IAE Blog

Information Age Education (IAE) is an Oregon not-for-profit corporation founded by David Moursund in August 2007. The IAE Blog was started in August 2010.

Free Weekly Newsletter from MIT

The purpose of this IAE Blog entry is to introduce you to The Download, a free newsletter from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that I enjoy reading (MIT, n.d.). One of the interesting aspects of this free newsletter is that you can specify the areas you like to keep up with, and the weekly newsletter you receive will then focus on the topics you specify. The list of topic areas is:

Business ImpactConnectivitySustainable EnergyRewriting LifeIntelligent Machines

Samples from a Recent Issue

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Cognitive Computing

IBM is one of a large number of companies that are deeply engaged in developing uses of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help solve problems and accomplish tasks (Moursund, 2017a). In 1997, an IBM computer system named Deep Blue defeated the reigning world chess champion in a six-game match. In 2011, an IBM computer system named Watson handily defeated former Jeopardy! winners Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings.

A recent interview of Ginni Rometty, Chief Executive Officer of IBM, discussed what that company is currently doing (Murphy, 9/25/2017). The interview began with Rometty explaining why IBM now uses the terminology Cognitive Computing rather than AI. Quoting Rometty:

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Educational Computer Games

balance

Today’s children have grown up routinely viewing computer-generated video and playing computer games. The state of the art in computer graphics includes animated animals and people who are indistinguishable from the “real things.” In recent years, there has been considerable progress in the development of research-based computer games for use in education (Moursund, 2016).

Many companies are developing computer simulations and other computer materials designed to help learners learn. I use the term Highly Interactive Intelligent Computer-assisted Learning (HIICAL) in discussing this type of instructional materials (Moursund, 2002). Quoting from this 15-year old article:

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In Terms of Vacuum Tube Dollars, Likely You Are a Billionaire

Most days I spend quite a bit of time browsing educational and technical websites. Today, this led me to reading about the early history of transistor radios and transistors.

The transistor was invented in 1947. In many electronic circuits such as in a radio, a transistor could be used in place of a vacuum tube (Wikipedia, n.d.a). The transistor is smaller, much more rugged, has a much longer expected life, and uses much less electric power.

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Reading and Writing in Today’s World

Written language was invented more than 5,000 years ago. Reading and writing certainly changed the world. Taken together, they facilitate the accumulation and distribution of information. Paraphrasing Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and many other researchers, “I have been able to do the work I have done because I have stood on the shoulders of the researchers who have come before me.”

The process of writing does more than just record information stored in the writer’s head. It facilitates the writer in organizing and recording the information so that it both represents the information more clearly, and that it communicates effectively with potential readers. Most good writers find it is very necessary to revise, revise, and still do more revision as they try to clearly communicate their ideas.

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