Archive for February, 2011

Psychology of Programming: A Great Old Resource made New Again

Many thanks to Alan Blackwell who has resurrected a great old resource and made it available for the psychology of programming and computing education research communities! The book Psychology of Programming (1990) has been out of print for awhile. Alan sought out the chapter authors and secured their permission to post the whole thing on the Web, now available at http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/teaching/1011/R201/.  I just got an email a couple days ago asking for pointers to literature on how expert programmers read code — this is the kind of resource that I can now suggest for answers to that kind of question.

In Alan’s words:

> I’ve done this with permission from Jean-Michel, Thomas and
> David. Needless to say, this is only for educational and research
> use, since copyright remains with the publishers. I would welcome
> links to updated versions of individual chapters from the
> authors, if those were available.

Here’s the Table of Contents of what he’s made available — links to the PDF available at the site:

Course text

J.-M. Hoc, T.R.G. Green, R. Samurçay and D.J. Gilmore (Eds) (1990).

Psychology of Programming.

Published by the European Association of Cognitive Ergonomics and Academic Press.

Part 1 – Theoretical and Methodological Issues (introduction)

1.1 Programming, Programming Languages and Programming Methods – C. Pair (pp. 9-19)

1.2 The Nature of Programming – T.R.G. Green (pp. 23-44)

1.3 The Tasks of Programming – N. Pennington and B. Grabowski (pp. 45-62)

1.4 Human Cognition and Programming – T. Ormerod (pp. 63-82)

1.5 Methodological Issues in the Study of Programming – D.J. Gilmore (pp. 83-98)

Part 2 Language Design and Acquisition of Programming (introduction)

2.1 Expert Programmers and Programming Languages – M. Petre (pp. 103-115)

2.2 Programming Languages as Information Structures – T.R.G. Green (pp. 118-137)

2.3 Language Semantics, Mental Models and Analogy – J.-M. Hoc and A. Nguyen-Xuan (pp. 139-156)

2.4 Acquisition of Programming Knowledge and Skills – J. Rogalski and R. Samurçay (pp. 157-174)

2.5 Programming Languages in Education: The Search for an Easy Start – P. Mendelsohn, T.R.G. Green and P. Brna (pp. 175-200)

Part 3 Expert Programming Skills and Job Aids (introduction)

3.1 Expert Programming Knowledge: A Schema-based Approach – F. Détienne (pp. 205-222)

3.2 Expert Programming Knowledge: A Strategic Approach – D.J. Gilmore (pp. 223-234)

3.3 Expert Software Design Strategies – W. Visser and J.-M. Hoc (pp. 235-249)

Part 4 Broader Issues

4.1 The Psychology of Programming in the Large: Team and Organizational Behaviour – B. Curtis and D. Walz (pp. 253-270)

4.2 Research and Practice: Software Design Methods and Tools – B. Kitchenham and R. Carn. (pp 271-284)

via Computer Laboratory – Course material 2010–11: Usability of Programming Languages.

February 16, 2011 at 9:55 am 1 comment

Georgia Tech seeks new Chairs of CS and IC

Since Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing has a track record of innovation in computing education (including the Institute for Personal Robotics and Media Computation), a search for a new Chair of that School is relevant for this blog.  Anybody want the job of being my boss?

Four years after the formation of the School of Computer Science and the School of Interactive Computing, it is time to launch national searches for the people who will lead these Schools to their next level of excellence. I’m writing to announce that such searches will commence immediately, and to thank Ellen Zegura and Aaron Bobick for the superlative work they’ve done in leading the Schools since 2007. Both stayed on as chairs to ensure the College’s smooth transition to its new dean, and I appreciate the dedication they’ve shown since my arrival last summer (truthfully, since Rich DeMillo’s departure in 2008).

Under Ellen’s leadership, the School of Computer Science has significantly strengthened its faculty in such areas as Networking, Theory, Architecture and Information Security, while providing the College with a solid CS foundation to our overall computing curriculum. Also, Ellen has been one of the driving forces behind our Computing for Good initiative, which already has done such wonderful work in Atlanta, across the Southeast and even internationally, and which also has truly distinguished the College from our peers

Under Aaron’s watch, the School of Interactive Computing became a national leader in areas such as HCC, Augmented Reality, Graphics & Animation, Games, Computing Education, Vision and Robotics. Beyond that, the School has played an integral role in helping us to expand the very definitions of Computing, working with partners both inside and outside Georgia Tech to “redefine the human experience of computing.” That IC is seen to have a cohesive academic identity is due in no small part to the expansive vision Aaron brought to his job.

Our distinguished colleagues Henrik Christensen and Dana Randall have agreed to lead the two search committees. Henrik will lead the CS committee, while Dana will head the IC committee. I want to encourage all of you to participate in every step of the process: by inquiring of your colleagues around the country to see who might be interested, by submitting possible candidates to the search committees, by meeting and evaluating the candidates who visit campus, and by communicating your opinions of the candidates to the committee. Finally, I also encourage all College faculty to consider whether you have the vision, desire and commitment to lead your School—both searches will be open to any and all internal candidates.

Let me close by thanking Ellen and Aaron again for their leadership and for agreeing to continue serving as chairs during this search. Whoever the next CS and IC chairs will be, they will lead fine Schools ready to step into elite company, and that is due largely to the energy and vision Ellen and Aaron demonstrated.

Best regards,

Zvi Galil
John P. Imlay Jr. Dean of Computing

February 15, 2011 at 12:49 pm Leave a comment

CE21 is all about evaluation

NSF’s budget request to Congress is now out, and what it tells us about how CISE thinks about CE21 has a somewhat different emphasis than in the call for proposals which is more flexible about evaluation (e.g., “Different methods of research and/or evaluation are appropriate.”)

Evaluation is a vital part of CISE’s STEM education programs such as Computing Education for the 21st Century (CE21) which is a partnership with EHR and OCI. Each CE21 award will provide a rigorous research and/or evaluation plan designed to guide project progress and measure its impact; the plan will also include a description of the instruments/metrics that will be used. The overall CISE education portfolio will be assessed with an appropriately rigorous evaluation process.

Within the CNS Division, there’s a clear focus on BPC:

CNS supports the Computing Education for the 21st Century (CE21) program that seeks to increase computational competencies for all students, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, disability status, or socioeconomic status, and regardless, too, of eventual career choices.

Just some interesting clues as to what the upper levels of NSF administration are going to be looking for from CE21.

 

February 15, 2011 at 10:44 am 2 comments

More Students Fail AP Tests – WSJ.com

I’d like to see more on socioeconomic status and teacher preparation in this study.

  • When more students starting taking the SAT, the lowest quartile SES students got really low scores.  Those scores rose, but for awhile, more people coming in at the bottom drew down the average.
  • Similarly, I would expect the students of new AP teachers to be lower, then improve as the teacher improves.  As AP test-taking grows, we grow the AP teacher pool, and we can expect  those initial grades to be poor.

Neither of these explanations for more students failing AP tests is immediate cause for alarm.

As record numbers of high-school students are taking and passing Advanced Placement exams, a rising percentage are scoring at the lowest level possible, according to national data on 2010 graduates released Wednesday.

Students posted 1’s, the lowest score possible, on 23% of all AP exams. Ten years ago, that number stood at 14%, according to the College Board, the nonprofit group that administers the exams. The tests are scored on a 1-5 scale, with most colleges offering credit to students who earn a 3 or higher.

The sharp uptick in the basement-level scores was seen on 26 of 31 exams given over the 10 years, and was especially pronounced in math and the sciences. The latest graduating class posted the lowest possible score on 37% of biology exams, and 34% of calculus AB exams, the data show.

Education experts attribute the low scores to the recent national effort to push more students—no matter how ill-prepared—into AP courses, hoping to get them ready for college. They also blame school districts that have watered down the AP curriculum to accommodate lower-performing students, and students who sign up simply to pad their college applications.

via More Students Fail Advanced Placement Tests – WSJ.com.

February 15, 2011 at 9:24 am 2 comments

When ordering matters: Why are other countries doing better in science than the U.S.?

Here’s a compelling example related to our earlier discussion about if and when order in a curriculum matters.  This report suggests that having the appropriate background knowledge helps in understanding content fully, so that what’s learned is not just memorized terms.  I like the argument, that we delay teaching a subject until students know enough to understand the fundamentals of a subject.  However, there’s still a question of what we call “fundamentals,” of how deep.  I’ll bet that the eighth graders who learn about the eye learn about nerves and light and rods/cones, but probably not about rhodopsin, and quantum mechanics.  At some point, there is a “just trust us on the rest of it” to the explanation.  The question is where to draw that line — in what primitives does one ground the explanations? What’s “fundamental” enough?

Students in the United States generally start to learn about the human eye in elementary school. Students in many other countries, though, don’t discuss the eye until eighth grade. At first glance, this difference would seem to indicate that our eight- and nine-year-olds are receiving an advanced science education compared to their peers elsewhere in the world.

But the disparity instead provides an apt analogy for the problems with the U.S. approach to science education, according to William Schmidt, a professor of education at Michigan State University.

When our elementary school students learn about the eye, they typically memorize the different parts and leave it at that. Meanwhile, their peers in high-performing countries study the basics of atomic structure and photons. When they first turn their attention to the eye, in eighth grade, they know enough to understand how one sees and they study how photons of light are translated into electrochemical impulses.

via Hechinger Report | Why are other countries doing better in science than the U.S.?.

February 14, 2011 at 2:35 pm 1 comment

CS is for everyone: On having students realize that CS is not for them

I heard the line that Eugene Wallingford mentions several times at CE21: “Students need to realize earlier that CS isn’t for them.”  Because it’s such a waste of time to take CS classes?  Because CS is only useful if you take a complete degree?  Because learning Python and data structures and maybe some OO and simulations is a bad thing?  If you have this attitude, how can you reconcile that with the belief that “computational thinking” has value?  Don’t students who have those first courses and then go on to other studies take with them valuable computational skills?  Haven’t they learned some computational thinking?

I started out in undergraduate studies as an electrical and computer engineer.  That first year doing circuits and breadboards and basic Engineering classes has served me very well as a computer scientist.  No knowledge is wasted.

Computer science belongs to everyone. Not just for those who can get through our degree gauntlet.

Of course, using a powerful, fun language in CS1 creates a new set of problems for us. A while back, a CS educator on the SIGCSE mailing list pointed out one:

Starting in Python postpones the discovery that “CS is not for me”.

After years of languages such as C++, Java, and Ada in CS1, which hastened the exit of many a potential CS major, it’s ironic that our new problem might be students succeeding too long for their own good. When they do discover that CS isn’t for them, they will be stuck with the ability to write scripts and analyze data.

With all due concern for not wasting students’ time, this is a problem we in CS should willingly accept.

via Knowing and Doing: February 2011 Archives.

February 14, 2011 at 9:26 am 6 comments

Does creating computer games impact girls attitudes toward computing?

This story came across ACM Technews, with the claim that “University of Alberta researchers have found that high school girls become more interested in computer science if video game creation is incorporated into the lesson plans.” That’s a strong and surprising claim, countering what other studies (including ours) have found.

A pre-print of the journal article is available.  The claim is a bit strong.  First, the researchers never asked the kids if they were interested in computer science or game development!  They asked the students to compare how much fun they had short story writing at school, to interactive story writing at the University on a field trip, to interactive story writing at school, and then to compare traditional writing to interactive writing at school.  Kids far preferred interactive story writing at the University to writing a traditional short story –everybody enjoyed the field trip.  However, for the girls, the difference at school was not significant, while it was for boys.  Girls did like the activity, but not as much as the boys, and we don’t know anything about how it influenced the girls’ attitudes towards computing.  To claim that creation of video games might then influence girls’ retention in CS (an explicit claim in the journal article) seems stronger than their evidence warrants.  It might — the evidence just isn’t in this study.

In their study, the researchers wanted to see whether girls would gain as much interest in game development as they boys in the class control group. To facilitate the experiment, they introduced a group of local Grade 10 students to a program called ScriptEase, a tool that allowed them to develop and design their own games. A key factor in the study was having male participants who had more experience than the females in gaming.

Szafron says that there is an inherent creative component to computing science, and that having a student design and construct something using the tool is one way to allow them to investigate that aspect of computing science. “We thought we should have female students create games and see if they are just as excited about making games as male students and see whether it’s an attractor to computing science that is independent of gender,” he said.

Their findings indicated that female students enjoyed creating games as much as their male counterparts; further, they preferred game construction to activities such as story writing. Further, he noted the female students gained and used practical skills that are crucial to understanding computing science.

via Computing science rewriting the program to get girls in the game – ExpressNews – University of Alberta.

February 12, 2011 at 9:43 am 1 comment

How the Internet Gets Inside Us : The New Yorker

Are we in a remarkable time, or aren’t we?  Is technology changing us, or are we pretty much the same?  An interesting New Yorker piece presents a novel perspective on these questions.  I think about issues like these every time a fight breaks out on the SIGCSE-members list over something old-that-we-can’t-give-up, like whether we should be teaching the command line for compiling and linking code.  Is this a core fundamental idea that is important to understand, or is it an old technology that should just go away?  Have we changed, or the technology, or both?

The scale of the transformation is such that an ever-expanding literature has emerged to censure or celebrate it. A series of books explaining why books no longer matter is a paradox that Chesterton would have found implausible, yet there they are, and they come in the typical flavors: the eulogistic, the alarmed, the sober, and the gleeful. When the electric toaster was invented, there were, no doubt, books that said that the toaster would open up horizons for breakfast undreamed of in the days of burning bread over an open flame; books that told you that the toaster would bring an end to the days of creative breakfast, since our children, growing up with uniformly sliced bread, made to fit a single opening, would never know what a loaf of their own was like; and books that told you that sometimes the toaster would make breakfast better and sometimes it would make breakfast worse, and that the cost for finding this out would be the price of the book you’d just bought.

All three kinds appear among the new books about the Internet: call them the Never-Betters, the Better-Nevers, and the Ever-Wasers. The Never-Betters believe that we’re on the brink of a new utopia, where information will be free and democratic, news will be made from the bottom up, love will reign, and cookies will bake themselves. The Better-Nevers think that we would have been better off if the whole thing had never happened, that the world that is coming to an end is superior to the one that is taking its place, and that, at a minimum, books and magazines create private space for minds in ways that twenty-second bursts of information don’t. The Ever-Wasers insist that at any moment in modernity something like this is going on, and that a new way of organizing data and connecting users is always thrilling to some and chilling to others—that something like this is going on is exactly what makes it a modern moment. One’s hopes rest with the Never-Betters; one’s head with the Ever-Wasers; and one’s heart? Well, twenty or so books in, one’s heart tends to move toward the Better-Nevers, and then bounce back toward someplace that looks more like home.

via How the Internet Gets Inside Us : The New Yorker.

February 11, 2011 at 9:27 am 2 comments

Is State-Run Higher Education Doomed?

“Doomed” is rather a harsh word.  How about “Headed for Change”?  While the rhetoric is extreme, the arguments made in this series are certainly interesting and challenging.  What’s going to happen to the American Public University System?

So where is all this going? Consider these six facts:

College debt is becoming the next major loan crisis following the same scenario as housing crisis: Too many huge loans made to people who cannot possibly afford them.

States have made, and continue to make massive cuts in funding higher education. Specifically, funding cuts the operational budgets of state-run universities and colleges.

The budget cuts have driven up tuition and fee costs, making the concept of an ‘affordable’ college education at a state-run institution a myth.

The budget cuts have also forced higher education institutions to increase class sizes and cut services, so students/parents pay more and get less in return.

The budget cuts have effectively ended the concept of job security for the professor as university administrators have hacked away at programs in desperate attempts to slash expenses.

State-run universities and colleges are locked into a brick and mortar concept that demands that education must occur primarily on a centralized campus with massive overhead costs.

Put these six facts together and there is one unmistakable conclusion: state-run universities cannot continue in their present form, and may not survive at all.

via Is Higher Education Doomed (Part I): Driving Off a Cliff Near You – The State-Run University – Technorati Lifestyle.

February 11, 2011 at 9:25 am 2 comments

Top Secret Rosies: Rediscovering WWII’s female ‘computers’

Thanks to Fred Martin for forwarding this link.  What a great story!  Have to get the DVD.

Jean Jennings Bartik was one of the women computers. In 1945, she was a recent graduate of Northwest Missouri State Teachers College, the school’s one math major. She lived on her parents’ farm, refusing the teaching jobs her father suggested, avoiding talk of marrying a farmer and having babies. Bartik was waiting on a job with the military…

She learned the hand calculations, and saw the clunky old analyzer used to speed up the process. Its accuracy depended on the work of her colleagues, and a mechanic who serviced its belts and gears.

The war ended in 1945, but within a couple months of arriving in Philadelphia, Bartik was hired to work on a related project — an electronic computer that could do calculations faster than any man or woman. The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, created by Penn scientists John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert Jr., weighed more than 30 tons and contained about 18,000 vacuum tubes. It recognized numbers, added, subtracted, multiplied, divided and a few other basic functions.

Men had built the machine, but Bartik and her colleagues debugged every vacuum tube and learned how to make it work, she said. Early on, they demonstrated to the military brass how the computer worked, with the programmers setting the process into motion and showing how it produced an answer. They handed out its punch cards as souvenirs. They’d taught the massive machine do math that would’ve taken hours by hand.

But none of the women programmers was invited to the celebratory dinner that followed. Later, the heard they were thought of as models, placed there to show off the machine.

via Rediscovering WWII’s female ‘computers’ – CNN.com.

February 10, 2011 at 11:44 am 3 comments

How do you change your teaching practice?

When Sally Fincher started her Share project, I mentioned that I got a chance to see her related project, on gathering stories about teacher change using an interesting tool for doing quantitative analysis of qualitative data called SenseMaker.  Her Change Stories site is now live, and she’d love to get as many stories as possible.  Please do visit and tell her about how you change your teaching practice.

We are seeking stories of academics changing their teaching practice. If you’re interested in sharing your experience, please tell us what happened to you.

Most people report that it takes them about 15 minutes to complete the process. And some people find that putting in one story reminds them of another incident: that’s fine, you can enter as many stories as you like.

via Change Stories.

February 10, 2011 at 10:24 am 1 comment

We need thinking, even more than STEM

Alan Kay kindly forwarded to me this link.  It’s a column by Stanley Fish that builds on the new book showing how little students learn in the first two years of college.  Fish’s point is that what’s needed is students learning to think, and whether they’re doing science, mathematics, and technology is not the most significant bit.  Liberal education may be better for achieving that goal.

Now it’s clear what is going on here. Obama is developing his major theme: we need innovation to catch up with China and other advanced societies. And it is perfectly reasonable to tie innovation in certain fields to the production of citizens who are technically, mathematically and scientifically skilled. But is that what’s wrong with American education, too few students who acquire the market-oriented skills we need to compete (a favorite Obama word) in the global economy and too few teachers capable of imparting them? Is winning the science fair the goal that defines education? A dozen more M.I.T.s and Caltechs and fewer great-book colleges and we’d be all right?

Quite another account of what is wrong is offered in a new book by sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa. The book’s title is “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses,” and its thesis is that what is limited — in short supply — is learning that is academic rather than consumerist or market-driven. After two years of college, they report, students are “just slightly more proficient in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing than when they entered.”

via Race to the Top of What? Obama on Education – NYTimes.com.

February 10, 2011 at 10:09 am 6 comments

Using Worked Examples to improve learning on Loops

Leigh Ann Sudol-DeLyser is doing some interesting work using worked examples to improve CS learning.

I employed a worked example strategy where students were given one example and the loops were broken into three parts (init, update, comparison) and students learned how to write each part separately. I’m preparing a journal paper on the subject, however a small preview of the results – the students were much better at it than I expected!

I believe that the combination of worked examples with specific line-level feedback helped these non-programmers understand not only that they were “wrong” when something didnt work, but why and therefore how to fix it in order to make it right. We need better intelligent tools in order to help scaffold student’s learning rather than relying on them to have the expertise and metacognitive abilities to figure it out for themselves. My current research focuses on developing an understanding of how students think and learn computing by supporting their learning individually and as they have trouble. Stay tuned as I am working on some data analysis that should be very interesting!

via In need of a Base Case.

February 9, 2011 at 1:47 pm 1 comment

How Not to Succeed in Science

Barbara Boucher Owens shared this article on Facebook, and it’s really been haunting me ever since.  I discussed it with my Barb yesterday, and decided I should blog about it.

Kathy Weston was a tenured biology professor in the UK who decided to “jump” before she was “pushed” out of academia.  She had great opportunities in her career, including working closely with a (later) Nobel prize winner.  Yet, she decided she was unsuccessful, and left academia to become a science writer.  I think it haunts because I’m at a similar stage in my career: Almost 20 years in, wondering about what comes next.  I can say this for her science writing — I found it compelling and thought-provoking, but left me with questions.

  • How would she be “pushed”?  She’s tenured.  One way I could imagine her being pushed is not being fired but simply starved. I just had a meeting with my School Chair yesterday where he expressed disappointment in my funding record — I get 95% of my funding from NSF, which has a variety of limitations on it.  There have been discussions around the College about limiting graduate student acceptances for faculty who only have NSF funding.  Grad students take 5-7 years to finish, and NSF funding is uncertain and only for 2-3 years at a time.  I could find myself in the next 1-3 years with NSF money in hand, work promised to do, and no graduate students.  I wouldn’t be fired, but I wouldn’t be able to accomplish much, including keeping my grant promises.  That would be a form of “push.”  Maybe that’s the kind of thing Kathy foresaw — a lack of resources to keep making progress.
  • Kathy writes: “My obsession with my work declined as normal life seeped in: I got married, learned to ride horses and play the cello, looked after aging parents, and nixed all hope of redemption by having two children in my late 30s and realizing they were far more interesting than what I was doing at work. By the time I carted my boxes and fish out of the building, I was working a standard 37.5-hour week, which simply does not suffice if you want to stay competitive as a scientist. And I was bored, terribly bored.”  She talks about these distractions leading to her “descent into mediocrity.”

    What haunts me is that maybe she’s right and that’s the way that the world should work.  Maybe the truly great scientists, the Nobel prize-winners, do give up a lot of “normal life” in order to succeed so tremendously.  Maybe that’s a fair trade-off.  To be the top of the field in anything, you do have to give up other opportunities.  Maybe having a family and engaging in pursuits like cello and theater does mean that you have to lower your goals below the stellar.  I don’t believe that that means that you have to be bored. It does mean that you have to accept a change in goals and expectations.  A mediocre academic career is still a contribution, and does not mean a mediocre life.

  • I’m not seeing her story as being about female.  Finding a mentor (or several — I feel fortunate to have had several senior people that I turn to for advice and who help promote my career), dealing with “real life” (e.g., marriage and family), networking, and figuring out your goals are common issues for everyone.  Maybe it’s harder for women to find mentors and to schmooze.

Kathy describes her story as “not succeeding.”  Maybe.  Maybe it’s about choosing a different Second Act.  Kathy chose science writing as her second act.  Maybe she could have stayed in academia, but become a different kind of professor — maybe not one headed for a Nobel prize, but I’ll bet that she could still have avoided boredom.

One Friday evening in the winter of 2009, I ended a 20-year affiliation with a college of the University of London, lugging three boxes of personal possessions and a bucket containing 12 tropical fish from my emptied office. In the face of looming redundancy, brought on by my failure to contribute adequately to my department’s last Research Assessment Exercise submission, I jumped before I was pushed. I left with a compromise agreement and a lot of thoughts about how my career, initially as a reasonably successful scientist, had come to such a sticky end. My story has useful lessons in it, some of which are exclusive to scientific research but some of which reflect, I think, the experience of women in academia.

via In Person: Falling Off the Ladder: How Not to Succeed in Academia – Science Careers – Biotech, Pharmaceutical, Faculty, Postdoc jobs on Science Careers.

February 9, 2011 at 9:52 am 7 comments

Launching ARPA-ED

Thanks to Matthew Glickman for pointing out this exciting news.  Maybe this is the place to figure out how to teach CS at a distance, beating the book?

The Obama Administration has proposed a new agency within the Department of Education that will fund the development of new education technologies and promote their use in the classroom.In an updated version of its 2009 Strategy for American Innovation, the White House announced today that the presidents 2012 budget request will call for the creation of Advanced Research Projects Agency-Education ARPA-ED. The name is a deliberate takeoff on the Sputnik-era DARPA within the Department of Defense that funded what became the Internet and the much newer Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy ARPA-E that hopes to lead the country into a clean-energy future.ARPA-ED will seek to correct what an Administration official calls the countrys massive “underinvestment” in educational technologies that could improve student learning. “We know that information and communications technologies are having a transformative impact on other sectors. But thats not the case in K-12 education.” The official cited studies showing that less than 0.1% of the $600 billion spent each year on elementary and secondary school education goes for research on how students learn. “There are a number of good ideas and promising early results about the use of education technology that have led the Administration to be interested in doing more in this area,” the official noted.

via Obama Proposes Education Technology Agency Modeled After DARPA – ScienceInsider.

February 9, 2011 at 9:21 am 6 comments

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