life is a rum go guv’nor, and that’s the truth

Component Fluency Hypothesis

Math problem solving procedures are important tools in a problem solver’s toolbox. Fluency at using those procedures frees up cognitive resources for problem solving. This is the component fluency hypothesis described by van Merriënboer in his book Training Complex Cognitive Skills and in an ETR&D article. These algorithmic skills are not everything though. Common taxonomies [...]

PSLC Theoretical Framework Wiki Opened

Recently the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center (PSLC) opened public access to a wiki version of their theoretical framework which had previously only been available in PDF format. Kurt VanLehn, one of the PSLC directors, and a pioneer in the field of intelligent tutoring systems, serves as editor. The framework attempts to provide a cohesive [...]

I am no good at math!

Why is it that students so often claim “I am no good at math”? Here is one theory:

In primary grades the major emphasis is on recall of basic math facts (e.g. 3 + 5).
Many kids aren’t wired for simple recall (they aren’t good at memorizing). I’m not.
Commonly used instructional approaches don’t give the immediate feedback [...]

Multilingual Google search mashup

For sometime I have envisioned a web browser that allows me to search and browse all of the web-pages of the world and view them in English. I figure there have got to be lots of cool things going on in the non-English speaking world that I would be interested in but I never hear [...]

Moved to slicehost

I recently moved from hostgator to slicehost. I signed up with hostgator because it seemed to be a cheap place ($10/mo) to play with rails. It turns out that hostgator doesn’t really do rails (they offer it via cgi, not even fastcgi). They didn’t allow me to install things like the Send2Wiki perl module or [...]

Jennifer Suh!

Recently I had the great opportunity to visit with Jennifer Suh and Gwenanne Salkind from The Mathematics Education Center (MEC). Thanks to Jim, they came to visit the USU College of Education and the NLVM team prior to presenting on Developing persistent & flexible problem solvers at the annual NCTM meeting in Salt Lake. Jennifer’s [...]

Mixing AWT and Swing is No Fun!

A couple of years ago I wrote the NLVM Application using Java Swing 1.4. It incorporates the Interactive Math Applets from the NLVM Website. The challenge was that those applets were written based on framework built back in the bronze ages when Netscape on Mac 8 was used heavily in the schools. At that time [...]

Lucene and Multi-Lingual Updates to OER Recommender

Last week I posted an update to OER Recommender. The source for the project is posted in Google code projects: oerrecommender, recommenderd, and aggregatord. The biggest change was moving OER Recommender from my home-brewed indexing and recommendation engine to using the super fast, super easy, open source search engine Lucene. I made the move because [...]