Information Age Education Blog

The goal of IAE is to help improve education at all levels throughout the world. This work is done through the publication of the IAE Blog, the IAE-pedia, the IAE Newsletter, books, and other materials all available free on the Web. For more information, go to http://iae-pedia.org/.

Tell Me Some Good News

Each Tuesday I have lunch with some of my retired colleagues from the University of Oregon College of Education. Recently I posed the following question to them:

This morning I read the news on my tablet computer, listened to the news on the radio, and read a few miscellaneous magazine articles. Essentially every news item fell into my category of “doom and gloom” or I considered it to be relatively inconsequential. I asked my colleagues to share some of the happier and important news they had encountered so far in the day.

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Learning Problem-solving Strategies by Using Games: A Guide for Educators and Parents

All the world’s a game,
And all the men and women active players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And all people in their time play many parts…
(Dave Moursund, adapted from Shakespeare)

The title of this IAE Blog entry is the same as the title for my newest free book, Learning Problem-solving Strategies by Using Games: A Guide for Educators and Parents (Moursund, January, 2016). Most of the content of this blog entry is from that book.

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Brain Science Research on Nature and Nurture

Brain science research, and applications of this research, continue to make amazing progress. I have seen estimations that the amount we know about the human brain has doubled in the past five years, and that 90 percent of our brain knowledge has been discovered in the past 20 years. Quoting from Hanessian (1/21/2016):

Brain scans and longitudinal studies have revealed that neglect, abuse and early chronic stress damages the developing brain and primes people for addiction, disease and premature death.

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Brain Science Research

My recent book, Brain Science for Educators and Parents, has already proven to be one of the most popular of all of my books (Moursund, 2015). I try to write books that will have lasting value. This is much easier to do in some subject areas than others. For example, my first book, published in 1967, was about uses of computers to solve the types of math problems that majors in engineering encountered as undergraduates (Moursund & Duris, 1967). The book is still in print!

Since completing Brain Science for Educators and Parents this past year, I have been collecting recent references that are applicable to the book’s content. Already, some pieces of the book are beginning to look dated. Clearly, the book will not have the long-lasting value as my first math book.

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MOOC Enrollment Continues to Grow

The first really large enrollment Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) was run by Stanford University in 2011. During the subsequent four years, the success of these courses as measured by completion rate has been very low. However, the courses have continued to be improved and enrollment in these courses has grown remarkably. Quoting from an article written by Dhawal Shah (12/28/2015):

Student enrollments in MOOCs doubled this year. In fact, more people signed up for MOOCs in 2015 than they did in the first three years of the “modern” MOOC movement (which started in late 2011—when the first Stanford MOOCs took off). According to data collected by Class Central, the total number of students who signed up for at least one course has crossed 35 million—up from an estimated 17 million last year.

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