By Ilse Silva-Krott, PhD, SLA instructional faculty, BIO 212
I presented a round table discussion titled “Active Learning Through Learner Engagement in Multimodal Science Courses” at the Eighth International Conference on e-Learning and Innovative Pedagogies (The Future of Education: Advanced Computing, Ubiquitious Learning, and The Knowledge Community) held on the campus of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
My round table discussion simulated constructive, asynchronous discussion in an online course. Questions and answers demonstrated how class discussion in response to well-planned prompts will harness learner diversity to create active learning opportunities in a shared knowledge environment. From the introduction to a final project, guided discussion provides opportunities for students to engage with subject matter individually and in groups. Learners identify problems, describe processes, research information and create solutions.
The conference included presentations on artificial intelligence, and how artificial intelligence will change the world over the next 50 years. Computing and neuroscience are merging, in attempts to “recreate” a human brain. I wonder, if biology does not take a back seat in technological think tanks, considering the enormous plasticity of living systems.
According to J.Sporer, IBM Cognitive Research Group, artificial intelligence today compares to the level of the brain of a fruit fly (Drosophila sp.), but computing ability should advance quickly above and beyond human brain capacity. We shall interact with computers seamlessly, and rely on “personal assistants,” future generations of Siri or IBM’s Watson. The FitBit is a start, and while conference presenters and attendees agreed that education will be critical, it was not entirely clear, what type of education will be needed and how it would be delivered. If personal assistants know all and access all information, what shall we need to know?