Emiliano De Laurentiis's blog | Knowledge Avatars™

Emiliano De Laurentiis's blog

Jack & Jill Go Back To School in 2020

Vintage image of Jack and Jill falling down the hill.

Jack and Jill are working on a physics problem. Their teacher asked them to calculate the force needed to hurl a 500 pound projectile from a spot on Earth to 20,000 miles in low earth orbit. They don’t have any idea of what they need to know to solve this problem and they don’t want to dig through numerous articles or videos on the subject. They want to learn what they need for this problem as thoroughly and rapidly as possible.

AI Brings the Teacher Back to E-Learning

Current e-learning has been focused primarily on mimicking the classroom, except that the teacher takes on a less important role. Students are interacting with content that a subject matter expert assembled, but there is no direct relationship between the student and the content matter expert, a.k.a., the teacher. Webinars and the occasional live interaction are inadequate substitutes for the classroom experience.

Artificial Intelligence Mentors That Individualize Learning

Most of our lives we learn specifically what we need to achieve our goals. As children, we learn how to crawl, walk, and talk when we are physically ready to do so and when our brains are sufficiently developed to take on the task. Even so, we will only attempt something new, like the precarious act of walking, when we are motivated to do it. Babies start to crawl to get to something that they want, their mother and her milk, for example, a shiny toy, or perhaps something to explore. Similarly, we learn to talk to get what we want.

E-learning’s Promise and Failure

Student looking concerned at computer

Since the early days of computers, many of us dreamed of how computers were going to revolutionize education. We didn’t know exactly how it was going to work, but we knew that the “personal” computer made it possible to individualize education. In learning, one size does not fit all, so individualized education is the “holy grail” of education! Industrialization brought us mass education, essential to building an educated workforce, but today’s workforce requires specialization and skills that are way beyond group-think. 

Learning by Interactive Programming (L.I.P.)

This article is about the value of programming as a teaching tool not to teach programming, but rather as a medium that students use to illustrate their understanding of a concept. For example, if a student can program a computer to draw circles using basic trigonometric functions, then the student understands the concept of a circle at a very fundamental level. If a student develops a simulation that models the economic functions of a city, then that student has learned some important lessons about such an economy.

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