Information Age Education 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.
Recent blog posts
Using Grand Challenges for Project-based Learning
Project-based learning (PBL) is a useful and broadly used approach to teaching and learning. Teachers are often on the lookout for good projects that they can use with their students. This IAE Blog entry explores national and global Grand Challenges as a starting point in developing suitable local student projects. The message is, “Think globally, act locally.”
I am pleased to announce that my recently revised and expanded IAE-pedia entry on Brain Science is proving to be quite popular. I have just added an additional brain science topic to this entry: Learning, Forgetting, and Relearning. This new topic is also the focus of this IAE Blog entry.
In brief summary, we know that students forget much of what they "learn" in a course. This occurs through disuse of the materials, the "rote memory, regurgitate for the test, and forget" studying approach that many students use, teaching methods that are not as good as they can be in facilitating "deep learning with understanding,” and so on.
There is ample evidence that, on average, students learn more and better when working with good, experienced, well-prepared teachers than with teachers who lack one or more of these characteristics. Thus, it is common to hear statements such as the one in the title of Bill Gates’ blog entry, Every student deserves to have great teachers (Gates, 3/12/2012). In this blog entry he says:
Today, a lot of research has shown that teacher effectiveness is one of the most important factors in determining how well students learn and whether they succeed in school. But we don’t really know very much about what makes some teachers great, or how to help other teachers be like them. Our foundation [the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation] is helping support research to help figure this out, so that high-quality teaching will become more of the norm.
I have just finished a considerable revision and updating effort on my IAE-pedia entry Improving Math Education. The document is mainly intended for preservice and inservice teachers of math at the K-12 level—and teachers of these teachers. I wrote the first version of this document in 2008. Since then it has been revised, updated, and expanded a number of times. It has had more than 104,000 “hits.”
This IAE Blog entry provides a little of my background in math education and then summarizes a few key ideas from the updated Improving Math Education.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santayana; Spanish citizen raised and educated in the United States, generally considered an American man of letters; 1863–1952.)
“What goes around comes around.” (Ancient adage.)
“We cannot hope that many children will learn mathematics unless we find a way to share our enjoyment and show them its beauty as well as its utility.” (Mary Beth Ruskai; American mathematics and quantum physics researcher; 1944-.)
“The point is to make math intrinsically interesting to children. We should not have to sell mathematics by pointing to its usefulness in other subject areas, which, of course, is real. Love for math will not come about by trying to convince a child that it happens to be a handy tool for life; it grows when a good teacher can draw out a child's curiosity about how numbers and mathematical principles work. The very high percentage of adults who are unashamed to say that they are bad with math is a good indication of how maligned the subject is and how very little we were taught in school about the enchantment of numbers.” (Alfred S. Posamentier; American math educator; 1942-.)
I recently wrote an extensive IAE-pedia document on Exploring the College Math Placement Testing Process. It has two major goals:
- Goal 1. To help college-bound secondary school students learn to self-assess their progress in learning math relative to the standards set in higher education. A student may well be getting good (or, at least passing) grades in secondary school math courses and still be making poor progress toward being prepared for the rigor and much higher demands of college math courses.
- Goal 2. To help secondary school math teachers gain increased understanding of how well they are preparing their students to deal with college-level math courses.
High Stakes Math Tests for High School Students
The history of online courses is relatively long. The roots lie in correspondence courses, which began about 300 years ago.
The history of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is quite short. On 8/2/2011, I posted an Information Age Education Blog entry that began with:
At the request of a number of family members and friends, I have added Face Blindness (Prosopagnosia) to the IAE-pedia article on Brain Disorders and Learning. Face Blindness, according to the data below, may affect up to 2.5% of the population. Sadly, many of those with Face Blindness have no idea that it is a medically diagnosed disorder. Many people who do not have face blindness do not appreciate the problems that face blind people deal with on a daily basis.
Many of those affected may, like myself, have struggled their entire life with this problem without knowing we suffer from this brain disorder. The following is from the IAE-pedia article mentioned above.
How many children in America went to bed hungry last night?
Did yours? Or some other children you know?
A human brain is subject to many different types of injuries that damage its capabilities. This IAE Blog entry discusses cognitive reserve—a brain characteristic that can help in recovering from traumatic brain injuries. It draws heavily on information given in “Brain Injuries and Cognitive Reserve,” one of 37 topics covered in the IAE-pedia entry “Brain Science.”
Concussions are a common type of traumatic brain injury. Jon Hamilton (4/23/2014) discusses how knowing the level of one’s educational achievement can provide useful information about how quickly and well a person may recover from a concussion. Quoting from Hamilton:
The IAE-pedia entry on Brain Science has recently been extensively revised and expanded. It covers 37 topics in the general area of brain science and education. The following IAE Blog entry summarizes information taken from the IAE-pedia section on Brain Disorders and Learning.
The following IAE-pedia entry has recently been expanded and updated:
Moursund, D. (April, 2014). “Brain Science.” IAE-pedia. Retrieved 4/23/2014 from http://iae-pedia.org/Brain_Science.
Information Age Education is pleased to announce a new, 96-page free book.
Sylwester, R., & Moursund, D., eds. (March, 2014). Understanding and Mastering Complexity. Eugene, OR: Information Age Education. Download the PDF file from http://i-a-e.org/downloads/doc_download/256-understanding-and-mastering-complexity.html. Download the Microsoft Word file from http://i-a-e.org/downloads/doc_download/255-understanding-and-mastering-complexity.html.
Quoting from http://www.nngroup.com/about/:
Since 1998, Nielsen Norman Group has been a leading voice in the user experience field: conducting groundbreaking research, evaluating interfaces of all shapes and sizes, and guiding critical design decisions to improve the bottom line.
If you are a fan of the science fiction Star Trek series, then you are familiar with the Holodeck. It is a virtual reality in which Star Trek characters can interact with virtual people and environments. A person in the Holodeck “room” can move around, interacting with the environment, and talking and interacting with the virtual and “real” people in the room. For example, in one Star Trek episode set nearly 300 years in the future, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Steven Hawking join the Star Trek character Lt. Commander Data in a bridge game. The computer-generated Newton, Einstein, and Hawking appear to be just as “real” as if they were alive 300 years in the future.
Today’s computer games in which a player can be represented by an Avatar and interacts with computer-generated characters is a step toward a Holodeck. Computer simulations, such as those used to help train airplane and spaceship pilots, provide excellent examples of current applications of virtual reality in education.
I have read innumerable articles about how to improve teachers, teacher education, and our overall educational system. Many focus on what we should “do” to or for students to help them learn the required curriculum. Somewhat surprisingly, relatively few provide concrete advice on what constitutes a good learner and what both teachers and students can do to help students become better learners.
This is why I was pleased to encounter the following article:
One of the unifying goals of education is to help prepare students for their possible futures. To do this well, we must forecast likely futures and provide students with an education that will help them to thrive in these possible futures. We must also prepare students to adapt to unforeseen changes. Thus, forecasting the future is an important aspect of designing and implementing a good educational system.
IBM recently published its annual five-year forecast for technological changes. See:
In recent weeks I have been revising and updating the IAE-pedia entry on Brain Science. This entry currently contains 29 sections, each dealing with a specific education topic in brain science. The brain science section on Attention is currently—and deservedly—receiving a lot of attention. This IAE Blog entry is based on the IAE-pedia Brain Science entry on Attention.
We all know what it means to “pay attention.” And those of us who know children certainly routinely see examples of children who are or are not paying attention to the needs/wants of their parents, childcare givers, teachers, and friends.
Transfer of learning is the process of a person making use of his or her learned knowledge and skills in new environments and in new problem-solving and task-accomplishing situations. Recently the IAE-pedia document on Transfer of Learning was substantially revised and updated. This IAE Blog entry provides a summary of an important part of the updated IAE-pedia document.
Here are three general categories or types of transfer of learning. This information is useful to teachers and their students.