects how to excel in school–and in life–by learning to communicate in mainstream English. Their surprising conclusion?

These eerie virtual children could be better teachers than real adults

Can robots teach better than real teachers? Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University may have programmed ones that can. In an ongoing six-year program, researchers have built and tested animated children that talk with and teach elementary and middle school students. The bots helped raise math, science, and reading test scores significantly in multiple studies, researcher Justine Cassell tells Tech Insider.

Koedinger Will Deliver Keynote at Learning@Scale | Human-Computer Interaction Institute

HCII Faculty, Students to Present Papers and Works in Progress

Faculty Spotlight: Assistant Professor Amy Ogan

Amy Ogan, an assistant professor in the HCII and an educational technologist, is fascinated by researching ways to make learning more engaging, effective and enjoyable. Ogan is also a recent recipient of the Jacobs Foundation Research Fellowship, a global fellowship program for the research on child and youth development.

HCII Faculty Among LearnLab Experts Who Participate in NSF Meeting

The National Science Foundation recently hosted a three-day conference to celebrate the success of its six Science of Learning Centers, and three HCII faculty members were among the representatives from Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh’s LearnLab.

Lectures Best for Learning? Koedinger Says No | Human-Computer Interaction Institute

Traditional education models generally revolve around lectures, but new findings from HCII Professor Ken Koedinger and a team of Carnegie Mellon researchers shows that lectures aren’t nearly as effective as people think they are – at least those of the video variety.

Learning Science Grants to Advance Educational Technology Research

The Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) at Carnegie Mellon University received two new grants to advance research in the area of intelligent tutoring. The use of intelligent tutoring systems (ITS) has been shown to bridge the gap between lower and higher performing students. ITS will continue to play a critical role in improving the performance of U.S.

Slate Calls Out Koedinger’s Contributions to Learning Technologies | Human-Computer Interaction Institute

Artificially intelligent software is changing the face of the American classroom, and Slate’s recent article “No More Pencils, No More Books” looks to experts like HCII Professor Ken Koedinger for insight into whether or not these types of learning technologies are effective.

Louw Receives NSF Grant for Citizen Science | Human-Computer Interaction Institute

Learning Media Design Center Director and HCII faculty member Marti Louw will receive a three-year, $1.7 million National Science Foundation award to develop and study a cyberlearning tool that supports deep looking and learning in citizen science.

Koedinger Talks LearnSphere in Hechinger Report, U.S. News & World Report | Human-Computer Interaction Institute

“LearnSphere, a new $5 million federally funded project at Carnegie Mellon University, aims to become ‘the biggest open repository of education data’ in the world,” begins the Hechinger Report article “Carnegie Mellon Project Revives Failed inBloom Dream To Store and Analyze Student Data.”

The Need For Learning Engineers (and Learning Engineering) –

Editor’s Note: I am pleased to announce that Bill has agreed to continue contributing blog posts from time to time. Therefore, he is now officially a “Featured Blogger” rather than a “Guest Blogger.” Last week, I had the privilege of speaking at a workshop on online graduate education.