Grand Challenges for Engineering - May 25, 2013
What do you think about individualized instruction? How can it be used to raise education levels around the world? What is the connection between personalized learning and open courseware?
This comment response is limited to additional STEM learning that occurs in satellite fashion around whatever technology-assisted teaching/learning systems are operating formally for a given student (such as public K-12 education, homeschooling, or four years of college awarding a baccalaureate degree), and accommodates whatever level of motivation a student has. In my view, authentic learning is primarily person-based and thus requires interpersonal relationships in which the inalienable dignity and rights of each person are respected and honored. Take the case of just a binary relationship between two persons, an older one such as an engineer or scientist or assistant professor who has already spent years in paid full-time work as a researcher, educator, or both, and a younger one -- a student -- who has not yet obtained an entry-level job in a STEM field. In this situation exists between the two an imbalance of self-discipline, self-knowledge, mastery of content and methodology, power, authority and access to tools, networks of contacts and other resources that must be navigated properly by the older person to avoid repressive or shaming practices that limit learning in the younger person. Further, the older person, whether a teacher, professor, mentor, advisor or confidant needs to be mature enough to not inflict his or her insecurities upon the younger. Finally, and most important, the older person facilitates learning most in the younger by allowing his or her student, mentee, advisee, and so on to have a free rein as much as practicable to explore how he or she learns best, learning not only with confidence but also boldness.
There is a serious experiment ongoing right now in this area, driven by Khan Academy, funded by the Gates Foundation, Google, etc.
Check out: http://www.khanacademy.org/ and a recent article summarizing the experience (high level) at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shantanu-sinha/khan-academy_b_1918342.html
1. provide initialization or state problem clearly:
"why particular topic is important to you and where you can use it or contribute in it"-this is what every student ask him or herself before beginning to learn any topic.
2. allow them to find information what they need:
as a student i know that it is logical that if i start reading a textbook by myself then i can surly get some clues. help should be provided only when needed, instead of wasting time in a one hour session.
3. always ending with activities or tasks an good resources:
most necessary step to engage the students actively and made them curious and also directing their own interest by providing resources like OCWs, you tube links etc.
why do we need to understand enigneering?
Re: Reverse Engineering the Brain
"As long as technology essentially mimics the square-based spreadsheet (because the base level of computer switching is on/off), we will not be able to understand the full methodology of human brain function. The next logical step to structural simulation is necessarily the hexagon, yet no one bothers to look toward the benefits of a hexagon structure in neurology before deciding the concept isn't sufficiently technological for groundbreaking ideation. This mental state of pre-closure would have prevented the discovery of penecillin, yet technology adheres to it like superglue."
Until we understand the myriad of mental gates, how will we know which gates are open and which are cosed? I learned to read my first words from the front page of the Maui News at three years old. After that, I am visual/text and structure sensitive. I developed other skills slowly later, but visual/text/structure is still my first examination on any new or foreign material. I often solve potential technical problems through "low tech" applications because the "structure for solution of the moment" is sometimes immediate or, at least, economical. That's a "mental gate". Is it open for you?
I think the reason there are so many different education models is because there are so many different people. Unfortunately It takes quite a bit of energy and resources to reach an individual. Therefore we try to generalize as much as we can. As a result, we aim for a middle ground and if we hit, great. If we don't, oh well. Like others have said, There are a great number of challenges we face today. Many were caused because we did not see the consequences of an action when we took it. If we gave future generations the freedom to take in and process information the way that is most natural to them, instead of dictating what, how, when, where, and why they do it, we would most likely create the free thinkers capable of solving them without creating negative side effects. As a result of this, their descendants could move forward technologically and socially. Would this usher in human Utopia, maybe not, but it might be a good start. Having said all that: my idea for using technology to help individualize learning in the public school is simple. Teachers could publish their years lesson plans (things that have to be ready before the school year start anyway,) in pdf form to the parents so that parents can follow along with the individual teacher's classroom instruction (not just a grade level expectation). Text book publishers could make digital copies of the teacher's manual available for parents to download so that parents could see what the teacher sees and understand the assignments their students are bringing home. This will help the parents help their children with the home work. I have noticed that many teacher's manuals are loaded with great hands on learning activities that just don't fit into the 20 or 30 minute class session, or into school's and teacher's already tight budgets. Parents having access to this information would offer a much needed parent/ child/classroom bonding as the parent helps the child cement the learning in practical ways. This also frees up the teacher to spend more time and energy with the children who may not have parental support at home. This is accomplished by the parent informing the teacher that they will participate in this way.
Individualized instruction has been a motto for homeschoolers all around the world, since it was advocated by the wise King Solomon in Proverbs -"Train your child according to his way and even when he is old, he will not depart from it". Homeschoolers use technology outside the box in ways that optimize their learning. As homeschoolers, we have used technology to enhance our learning. We recommend applications such as the Qedoc Learning System that contains learning modules that cover a variety of topics from religious to secular studies. It keeps track of student progress and incorporates Flash and other media. We have also used simulated Math and Science activities via Gizmos, a favorite among homeschoolers and schools alike. With Moodle, we are able to run our own homeschool online. We have also used online web conferencing software to interface with other homeschoolers in a cooperative style learning. Technology has been great, and as homeschoolers we believe we are the forefront in using technology in learning. MorahMoriah.com
I think it is a wonderful idea. I myself spend several hours learning new things on the net everyday. I started noting them in a sheet at first, now I link them through Google. That way new words, new ideas, personalities, historic events,etc are nicely hoarded for anytime use. An open ended learning course (not too different from the idea Wikipedia has), reachable to the entire world is a wonderful dream. And it could come true. With high speed and cheap internet connectivity, children should be given the opportunity to use few hours every day to surf according to their interests. If they go to school, and have a favorite subject, they should be encouraged to roam free in that subject on the net. This would involve a collated, integrated asymmetrical location of information that they could use to know more. It should also involve the ability to meet, discuss with other similarly interested children, patrons and teachers. The oftener you read, hear, see something, the more you learn ! This could also help the urban kids to turn off their gaming software and turn to music, history, reading , etc.
"Making exiting, creative, demanding, and empowering projects that are demanding and striving for engineering excellence is crucial."
Seeding the youth (k-12) with a notion that it IS the engineers and scientists that design the world around us may be the most crucial prospect for solving the demanding problems of the future. Making exiting, creative, demanding, and empowering projects that are demanding and striving for engineering excellence is crucial. Then making sure projects are illustrated to youth in a manner that starts their compassion to be the developer, the inverter, and/or designer of the future SHOULD BE A RESPONSIBILITY of all who seek to solve the grand challenges of the future. I had an unique opportunity to discuss the problems associated to the loss of interest in science in engineering with the Ambassador for China here in the US. He noted that without solving the challenge associated to exemplifying the interest in solving these Global Challenges. THERE IS AN OBLIGATION TO DRIVE THIS INTEREST SO THAT OUR GRANDCHILDREN MAY HAVE A STABLE, UNIVERSAL, and SAFE FUTURE. James Tomich SDSMT firstname.lastname@example.org. edu
It's encouraging to see that companies pursuing adaptive learning technology are attracting venture funding. Vis: http://www.techcrunch.com /2009/04/07/knewton-bags- 6-million-series-b-round- for-adaptive-learning-pla tform/
IDL Systems, a spin out from MIT, already provides a sytem of personalized learning that make use of learning styles., automatically creating personalized modules on the fly fpr each student Register for a demo though www.idlsystems.com
As long as one considers learning as an individualized process, each one learning at a different pace, instruction needs to be that way, however difficulty that may be. This is clear an impossible task for lectures but it may be reasonable to computer aided instruction. Not sure if open courseware, as it stands now, turns this possible, perhaps not, but certainly learning through nets is the way.
The success of the education system around the world is critical to us all and I commend the Academy for its insight to recognise the need to create solutions to deliver advanced personalised learning. In the UK we have researched, developed and delivered a knowledge network (Taecanet) that enables a small group of teachers to "harvest" relevant internet based resources, link them to learning objectives and assessment and then deliver them to a much wider teacher / student population to support personalised learning at home and/or at school. Tracking & reporting of students progress means that both students and teachers get immediate feedback. The students can work at their own pace and are rewarded through the process of learning with access to short periods of online games. The teachers get detailed feedback / reports which can help them with decisions on intervention at both individual and class levels. Students find this approach to personalised learning fun. Teachers find it easy to build into the teaching practice. Having delivered over 2 million learning journeys to students from the UK and around the world we now have a growing body of evidence that this approach increases attainment. Being web based it ensures the widest access and the cost of delivery can be less than $2 per student per year. And yet there is still much to do in terms of increasing the impact of assessment to drive even deeper decisions on the personal learning pathways that the individual students take. We believe working together with other educationalists, learning technologists, engineers & others we can start to make a difference.
Very important to study with other persons: for the cooperation, compartecipation, cohomprension socialisation. Contemporany, the personal study is important, like a singular process of mediting, inintuitions and correlations.
I spent 12 years in the tech industry, now I'm a teacher, and working on my Master's in Teaching. Individualized, adaptive, multi-media instruction is the ultimate in personal learning. To provide exactly what every individual needs to learn, in formats that are tailored specifically to them, is an educational "holy grail". Technology provides an incredibly effective and efficient means to deliver academic curricula to students. It is tragically underused and often abscent in today's "modern" classrooms. That said, until there is a major advancement and utilization of Virtual Reality, that delivery needs be in a classroom-like setting wherein the teacher acts as a guide, motivator, and catalyst for critical thinking and analysis of the vast amounts of information being obtained. The classrrom also provides situational support for implementation and practice through real-life means. Knowledge without meaning (or context) is pointless. And what about the curriculum? Who decides what it is that students will and should learn? What is developmentally appropriate? Currently in the U.S. each state and district decides these things. What about in a global educational system? With the development of open courseware, the information is available for delivery. But alas, it's mostly for adults. Are we ever going to move out of the 18oo's with elementary grades education?
1. Improved in education could have as large an impact on societies around the world as abolition of slavery had two centuries ago. It could form the basis of an international initiative, increasing prosperity all over, and reducing human misery. 2. Online learning has so far been a technology without an adequate scientific base. Expanding and strengthening this base will require advanced, multi-disciplinary research. 3. You cannot have systems which help a learner about which you can say "forgive them; they not what they are doing". Representations of knowledge that needs learnt, its links with outside representations (including web pages), representations of a studentís current knowledge, his learning context, links to various learning resources, etc. are all necessary. These will lead to personalized learning on a grand scale. A whole new part of the service sector will emerge, as big as the traditional education sector or the financial services sector, contributing to a worldwide economic boom. 4. There is a hope that significant advances can be made in the near future with a concerted effort. 5. As action points I would suggest a) creation of a forum and its popularization, for interested researchers to network. Perhaps the National Academy of Engg website http://www.engineeringcha llenges.org/cms/8996/9127 /9736.aspx?notifyComment=1 where this would be posted could be that website b) Identification of one or two international conferences and/or workshops (or creation of a new series) for specialists addressing this grand challenge to gather and exchange thoughts. c) use of technology for sharing all kinds of content, including videos, open access tools and software, etc., relevant to this grand challenge. d) identifying or creating journals to serve specialists working on this grand challenge. Srinivasan Ramani May 3, 2008
The idea of personalized learning seems like it is a good idea and could be very beneficial, but I feel like a lot of the learning we encounter is through the personal experiences of others that cannot be expressed through an online program. The best way to learn something is to engage in conversation and interact with other people that are knowledgable on that subject, not just through a modified program.
As a corporate learning manager, this type of applied research is long overdue. Employees working and learning within a fast paced and changing business environment have neither the time nor patience for outdated teaching methods that rely exclusively on the use of outdated academic models, lectures and other forms of information overload. Learning technologies and learning styles are key elements to creating effective individualized instruction for adult learners.
"Everyone wants to learn, to know, to expand and broaden their horizons, but limit themselves based on their prior experiences with our current methods of teaching. "
I know people who can look up sports statistics or the weather but say they cannot navigate online training. They can, but they are not motivated to do so. Personalized training that 'fits' the person would transform learning. Everyone wants to learn, to know, to expand and broaden their horizons, but limit themselves based on their prior experiences with our current methods of teaching. We need to incorporate what we do know, which in turn would expand and accellerate us to higher levels of 'personalized learning' which would propel us to even higher levels. That is why I will end with a quote: 'The least of learning is done in the classrooms.' Thomas Merton (1915 - 1968)
As a middle school science teacher it upsets me to see what Kasi and Al have written here. Showing students videos that they cannot engage in discourse with will not help them learn. And to Al, the education style of the older generation never worked in the first place. I am sure it looked like it worked when all you needed was a HS diploma to get a good job an support your families. But in America today you need at least a BA or BS if you want to be in the situation to take care of your family sufficiently. People need to talk to learn. They also need to be internally motivated to learn. Unfortunately the watered down classroom environment that passes for education in many schools today bores kids and does not teach them a love of learning. There is no silver bullet to solve this problem, we need many different types of schools because we have many different types of learners. For those of you interested in a "new" teaching method that seems to resonate well with the students involved then do an internet search for "democratic schools" or "free schools." These are schools which truly put the student first. Unfortunately, the name "free school" is misleading in that all but one school found in Canada are private schools and that puts them out of reach of some of our nations neediest children. For a good introduction to these schools go to www.youtube.com and search for "New American Schoolhouse" you will get to watch a documentary created by students at one of these schools. It is profound. The first thing we need to do to help people learn is to ask the learner what they need. Let us not assume we know better than the student.
Age 65, retired after 19 years as home hospice care giver here in Santa Fe, for 9 years I have taught myself to supply long, detailed, civil reviews of mainstream research on aspartame toxicity, which necessarily involves its immediate products in humans: methanol, formaldehyde, and formic acid. The reviews are in a public, highly hyperlinked archive on the Net on a free Yahoo.com group, aspartameNM, now 1525 posts. I notice many changes in my global information environment since 1999: 1. $ 1,050 computer, now 1.9 GHz dual chip vs .3 single, 4 GB RAM vs .26, 620 GB HDs vs 6, 6 GHz cable broadband and wireless vs .06 phone modem, Google magically searches 1 B Net users and my computer, Aspartame Yahoo group now 1,070 members vs 30, archive 22,300 posts in 9 years, most medical research now free PDFs or available for free on Net from medical school library, and all abstracts since 1950, exponential increase in toxicity research, media coverage, public interest groups, government interventions -- note in the UK in May 2007 the major food chains banned aspartame, MSG, 6 food dyes, BHT, trans fats, excess salt: The Coop, ASDA (unit of WalMart), Marks & Spencer, Sainsburys, Tesco -- no media coverage in the USA, as yet.
Result in a decade will be widespread reliance on organic plant based diets, without any artificial ingredients, with remarkable improvements re physical and mental health, reductions in birth defects, addictions, violence, obesity, and senility, with seniors growing in abilities and creativity. Research will be supported democratically by specialists collaborating with citizen groups, in planning, funding, and execution, with continuous real-time publication on the Net of all activity and info at every step. Nano instruments will allow citizens to precisely monitor all toxicity exposures real-time, as well as daily real-time data from imaging by expert beds at night, measuring neuroactivity, excretion, blood, breath, saliva, cells, hair, shared on the Net along with whole genome DNA data -- enabling real-time whole population studies on every toxicant and disease, as computer networks under guided evolution develop intelligent software to analyze global data. Prevention will be practical -- the primary and realistic, efficient strategy for health. Humans will be remarkably heathier individually and socially. Rapid enhancement of cognitive, sensory, emotional, empathic, pleasure, and subtle awareness capabilities will ensue. Incubators of genius like Google can now rapidly explore these benign possibilities with their own staff.
Personalized learning (teaching) is a requirement for the extremes - one to foster creative skills and the other to handle deficiencies. In between we should be able to find a general teaching moel that applies to most learners. My Ph.D. work demonstrates Intelligent Tutoring Systems built on top of an Integrated Machine Learning System. The Integrated Machine Learning System chooses the appropriate machine learning strategy for the situation from an ontology of learning strategies. Each strategy is attributed by application area, pros, cons, requirements, template of the method and links to other learning strategies. This ontology is used to identify which learning strategy the student uses while he learns the subject. The strategy used is compared to the recommended strategy for the situation (the recommended strategy is arrived at by using the ontology of learning strategies.). When the recommended and used strategies differ, a chance for error in learning personality is noted. That error is described and explained to the candidate allowing for improvement in the candidates learning personality. Most of the other approaches to student modeling, model the errors committed by the student while performing / solving problems, in the area. The outlined approach, by being learning centric provides the capacity to handle errors in the learning personality of the student and also provides the opportunity to increase the learning personality. The teaching process is adjusted based on the learning deficiencies identified in the student. Note that the content to be taught is not adjusted; it is only the mode of teaching it that is changed. As such there is no apprehension that the approach will result in lesser general knowledge or no knowledge in important areas. It rather ensures that different learning personalities do not stand in the way of learning all essentials.
Although I "voted" (tongue firmly in cheek :-) in favor of making the provision of energy from fusion a priority, it wasn't exactly an easy decision. It was more a matter of practicality. Cheap, clean (if you don't count waste heat which is inevitable due to entropy) sources of energy are clearly one of the most significant driving forces behind what most people consider "progress". I figure that we know fusion power is theoretically feasible (the Sun is a fusion reactor after all, but not terribly efficient at delivering usable energy to where we humans happen to want it, especially in high concentration) and that if we were to put the kind of resources behind it that we did to the Manhattan Project or putting the first man on the moon, we'd eliminate the need for economical solar power, and be in a much better position to tackle many of the other Grand Challenges. Yet one has to wonder if that reasoning isn't short-sighted. Might it not be better if within a generation or two at most, we had a bunch of people who had benefited from personal learning programs and were therefore far more prepared to enter the fields they were most suited for? I strongly suspect that providing personal education to many kids kids starting school now would result in them being the equivalent of two or three grade levels more advanced than they are now, when they hit age sixteen. Maybe more would have some idea as to what they wanted to do in life before they quit school as soon as they could because they didn't fit the system. Efficient fusion power, or better educated people doing what they are found to be best at? Tough decision. Either one would constitute tremendous progress. The former probably requires a significant investment up front. The latter requires a major change in education (social) policy, namely treating people as individuals, especially when they are young.
Kasi from India couldn't have put it better about what I was thinking. To add to that thought free learning centers could be provided around the world to increase learning for everyone. Here in the U.S. they are saying less students are interested in math and science and I think this technology can be used for those fields too. It would create a world standard of education that wouldn't depend on how much money someone has. Many of the other problems on this website can be solved by having an overall smarter world population and I strongly believe that raising our education standard is a key starting point to improving life everywhere.
The creation of virtual dynamic volumetric objects of mixed materials using so called functional repsentation that are equal to natural objects and can be used to locally create natural synthetic object using the internet. It is the prestige of natural objects procedures based on the concepts of digital materialism were the actual materialization of tangible objects are achived. Specifically the above procedures combined with a digital arts framework can give rise to digital literacy and perhaps the emergence of new digerati. Used with low cost 3Dimensional printers driven by personal computers. I suggest that there should be no boundary between virtual and natural object. This development of a digital language of objects that provide an index of information as usable knowledge would be equal to the development of symbolic language and the use of personal digital desktop printers is equal to the Gutenberg press ...... Please see hyperfun.org and cgpl.org use agreement. Thanks in advance....
The Personlized learning is critical to improve the innovation capability in all sectors. I'm researching about learning style, entrepreneurship tendency and education technology to advance the personlizing learning in STEM field. Many researchers found that there are many different learning styles which are based on congnitive process differences or mindset variations (Kolb, Gregorc, Dunn & Dunn etc). But these learning style is just used for "identifying" the individual or small group's preferrable style in learning. On the other hand, there is a Entrepreneurial Tendency (innovative oriented attitude), which enables to identify potential innovators (GET, EO, Kirton's A-I). The learning style and entrepreneurial tendency are "Exist" among the learners and if we can identify them before implmenting educational interventions, we can optimize educational technologies which can be "matched" with learners' needs to improve the efficiency of Learning. Educational technology, combined with pedagorical approach and engineering can provide "Personalized learning" to learners to support their happy and effective learning.
It's a wrong idea! Just look at the present educational meltdown in the US. Many elements of the suggested system have already been applied, with disastrous results. Compare the general knowledge level of previous generations to the present one,especially after making adjustment to the available knowledge bank. It's simply not true that that much difference exist between human beings, regarding learning, that would justify such a multi tierd system of education.The so-called 'one size fits all' method does have enough built-in room for real differences. Larger thann that differences are medical issues, not educational ones! Stop continue disastrous experimentation with education, wich already has destroyed all level of our education system! We should study those countries' methods which produce far more results,without self defeating mambo jumbo. The list of those countries includes much of the rest of the world,including many poor ones.
This item is fundamental to increase the number of people with high culture and able to manage the new and old problems. I think that it must be get to grips with a team of experts in different fields as: experts in marketing, software engineers, statistician ecc. A very powerful tool is the video game. Experts in video game can help to invent engaging products for education.
Recently I have been thinking about this, and this still bases its assumption that the problem is understanding the language. There would need to be much more hands on approach to the teaching, teach as much as possible through experiments and such. Then it would be easier for adults and kids to learn, when they had personal experiences to compare with the text books. This would lower the threshold for learning through books, and eventually create the desire to learn more.
I feel that open courseware would be a faster and effective approach to raise the education levels. In the open courseware, VIDEO LEARNING would be an excellent approach. A big org like google or microsoft could fund this kind of approach. Steps could simple. i) Find good teachers who can teach from pre-school to high-school / engineering for various subjects in all the necessary languages. ii) Teachers could take three types of session for every course, each for good / mediocre / poor student. iii) Multiple teachers for the same course can make it even more personalized giving more options. iv) Just take a video of the courses, put it in web, open specialized sites, broadcast it and distribute it as well as one can. v) It should be easy to find volunteers in weaker places like africa who need not be specialized in teaching, but who can just organize the pre-school students to make them sit in one place. Just show the video to those students. vi) Every video could be followed by a FAQ video, in the same tutor answers the most frequently asked questions. Both Original and FAQ videos could be improved with time. vii) More improvizations to could be made to make it simpler and effective. It can definitely make more people /children eliminate their ignorance. viii) There is one thing that is must for all the above to happen. Funding and Support from bigger organizations. These organizations are capable of puttng proper resources to make it happen and make the world a better place.