AECT Keynote by Daniel Willingham

Daniel Willingham notes, articles and links mentioned.

Does tech influence the brain. yes, but what it means is unclear. The right question is how, and what are the enduring consequences.

Modern technology is changing the way brains work.

Technology Changing How Students Learn, Teachers Say

Why doesn’t ed tech research have more impact?

Argument from authority: “you don’t understand the details, but you recognize me as an authority”.

Why do we accept some authorities and not others?

  1. a reputable body does the vetting. (ex. medical boards)
  2. there is settled truth. (ex. measles diagnosis). Educators perceive that researchers squabble a lot and are not settled on what is true about learning.
  3. the role of the consumer. Teachers are concerned about autonomy. Educators are rightfully leery of surrendering autonomy.

Summary: we expect authority to work but we do not have in place the conditions necessary to speak with authority.

Suggested Solutions:

Institutions (Ex. American Medical Association. Society of Clinical Psychology)

How to Become the Voice of Authority?

1. Clarity. Be clear about:
methods we value
goals we believe are important in education
problems we can address
problems we can’t address

2. Voice — committees, working groups. You get what you pay for. AECT should have a group working on increasing its public voice.

twitter: dtwillingham

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