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.

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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Reinventing Our Educational System

Many people working to improve our educational system appear to be backward looking. They fix on measures of success that were deemed worthy in the past, and strive to have our schools perform still better in meeting these measures.

However, the world is changing, and many of these past measures of success are becoming less important for today’s children. Tony Wagner is one of my favorite authors currently writing about needed changes. Quoting from a 2010 IAE Newsletter (Moursund & Sylwester, June, 2010):

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Attacking “Big” Problems Part 2: Bottom-up Approaches

The previous IAE Blog entry explored top-down approaches to attacking big problems. It illustrated this with the Apollo moon project and the War on Cancer. Both involved large amounts of funding distributed through a central source and coordinated in a top-down manner.

This blog entry considers the use of technology to attack some big problems by using a bottom-up or combined bottom-up and top-down approach. It focuses on improving education.

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Attacking “Big” Problems Part 1: Top-Down Approaches

Jason Pontin is the editor-in-chief and publisher of MIT Technology Review. His 2014 TED Talk is titled: Can technology solve our big problems? (10/4/2014). Examples of really big problems include: global warming; an increasing shortage of fresh water; sustainability; worldwide poverty, hunger, disease, and education; and war and terrorism.

Here is Pontin’s summary of four conditions that he argues must all be present if technology is going to help solve really big problems in a top-down manner:

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Assessing and Teaching Creative Problem Solving

 

“Technical skill is mastery of complexity, while creativity is mastery of simplicity.” (Erik Christopher Zeeman; Japanese-born British mathematician; 1925‑.)

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