Information Age Education Blog

The goal of IAE is to help improve education at all levels throughout the world. This work is done through the publication of the IAE Blog, the IAE-pedia, the IAE Newsletter, books, and other materials all available free on the Web. For more information, go to http://iae-pedia.org/.

Think Globally, Act Locally

The title of this IAE Blog entry is a widely used phrase that can be traced back to the late 1960s or early 1970s and has an environmental focus. An alternate title for this IAE Blog entry is, “Consider both the big picture and the small picture when making decisions and taking actions.”

We are all born egocentric. Through a combination of nature and nurture, we become more sociocentric. Most children eventually learn that they are not the center of the universe. They learn to take other people and the longer term view into consideration as they make decisions and take actions.

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Apprenticeship, Certification, License, Degree, Portfolio, and Resume: Communicating One’s Professional Qualifications to Others

I have a doctorate in mathematics, with a specialization in certain theoretical aspects of numerical analysis. At its roots, numerical analysis focuses on computationally intensive methods of solving a variety of math problems.

For example, computers are routinely used for long-range weather forecasting. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numerical_weather_prediction.)  Researchers have developed a variety of theoretical models they use in weather forecasting. Instruments located throughout the world gather data about weather conditions at a particular time. The challenge is then to solve a system of many thousands of equations in many thousands of unknowns. This needs to be done in a timely fashion so that a forecast can be made early enough to be of use to people.

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Comparing Apples and Oranges in our Educational and Medical care systems.

The free Information Age Education Newsletter recently published a sequence of seven issues comparing and contrasting our educational system with our medical care system. This “apples and oranges” comparison provides interesting and useful insights into these two important aspects of life in our society. You can read these newsletters at http://iae-pedia.org/IAE_Newsletter.

A recent article in my local newspaper reported that vaccinations for meningitis were not remaining effective for as many years as expected, and discussed teenagers needing a booster shot that costs $100. The article reported data on how many deaths per year are prevented by the initial shot and indicated that a second shot would save 24 deaths per year in the United States. Unfortunately, the article did not indicate how many people would need to be vaccinated per year to save this many lives.

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Providing 0ne-to-0ne Computing Starting in the First Grade or Earlier?

A kindergartener I know—let's call him Jack—is a bundle of energy and “smart as a whip.” He is gluten intolerant, and so has to exercise considerable care in his diet. He had some eye problems and wears relatively thick corrective lenses. He had speech problems with several of his sounds, and had the help of a speech therapist to overcome these problems. Our health care system has contributed greatly to his quality of current and future life.

Jack has also had the advantage of very well-educated parents and grandparents. He is getting a very good informal and formal education.

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Computer Technology: Solutions Looking for a Problem and Problems Looking for a Solution

Many years ago I heard the statement that a computer is a solution looking for a problem. This statement has stuck in my head, and it still seems relevant.

The history of computing devices is usually traced back many thousands of years ago to the abacus and still earlier aids to counting and keeping track of quantities. An abacus is an excellent and easy-to-learn aid to adding and subtracting integers.

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