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.

Progress in Science Leads to Still More Questions

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"Once you have learned how to ask relevant and appropriate questions, you have learned how to learn and no one can keep you from learning whatever you want or need to know." Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner. Teaching as a Subversive Activity.

Recently I viewed Stuart Firestein’s TED Talk, The Pursuit of Ignorance (Feinstein, February, 2013). Firestein is a cognitive neuroscience at Columbia University whose speciality is how the brain processes smells.

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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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Distant Learning: Potentials and Perils

In this IAE Blog entry, I discuss distance learning, learning in face-to-face environments, and learning as one views and interacts with nature and other aspects of the world. The main focus is on the first two, so let me briefly dispense with the third.

Long before we had schools and the three R’s, people learned by themselves through their interactions with the natural world in which they lived. We are built to learn from what we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch in “nature.” A human teacher can help in this mode of learning, but each of us is innately able to learn through interaction with the natural world.

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Kindergarten Curriculum

Kindergarten is now well entrenched as a component of precollege education in the United States.

“Since 1977, the percentage of [U.S.] kindergartners enrolled in full-day (in contrast to half-day) programs has nearly tripled, increasing from 28 to 77 percent between 1977 and 2013” (Child Trends Data Bank, n.d.).

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Science Knowledge Quiz

How do you rate yourself in terms of your general knowledge of science? Compared to other people, do you think you are below average, about average, or above average?

The Pew Research Center developed a list of a dozen multiple-choice science questions and used them with a nationally representative group of 3,278 randomly selected U.S. adults. The adults were surveyed online and by mail between Aug. 11 and Sept. 3, 2014 (Pew Research Center, 2015).

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