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WIRED: A.I. Is Making It Extremely Easy For Students To Cheat

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Once again a friend passed along an article that's relevant to my study of education tech. This time it's from Wired Magazine. Pippa Biddle looks into WolframAlpha, an AI system that can complete complex math calculations, and show its work. Some see it as a way to cheat, and others see its power to transform the way we think about math education. Once again, I put the issue in front of my brother. He's just graduated magna cum laude from Robert Morris University with a degree in biology, and he's headed to Ohio State for graduate work. I asked him what he thinks of tools like WolframAlpha, and he did not fail to provide more thought-fodder on the matter:

Zack,
I can see how some people think this is cheating but i agree that it's probably more of a useful tool. There will always be students who plug their problems into it, copy down the answers, and don't learn anything from it. But I've been in this situation before - having problems I don't understand,…

"The Villain is the World Itself": An Email From My Brother

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Ladies and gentlemen,

I normally don't paste personal correspondence into my blog, but this week my younger brother sent me something very thought provoking. It's an article by Patrick Lee from the A.V. Club. My brother Ben is ten years younger than me, born in 1995, an avid gamer, and about to begin medical school.

Please read the original article he sent me here, and then feel free to read our email exchange below. I realize that my response to him does delve into quite political territory, and my own leanings will be plain as day. But apart from the politics, I think the crux of the matter - Lee's observation about the shift in the content of new video games - is very interesting, Here are the two supporting articles I link to in my email:

Lazy Millennials Won't Buy Cereal

Obama: "You didn't build that without help"