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August 2007

This entry complements the earlier blog about the British perspectives on innovation in education. Recently NESTA (The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) produced an interesting report analysing the innovation systems in six ‘low innovation’ sectors.
  • Policy & Research Unit. (2007). Hidden innovation: How Innovation happens in six 'low innovation' sectors. UK, London: NESTA. URL

Education, together with oil production, construction, retail banking, civil legal services and rehabilitation of offenders, is among those six.

The British report examines whether these sectors really perform so poor in innovation or whether traditional indicators (e.g., investment in R&D) do not capture all of the innovation that takes place in these sectors. While there is some evidence that some innovation processes in education are ‘hidden’ and traditional performance metrics probably fail to capture a broad variety of local development-led innovations in schools, the flaws in the innovation system are also obvious.

The main ideas from this report about the 'hidden innovation' and innovation system in education are summarised in this blog.

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It seems, that the idea to use iPod generation technologies for scientific dissemination attracts increasingly more public attention. The news about SciVee website, discussed in one of the blogs before, have been reappearing in various sources: InformationWeek, The Wired Campus.

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“Education is integral to the story we now tell of global competitiveness through innovation. But innovation still has an uncertain place within education” (Bentley & Gillinson, 2007, p. 4).

Over the European summer British researchers produced several interesting reports on innovation in education. One of them:

  • Bentley, T., & Gillinson, S. (2007). A D&R system for education. UK: Innovation unit. URL.

Drawing on the innovation practices from education and other domains, the report outlines the core features of successful innovation systems and essential elements of an innovation system for education. “Greater support for the involvement of teachers and school leaders” and “importance of users and collaborative development in generating and spreading innovation” are the main recurring ideas in this publication. In essence the authors stress the need for a shift from Research and Development (R&D) to Development and Research (D&R). Risk management and the need for new ICT-based platforms for educational innovation are other two emerging themes.

More ideas and citations from this report are in the blog.

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Data mining or Knowledge Discovery in Databases (KDD) is the process of discovering hidden patterns and knowledge within large amounts of data and making predictions of individual outcomes and behaviours. Data mining techniques are well acknowledged in banking, retail and many other commercial service sectors for their power helping to understand consumer individuality and improve individualised services. How data mining is applied for understanding learners’ needs and personalising learning?

The ideas summarised in this blog mainly come from two papers about educational data mining:

  • Zhao, C.-M., Luan, J. L. (2006). Data mining: Going beyond traditional statistics. New Directions for Institutional Research, 131, 7-16. URL
  • Romero, A. C., & Ventura, S. (2007). Educational data mining: A survey from 1995 to 2005. Journal of Expert Systems with Applications, 33, 135-146. URL

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