ML135: Daisy Christodoulou on Why Facts Matter, Personalised Learning that Works and the Case for an EdTech Revolution

Discover how tech can help improve education through adaptive learning and spaced repetition, why teaching facts is still important for foundational knowledge and the bad ideas behind many edtech disasters.

ML135: Daisy Christodoulou on Why Facts Matter, Personalised Learning that Works and the Case for an EdTech Revolution

Daisy Christodoulou is the author of the new book 'Teachers vs Tech? The case for an EdTech Revolution’ and the Director of Education at assessment startup No More Marking which provides comparative judgment for essay marking.

Up until now, predictions that digital technology will transform education haven’t materialised. The EdTech space is blowing up and millions are being spent on the latest hardware and software but we’re not seeing meaningful results.

Still, deciding to be ‘pro-’ or ‘anti-’ technology isn't helpful. The truth is rarely black and white - so it’s about thinking how teachers and tech can complement each other to solve problems rather than thinking either is universally good or bad.

This conversation was so good and went into so much depth that I’ve broken it into two parts. In this first part we discuss:

- The areas that technology can help improve education including adaptive learning systems and spaced repetition algorithms
- Why teaching facts is still important because of the need for foundational knowledge
- The bad ideas behind several ed tech disasters including a collaboration between Apple and Pearson in the LA Unified Schools district

This episode is focused on the intersection of technology and education but will give you a real insight into the process of how you learn and dispel a number of persistent myths that are harming the way we think about education.

Show Notes

  • Introducing Daisy [00:39]
  • What has the experience of launching a book been like for Daisy? [03:14]
  • What was school like for Daisy? [04:05]
  • Who taught Daisy the importance of education beyond a syllabus? [05:08]
  • Why did Daisy decide to become a teacher? [07:09]
  • How has Daisy’s teaching philosophy evolved since she started? [08:22]
  • Why is teaching facts an important yet argued facet in education? [10:45]
  • What is the relationship between facts and skills? How are skills anchored on facts and long-term memory? [15:23]
  • Why is outsourcing memory a counterproductive narrative to what tech is for? [16:00]
  • How can technology be used to improve and understand memory better? [16:50]
  • How can space repetition help people retain and learn knowledge in a short amount of time? [18:35]
  • What are three interpretations of personalised learning and what concerns do each interpretation raise to how he learn? [25:00]
  • What is a common misconception around domain-general skills? [29:19]
  • How is student choice an ineffective method of personalised learning? [30:11]
  • Should there be a dichotomy between teachers and tech? [37:00]
  • How should people be thinking about the relationship between teachers and technology? [38:38]
  • Why educational technology needs to be more age-inclusive [40:59]
  • Closing remarks [42:12]



🖥 No More Marking

🐦 @daisychristo

📖 Teachers vs Tech? The Case for an EdTech Revolution - Daisy Christodoulou

📖 Seven Myths About Education - Daisy Christodoulou

📖 Making Good Progress? The Future of Assessment for Learning - Daisy Christodoulou