WEEK TEN : Aug 26 - Aug 30


I regret to report that there has been an unfortunate occurrence as of late that has brought my mentorship project to a standstill. On Friday afternoon, Janet's husband was diagnosed with cancer. Obviously and very understandably, Janet is not in a state to continue her role as my mentor. I can only express my greatest hope that Mike is able to fight this into remission. Janet has a wonderful family and as it is obvious she has supported so many, she and her family will undoubtedly have that support returned during these difficult times.

I have three papers assigned to read by the end of my stay here:
How People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice
-Donavan, Bransford, and Pellegrino [Eds.]
Learner-Centered Education
-Donald Norman and James Spohrer
Smart Machines in Education: The Coming Revolution in Educational Technology
-Keneth Forbus and Jaul Feltovich [Eds.]

I intend to finish them by the end of Wednesday.


Today so much fun. I got to accompany research scientists, Jackie and Paul to the classroom again. The kids were starting their first LBD lesson: Book Support. Their challenge was to work in groups of 4 and using only 3" x 5" card, paper clips and rubber bands, build a stand that will support the weight of a text book 3 inches off a table and allow for the turning of pages.

The purpose was to expose them to the Learning By Design process as well as teach them a bit about collaboration. After their first hack at the design they went around and looked at all the other designs in their "Gallery Walk" then went back to their designs and tried to improve them using other people's ideas.

It was so much fun to see the kids get so excited about learning. All of them were so eager to share their ideas and participate, they were great. It's interesting to watch the different kids in the class before and during the design process. There were two kids in particular who, at the beginning of class were very quiet and not paying attention, drawing in their books, and mostly acting indifferent to everything that was happenening. But as soon as they were set to work on the design, their apathy turned into excitement, and they actually produced one of the most successful designs in the whole class.

I'm very glad that I got the chance to observe LBD "at work", it give me hope that our nation's middle school cirriculum may yet be saved. We just need to get more cognitive scientists making the decisions about what our nation's kids should be learning.



Well, today is my last day at Georgia Tech. I went out to brunch this morning with a friend, we ate at a great place called The Flying Biscuit, very good food, and I'm now quite full. I have my last rugby practice today, and last "night out with the girls". I'm gonna miss all the wonderful friends I've made during my stay in Atlanta.

I'm finishing up my reading of two papers from Monday and putting the final touches on my "Final Report", I'll email that in to CRA-W this afternoon. I won't get to see my mentor before I leave, she's still quite busy at the hospital and dealing with family, very understandable. I hope we will be able to keep in touch via email.



My last day in Atlanta, Georgia. I catch my plane at 5:00pm then I'm off to Eugene, Oregon. I'm confident that I will be able to apply many of the things I've learned here to my future research. I will be starting a project in September, focused on Education Technology through a collaboration between the Computational Science group and the Archeology Department at the UO. I'm excited to share all that I've learned with my research team back in Eugene.



No more to say but:

Au revoir
Do svidanja
Auf Wiedersehen
Zai jian
Ta'á, um ason piw a'ni

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