Stuck in Bloom’s Basement – Episode 81 – Ed Tech Weekly

Stuck in Bloom’s Basement – Episode 81 – Ed Tech Weekly

Stuck in Bloom’s Basement – Episode 81 – Ed Tech Weekly

Stuck in Bloom’s Basement

In this episode, Ricky and Kristy discuss the Ed Tech news of the week and whether ed tech is stuck in Bloom’s basement and simply helping students recall information and that’s about it.

Ed Tech News RunDown


Microsoft Working on Personalized learning Features

Ed Tech Magazine reports that Microsoft unveiled new tech to create a personalized, immersive education. They announced numerous ways that microsoft products are helping to accomplish this. PowerPoint is now able to record lessons with interactive ink and narration. These recordings can then easily be accessed by any students with their Microsoft accounts. They also announced an immersive reader tool which reads to students and an improved language translator as well. And their very popular Minecraft now includes things that allow “Concepts like state of matter, structure of atoms and chemical reactions become accessible in Minecraft through the immersive world and these brand-new tools,” according to  Minecraft Education Director Neal Manegold. Microsoft is certainly stepping up its game as we saw in our story in episode 80… seems they intend to keep the train moving forward.

Holistic Ed Tech Approach

This post, from found on the Google Blog, comes from guest author Veronica Lara, Senior Editor of The Economist Intelligence Unit (EII).  This study, sponsored by Google for Education and done by the EII, “examines the strategies that are most effective for developing 21st century skills, or a mix of soft skills (e.g., problem solving and collaboration) and foundational literacies (e.g., mathematics and reading).”  By surveying 1,200 teachers and administrators, found that a holistic approach is key, and has five top findings.  

      1. Teachers should use a range of strategies to effectively deliver what students need to learn including active learning, project based learning,                     cognitive activation and personalized learning.

  1. Technology can best support teaching strategies by promoting interaction, engagement and communication.  77% of respondents shared that technology can make lessons more engaging, as well as free up time for lesson planning and increase communication.
  2. Teacher autonomy matters.  The study found there is a strong correlation between teacher autonomy and school readiness to teach both foundational literacies and soft skills.
  3. Budget constraints are the most common barrier to innovation, with half responding with budget limitations as the most significant barrier to adopting new teaching strategies (51%) and technologies (53%).
  4. Educators are divided over how fast to innovate, wanting to use tested tools before jumping in to a particular tool or piece of tech.

PackBack May have solved the Discussion Board Problem

From we learn that ed tech investors including Mark Cuban are backing an online discussion platform that is very popular with college faculty. Paperback is the name of the company and they have raised 4.2 million in a Series A funding round that included Mr. Mark Cuban. “Its popularity among educators stems, in part, from its reliance on best practices from cognitive science and inquiry-based learning, including well-known cognitive framework Bloom’s Taxonomy.” “Packback creates AI-powered learning communities for professors that improve critical thinking and support curiosity in students. Packback supports engaging academic discourse, as the AI automates time-intensive activities required to maintain, moderate, and facilitate a valuable discussion”. As someone who works with faculty and discussion boards it is always difficult for them to manage discussions, especially with more than 15-20 students. If they really have solved the management issues with AI, this is definitely something I’d like to have for my faculty.

Ed Tech May Be Stuck in Bloom’s Basement

In this opinion piece by Jared Silver from Ed Surge, Silver describes a visit to his old high school library where he was disappointed to observe that flashcards and textbooks have been replaced by students staring at computer screens. It wasn’t the use of technology that was his concern, but by the learning task- that the actual task hasn’t really changed in twenty years since he was in high school, it was just being facilitated now by tech and asserts that “EdTech is trapped in Ben Bloom’s basement.”  He is referring to “Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain is represented by a graphic of a pyramid, with “remembering” on the bottom and “creating” at the top, to represent the relative complexity of the learning objectives.” If you’re in education, you are probably familiar with this pyramid with the levels being remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create. Silver’s observation in that library was tech was being used at the lowest level, remember.  How to escape Ben Bloom’s basement?  The author gives two ways: better tech or less tech. For better tech, he gives the example of learning a language with “Duolingo or use natural language processing and machine learning techniques to provide scaffolded feedback on answers that learners construct themselves.”  For less tech, he shares that Quizlet Live, PearDeck and Nearpod use tech to put the focus on conversation and reflection among students.


Check out Episode 62, Which gives some great Assessment options to help get your students and class out of Bloom’s basement.

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