SOCRATIC

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Socratic, or Socratic.org, is an education tech company that offers a mobile app for students. The app uses AI technology to help students with their homework by providing educational resources like videos, definitions, Q&A, and more. Socratic’s stated mission is to Make Learning Easier. They launched their app under the same name in 2016.

Technology

The Socratic app utilizes AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology to accurately predict which concepts will help a student solve their question. Over months, millions of real student questions were analyzed and classified. Then the app uses that data to guess on future questions and provide specific education content.

The app works by letting students take a photo of a homework question.  Students receive various “cards” in the app with different learning resources such as definitions, Youtube videos, Q&A, and original content and illustrations written by the Socratic.org web community.

In January 2017, Socratic added additional math features to the app, including step-by-step equation help and graphs.

Application

Socrates generally applied his method of examination to concepts that seem to lack any concrete definition; e.g., the key moral concepts at the time, the virtues ofpiety, wisdom, temperance, courage, and justice. Such an examination challenged the implicit moral beliefs of the interlocutors, bringing out inadequacies and inconsistencies in their beliefs, and usually resulting in aporia. In view of such inadequacies, Socrates himself professed his ignorance, but others still claimed to have knowledge. Socrates believed that his awareness of his ignorance made him wiser than those who, though ignorant, still claimed knowledge. . This claim was known by the anecdote of the Delphic oracular pronouncement that Socrates was the wisest of all men.

Socrates used this claim of wisdom as the basis of his moral exhortation. Accordingly, he claimed that the chief goodness consists in the caring of the soul concerned with moral truth and moral understanding, that “wealth does not bring goodness, but goodness brings wealth and every other blessing, both to the individual and to the state”, and that “life without examination [dialogue] is not worth living”.

The motive for the modern usage of this method and Socrates’ use are not necessarily equivalent. Socrates rarely used the method to actually develop consistent theories, instead using myth to explain them. The Parmenides dialogue shows Parmenides using the Socratic method to point out the flaws in the Platonic theory of the Forms, as presented by Socrates;

This approach is based on the belief that participants seek and gain deeper understanding of concepts in the text through thoughtful dialogue rather than memorizing information that has been provided for them. While Socratic Circles can differ in structure, and even in name, they typically involve the following components: a passage of text that students must read beforehand and two concentric circles of students: an outer circle and an inner circle. The inner circle focuses on exploring and analysing the text through the act of questioning and answering.

Students in the outer circle are much like scientific observers watching and listening to the conversation of the inner circle.  This process alternates with the inner circle students going to the outer circle for the next meeting and vice versa. The length of this process varies depending on the text used for the discussion. The teacher may decide to alternate groups within one meeting, or they may alternate at each separate meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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