TC's Fiona Hollands to Chronicle | Teachers College Columbia University

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TC's Fiona Hollands to Chronicle: Ed-Tech Decisions Need to be Based More on Research


An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education says schools and colleges spend billions of tuition and tax dollars on "glitzy teaching tools and other educational-technology products" but "rarely demand rigorous evidence that those products are effective or take it upon themselves to conduct such research."

"An ed-tech incubator affiliated with the University of Virginia, newly renamed as Jefferson Education at the University of Virginia, has begun a project aimed at cutting through the excuses and breaking open that logjam," the Chronicle reports. "Jefferson Education has enlisted more than 100 people—professors, entrepreneurs, school and college administrators, policy makers, and foundation leaders—to spend the next year taking a deep dive into the political, financial, and structural barriers that keep companies and their customers from conducting and using efficacy research when creating or buying ed-tech products."

TC's Fiona Hollands, who will direct the group studying the role of research in higher-education decision making, hopes to change the "rarely rational" decision making process among people who make, purchase and use educational technology in elementary and secondary schools and higher education, the Chronicle reports.

Hollands, associate director of the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education at TC, cites the way so many colleges rushed toward MOOCs, "because everyone else was doing it," as a recent, glaring example of that pattern. "The lack of attention to pre-existing research on online learning was just shocking," she told the Chronicle.

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Read the story online.

Published Monday, Jul 25, 2016

Fiona Hollands
Fiona Hollands, Adjunct Associate Professor of Education