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3 minutes reading time (637 words)

Free Weekly Newsletter from MIT

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:

  1. Business Impact
  2. Connectivity
  3. Sustainable Energy
  4. Rewriting Life
  5. Intelligent Machines

Samples from a Recent Issue

The following short paragraphs give an overview of an MIT newsletter I recently received. Each is a quote from the newsletter. Notice that each contains a link to further information about the topic.

Drone delivery

new trial in southeastern Australia will see Alphabet’s X lab use drones to drop food and medicine right next to people’s back doors. The firm hopes to learn how to identify safe and convenient delivery locations where drones can lower parcels to customers using a tether. It’s worth noting that these aren't typical yards, but roomy plots of country land. Still, taken alongside our recent report of the first urban drone deliveries, it's another sign that aerial shipping appears to be really taking off.

Can robots and humans learn to labor and love as one?

That's hardly a new kind of question, but with leaps in AI and robotics a search for answers gains urgency. So here are two interesting long reads that try to find some. The first, from the New Yorker, explores the changing workplace relationship 'twixt humans and robotic helpers. (Or is that vice versa?) The second, from Wired, is an emotional essay about how robots will shape the way humans think of love and companionship. Neither has all the answers, but they will sure make you think.

“There is no transistor in this computer. It’s a completely different beast.
It’s a native citizen of the multiverse.”

[This is a quote from] Hartmut Neven, who helps direct Google’s quantum research, turns the hype dial to 11 in an interview with the Wall Street Journal about the future of computing.

Final Remarks

I am fascinated by this style of newsletter. It only takes me a minute or two to scan the newsletter, and I usually find a number of tidbits of information that might interest me. If I want to pursue a topic in more depth, the tidbit provides a link.

What You Can Do

Each of is responsible for our own, continuing, lifelong education. I am on the distribution list for a number of free services such as the MIT newsletter. Build your own list of such information sources.

In addition, you might want to begin collecting links for articles you will read when you have the time to do so. These may also be articles than you want to share with your colleagues. For myself, I call these my Digital Filing Cabinets (Moursund, 2017a, 2017b).

If you are a classroom teacher with students who can benefit from the type of information sources available on the Web, help each of your students find and start using regularly published new information on one or more topics they find personally interesting. Also, provide them with a list of such resources that are relevant to the topics you teach. The goal is to help your students to develop a lifelong habit of regularly keeping up with topics that they find interesting and relevant to their lives.  

References and Resources

MIT (n.d.). The Download (newsletter). Retrieved 10/19/2017 from

Moursund, D. (2017a). Digital filing cabinet: Math education. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 10/19 2017 from

Moursund, D. (2017b). Digital filing cabinet: Overview. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 10/19/2017 from

Free Educational Resources from IAE

IAE publishes and makes available four free online resources:

Technology Use in Manitoba, Canada Schools
Cognitive Computing


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Friday, 03 December 2021

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