Technological change is exponential, which means it will only impact our lives more and more quickly. Among the aspects of our lives undergoing change, language usage is one of the ones being altered most drastically. New technologies also create new opportunities for learning. This is a great example of seeing both sides of change: how we must adjust and what we can take advantage of.
This week we are looking at language learning and tech. Current estimates suggest that there are over 1 billion people learning English worldwide. Recent predictions also suggest that those learning English as a Second or Foreign Language will double by the year 2020 to nearly 2 billion people. But how we learn languages is changing. Apps, MOOCs, Chatbots and online tutoring services have all worked to reduce the time and investment needed to pick up and master a language. Whilst voice recognition services like Amazon Alexa or Google Home have made practicing languages even easier right in your home. At the more extreme end some advanced technologies have even brought into question whether learning a language in the traditional sense will be needed in the future. And, should it be humans or machines testing second language acquisition?
Sophie Bailey is the Founder and Presenter of The Edtech Podcast
Sophie is the founder of the iTunes new and noteworthy, The Edtech Podcast. The mission of The Edtech Podcast is to improve the dialogue between ‘ed’ and ‘tech’ for better innovation, through storytelling. The podcast is downloaded 1500+ times a week, from up to 109 countries with the UK, US & Aus in the top 3. Sophie is a mentor and advisor within the edtech community. If she’s not interviewing a University Lecturer, School Leader, Ex-Angry Bird, NGO, or Investor about education innovation, she’s chasing her three year old around the park or binge-reading Homo Deus.
Denis Hurley is the Director of Future Technologies at Pearson
Denis Hurley leads the global Future Technologies program within the Advanced Computing and Data Science Lab (“The Lab”) at Pearson. The Lab applies advanced computing and data science to create innovative software capabilities, processes, and frameworks that improve our digital products, advance our digital ways of working, and change how we approach digital education. The Future Technologies program is a pan-Pearson, cross-disciplinary, collaborative community of hundreds of colleagues, that has completed over 40 prototypes and roundtable discussions.
Andrew Ochoa is the Founder and CEO of Waverly Labs
As CEO & VP of Product Development, Andrew oversees all business operations and product development of the Pilot Translating Earpiece and Pilot Speech Translator App. Andrew founded Waverly Labs in 2013. Prior to this he worked on sales and product teams for tech startups in Austin, TX and New York, NY
William Goethals is the Co-Founder of Waverly Labs
Leads the manufacturing and supply chain for the pilot earpiece, as well as firmware and electrical engineering. William joined Waverly Labs in 2014. He has brought 15 products to market specializing in manufacturing, firmware, hardware and software integration.
Bill Bonk is a Second Language Measurement Expert at Pearson
Bill has a joint PhD in Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Science, and a master’s degree in Second Language Studies. His interests and work have been in growth modeling, data visualization, learning and memory for sequences, foreign language psycholinguistics, and second language teaching and testing. In addition to the US, Bill has lived and worked in France, Italy, Ecuador, Japan, Hawaii, and Brazil.
Nathan Harris, Director of User Experience and Design, Pearson
Nathan leads User Experience (UX) teams in the UK, USA, India and Poland, in the iterative conceptualisation, development, design and evaluation of products and services. Together they develop compelling and effective user experiences that combine technology and content in ways that engage and delight learners and teachers.
Quotes from this episode
Tell us your story
We’d love to hear about innovative technology or approaches you are developing or using in education. Leave your stories in the comments below. Alternately, record a quick free voicemail via speakpipe for inclusion in the next episode. Finally, you can post your thoughts or follow-on links via twitter @podcastedtech @denishurley or via The Edtech Podcast Facebook page.