Axon Idea Processor

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Axon Idea Processor

Introduction

The Axon Idea Processor is a sketchpad for visualizing and organizing ideas with a user interface specially designed for the thinking process. The added value of organising shared ideas and developing further in the frame of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning is relevant, of course.
Axon is a powerful tool for creating mind maps*, text processing, checklists, hints, and problem solving. The basis of Axon is the Prolog language - a popular tool for the world of artificial intelligence and cognitive sciences.
Ideas and diagrams are the basic abstractions of the Axon Idea Processor. Ideas are shown as graphical objects and its relationship shown as links. You get the big picture at all times, and details can be hidden from view.

(*)“Mind maps" are an efficient way to generate, plan and organize ideas based on associations. Creating a mind map, you start with putting a symbol with the main idea in the center of a page. Then you add key notions, questions and answers spreading from it in the form of branches. The notions are organized in a hierarchical order.
Pictures, colours and different symbols help to make a mind map really easy to read and remember. As a result you get a structured graphical map, with key words and pictures.

Mind Mapping is widely used in the fields where correct perception of information is vital.
In education it is useful both for teachers (to prepare lesson plans) and students (to think over essays and projects)

Benefits for Teachers and Students

Visual representation of data and information is at the very heart of the Axon Idea Processor. It gives teachers and students a range of tools to use in developing and recording thinking. The diagrams present many different structures for generating, expanding, refining, and recording the products of thinking tasks.
Working in this environment encourages students to work at higher levels of abstraction that will enhance more complex thinking, more effective learning and better retention and recall of information.
This software helps students to work with ideas and concepts rather than words. Using the Axon Idea Processor  knowledge capture and transfer are facilitated. As a result, students amplify their mental potential, learn to focus attention and minimize distractions.
Some activities may involve a high degree of student collaboration, group discussion and whole class sharing. As a result, teachers may assess group dynamics and contributions of individuals to the group effort.

Pedagogical background

The idea behind Axon is to provide an environment that supports thinking. The design is based upon the cognitive sciences, which include psychology, anthropology, linguistics, philosophy, computer science, and neuro-science.
The work of cognitive psychologists suggests that thinking processes occur in no particular sequence. This suggests the concept of Mode-lessness. A mode-less system enables you to perform any task at any time without having to switch modes. Using Axon, you can work top-down, bottom-up, and not restricted by fixed procedures. Writing, drawing, organizing, doodling, computing, etc., can be done concurrently without having to switch tools. The Idea Processor exploits visual attributes such as: color, shape, size, scale, position, depth, shadow, link, icon. In drawing mind maps, even in 3-D, both “left and right brain” are exploited. Visual cues facilitate recall, association, and reinforce short term memory. Furthermore, visualization stimulates creativity and discovery. Diagrams help to model and solve complex problems, help to see relationship from different perspectives.
Introducing students to the Axon Idea Processor will provide them with important cognitive tools for classroom application and most importantly, tools for life-long learning.

 

Tools

The Axon Idea Processor is an impressive, multi-level, 3D workspace that uses objects and links specially designed for idea processing. This software integrates drawing and presentation tools, supports Hypertext and Richtext.
The Axon’s main idea processing tools are:

- Analyzer - analyzes sentence structure, word frequency, etc.

 

 

- Checklists -captures and stores knowledge and wisdom.

- Clusters - organizes ideas into trees and branches.

- Generator - generates sentences, poems, inventive ideas, etc.

Simulator – makes concepts come alive using simulation techniques. Simulated movements are animated using Packets that move from one Object to another in real-time or slower.

FreeWriter - a pre-writing tool.

Random Words - prompting with words or word pairs.

Technical requirements

The Axon Idea Processor is developed entirely in Prolog, an AI language.
Axon requires a Pentium-based IBM PC or compatible running Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT or XP, but not Windows 3.1. The hardware should include a minimum of 32MB of RAM, 8MB of free space on the hard disk, and a VGA monitor. A mouse or equivalent pointing device is mandatory.

Target age
The Axon Idea Processor is suitable for introduction in the middle to upper primary levels of schooling up to post-graduate level.

Click on the names below if you want to submit a presentation:
patrizia corasaniti
maria rosaria chiummo:



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