The Intertwingling of Openness and Data in the Future of Education


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Keynote delivered at Games, Learning, and Society 2010.

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  • Take education as another example. The way we educate one another is also based on scarcity thinking for historical reasons. The lecture format dates back to at least 1000 years before Christ. Lecture as format – old. Deuteronomy 31 – gather every 7 years. There was a limit to how many people could get within earshot. Books (scrolls and codices) were prohibitively expensive to make, so attending lecture was your only choice. historically been a time-bound broadcast medium, Like radio or television.
  • As paper became more affordable, dictations became the common form in early universities, and students hand wrote their own copies of texts.
  • Gutenberg’s metallic movable type might have changed everything.
    CC By NC SA Photo from
  • With the “lecture text” we get wide margins, so that faculty can now dictate their annotations to students. Though universities temporarily ban dictations, students demand them and they continue.
  • And this is still our primary mode of instruction, 3000 years later.
  • Allan Collins talked about customization, learner control, production – technology enables these, but the law does not allow them.
  • CC By-SA Photo from
  • What’s your university’s IP policy with regard to sharing curriculum materials or research products?
  • How many of you saw a cool game demo’ed at GLS? How many of you were frustrated that you can’t get access to that game?
  • Public domain photo from
  • CC By Photo from
  • CC By Photo by David Wiley
  • CC By-NC-SA Photo from
  • CC By NC SA Photo from
  • Image courtesy of Jon Mott
  • Image courtesy of Jon Mott
  • Not to mention cost – many are comparing higher ed to the real-estate bubble
  • Massive hyperlinking; 300,000 person communities of interest; etc.
  • Podcasting, blogs, independent films
  • Stock and weather data
  • Classroom experience versus using Google and online groups
  • Classroom experience versus using Google and online groups
  • Imagine Sci Fi section only open from 6-7.
  • Can you remember a time when you had to be somewhere at a certain time to watch a TV show. My kids can’t.
    An important question for education is, why is the lecture different?
  • No. We’re not talking about just putting more classes on the internet.
  • Brett Shelton also on the founding board
  • The Intertwingling of Openness and Data in the Future of Education

    1. 1. The Intertwingling of Openness and Data in the Future of Education David Wiley, PhD Department of Instructional Psychology & Technology Brigham Young University
    2. 2. About This Talk #gls2010
    3. 3. The Bible
    4. 4. If the Book Didn’t Change Schools Can the computer? Can the internet?
    5. 5.
    6. 6. Can Games?
    7. 7. Character Classes Full: Designer, Developer, Researcher Needed: Legislator, Superintendent, Principal, Teacher
    8. 8. With Apologies to Allan Collins “Education (reform) doesn’t work unless you’re willing to take responsibility.”
    9. 9. Openness… In Education? Let’s begin by defining terms
    10. 10. Open, adj. Describes educational artifacts
    11. 11. Open Textbooks Open Educational Resources Open Courseware (Open Source Software)
    12. 12. Open, adj. Teaching materials freely shared with permissions to engage in the “4R” activities
    13. 13. The 4Rs Reuse – copy verbatim Redistribute – share with others Revise – adapt and improve Remix – combine with others
    14. 14. Communicate 4Rs Permissions Since this overrides default copyright, you must use a copyright license
    15. 15. Offers easy to use 4R’s licenses
    16. 16. 20092007 20082006200520042003 CC Licensed Items Online (Millions) 50 100 150 200 250
    17. 17. While Nouns Differ… The operationalizing actions are the same
    18. 18. Open, adj. Generous, sharing, giving
    19. 19. Open, adj. Providing (1) access and (2) local control
    20. 20. Your Inner Two-year Old Overcoming the impulse to scream “Mine!”
    21. 21. Law and Policy “Enable” Us To shout “Mine!” ever more loudly, convulse ever more uncontrollably, and hit each other with ever larger toys
    22. 22. Society’s Siren Song “Be selfish. Keep it to yourself. Sue your neighbor. It’s legal. It’s ok.”
    23. 23. Education Is Not Immune This kind of thinking is accepted
    24. 24. Educational Games Aren’t Immune This kind of thinking is accepted
    25. 25. Role of Openness in Education? A terrible, insidious question
    26. 26. Openness is the only means of doing education
    27. 27. If There Is No Sharing… There is no education
    28. 28. Education, n. A relationship of sharing
    29. 29. Successful Educators Share most thoroughly with the most students
    30. 30. Expertise Is Nonrivalrous Can be given without being given away
    31. 31. “He who receives ideas from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine receives light without darkening me.” Thomas Jefferson
    32. 32. Teachers Would Be Like Bees! They could only teach once
    33. 33. Expressions Are Different To give a book you must give it away
    34. 34. Expressions Are Different To give a book you must give it away
    35. 35. Expressions Are Different Digital expressions are nonrivalrous n’t^
    36. 36. E.g., Online Book We can all read simultaneously
    37. 37. An Indescribable Advance The first time in human history
    38. 38. Expertise and Its Expressions Give without giving away
    39. 39. Unprecedented Capacity We can share as never before
    40. 40. Unprecedented Capacity We can educate as never before
    41. 41. (Education Involves More) (It turns out the Internet is pretty good at facilitating these other things as well.)
    42. 42. Sharing the Stage Technology always plays opposite it’s nemesis, policy
    43. 43. 15th Century Perhaps the greatest technological advance ever
    44. 44. 15th Century Also the most draconian restrictions on information dissemination ever
    45. 45. The Bible Huge demand for vernacular editions, but illegal (and expensive)
    46. 46. Instead of Obliging… Ramped up production of “indulgences” and stricter laws against vernacular editions
    47. 47. “Whosoever reads the Scriptures in the mother tongue, shall forfeit land, cattle, life, and goods from their heirs forever, and so be condemned for heretics to God, enemies to the crown, and most arrant traitors to the land.” English Law, 1414
    48. 48. Collision Powerful new technology, huge demand, outdated thinking reinforced by law
    49. 49. The Reformation Powerful new technology, huge demand, outdated thinking reinforced by law
    50. 50. Alas Our day isn’t that different
    51. 51. Learning Management Systems Technology perverted against its own potential, made to conceal and withhold
    52. 52. “Lids Down, Please!” Faculty refuse to compete for attention
    53. 53. 2008 Professor in Southern US Claimed (C) of his class lectures, declared student notes derivative works, and asserted control over their use
    54. 54. Makes Me Wonder… Can they ever become professors? Can they ever be employed?
    55. 55. Soaring Demand for Education 120M in post-secondary education worldwide 150M more projected to enter
    56. 56. In India Alone, They Need… 2400 new universities in the next 25 years One new university every two weeks
    57. 57. Collision Powerful new media and technology, ravenous demand, outdated thinking reinforced by policy
    58. 58. Sound Familiar? Education is on the edge of its own Reformation
    59. 59. Will We Reform Internally? Or will factions and sects have to split off?
    60. 60. What Does Reform Look Like? We only need to look at society around us…
    61. 61. Analog ⇒ Digital Music, Phones, TV, Newspapers, Movies, Journals, Communications, Intelligence, Defense
    62. 62. Tethered ⇒ Mobile Phones, Internet Access, Employment
    63. 63. Isolated ⇒ Connected People, Content, Systems
    64. 64. Generic ⇒ Personal Cars, Computers, Mobile Phones
    65. 65. Consuming ⇒ Creating Radio / Podcasting, Newspapers / Blogs Movies / Vodcasting
    66. 66. Closed ⇒ Open Software (OSs, Applications), Content (Blogs, Wikis)
    67. 67. Then vs Now Analog ⇒ Digital Tethered ⇒ Mobile Isolated ⇒ Connected Generic ⇒ Personal Consumption ⇒ Creating Closed ⇒ Open
    68. 68. Education vs Everyday Analog ⇒ Digital Tethered ⇒ Mobile Isolated ⇒ Connected Generic ⇒ Personal Consumption ⇒ Creating Closed ⇒ Open
    69. 69. “Daily Divide” Is a Huge Threat And the wider the disconnect, the less relevant higher education feels
    70. 70. What About E-learning?
    71. 71. What About E-learning? Very innovative in 1995!
    72. 72. Characteristics of E-learning Analog or Digital Tethered or Mobile Isolated or Connected Generic or Personal Consuming or Creating Closed or Open
    73. 73. Connecting You can’t connect to something if you don’t have access to it
    74. 74. Personalizing You can’t adapt or localize something if you don’t have permission
    75. 75. Creating You won’t be creative if there’s no outlet for your work
    76. 76. Technology Already Enables Policy, law, and tradition prohibit
    77. 77. Institutional Openness Some examples…
    78. 78. Individual Openness Some examples… on a budget
    79. 79. Character Classes • Bard - Master of the lore, history, and politics of the field, know what's “out there” • Artisan - Has materials production skills in all the necessary Web 1.0 and 2.0 tools like HTML, video sharing, podcasting • Monk Master of copyright and licensing arcana and defender of the university brand • Merchant Deals with short- and long-term sustainability issues
    80. 80. • Level 1 – 22 XP • Level 2 – 40 XP • Level 3 – 65 XP • Level 4 – 105 XP • Level 5 – 160 XP • Level 6 – 230 XP • Level 7 – 365 XP • Level 7 – A • Level 6 – B • Level 5 – C • Level 4 or below - F Leveling Up “Grades”
    81. 81. Let’s Talk Data
    82. 82. Each and Every Interaction Recorded and stored for analysis to improve quality of service / experience
    83. 83. If Only We Could Get It… Education could engage in continuous quality improvement, too!
    84. 84. Even the Grocer! Almost every industry uses data more effectively than we do
    85. 85. One More Experiment
    86. 86. Bloom’s 2 Sigma Challenge Bloom, 1984
    87. 87. One-to-One Tutoring And other methods compared to 30 students in the classroom
    88. 88. Average Tutored Student by 2 SD In other words, the average student is capable of much more
    89. 89. Tutoring is Expensive So we teach class instead!
    90. 90. Bloom, 1984 If the research on the 2 sigma problem yields practiced methods (methods that the average teacher or school faculty can learn in a brief period of time and use with little more cost or time than conventional instruction), it would be an educational contribution of the greatest magnitude. (p. 5)
    91. 91. To Tutor Or Not to Tutor? That is the (false) question
    92. 92. “Intelligent” Tutors Have different scalability problems Dehumanize learing
    93. 93. “Strategic Tutoring” What if we could do one-on-one tutoring just-in-time and just-on-topic?
    94. 94. How Can We Get the Data? Follow Google, Amazon, Netflix, WoW, etc.
    95. 95. Do School Online Where each and every interaction can be captured and stored for analysis
    96. 96. What Kind of Data? When they logged in, read, and worked How long they logged in, read, and worked Pathway information, Item-by-item analytics, &c.
    97. 97. OHSU Teaching Model Online curriculum teaches as much as possible, teachers do proactive “strategic tutoring”
    98. 98. Another Benefit of Data Engage in continuous improvement of curriculum materials
    99. 99. Can You Improve Curriculum? Data aren’t sufficient – you need permission
    100. 100. Open Educational Resources Give OHSU the permissions it needs to engage in continuous improvement
    101. 101. “4R” Permissions Reuse – copy verbatim Redistribute – share with others Revise – adapt and improve Remix – combine with others
    102. 102. OHSU Charter Requires OER Founders’ way of “burning the ships”
    103. 103. Conjoint Continuous Improvement Student learning and curriculum effectiveness grow simultaneously
    104. 104. Curriculum Use Curriculum Redesign Student Performance Data Data Describing Curriculum Performance Data Supporting Strategic Tutoring Feedback Loop
    105. 105. Capturing Out-of-Band Tutoring Using customer relationship management (CRM) tools
    106. 106. Thank You 801-422-7071
    107. 107. How could he fail the test? He was online studying all day every day last week!!!
    108. 108. He must have been playing World of Warcraft, because he only spent 32 minutes on Algebra.
    109. 109. Thank You 801-422-7071
    110. 110. Visualizing Educational Data Creating new visualization techniques to support teaching and learning
    111. 111. Openness • Increases access • Gathers more data • Improves sharing • Creates local control • Makes data actionable / CQI • Permits alignment with societal changes “facilitates the unexpected”
    112. 112. More Open We Are The better education will be
    113. 113. Thank You!