Issue Number 242 September 30, 2018

This free Information Age Education Newsletter is edited by Dave Moursund and produced by Ken Loge. The newsletter is one component of the Information Age Education (IAE) publications.

All back issues of the newsletter and subscription information are available online. In addition, seven free books based on the newsletters are available: Joy of Learning; Validity and Credibility of Information; Education for Students’ Futures; Understanding and Mastering Complexity; Consciousness and Morality: Recent Research Developments; Creating an Appropriate 21st Century Education; and Common Core State Standards for Education in America.

Dave Moursund’s newly revised and updated book, The Fourth R (Second Edition) is now available in both English and Spanish. The thesis of this book is that the 4th R of Reasoning/Computational Thinking is fundamental to empowering today’s students and their teachers throughout the K-12 curriculum. The first edition was published in December, 2016, the second edition in August, 2018, and the Spanish translation of the second edition in September, 2018. The three books have now had a combined 21,900 page-views and downloads (Moursund, December, 2016; August, 2018; September, 2018).


Information Age Education Documents in Translation (Part 1)

David Moursund
Professor Emeritus, College of Education
University of Oregon

Information Age Education (IAE) is one component of AGATE (Advancement of Globally Appropriate Technology and Education), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with headquarters in Richland, Washington, USA (AGATE, n.d.). The goal of both AGATE and IAE is to help improve education for all people throughout the world. AGATE has still broader goals as it explores possible roles of technology in improving quality of life of people throughout the world. Wow, what ambitious goals!

One challenge to the worldwide expansion of IAE and AGATE is the number of written languages in use. At the current time there may be as many as 2,000 different written languages being actively used on earth. Unfortunately, currently most IAE documents are available only in English. We are just beginning an effort to change that situation.

However, language itself is not the only challenge. Another challenge is communicating with people who have substantially different educational and life experiences than the writers of the IAE articles. Suppose my potential reader is living in a small, remotely located village. The village has intermittent running water and electricity, and a local school that provides grades 1-6 education. The village people have a few radios and television sets, and so have an inflow of information from the "outside" world. Such a school environment is quite different from that of most of the IAE writers.

My potential reader teaches in the village elementary school. This teacher is aware of (perhaps has used) a smartphone, electronic games, and the Web. But, the school has no computers, or connectivity to the Web.

What can IAE do to help this teacher and this teacher's students get an education that prepares them for adult life both in and outside of their village? How can IAE communicate in a meaningful and useful manner with their teacher and others in the village who want their children to have an education that they will find appropriate for their coming adult lives?

IAE and AGATE's Long-range Plans

IAE and AGATE view this teacher and all of the people in the remote village as citizens of the world. I (David Moursund) strongly believe all people (and especially, all children) have certain inalienable rights, including food, shelter, clothing, education, health care, safety from deliberate physical and mental harm, and other essentials needed for a decent quality of life. Increasingly, connectivity (for example, via a smart phone) is considered part of a decent quality of life. The world as a whole has the productivity capability to provide these essentials for all people on earth.

The expression "decent quality of life" is not easy to define and surely is not the same for all people. Consider an analogy with education. We can decide that a basic education that includes reading, writing, arithmetic (math), and history is an inalienable right of all children. But, what quality and level of education? How does one design and implement an educational system that meets the current and possible future needs of a child who is a "citizen" of a local community, a state or province, a nation, and the world?

The United Nations addressed this quality of life issue in its very early years of existence. The 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights.

Quoting from (United Nations,1948):

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages. [Bold added for emphasis.]

Notice the section in bold. Wow, 500 languages! While that is not all languages currently in use in our world, the languages choices certainly encompass a large percentage of the world’s population.

In its long-range plans, IAE will continue to focus on the effective uses of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) in education, while AGATE looks more broadly at the varied roles of technology in helping to provide other needed components of a decent quality of life. IAE has just started a language translation project aimed at helping more people throughout the world receive an education that will contribute to their quality of life. Specifically, IAE intends to:

  1. Continue to add entries to its current IAE-pedia page titled Information Age Education in Translation (Moursund, 8/15/2018).
  2. As the number of entries in a particular language grows, create a separate IAE-pedia page for that language.
  3. For each language for which there is a significant level of interest, find a person or group who will take over that language entry and create a separate IAE-pedia. Thus, if a language XYZ proves to be a language where there is a significant level of interest, create an XYZ IAE-pedia.
An Invitation to Become an IAE Translator

As noted earlier in this newsletter, IAE is looking for volunteers who will translate IAE documents into other languages. You can learn more about this project in the IAE-pedia entry, Information Age Education (IAE) in Translation at http://iae-pedia.org/Information_Age_Education_(IAE)_in_Translation. Interested readers can contact David Moursund at moursund@uoregon.edu.

The XYZ IAE-pedia will contain translations into language XYZ from the IAE-pedia and its other language versions that may be relevant to native speakers of the XYZ language. It also will contain articles written by educators and others who are interested in the education of children and who are native speakers of XYZ. This is an important idea, since the curriculum, instruction, and assessment in schools varies markedly from country to country.

The Wikipedia

The Wikipedia provides an excellent example of a successful language translation project. The Wikipedia is a very large, free encyclopedia that covers many different topic areas. As of August, 2018, there were 302 different language versions of Wikipedia of which 292 are active and 10 are not active (Wikipedia, 2018a). The following diagram shows the top sites in terms of number of articles each contains (Wikipedia, 2018b):

Wikipedia

Top Ten Language Versions of the Wikipedia in Terms of Number of Entries.

The various versions of the Wikipedia differ widely in their content as well as in their number of entries. The content of each language version consists of both original articles written for that specific language and articles that have been translated from other languages. The Wikipedia is an amazing success story of accomplishments by the volunteer work of thousands of writers, editors, and translators.

TED Talks

The Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) Talks provide another excellent example of worldwide dissemination of materials originally developed in English. Typically, a TED Talk is about 18 minutes in length, is presented before a live audience, and is accompanied by relatively high-quality slides designed to help communicate the speaker’s message. As of January 2018,videos of over 2,600 TED talks had been posted and are available free on the Web. They cover a very broad range of topics, including history, education, and technology. See the complete list at https://www.ted.com/talks/quick-list. Quoting from http://ted.com and  https://www.ted.com/about/our-organization:

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. On TED.com, we're building a clearinghouse of free knowledge from the world's most inspired thinkers — and a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other, both online and at TED and TEDx events around the world, all year long.

The idea of translating TED Talks came about by popular demand. Passionate viewers around the world started asking if they could translate talks in order to share them with friends and family. (Some were even sending us finished translations!) Recognizing a real need — and an opportunity to radically open accessibility — TED developed a system to allow volunteers to translate their favorite talks into any language.

The program launched in 2009, with 300 translations in 40 languages, created by 200 volunteer translators. Today, more than 120,000 translations have been published in 115 languages (and counting), created by more than 28,000 volunteers. In 2012, the program expanded to include the transcription and translation of TEDx Talks, the translation of TED-Ed lessons and the translation of content distributed by worldwide partners who help grow TED’s global footprint. [As of January 2014, TEDx talk library contained some 30,000 films and presentations from over 130 countries. See https://www.quora.com/Is-there-an-organized-list-of-TEDx-talks-online for a more recent estimate.] [Bold added for emphasis.]

Oral Communication Between Native Speakers of a Language

Communication between and among people is a continuing challenge. Consider a situation in which you are talking with a lifelong friend and you are both fluent native speakers of English. You mentally create a thought in your head. Your brain “translates” this brain pattern into English words, and you speak the words. Your friend receives the sound patterns you have created. Your friend’s brain translates these sound patterns into brain patterns corresponding to words and then interprets their meaning. Brain patterns in your head that have meaning to you are translated into brain patterns in your friend’s head that have meaning to your friend. I find that to be truly amazing! You and your friend learned to carry out these very difficult translation processes in your early childhoods. But, for a meaningful communication to occur, you and your friend draw on considerable shared knowledge and experiences.

Translation is Not an Easy Task

Now, consider the situation in which you are communicating via a human translator who is translating what you are saying into another language. The translator has to understand what you are saying and translate it into a message that is understandable to your intended audience.

It takes a person who has a high level of language and subject area skills and knowledge to produce high-quality translations from one language to another in a particular subject area. This is complicated by the fact that each discipline of study contains many words and ideas that are quite specific to the subject area. See, for example, Communicating in the Language of Mathematics (Moursund, 2018).

Literary translation presents a special challenge. Quoting from Laura Bazzurro (2008):

Literary translation consists of the translation of poetry, plays, literary books, literary texts, as well as songs, rhymes, literary articles, fiction novels, novels, short stories, poems, etc.

The translation of poetry, for example may well require, complete rewriting of the document. Quoting from Translation of Poetry (Dastjerdi, October, 2004):

Language is the central subject of any discussion about translation. However, there are certain elements involved in the process of translation which go beyond this conventional area. This is especially true for literary translation in general and translation of poetry in particular. According to Jackson (2003), literary translation is a translational species in itself, but it "differs in many important respects from the kind of translation practiced in a language class. He contends that, on the one hand, literary translation involves a good deal of interpretation about intent and effect. On the other hand, the literary translator is often not as much interested in literal 'transliteration' as in finding a corollary mood, tone, voice, sound, response, and so forth. Jackson brings forth the following extract from Petrarch to confirm the idea of similarity (but not sameness) as well as creativity in translating a poem as a literary genre:

An imitator must see to it that what he writes is similar, but not the very same; and the similarity, moreover, should not be like that of a painting or statue to the person represented, but rather like that of a son to a father, where there is often a great difference in the features and body shape, yet after all there is a shadowy something—akin to what the painters call one's air—hovering about the face, and especially the eyes, out of which there grows a likeness ... [W]e writers, too, must see to it that along with the similarity there is a large measure of dissimilarity; and furthermore such likeness as there is must be elusive, something that it is impossible to seize except by a sort of still-hunt, a quality to be felt rather than defined.... It may all be summed up by saying with Seneca, and with Flaccus [Horace] before him, that we must write just as the bees make honey, not keeping the flowers but turning them into a sweetness of our own, blending many different flavors into one, which shall be unlike them all, and better.

An imitator must see to it that what he writes is similar, but not the very same; and the similarity, moreover, should not be like that of a painting or statue to the person represented, but rather like that of a son to a father, where there is often a great difference in the features and body shape, yet after all there is a shadowy something—akin to what the painters call one's air—hovering about the face, and especially the eyes, out of which there grows a likeness ... [W]e writers, too, must see to it that along with the similarity there is a large measure of dissimilarity; and furthermore such likeness as there is must be elusive, something that it is impossible to seize except by a sort of still-hunt, a quality to be felt rather than defined.... It may all be summed up by saying with Seneca, and with Flaccus [Horace] before him, that we must write just as the bees make honey, not keeping the flowers but turning them into a sweetness of our own, blending many different flavors into one, which shall be unlike them all, and better.

Final Remarks

The first formal schools were started about 5,000 years ago, shortly after the development of the first written languages. The totality of collected human knowledge has grown immensely since then, and continues an exponential rate of growth (Moursund, 2018b). Steady improvements in transportation, communication, and other technologies have made the countries and people of the world more interdependent.

I find it useful to think of education as a worldwide activity (a global enterprise). A good modern education helps prepare students to be productive, contributing citizens of the world as well as productive, contributing members of the local and regional areas in which they live.

A number of my publications are available at ResearchGate (2018). A significant fraction of the ResearchGate hits on these publications come from outside the United States. The Wikipedia provides an excellent model of a combination of thinking and acting both globally and locally. I envision Information Age Education greatly expanding its global presence and contributions in a similar way.

Your help in translating IAE documents as we work toward this goal will be appreciated!

References and Resources

AGATE (n.d.). Advancement of Globally Appropriate Technology and Education. Retrieved 8/29/2018 from http://agate.solutions/.

Bazzurro, L. (2008). Literary translation. Retrieved 9/13/2018 from http://conalti.org/?p=642.

Dastjerdi, H.D. (October, 2004). Translation of poetry: Sa`di’s oneness of mankind revisited. Translation Journal. Retrieved 9/6/2018 from https://translationjournal.net/journal/30liter.htm.

Moursund, D. (2018). Communicating in the language of mathematics. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 9/6/2018 from http://iae-pedia.org/Communicating_in_the_Language_of_Mathematics.

Moursund, D. (September, 2018). The Fourth R (Second Edition). Spanish Edition. Retrieved 8/12/2018. Retrieved 9/21/2018 from http://iae-pedia.org/La_Cuarta_R_(Segunda_Edici%C3%B3n). Download the Microsoft Word file from http://i-a-e.org/downloads/free-ebooks-by-dave-moursund/309-la-cuarta-r-segunda-edicion/file.html. Download the PDF file from http://i-a-e.org/downloads/free-ebooks-by-dave-moursund/310-la-cuarta-r-segunda-edicio-n/file.html.

Moursund, D. (August, 2018). The Fourth R (Second Edition). Retrieved 8/12/2018 from http://iae-pedia.org/The_Fourth_R_(Second_Edition). Download the Microsoft Word file from http://i-a-e.org/downloads/free-ebooks-by-dave-moursund/307-the-fourth-r-second-edition.html. Download the PDF file from http://i-a-e.org/downloads/free-ebooks-by-dave-moursund/308-the-fourth-r-second-edition-1.html.

Moursund, D. (8/15/2018). Information Age Education (IAE) in translation. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 9/13/2018 from http://iae-pedia.org/Information_Age_Education_(IAE)_in_Translation.

Moursund, D. (December, 2016). The Fourth R. Retrieved 9/23/2018 from http://iae-pedia.org/The_Fourth_R. Download the Microsoft Word file from http://i-a-e.org/downloads/free-ebooks-by-dave-moursund/289-the-fourth-r/file.html. Download the PDF file from http://i-a-e.org/downloads/free-ebooks-by-dave-moursund/290-the-fourth-r-1/file.html

ResearchGate (2018). Retrieved 8/30/2018 from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/David_Moursund.

TED Talks (2018). Technology, entertainment and design. Retrieved 9/23/2018 from https://www.ted.com/talks.

United Nations (1948). United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Retrieved 9/23/2018 from http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/.

Wikipedia (2018a). List of Wikipedias. Retrieved 8/26/2018 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Wikipedias.

Wikipedia (2018b). Wikipedia versions with the most articles. Retrieved 8/26/2018 from https://www.wikipedia.org/.

Author

David Moursund is an Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Oregon, and editor of the IAE Newsletter. His professional career includes founding the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) in 1979, serving as ISTE’s executive officer for 19 years, and establishing ISTE’s flagship publication, Learning and Leading with Technology (now published by ISTE as Empowered Learner).He was the major professor or co-major professor for 82 doctoral students. He has presented hundreds of professional talks and workshops. He has authored or coauthored more than 60 academic books and hundreds of articles. Many of these books are available free online. See http://iaepedia.org/David_Moursund_Books .

In 2007, Moursund founded Information Age Education (IAE). IAE provides free online educational materials via its IAE-pedia, IAE Newsletter, IAE Blog, and IAE books. See http://iaepedia.org/Main_Page#IAE_in_a_Nutshell . Information Age Education is now fully integrated into the 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, Advancement of Globally Appropriate Technology and Education (AGATE) that was established in 2016. David Moursund is the Chief Executive Officer of AGATE.

Email: moursund@uoregon.edu.

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About Information Age Education, Inc.

Information Age Education is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving education for learners of all ages throughout the world. Current IAE activities and free materials include the IAE-pedia at http://iae-pedia.org, a Website containing free books and articles at http://i-a-e.org/, a Blog at http://i-a-e.org/iae-blog.html, and the free newsletter you are now reading. See all back issues of the Blog at http://iae-pedia.org/IAE_Blog and all back issues of the Newsletter at http://i-a-e.org/iae-newsletter.html.