If you’ve visited our site in the past few days, you may have noticed a new feature. With the help of The Ohio State University’s Research Laboratory for Digital Learning, we’ve launched a recommendation engine that will help you find the resources that are more suited for your classroom with even less time and effort invested than before.
Though the technology used in the recommendation engine isn’t unique, the application is. The Ohio State University recognizes the importance of understanding data analytics in any industry, and is pushing for a breakthrough in this specific area of data analytics applied to education. Though there is some contentious debate about privacy related to data, data analytics is a growing trend, and Ohio State is pushing to be a leader in this area rather than following the work of others.
Though recommendation engines are relatively commonplace in the e-commerce realm – for example, Amazon’s recommendation engine that shows you similar products you may like - they’re not quite as widespread in education. The goal of any recommendation engine, at the heart, is to create more value for users and to increase users’ engagement with the content. While there can be many specific goals for individual recommendation engines, the goal of this project is to help educators efficiently identify the resources that would be the best fit for their particular classroom. Your students, you and your fellow educators, and the researchers here at Ohio State are all involved participants in the quest toward understanding how technology can best function in the classroom. In education, understanding this type of technology can impact not only individual classrooms, but education as a whole as we begin to learn more about how teachers use digital resources. The implementation of this recommendation engine is a step toward learning more about how technology shapes the environment where education takes place – and we want you along for the ride.
Though this recommendation engine is just the beginning, it is a part of a larger project that you – the users – get to be a part of. By finding resources for your classroom and reading our reviews, you are driving the research and allowing us and our colleagues at The Ohio State University to ask the right questions moving forward. Having a greater understanding of how users interact with content positively impacts everything that a company does, from marketing our services to which types of resources we review. But beyond that, this could impact educators everywhere as we discover from an academic perspective how teachers are interacting with digital resources. The technology behind the recommendation engine has applications in many aspects of education, and it could lead to a well-informed estimate of what resources would work in what classrooms without even having seen the classroom. As you use our website and search for resources, we encourage you to take a look at the recommended resources and see if anything might be a fit for your classroom. Who knows? You might just find your new favorite resource with the click of a button.
We are thrilled to be able to add this technology to our website, and we can’t wait to see what you do with it.