Hackademics AI

Recently, I have been investigating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) and possible applications of this technology to an educational context and beyond. Being creative with technology in an educational context (#hackademics) is something I am very passionate about.  Now that Google’s DeepMind / TensorFlow has been Open sourced at GitHub, it would be great to come up with a proof of concept of using ML /AI to help students stay in their Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) by suggesting appropriate Learning pathways. I was very inspired by Demis Hassabis (@demishassabis) autumn Lecture

AI is still in its infancies and not very practical for secondary education. AI experiments as Autodraw.com will give some traction to this movement and I am really very happy they are opening this technology to anyone with an idea. See other experiments here and other implications here. I can’t wait for summer recess to investigate this further and come up with a proof of concept.

Hackademics JASP

Now that we are collecting data with http://werenfridus.Quayn.eu and forms.Google.com we would like to have this data become beneficial to students. I need help with the analysis of this data.  Quayn has some built in options and sheets.google.com offers ‘investigate’ to help with the analysis. Yet none of this is automated and tailored to help students.

Hackademics JAPS

An alternative to SPSS is Jasp. Jasp allows the user to make a statistical analysis.

You can find more at Jasp.org and here is an install guide for OSx : https://jaspnonprofits.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/installing-jasp/

Is JASP something for our students /teachers to learn?
I should ask our STEM teachers, but making statistical analysis should be common sense in any PDCA-cycle.
There are workshops available in Amsterdam:

John Hattie on Visible Learning

John Hattie’s meta-analysis evaluates the effects on student learning and shows:

  • When teaching and learning are visible, there is a greater likelihood of students achieving higher
  • Teachers need to be evaluators and activators
  • Importance of feedback
  • Seeking further challenges
  • Importance of teacher mind frames

See John explain it himself at TEDx.

Stephen Downes on Personalized and personal learning

I enjoy Stephen Downes’ OlDaily blog because his writing inspires me a lot.
His thoughts on personalized and personal learning contain a very amusing comparison with dining:

Personal learning is like shopping at a grocery store. You need to assemble the ingredients yourself and create your own meals. It’s harder, but it’s a lot cheaper, and you can have an endless variety of meals. Sure, you might not get the best meals possible, but you control the experience, and you control the outcome.

Reflecting upon my own experience as a teacher and how other educators learn I see a clear distinction between those who wait to be served and those that boldly go where none have gone before. It reminds me of Priestly & Biesta’s Agency. (an excellent excerpt can be read in Rene Kneyber’s Flip the System II). They argue that teacher autonomy is not enough. Rather, we need to focus on teacher agency and the conditions in which it can be accomplished.  This requires an active approach instead of a passive responsiveness to the current status quo. Educators can be an agent of change. If they are willing to do some shopping themselves (in line with Downes reasoning) the can make an education personal. If an educator or teacher chooses to remain passive (which seems unprofessional to me) and serve the Educational Fast Food found in most modern educational publishers catalogue, then education will succumb more of it’s stature.

Let’s do a little taught experiment! Her are some questions:

  • What is the impact of personal learning on students compared to personalized learning?
  • How does this relate to the common one-size-fits-all instruction in most classrooms today?
  • How will students benefit from teacher training becoming personal instead of personalized?
  • How will students and/or teachers benefit from educational management training becoming personal instead of personalized?

I think all people involved in education need to figure out how to be an agent of change.


Design in Education

I really enjoy design and especially when teachers get creative in education.
Like Kevin Jarett and also Emily Piloton who use design principles to reinvent education.

Design Thinking is Hot. Just watch this map.



AS wk2-2016

App Smashing (AS) is a creative process where applications are used in a sequential order to enhance student engagement and to improve the learning outcomes. Here are some great apps to consider smashing this week:


“One of the best features includes the ability to “write out” or “draw up” the feedback. This ability provides one more way to differentiate learning. This is a great formative tool to check understanding and decide the next move for needed instruction.” – Michael Gorman


This amazing free tool allows difficult language to be translated. It’s a great tool that helps you identify and train these difficult words. This is definitely a must have for any bilingual teacher.


Vicky Davis on Writing

Vicky Davis on Writing

Vicky Davis is a cool teacher. She even has a cool twitter handle: @coolcatteacher.She recently posted “4 great writing tips“. Writing is fundamental in education because it allows us to express ourselves. I applied Vicky’s ideas in this blog post and I am considering using these tips in all my posts.

For instance, this text has been checked by Grammarly. Isn’t that awesome! Just as Vicky suggested, Grammarly is helping me improve my English. It is providing me with the necessary feedback to understand my errors.

I used www.hemingwayapp.com to improve the readability of this text. I liked it so much, that I bought the desktop version.