TED Conversations

Timm Amstein

Student , TU Dresden

This conversation is closed.

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.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Oct 4 2013: Timm

    Just found this quote from Pamela Hieronymi, a prof of philosophy at UCLA in an essay on online learning, "Education is not the transmission of information or ideas. Education is the training needed to make use of information and ideas. As information breaks loose from bookstores and libraries and floods into computers and mobile device, that training becomes more important, not less."
    • thumb
      Oct 7 2013: Thats exactly the concern I have. Because of the information overload and the fact that everybody could wright about nearly anything we need to set things in perspective and see the connection. I don't want to ruin the experience of learning. That doesn't overtake the normal way of learning it's an addition, a new possibility. If you want to take it or not is for you to decide. I think that moment of serendipity you mentioned would be even bigger. Because I you study something and discover something off that interesting. Then, if you ask the questions: What else does that fact lead to? What can I do with that new idea? how does that idea or fact relates to the things I already know? you are alone! You can explore the different subjects on your own like you said or you need something or someone to teach you. Before the internet you could use one or two teaching books to get a basic understanding and then you could move foreward. With the internet and so many sources of information even a good teacher can only scratch the surface. I think especially for student and pupils who have to learn very much, most of the time things they never heard of before, it's essential to give them the opportunity to say. Okay I learn that! and now I want to see every subject thats related to that to decide what to learn next. If you don't do that the information overload will just crush the brains of students. My best example for the is the field of electronics. If you sudied electronics about 40 years ago. After the normal 5 Years in University (typical German "Diplom") you could say "I understand mostly everything there is to know and I am specialized in ..." Today If you want to understand all the hardware, sensors, IC, software and so on build in a single smartphone you have a hard time. And if you want to build one you better have two lifes to learn it all.
      • Oct 7 2013: Interesting, I was in the computer industry, engineering and r&d 40 years ago. Sorry do not know the German environment, especially 40 years ago but in the US even a Senior engineer with years of experience would not make that statement or even think it let alone someone directly out of college. If they did, they would not last long. The key is learning and applying what you have learnt in the past to what you have just learnt. Technology changes so quickly and the technology can be different from company to company, if not at least in application. The culture of the companies will be different.

        I guess when I read quote it says to me learn how to learn, keep learning every day, and learn how to apply what you have learnt correctly.

        good luck
        • thumb
          Oct 7 2013: I am sorry. I went a little overboard to make my point I think. What I really wanted to say is what you also said. That the technology developed so much and so qiuck that today its much more difficult to be really good in a broad field or said in another way. The field in which somebody can be specialized is getting smaller because you have to learn more.
          Everyday learning is out of question. My concern is that someday the development of technology will outrun the capabilities of our old crappy system of education if we don't develop new tools and methods.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.