Monday, 30 June 2008

We have OLPC, what next?

Computing devices, together with communication, are great cognitive extending tools, especially when they become affordable.

I have also seen cases where brand new computers were stored in locked rooms in the early 90's when schools were given computers from the government without adequate support. At the time, my thoughts were that we need education software. My thinking has since changed as Internet has become ubiquitous, but I still see the need of locally available information for community where high-speed connection to Internet is problematic. [Case in point, the connection speed in Australia is 3rd world. I live in Metro Melbourne and I still have only ADSL connection! BTW, I have two ADSL lines coming into my home, I will appreciate anyone telling me how can I combine them to give me better bandwidth!]

From lifehacker, pocket wikipedia is a 175 MB download with hand-picked material for mobile devices. This reminds me of the One Encyclopedia Per Child project. The 0.5 release is available from The Pirate Bay among other.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Kids are Quick

TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America.
MARIA: Here it is.
TEACHER: Correct. Now class, who discovered America?
CLASS: Maria.

TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.

TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell 'crocodile?'
TEACHER: No, that's wrong
GLENN: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.
______________________________ ______________

TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
TEACHER: What are you talking about?
DONALD: Yesterday you said it's H to O.
TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago.

TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
GLEN: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.
TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with 'I.'
MILLIE: I is..
TEACHER: No, Millie..... Always say, 'I am.'
MILLIE: All right... 'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.'
TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand.

TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON: No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.

TEACHER: Clyde , your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your brother's. Did you copy his?
CLYDE : No, sir. It's the same dog.
TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher


Thursday, 19 June 2008

fallacy: Necessary and sufficient conditions of creativity

I wrote about Sufficient condition of creativity, and the necessary condition for Eureka Moments, have I found the necessary and sufficient conditions for creativity? No!

If you think I have, you are in the trap of a logic fallacy. You see, the necessary condition is for Eureka moment - a type of creativity and the sufficient condition is for Darwinian evolution creativity, a different kind.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Eureka Moments

In Sufficient condition of creativity, I show that hard work can be called "creativity". Continuously improving designs until the working version is unrecognizable from it starting version. This is based on the Darwinian evolution concept.

Most Science advanced in the Darwinian way, paintakingly testing and disproving theories until an elegant new theory appears.

Other type of "great leap forward" is made when a sudden connection between two theories are connected and sparks off an insight. [see e.g. Brain Scans Show Working Memory, Moments Of Insight] This is the Eureka Moment - after the myth that Archimedes, fresh from discovering the principle of buoyancy during a bath, running naked through the streets of Syracuse yelling “Eureka!”

Since such Eureka Moment requires connection between previously considered unrelated theories, the necessary condition of Eureka Moment is the board scope of the creator. Without knowledge of the two theories, there could not be any connection. This again points to "diligence" as an important factor. In this case, a potential creator should read/understand a board scope of theories. When the spark lights, Aha! Eureka!

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Wiimote Whiteboard vs. Commercial Electronic Boards

Verdict: Classroom - the cost of one classroom by a commercial solution will get you 7 classroom all equipped. WoW!

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Sufficient condition of creativity

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of The Future", 1961 (Clarke's third law)
English physicist & science fiction author (1917 - )

Creativity is defined as the ability to produce something new for a purpose.

The qualifier "for a specified purpose" is important because random new thing does not require any creative process. Hence, without this qualifier, creativity reduces to random changes.

"New" is a relative concept. Something new to me may not be new to you. It is new to me because I have not seen it before. Once I saw it, it is no longer new.

Since new is relatively related to "observer" and "time of observation". New does not imply prior non-existence. New only requires that the observer does not recognize any previous version of the thing at the time of observation. The sufficient condition of a thing to be new is that there are sufficient differences that the observer cannot notice the thing may be a previously observed version of the thing. [Note: this is NOT a necessary condition.] In other words, creativity is about the gap between the current public versions from the last public version. A creator is a person who shows the public things that are many versions apart.

Hence the sufficient condition of creativity is to make many "private" versions so that the accumulated difference from a public version is sufficiently large for the public not to notice the linkage from the previous thing.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Good News as a Learning Tool

The follow image from TreeHugger which is an image of a good news Web mock-up of Google News.

If you can get students to create similar pages, the impact will be tremendous.


A man maie well bring a horse to the water, But he can not make him drinke without he will. A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue by John Heywood (1546)

The job of today's educator is to make the horse always thirsty and be prepared when the horse lead you to the water. Albert IP (2008)

Sunday, 8 June 2008

I don't want to fry my brain with mobile

In 38 secs. you will know what I mean. Please watch.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

eBook Reader

The above image from a TreeHugger showed red letters on a Kindle like reader which send me thinking in light of the potential competition from 2nd generation of OPLC.

Books are dead. Long live the books.