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As a Ph.D. in higher education with both a computer science and learning science background, I can confirm many of your claims. Most education researchers and practicing educators have a weak grasp of computing and it's powers. And indeed, many faculty outside of computing are terrified of computing. There's no context for them to learn about it. I respond to these troubling trends by collaborating with people in other disciplines, sharing my expertise. Right now, I'm working with faculty in our College of Education, in Psychology, and many interdisciplinary researchers with backgrounds in Feminism, Anthropology, and other fields. Interdisciplinary research will save academia; the National Science Foundation has shifted to a strong expectation of interdisciplinary teams. I'm hopeful.

Other claims you made are wrong. That people report positive learning experiences with Duolingo is not evidence that they can read, write, or speak a language. In fact, there are several studies of Duolingo that show the exact opposite: there's massive variation in learning outcomes, and it really only supports the most motivated and resourceful of learners. But that's what research is for: to test assumptions with data.

Andy Ko Associate Professor University of Washington http://faculty.washington.edu/ajko




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