T-561 readings for 9/22

The first week of readings for Chris Dede’s was comprised of Chapter one of Christensen’s Disrupting Class, three articles and two web sites.  the book is interesting in that each chapter is introduced with a little narrative of Randall Circle high school in Southern California.  After a brief narrative or vignette the author goes into more technical detail.  Chapter one is about learning in different ways. as he points out “schools interdependent architectures forced them to standardize the way they teach and test” which creates a conflict with the actual act of learning.I breezed through this chapter as I feel very familiar with these concepts.  Such an interesting book I went ahead and red chapter 2 and 3 but those notes will appear next week.

The next article that I read was a PEW study on tagging. Here are some brief bits that I pulled:

  • 28% of online Americans have used the Internet to tag content
  • on a typical day online , 7% of Internet users say they tag or categorize content
  • tagging is the process of creating labels for online content
  • Taggers look like classic early adopters of technology. they are more likely to be under age 40 and have higher levels of education and income

Towards the end of the article was an interview with David Weinberger.  I grabbed a couple of meaningful quotes from this interview

  • “if you need to find everything about a topic , you often can’t rely on tags”
  • “In fact , by analyzing how various social groups use tags, we can do better at understanding how seemingly different world views map to one another”

the next article was about emerging technologies for collaborative , mediated , immersive learning.  one fantastic point I got out of this article was that current students are already adopting new technologies whether we like it or not.  It seems that schools should not fight against these technology trends but rather try to incorporate them into systems of learning.  Some of these technologies and approaches involve massively multiplayer online games (MMOG), modding and machinima.  we are also introduced two kinds of contexts with technology: MUVE and AR.  MUVE, or multiuser virtual environments allow students to experience different created environments and allow for creating scenarios and situations inaccessible in the real world.  AR, or augmented reality is needed immersion intertwined between physical and digital contexts.

Next I read an article about the behavior of tutoring systems. this was a ridiculously long article that I only skimmed to get the basics of what tutoring systems are.  Essentially they are software that has been developed to augment the experience of a learner in the classroom.  They are intelligent in the sense that they can and tied a students through the process of solving problems.  This is not artificial intelligence.  The tutoring systems are not able to learn that they are able to recognize patterns and with in a confined contexts able to you help a student along a certain path.

the article broke the concept of tutoring systems into a two loop process.  the outer loop is to decide which task the student should do next.  The inner loop is responsible for determining The steps within a task.  A step is a user interface action that is part of completing a task.  the purpose of this manuscript was to demonstrate how tutoring software works.  perhaps the largest impediment to wider adoption of tutoring systems is the terms that are used.  Tutor implies that the software replaces teachers and many assume that the software is designed for the drill practice.

the education broadcast network was one of the web sites and seem to me sort of a failure.  the handheld augmented reality Project was the other web site and this groups seems rather interesting and responsible for Alien Contact and Gray Matter