Introductory Post

I am intrigued by the role of data in optimising processes and creating a paradigm shift thanks to cloud technology. Uber and Airbnb run on very different paradigms than models of businesses in the past and by identifying supply-demand needs they are able to meet both even though Uber doesn’t own a single taxi neither does Airbnb own a single hotel. I am currently using a similar approach to develop school digital strategies and organise just-in-time CPD for staff. In terms of teaching and learning, I have been inspired by Bell’s 2-sigma problem which suggests 1-1 teaching using a mastery-based approach creates an impact of more than 2-standard deviations as compared to mass-instruction; the question has always remained about who and if this can be replicated on a larger scale – I believe with the recent advances in big data, AI we are approaching a solution.

Since lockdown, I initially started to gain weight due to the long hours I was sitting at my desk. To avoid the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle, I bought a stand-up desk, then experimented with a treadmill I could use during meetings. I began keeping a daily log of my steps, weight, calorie expenditure and intake. Over the course of 6 months, I was able to lose 23kg by using principles of cumulative impact (Atomic Habits) by making small changes. I experienced first-hand how effective data can be in creating change.

Although I have been developing Power BI dashboards and have a background in mathematics, I am interested in deepening my understanding of data in education both in theory and practice. Given the opportunity, I am also interested in exploring metaphysics around quantification as expounded by French Mathematician and philosopher Rene Geuonon.

6 Replies to “Introductory Post”

  1. Nice to meet you, Saqib! That’s a very healthy working place. One question, do you need to move the treadmill every time you want to sit down? Thanks for recommending the book, I am going to check it tonight.

    I work in education in the IT sector, which is dreaming of disrupting the more traditional learning and teaching methods with the help of technology. Last week, for instance, I received an email from my boss who shared an article about the Bla-Bla app that raised 1,5 M to teach English with short videos (sorry, don’t see how to insert the link here) with me, implying that it is innovative and cool in comparison with what we are doing. On the one hand, right, it’s a great commercial idea that ticks all the trendy boxes (Uber business model, micro-learning, Tik-Tok, up-to-date content, native speakers), but how effective is it in terms of language learning? So I’m involved in this never-ending dialogue between those who want to sell education and those who want to improve learning and teaching.

    The question inspired by Selwyn and Gasevich, when developing a new dashboard, do you discuss the limitations of this data collection and visualization with the customer?

    1. Hi Ailtikhova

      I kept the treadmill there and bought a small stool for when I wanted to sit. Later, I changed the setting to move the treadmill to another part of the room and make up 10k steps in the evening if needed; if there is a long CPD session or a meeting where I will generally be muted, then I may bring it back to the monitors.

      I think what you’ve touched on some really important questions here re language learning. I tend to go back and learn classical Arabic in my spare time and realise how patient and persistent one has to be to learn a language beyond rote memorisation of key sentences. May the answer isn’t it to be mutually excluvei re apps but for them to work in synergy especially depending on the customer and rise of apps like Tiktok

  2. Thank you for sharing how data is making a significant in your personal life! Similarly I am also thinking about online teaching related CPD for university teachers, I shall look at the article you shared.

    – Enoch Chan

  3. Wow! You’ve taken multi-tasking to the next level. Thank you for sharing your weight loss journey and showing how effective data can create positive change. I’m only 4.5kg into my journey so I know the effort required!

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