Humans, machines and learning | (Steve Wheeler)

Image by Mike MacKenzie on FlickrOne of the many topics I discuss in my forthcoming book is Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its potential impact on the future of learning and development. I, along with many others, believe this is an important subject to explore, because it is a rapidly growing area of technology that will significantly influence our future.

In particular, there are several philosophical debates about the nature of intelligence and how human intelligence differs from machine intelligence. One of the texts I draw from is Tegmark’s Life 3.0. Here’s an excerpt from the new…

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A little help from my friends | (Steve Wheeler)

Image from MaxpixelMy grandest project of 2018 has been writing a new book, which was commissioned by Kogan Page in January. Anyone who has authored a book will know how compelling, and also how lonely it can be. Throughout the year, the book has continuously exercised my mind, and I have spent countless hours of planning, thinking, researching, writing and editing.

I decided to call the book ‘Digital Learning in Organisations’ from the outset because my expertise lies in learning technologies. The departure is found in the locus – organisations. I have worked with many learning and…

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Fantasy and reality | (Steve Wheeler)

Image from PixabayHere are some of my recent (and random) thoughts about the future, science fiction and technology reality. It’s not meant to be an essay, but is more a free flow of ideas around these themes. 

My lifelong interest in technology has almost certainly been inspired by reading science fiction novels. When I was still at school, I read voraciously – Isaac Asimov, Poul Anderson, Robert Heinlein, A. E. van Vogt, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick – books from all of these writers and many others were stacked on my bedroom shelves. Some had been thumbed through many times (I have…

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Weapon of choice | (Steve Wheeler)

Me with an incredible weaponWhat is your weapon of choice? As an educator, what tool or technology would you never be without in the classroom or learning space?

For me, it is quite simple. My one weapon of choice is a dry wipe board and some pens. If there was nothing else, I could still conduct all my lessons using a board and pen. At a push, a chalkboard would do just as well.

There are so many things you can do with a whiteboard and pens. One of my methods is to provoke a discussion with students and then summarise their comments and arguments on the board. I often catch them taking…

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Know your own strength | (Steve Wheeler)

Photo source: MaxpixelI broke a rowing machine yesterday at the gym.

I don’t know my own strength. Ironically, that’s the very reason I attend the gym regularly. I want to know my own strength. I want to know what my limits are, and then try to exceed them. Apart from breaking the rowing machine, my fitness regime is going swimmingly (without the swimming, obvs). I have learnt a lot. I know about cross trainers, treadmills and weights. I thought a Dip Assist was someone telling me where to stick my Doritos*, until I discovered the weights area. And it was while I was working out at the gym…

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Head, hand and heart | (Steve Wheeler)

Photo from PxhereI can’t speak for anyone else, but my own personal learning is most enriched when I’m in conversations with others. Whether it is sat during a break in a conference schedule; over a few drinks in the evening with a couple of colleagues; in breakout sessions; or simply sat discussing ideas across a social media channel; all of these can be rich veins of new thinking for me. I suspect it’s the same for many others.

I recently read a thought provoking article in the RSA journal about how one English school is harnessing the power of dialogue to enhance learning. In Anatomy of…

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All in the game | (Steve Wheeler)

I have written many times about game based learning and its place in education. Here’s a revisit to a post I published several years ago. It examines the long game and strategy elements of learning through game playing. I am, as ever, interested in your views.

Games playing is not always viewed as a serious pedagogical method. Some teachers dismiss it as time wasting, or as a frivolous activity that is best employed at the end of term, when the serious business of teaching has started to wind down. For those teachers, games fulfil a similar function to ‘sticking on a video’. It’s a…

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