Saturday, March 26, 2011

Accelerated Gnowledge

"If this doesn't blow your mind, then you have no imagination!" - Salman Khan (the global educator, not the actor!)

Exhibit A:
http://www.gnowledge.org/view_concept_activity?objid=6520&level=1&gen=1&maptype=depmap

A Meta diagram (or concept map or call it what you like) illustrating the linkage of the concept of acceleration with other concepts. This basically tells you that in order to understand acceleration, it's advisable to understand the concepts of velocity, speed, and rate of change prior.
And then, if you successfully understand acceleration, then you can move ahead to understanding terminal speed, force, acceleration due to gravity.

Exhibit B:
Now go to the address bar of that page, change level=1 to level=0 and what do you get...
http://www.gnowledge.org/view_concept_activity?objid=6520&level=0&gen=1&maptype=depmap

You'll have to click-through to see the diagram in full - it's huge!
You can now see all the concepts, right from the very basic, that lead to the one in question, as well as all its offshoots!

The beauty of it : It's all computer-generated, made by stitching together hundreds of simple statements like "A depends on B".

Check out the website: http://www.gnowledge.org/, made and maintained by the gnowledge.org lab of Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR, Mumbai, (I've had the good fortune of meeting and interacting with Prof GN and his team behind this recently, more on that later!)


Imagine the potential for education : If enough people collaborate to build this up (it's an open collaboration website - everyone can pitch in with little tid-bits to build up the whole), then we can throw all the linear education models out the window and replace them with an organic mesh like this that will help educate in a much better way. This can be used to formulate much better teaching plans.

Looking forward to a lot of cool stuff emerging here!

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