Workshop: What Does Machine Learning Have to Do with Human Learning?
The world of ed-tech algorithms may seem like a black box, and in a way, it is. But ed-tech developers use the same statistical and machine-learning tools as other researchers. And if we know those tools, what they’re good at, and to what ends they are typically used, we can “reverse-engineer” those black boxes. We can figure out the algorithms most likely in use in a particular ed-tech tool, as well as their implicit goals. With that understanding in hand, we can critique those tools and make informed decisions and policies.
In this workshop, we’ll explore the kinds of algorithms and machine-learning tools available for ed-tech developers, focusing not on the code, but on the underlying logic, the implicit pedagogical goals, and the covert ideological values they embody. Participants will come away with a greater awareness of the “artificial intelligence” underlying ed-tech tools, and insights to help them make ethical pedagogical choices and offer nuanced suggestions to administrators and policy makers.