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Timm Amstein

Student , TU Dresden

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We need knowledge maps for students and pupils!

The ideas of data mining and data visualization are big challenges. But I think the principles Berlow and Gourley are using, are similar to algorithms search engines and other web services are using for proposing answers, ads and more. I think we need to take these ideas and bring them to the world of education. We could build up knowledge maps like the one thats used at Khan Academy. A map based on open knowledge e.g. wikipedia would give students the possibility to see the connections and explore the world of knowledge instead of attending in different courses, with different subjects, with different teachers, who think their subject is the best and aren't interested in building up connections (exaggerated to make the point). To go further you could use these methods to visualize stuff you can find on google scolar or in librarys. As people who can work with algorithms and data I think it would be nice if Google would offer such visualization. For me as a student it would be a big help to see the connections between all the different books, articles, journals, conferences and so on, to get a complete overview of a subject. That would also clean up a lot of redundant BLABLA made just because it's not sure that, if a statement is made, everybody understands the concepts behind it like the author does. I think that if you work on a thesis and you could see witch topics are connected, what concepts do I have to know, what are the most important authors and texts I have to read and so on, then the quality of new ideas would be impoved very much. Students wouldn't have to read for example 30 articles in journals where the ideas are just slightly different but the main idea is the same, For the beginning I think taking just the citations in books or arcticles and connecting them, would make a huge differnce in research techniques.


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  • Sep 22 2013: be aware it is important to know how to learn something without a map and have the ability to create a map
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      Oct 3 2013: I think that your concern is that we have to be able to learn without a preset image and create our own way of understanding a subject. I totally agree with you. I realized that the name knowledge map maybe isn't the right word. I don't wanted to say we need a framework, instead I yust wanted to suggest to provide better information about connections between subjects. For example if I open a wikipedia site I can see information about one selected subject and the links to other subjects. To get a full understanding of the connection I would have to check out all the links and the links that are linked to that and so on. The workload would go to infinity. Also in professional journals; if I want to have a full understanding I would have to read all the cited journals and books. I noticed for expample that google scholar provides the citing information of articles. If you are searching it provides links to the other cited articles. That means the connection information is there but encrypted in lists and links so that after one or two clicks no normal person can really overlook the mess. What I was asking for is visualized this connection data. After that we will see what comes with it. I think especially for students just to see what are the most cited works in a field and how they are connected in an understandable way, would be mindblowing.
      • Oct 3 2013: Ah, but what about that serendipity moment when you discover something off the subject that leads to so many interesting things. - 8>)) understand that some students feel it is waste of time and I admit it usually is but the times it is not are precious.

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