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The purpose of this IAE Blog entry is to introduce you to The Download, a free newsletter from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that I enjoy reading (MIT, n.d.). One of the interesting aspects of this free newsletter is that you can specify the areas you like to keep up with, and the weekly newsletter you receive will then focus on the topics you specify. The list of topic areas is:
Samples from a Recent Issue
Most days I spend quite a bit of time browsing educational and technical websites. Today, this led me to reading about the early history of transistor radios and transistors.
The transistor was invented in 1947. In many electronic circuits such as in a radio, a transistor could be used in place of a vacuum tube (Wikipedia, n.d.a). The transistor is smaller, much more rugged, has a much longer expected life, and uses much less electric power.
Written language was invented more than 5,000 years ago. Reading and writing certainly changed the world. Taken together, they facilitate the accumulation and distribution of information. Paraphrasing Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and many other researchers, “I have been able to do the work I have done because I have stood on the shoulders of the researchers who have come before me.”
The process of writing does more than just record information stored in the writer’s head. It facilitates the writer in organizing and recording the information so that it both represents the information more clearly, and that it communicates effectively with potential readers. Most good writers find it is very necessary to revise, revise, and still do more revision as they try to clearly communicate their ideas.
Education serves many purposes. In much of my writing, I combine these purposes into the following short statement:
I believe that the overall and unifying goal of learning (via a lifetime of informal and formal education) is to develop and maintain cognitive, moral, physical, and spiritual knowledge and skills that help learners to solve or in other ways to cope with the problems they encounter.