Category Archives: Education

siri mic

Speech Recognition v Voice Recognition

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A new feature for the iPhone and iPad is a great demonstration of the difference between speech recognition and voice recognition. Many people use the terms interchangeably and don’t seem to realize the important difference. So I will use this as an excuse to edify.

Although unconfirmed by Apple, the discovery in iOS 9.1 suggests that Siri will be able to begin detecting specific user voices and determine whether or not the owner of the iPhone in question is speaking to her.

escape room game

Escape Room Creativity Builder

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I have been voraciously reading the literature on creativity over the past year. Not the crap that comes out of the self-help literature or even in the entrepreneurship mass media. These are pretty trivial and often shortchange the science. There have been many serious research studies that have broad implications for individual and business creative output. But I am not planning on sharing that research today. That will have to wait for another day. Today I want to share a really interesting creative exercise that seems to follow (intentional or not I cannot say) some of the guidelines suggested by the research.

This exercise is the Escape Room (warning – gated). You may have seen it on an episode of the Big Bang Theory last year.

Young boy reading

AMP on Testing

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I am not sure if any of you are fans of the work of Annie Murphy Paul – I have been following her blog and some other publications for several years now. Her area of expertise is training and learning, both for children in K-12 and for adults in higher education, workplace training, and general consumer education such as wellness and nutrition.

Today, I want to focus on a new course she is offering on how testing should be integrated into education so that it facilitates learning. You can tell from her past work as well as the contents of this course that she is not talking about the typical standardized testing that is torturing (my term, not hers) our K-12 education today. There is a remarkable overlap with her recommendations and the latest in human factors research on education and training.

swat team

Framing Can Make All the Difference

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Framing is a powerful tool – one we all should know more about. It can be used for black hat and for white hat purposes. They can be done to us or by us. In all four combinations, look before you leap. I have a feeling that most readers of EID already know something about framing, so let me get to the point for today. I just got my alumni magazine from Tufts University and it had a great message from the Editor. He describes a powerful use of framing that has been in the news a lot lately.

Militarization of policing is not just about gear. It’s a whole way of thinking and speaking—one that assumes police power is based on military might rather than the consent of the policed. Martial language can divide police from their communities just as scary-looking weapons can.

Lego Blocks

Creativity

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Greg Satell has some good ideas for how to use edugames to enhance creativity in kids at school. He cites several examples of how games prime divergent thinking and creative thinking modes. This agrees with a lot of the research we have talked about here before on priming and a growth mindset.

What seemed like child’s play to most academics was actually the best way to imagine possibilities and see how their ideas reflected diverse—and often confusing—empirical clues. Today, a growing contingent of academics believes that games can have the same effect on how children learn and a company called Kidaptive is determined to prove them right. – See more at: http://www.creativitypost.com/education/why_games_might_be_the_next_big_thing_in_education#sthash.sXhMAlHK.dpuf

a gavel on some legal documents

The Role of Ethics in Human Factors Practice

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Editor’s Note – we are happy to introduce this guest article from Moin Rahman, Founder of HVHF Sciences. His bio and link to his company’s web site are located at the end of his article.

Is there a Hippocratic Oath – or something similar – for Human Factors Practitioners? At least I have not heard of one that is specific to human factors, although there is a similar oath for engineers. And there have been discussions about having an oath for scientists and engineers in general. Nevertheless, human factors professionals are driven by our morals and professional ethics to design devices and solutions that in the words of Asimov’s First Law of Robotics “[A robot] may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.” Good so far. But the ethics of a human-machine system or complex sociotechnical system (STS), particularly at the intersection of humans and safety critical technology may or may not receive the necessary attention it deserves.

a man viewing an ebook

EID Hall of Fame – A New Take on eBook Reading

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There have been several articles posted on the EID site over the past year that have aroused significant discussion. Here is one of the articles that received the most discussion, reposted for your reading pleasure. Were you one of our loyal readers who shared, reposted, and debated it? Did that experience provide tangible professional value for you, or just hours of fun? We would love to hear about your experiences in the comments.

We have had many conversations over the past years about how the move to digital books is impacting our reading. Some claims are backed up by rigorous research and some are just pure speculation or even fear mongering. Of course, whenever there are strong claims on both sides of an argument, the truth is usually a nuanced middle path and eBooks are no different. The reality is that the effectiveness of eBooks is context specific and results will depend on what the objectives of the book are (for example entertainment versus education) and how they are implemented (UI and UX).

Fireworks

One Year Anniversary

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In honor of the one year anniversary of EID’s relaunch (check out our first post ever here) under our new format, we thought we would copy an innovative technique used by Ta-Nehisi Coates. In addition to being a brilliant, award winning writer, he is also credited for having one of the best comment management strategies for his blog at The Atlantic magazine. One dimension of his strategy, which seems obvious on the surface but is incredibly rare, is to start with the assumption that some…

Students debating

Balancing perspectives in civics education

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I just listened to this podcast from the New Books in Public Policy podcast, which was an interview of Diana Hess about her new book The Political Classroom: Evidence and Ethics in Democratic Education. There is a lot to the interview and I recommend a listen (as well as subscribing to the podcast on iTunes if you have an interest in Public Policy issues). But I just want to highlight one point today.

She describes a high school in a very progressive district where a large majority of the student population (and their families) have strongly liberal political views. The teacher was perhaps even more liberal than the students. He was teaching about abortion rights and he realized that all of his students were pro-choice and he was intensely so. To be a good teacher, he made it a point to find an outside speaker who could come in and give the pro-life side of the debate.

Young boy reading

How children learn to read

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I have some mixed feelings about this research, so I thought it would be a great idea to share it with you and get your sage insights on it. Start with this summary in the New Yorker by Maria Konnikova. I read her work all the time – she is a truly excellent psychology writer. And if you want the original study from Psychological Science by Fumiko Hoeft at UCSF, you can get it here if you have access to the journal.

Why is it easy for some people to learn to read, and difficult for others? It’s a tough question with a long history. We know that it’s not just about raw intelligence, nor is it wholly about repetition and dogged persistence. This is the mystery that has animated the work of Fumiko Hoeft, a cognitive neuroscientist and psychiatrist currently at the University of California, San Francisco.