The Dynamo and the Social

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Thought this was an interesting piece at Slate based on Paul David’s paper. There are some obvious parallels with personal or mobile computing and education and the difficulties we have with using it well. “Electric light bulbs were available by 1879, and there were generating stations in New York and London by 1881. Yet a thoughtful observer in 1900 would … Read More

Wittgenstein, Popper and Education

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A little bit of history goes a long way – and certainly puts some of the 21st Century Learning rhetoric in perspective. “The Pedagogic Institute had been established to further the Austrian educational reform program. This attempted to steer education away from a ‘drill school’ approach, in which schoolchildren were treated as empty vessels to be filled by the accumulation … Read More

The Lost Tools Of Learning

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we let our young men and women go out unarmed, in a day when armor was never so necessary. By teaching them all to read, we have left them at the mercy of the printed word. By the invention of the film and the radio, we have made certain that no aversion to reading shall secure them from the incessant … Read More

Many nations, many views of psychology

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In Britain, there was a noteworthy interest in individual differences, the distribution of these differences in the population and the significance of this data in social, educational and political questions. The result was a psychology intimately bound up with statistics. In France, a clinical method and an interest in the exceptional, perhaps pathological, individual case (the hysteric, the prodigy of … Read More

Text based adventures in the classroom

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There’s a wonderful idea over at Ed Stuck in the Cloud: why not use the Inform platform to create text based adventures a la Zork to enthuse students? “While the idea of asking students to create video games could be daunting to a teacher with core curriculum concerns, it becomes quickly evident with use that Inform is crazy easy to … Read More

BBC News – Diagrams that changed the world

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One of the first to use the visual world to navigate numbers was Florence Nightingale.<br /> <br /> Although better known for her contributions to nursing, her greatest achievements were mathematical. She was the first to use the idea of a pie chart to represent data.<br /> <br /> <br /> Nightingale's diagrams were designed to highlight deaths in the … Read More

In just 25 years, the mobile phone has transformed the way we communicate | Business | guardian.co.uk

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Having seen mobile phone penetration soar above 100% in 2004, the industry has spent the later part of the past decade trying to persuade people to do more with their phones than just call and text, culminating in the fight between the iPhone and a succession of touchscreen rivals – soon to include Google's Nexus One. John Cunliffe, chief technology … Read More

How Robber Barons hijacked the "Victorian Internet"

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In many ways this story is far field from our contemporary debates about network management, file sharing, and the perils of protocol discrimination. But the main questions seem to remain the same—to what degree will we let Western Union then and ISPs now pick winners and losers on our communications backbone? And when do government regulations grow so onerous that … Read More