Bias in AI Algorithms and Platforms Can Affect eLearning

| May 31, 2018

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Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other algorithm-driven technologies have the potential to revolutionize eLearning through their ability to parse data, identify patterns, categorize information, and predict outcomes. Algorithms enhance the efficiency and personalization of many types of online training, performance support, and problem-solving tools. However, any machine learning or data-crunching algorithm is only as reliable as its coding and the data used to “train” it, and built-in bias in algorithms is becoming a significant concern in technologies used for tasks as disparate as making parole decisions, determining the terms of consumer loans, deciding which job applicants to interview, guiding students on college and career paths—or predicting which entry-level employees might succeed as managerial candidates.

Spotlight

Tidewater Community College

Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, Tidewater Community College (TCC) serves South Hampton Roads with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach; a regional Visual Arts Centre in Olde Towne Portsmouth; the Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the downtown Norfolk theater district; a regional Advanced Technology Center and Regional Health Professions Center on its Virginia Beach Campus; the Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake; the Regional Workforce Development Center in Suffolk; and the Center for Military and Veterans Education on the Virginia Beach Campus.

OTHER ARTICLES

Classroom Culture in an Age of Distance Learning

Article | April 9, 2020

In these times of uncertainty, students look to the adults in their life to provide a sense of comfort and stability even if they seem to be worry-free. While teachers and administrators quickly adapt curriculum and instruction to maintain a high quality of learning as schools around the world close, it’s important for us to remember that beyond academic growth, the classroom is a vital space for students to socialize and feel like they belong. Here are a few principles to keep in mind as we implement distance learning to make sure students still feel the strong sense of community we have worked so hard to build in our physical classrooms. Read on to learn how to put these principles into practice:

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CONTINUING EDUCATION

5 Ways to Help Women Achieve Educational Success

Article | April 9, 2020

While the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our economy, women continue to be disproportionately impacted. Now is the time to look at the long game. What changes can society make in order to insure that when the next big crisis happens, women don’t bear the brunt of it. Education, of course, has always been on the front line of changing societal disparities. However, much of the time we don’t look at the root causes of why young women underperform in certain areas. Below are five ways we can position women for educational success, from girlhood to the moment they walk into their first job. If you are a teacher, give this list to the parents you work with. Help them set the tone now so our girls grow up ready to take on the world. DON’T TELL ME I’M PRETTY Little girls, from the time they are young, are praised for how beautiful they are.  We talk to girls about how they look and boys about what they do. This escalates when little girls hit puberty. This is when girls start deriving their social capital from their looks and their grades start to tank. Fight this trend by praising young women for what they do. Don’t say, “You’re so beautiful!” Instead say, “I love how curious you are about the solar system! You’re such an interesting person to talk to!”   DON’T TELL ME I’M SMART This sounds a little bit strange, but often little boys are praised for their hard work and girls are praised for their inherent intelligence. The problem with this is that when a little girl doesn’t do well she thinks it has to do with how smart she is rather than her work ethic. Her failures become a referendum on her intelligence.  Say, “Wow, you really worked hard” rather than, “Wow, you’re so smart!” You can always work harder, but you can’t change the brains you were born with!    DON’T BE TOO NICE TO ME When young women struggle in the sciences or STEM, often parents try to protect their feelings.  This can take the form of telling young women who are struggling that perhaps their major is just too hard --maybe they should do something that makes their life a little easier. Boys get the message not to give up - girls get the message to take the path of least resistance. Don’t coddle your girls. Hold them to the same tough standard you have with your boys.   DON’T SEE ME ONLY AS A GIRL OR A WOMAN Understand that if you are trying to support women you cannot do that in a White Woman vacuum. If a young woman you know is struggling, look at the other issues that might be intersecting. Does she have a disability? Is she a woman of color? Is she the first generation to go to college in her family? Audre Lorde famously said “there is no such thing as a single issue struggle because we do not live single issue lives.“ Make sure you are not treating every woman as if she is the same simply because of her gender. There could be all kinds of intersections that are also impacting her situation.   DO VALUE MY VOICE If you are an educator, pay attention to who you are listening to. Note how you value different voices. The patterns that impact girls and young women follow them throughout their education and into adulthood. Pay attention to who you’re calling on in class. Whose voice gets more weight? Watch for classroom dynamics that make certain people feel they have the right to speak and others feel they must remain silent. Be sure to encourage every student from kindergarten to PhD candidates to speak up and then make sure you’re listening. It’s wonderful how much weight we give to the voices of men and boys. Women should be afforded the same courtesy. Women’s success doesn’t just come from hiring women or making sure we are paid the same for doing the same work. It comes from making sure every woman, from the time she is a little girl, is given the message that she has worth, and that if she works hard enough, she can achieve her dreams. Let’s not tell our girls that they are pretty flowers who might crumble when life knocks them down. Let’s give them the message that life can be hard, but they can work harder, and if they do, success will be theirs. Eliza VanCort is an in-demand consultant, speaker, and writer on communications, career and workplace issues, and women’s empowerment. The founder of The Actor’s Workshop of Ithaca, she is also a Cook House Fellow at Cornell University, an advisory board member of the Performing Arts for Social Change, a Diversity Crew partner, and a member of Govern For America’s League of Innovators. Her first book, A Woman’s Guide to Claiming Space: Stand Tall. Raise Your Voice. Be Heard., publishes May 11, 2021.

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2Do Top Tips

Article | April 9, 2020

In this blog post, Alban Squires, Educational Consultant at 2Simple shares his top tips for utilising 2Dos. The powerful 2Dos feature within Purple Mash allows teachers to assign tasks and content with just a few clicks of a mouse to any classes, groups or individual pupils…Teachers set the 2do which appears in the 2Do section on each pupil’s Purple Mash homepage. It’s not only purple Mash applications that can be set as a 2Do. You might want children to view a video or a piece of writing you have created that was made with an external file.

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Will AI Replace Our Kids' Teachers Or Way Of Learning?

Article | April 9, 2020

With much of the country, if not the world working virtually from home now due to the coronavirus pandemic, we're learning a great deal about what technology is capable of. Employers who previously believed that employees needed to travel to potential clients to close deals are now seeing that these employees can accomplish the same task without the travel expenses. The pandemic is also teaching us is that virtual learning for students is more doable than we may have ever believed it to be.

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Spotlight

Tidewater Community College

Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, Tidewater Community College (TCC) serves South Hampton Roads with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach; a regional Visual Arts Centre in Olde Towne Portsmouth; the Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the downtown Norfolk theater district; a regional Advanced Technology Center and Regional Health Professions Center on its Virginia Beach Campus; the Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake; the Regional Workforce Development Center in Suffolk; and the Center for Military and Veterans Education on the Virginia Beach Campus.

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