Information Age Education
   Issue Number 2
September, 2008   

Information Age Education (IAE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving education for learners of all ages throughout the world. IAE is a project of the Science Factory, a 501(c)(3) science and technology museum located in Eugene, Oregon. Current vehicles being used in this project include a Wiki with addresses http://IAE-pedia.org, a Website containing free books and articles at http://I-A-E.org, and the free newsletter you are now reading.

To subscribe to this twice-a-month free newsletter and to see back issues, go to http://i-a-e.org/iae-newsletter.html


The Future

The FutureBoth informal and formal education are about preparing learners for their futures. Such educational processes are made more authentic through students and their teachers increasing their insights into what the future is apt to be like. The IAE Website page http://iae-pedia.org/What_the_Future_is_Bringing_Us contains a steadily growing number of annotated references about possible futures that depend on changing technologies.

Ray Kurzweil is one of the leading futurists and computational thinkers of our time. In the following 2008 quote from the What the Future is Bringing Us Website, Kurzweil says:

MIT was so advanced in 1965 (the year I entered as a freshman) that it actually had a computer. Housed in its own building, it cost $11 million (in today's dollars) and was shared by all students and faculty. [A little over] four decades later, the computer in your cell phone is a million times smaller, a million times less expensive and a thousand times more powerful. That's a billion-fold increase in the amount of computation you can buy per dollar. ... The exponential growth in computing speed will unlock a solution to global warming, unmask the secret to longer life and solve myriad other worldly conundrums.

Learn more about Kurzweil's visions of the future by watching a free 23-minute video at:  http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/ray_kurzweil_on_how_technology_will_transform_us.html.

 Good Lesson Plans 

All teachers know how to create lesson plans and how to make use of lesson plans created by others. Most of the lesson plans that teachers use do not adequately reflect the current capabilities and the potentials for helping students and their teachers get a good Information Age education.

For example, we all know that the world is changing quite rapidly, and that all teachers need to both role model and help their students become skilled in lifelong education. Thus, every lesson should stress learning to learn and learning to be a self-sufficient learner. Every lesson should be designed to help the teacher learn. And, every lesson should help prepare students and their teacher for a world in which Information and Communication Technology tools are becoming steadily more capable.

The Website http://iae-pedia.org/Good_Math_Lesson_Plans illustrates these ideas and is the most visited content page in the IAE-pedia Wiki.

 
Compelling ICT Educational Applications

When microcomputers first started to become available in the 1970s, people looked for applications that would legitimize and help to greatly expand the microcomputer business. While games were a big boom to expansion, the spreadsheet was the first "killer application" that made microcomputers legitimate in the business world.

The term "killer application" lost favor in education, due to a rash of school shootings. A student in one of David Moursund's doctoral seminars suggested we should use the title "compelling application." These are computer applications that are powerful enough to support a significant change in education. For example, the gigantic virtual library that we call the Web is clearly a compelling application that is having a significant impact on education. Read two of David Moursund's editorials (first published by the International Society for Technology in Education) focusing on Compelling Applications at:
http://iae-pedia.org/Compelling_ICT_Educational_Applications.