Evidence decision-making tool for policymakers

Repository by The Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) (via APO): “…outlines tools for education policy-makers to assess their confidence in a certain policy, program or initiative, and decide on next steps.

The evidence decision-making tool assists you to:

  • assess how confident you are that a certain policy, program or other initiative is likely to be effective in your context
  • decide on next steps, including how to implement the initiative given your level of confidence, and how to collect more evidence to increase your confidence in its effectiveness

The evidence decision-making tool can be used by an individual or a group, for example, in a planning workshop. It’s designed to be flexible, so you can use it to consider a change to an existing initiative or the introduction of something new…(More)”.

Paradoxes of Media and Information Literacy

Open Access book by Jutta Haider, Olof Sundin: “Paradoxes of Media and Information Literacy contributes to ongoing conversations about control of knowledge and different ways of knowing. It does so by analysing why media and information literacy (MIL) is proposed as a solution for addressing the current information crisis.

Questioning why MIL is commonly believed to wield such power, the book throws into sharp relief several paradoxes that are built into common understandings of such literacies. Haider and Sundin take the reader on a journey across different fields of practice, research and policymaking, including librarianship, information studies, teaching and journalism, media and communication and the educational sciences. The authors also consider national information policy proposals and the recommendations of NGOs or international bodies, such as UNESCO and the OECD. Showing that MIL plays an active role in contemporary controversies, such as those on climate change or vaccination, Haider and Sundin argue that such controversies challenge existing notions of fact and ignorance, trust and doubt, and our understanding of information access and information control. The book thus argues for the need to unpack and understand the contradictions forming around these notions in relation to MIL, rather than attempting to arrive at a single, comprehensive definition.

Paradoxes of Media and Information Literacy combines careful analytical and conceptual discussions with an in-depth understanding of information practices and of the contemporary information infrastructure. It is essential reading for scholars and students engaged in library and information studies, media and communication, journalism studies and the educational sciences….(More)”.

A Vision and Roadmap for Education Statistics

Report by he National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: “The education landscape in the United States has been changing rapidly in recent decades: student populations have become more diverse; there has been an explosion of data sources; there is an intensified focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; educators and policy makers at all levels want more and better data for evidence-based decision making; and the role of technology in education has increased dramatically. With awareness of this changed landscape the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide a vision for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)—the nation’s premier statistical agency for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating statistics at all levels of education.

A Vision and Roadmap for Education Statistics (2022) reviews developments in using alternative data sources, considers recent trends and future priorities, and suggests changes to NCES’s programs and operations, with a focus on NCES’s statistical programs. The report reimagines NCES as a leader in the 21st century education data ecosystem, where it can meet the growing demands for policy-relevant statistical analyses and data to more effectively and efficiently achieve its mission, especially in light of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 and the 2021 Presidential Executive Order on advancing racial equity. The report provides strategic advice for NCES in all aspects of the agency’s work including modernization, stakeholder engagement, and the resources necessary to complete its mission and meet the current and future challenges in education…(More)”.

An intro to AI, made for students

Reena Jana at Google: “Adorable, operatic blobs. A global, online guessing game. Scribbles that transform into works of art. These may not sound like they’re part of a curriculum, but learning the basics of how artificial intelligence (AI) works doesn’t have to be complicated, super-technical or boring.

To celebrate Digital Learning Day, we’re releasing a new lesson from Applied Digital Skills, Google’s free, online, video-based curriculum (and part of the larger Grow with Google initiative). “Discover AI in Daily Life” was designed with middle and high school students in mind, and dives into how AI is built, and how it helps people every day.

AI for anyone — and everyone

“Twenty or 30 years ago, students might have learned basic typing skills in school,” says Dr. Patrick Gage Kelley, a Google Trust and Safety user experience researcher who co-created (and narrates) the “Discover AI in Daily Life” lesson. “Today, ‘AI literacy’ is a key skill. It’s important that students everywhere, from all backgrounds, are given the opportunity to learn about AI.”

“Discover AI in Daily Life” begins with the basics. You’ll find simple, non-technical explanations of how a machine can “learn” from patterns in data, and why it’s important to train AI responsibly and avoid unfair bias.

First-hand experiences with AI

“By encouraging students to engage directly with everyday tools and experiment with them, they get a first-hand experience of the potential uses and limitations of AI,” says Dr. Annica Voneche, the lesson’s learning designer. “Those experiences can then be tied to a more theoretical explanation of the technology behind it, in a way that makes the often abstract concepts behind AI tangible.”…(More)”.

Turning the Principle of Participation into Practice: Empowering Parents to Engage on Data and Tech

Guest Blog by Elizabeth Laird at Responsible Data for Children: “Two years into the pandemic, questions about parental rights in school have taken center stage in public debates, particularly in school board meetings and state houses across the United States. Not surprisingly, this extends to the use of data and technology in schools.

CDT recently released research that found that parental concerns around student privacy and security protection have risen since the spring, growing from 60% in February 2021 to 69% in July 2021. Far from being ambivalent, we also found that parents and students expressed eagerness to play a role in decisions about technology and data but indicate these desires are going unmet. Most parents and students want to be consulted but few have been asked for input: 93% of surveyed parents feel that schools should engage them regarding how student data is collected and used, but only 44% say their school has asked for their input on these issues.

While much of this debate has focused on the United States and similar countries, these issues have global resonance as all families have a stake in how their children are educated. Engaging students and families has always been an important component of primary and secondary education, from involving parents in their children’s individual experiences to systemic decision-making; however, there is significant room for improvement, especially as it relates to the use of education data and technology. Done well, community engagement (aligned with the Participatory principle in the Responsible Data for Children (RD4C) initiative) is a two-way, mutually beneficial partnership between public agencies and community members in which questions and concerns are identified, discussed, and decided jointly. It benefits public agencies by building trust, helping them achieve their mission, and minimizing risks, including community pushback. It helps communities by assisting agencies to better meet community needs and increasing transparency and accountability.

To assist education practitioners in improving their community engagement efforts, CDT recently released guidance that focuses on four important steps…(More)”.

When Do Informational Interventions Work? Experimental Evidence from New York City High School Choice

Paper by Sarah Cohodes, Sean Corcoran, Jennifer Jennings & Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj: “This paper reports the results of a large, school-level randomized controlled trial evaluating a set of three informational interventions for young people choosing high schools in 473 middle schools, serving over 115,000 8th graders. The interventions differed in their level of customization to the student and their mode of delivery (paper or online); all treated schools received identical materials to scaffold the decision-making process. Every intervention reduced likelihood of application to and enrollment in schools with graduation rates below the city median (75 percent). An important channel is their effect on reducing nonoptimal first choice application strategies. Providing a simplified, middle-school specific list of relatively high graduation rate schools had the largest impacts, causing students to enroll in high schools with 1.5-percentage point higher graduation rates. Providing the same information online, however, did not alter students’ choices or enrollment. This appears to be due to low utilization. Online interventions with individual customization, including a recommendation tool and search engine, induced students to enroll in high schools with 1-percentage point higher graduation rates, but with more variance in impact. Together, these results show that successful informational interventions must generate engagement with the material, and this is possible through multiple channels…(More)”.

Sharing Student Data Across Public Sectors: Importance of Community Engagement to Support Responsible and Equitable Use

Report by CDT: “Data and technology play a critical role in today’s education institutions, with 85 percent of K-12 teachers anticipating that online learning and use of education technology at their school will play a larger role in the future than it did before the pandemic.  The growth in data-driven decision-making has helped fuel the increasing prevalence of data sharing practices between K-12 education agencies and adjacent public sectors like social services. Yet the sharing of personal data can pose risks as well as benefits, and many communities have historically experienced harm as a result of irresponsible data sharing practices. For example, if the underlying data itself is biased, sharing that information exacerbates those inequities and increases the likelihood that potential harms fall disproportionately on certain communities. As a result, it is critical that agencies participating in data sharing initiatives take steps to ensure the benefits are available to all and no groups of students experience disproportionate harm.

A core component of sharing data responsibly is proactive, robust community engagement with the group of people whose data is being shared, as well as their surrounding community. This population has the greatest stake in the success or failure of a given data sharing initiative; as such, public agencies have a practical incentive, and a moral obligation, to engage them regarding decisions being made about their data…

This paper presents guidance on how practitioners can conduct effective community engagement around the sharing of student data between K-12 education agencies and adjacent public sectors. We explore the importance of community engagement around data sharing initiatives, and highlight four dimensions of effective community engagement:

  • Plan: Establish Goals, Processes, and Roles
  • Enable: Build Collective Capacity
  • Resource: Dedicate Appropriate People, Time, and Money
  • Implement: Carry Out Vision Effectively and Monitor Implementation…(More)”.

Conceptualizing AI literacy: An exploratory review

Paper by Davy Tsz KitNg, Jac Ka LokLeung, Samuel K.W.Chu, and Maggie QiaoShen: “Artificial Intelligence (AI) has spread across industries (e.g., business, science, art, education) to enhance user experience, improve work efficiency, and create many future job opportunities. However, public understanding of AI technologies and how to define AI literacy is under-explored. This vision poses upcoming challenges for our next generation to learn about AI. On this note, an exploratory review was conducted to conceptualize the newly emerging concept “AI literacy”, in search for a sound theoretical foundation to define, teach and evaluate AI literacy. Grounded in literature on 30 existing peer-reviewed articles, this review proposed four aspects (i.e., know and understand, use, evaluate, and ethical issues) for fostering AI literacy based on the adaptation of classic literacies. This study sheds light on the consolidated definition, teaching, and ethical concerns on AI literacy, establishing the groundwork for future research such as competency development and assessment criteria on AI literacy….(More)”.

How behavioral science could get people back into public libraries

Article by Talib Visram: “In October, New York City’s three public library systems announced they would permanently drop fines on late book returns. Comprised of Brooklyn, Queens, and New York public libraries, the City’s system is the largest in the country to remove fines. It’s a reversal of a long-held policy intended to ensure shelves stayed stacked, but an outdated one that many major cities, including Chicago, San Francisco, and Dallas, had already scrapped without any discernible downsides. Though a source of revenue—in 2013, for instance, Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) racked up $1.9 million in late fees—the fee system also created a barrier to library access that disproportionately touched the low-income communities that most need the resources.

That’s just one thing Brooklyn’s library system has done to try to make its services more equitable. In 2017, well before the move to eliminate fines, BPL on its own embarked on a partnership with Nudge, a behavioral science lab at the University of West Virginia, to find ways to reduce barriers to access and increase engagement with the book collections. In the first-of-its-kind collaboration, the two tested behavioral science interventions via three separate pilots, all of which led to the library’s long-term implementation of successful techniques. Those involved in the project say the steps can be translated to other library systems, though it takes serious investment of time and resources….(More)”.

Developing indicators to support the implementation of education policies

OECD Report: “Across OECD countries, the increasing demand for evidence-based policy making has further led governments to design policies jointly with clear measurable objectives, and to define relevant indicators to monitor their achievement. This paper discusses the importance of such indicators in supporting the implementation of education policies.

Building on the OECD education policy implementation framework, the paper reviews the role of indicators along each of the dimensions of the framework, namely smart policy design, inclusive stakeholder engagement, and conducive environment. It draws some lessons to improve the contribution of indicators to the implementation of education policies, while taking into account some of their perennial challenges pertaining to the unintended effects of accountability. This paper aims to provide insights to policy makers and various education stakeholders, to initiate a discussion on the use and misuse of indicators in education, and to guide future actions towards a better contribution of indicators to education policy implementation…..(More)”.