Teaching Machines Happening Assignments

Here's how I envision the ideas building over the course of this month:

During the "pre-happening," folks spent a lot of time looking at the history of Hypertext: what does it mean to think and create using machines.

Pre-Happening Assignment: Hypertext History

During Week 1, we'll look at some of the proto-teaching machines in the early twentieth century. The development of these coincide with the development of the discipline of educational psychology and the "science" of intelligence testing.

Week 2 turns to B. F. Skinner and behaviorism in the 1950s and 1960s -- the field of educational psychology rambles onward. Whee. But we'll also look at other examples of teaching machines beyond Skinner's invention, particularly those that took specific advantage of the computer. This is the rise of "computer-assisted instruction" in the 1960s and 1970s.

Week 3 examines learning machines. Here we'll look at responses, like constructionism, that differ from the most instructivist approaches of earlier teaching machines. With the rise of personal computing in the 1970s onward, how humans will learn using machines we re-imagined (as was, in the same period, much about school).

Week 4 is also a look at learning machines, or rather machine learning. Machines that learn. Intelligent machines. What is intelligence? What is artificial intelligence? What does it mean to have machines learn? What does that mean for humans? What does that mean for humans learning?