Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Systems and the Learning Brain


New ideas about artificial intelligence and cognitive computing systems in education have been advanced this year by major computing and educational businesses, including Pearson and IBM. Pearson’s promotion of AI reflects its growing interests in data analytics and other digital methods while IBM is seeking to extend its existing R&D on cognitive computing into the education sector. AI has been the subject of serious debate recently. High profile figures including Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and Elon Musk have voiced concern about the threats it poses, while awareness about cognitive computing has been fueled by widespread media

Childhood and the Pursuit of Meaning in Today’s Connected World


Most adults reckon they know about children because they were one once. This is a strange kind of qualification. First of all, there is a tendency to universalize childhood as if the child you were once can stand for all children. Secondly, the childhood you experienced is for all its similarities to the ones being lived today, structurally, materially and existentially quite different. My colleague, Sonia Livingstone, and I spent a whole year with 28 13- and 14-year-olds trying to get a grip on what it means to grow up in London in the second decade of the

The Construction of Civic Identities in Pop Culture


“I said, ‘Well daddy don’t you know that things go in cycles.’ ” — “Excursions,” A Tribe Called Quest A fever dream in 15 steps. This past weekend, Ukrainian singer Jamala won the globally popular 2016 “Eurovision” Contest. A turn from the saccharine love ditties that often take the competition, the winning song, “1944,” is a harrowing narrative of historical deportation of under Stalin’s soviet regime: When strangers are coming They come to your house They kill you all And say We’re not guilty Not guilty A week earlier, the album “Hopelessness” by Anohni was released. Its

Schooling Silicon Valley


Silicon Valley’s high-tech companies, startups and venture capitalists are “the centre of a techno-economic revolution” that is “now spreading outwards across the world, with major societal effects and implications,” argues Alistair Duff in a new article. Surprisingly little research has been conducted on the Silicon Valley workers whose labor and learning contributes to this revolution. Here, I try to piece together some sense of how education is being organized in Silicon Valley as an initial attempt to answer the question: how are the forms of knowledge, skills, practices and ways of thinking that contribute to a

Full STEAM Ahead: Remodeling Learning


Yes, it’s relatively easy to introduce technology and to experiment with project-based learning. It’s not so easy to change the law, norms, and practices that are so strongly associated with high schools in the U.S.A. (for example, sequester students on school grounds five days a week), which is why Justin Bathon added a law degree to his education credentials. Dr. Bathon, associate professor at University of Kentucky, Director of Innovative School models and leader of STEAM Academy, in Lexington, Kentucky, is interested in “the ‘code’ of education which includes things like the legal structure upon which

Meet ‘The Class’


Our book is about a class of 13- to 14-year-olds at an ordinary urban secondary school in London, England. It is a famously tricky age, difficult for parents and teachers, and for the young people themselves. In conducting the research, we became increasingly curious about what young people want, how do they see the world, and how do they find a path through the opportunities and constraints they face?

Introducing New Book Series: ‘Connected Youth and Digital Futures’


Building on research supported by the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning initiative, a new series “Connected Youth and Digital Futures,” is debuting its first two books — By Any Media Necessary: The New Activism of American Youth and The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age. This series offers books that describe the ways that the day-to-day lives and futures of young people are being reconfigured at the intersection of civil and political reform, transformation in employment and education and the penetration of digital technologies across all domains of social and personal life. Why