My Aunt Lib died this past Fall and while we were preparing for her funeral at her home, I happened upon my Uncle Herbert’s old wallet in a closet. I had to take a peek inside and found this piece of blue paper folded up…
It was his autobiography.
I wish I had known more of this story when he was alive…
Here is the transcription with a few links that I’ve thrown in for my own benefit:
Uncle Herbert’s Autobiography
Born in Florence 1920 one block from American Bakery. Worked on farm. Worked Tyler Veener Mill, Roofing Co. Atlantic Coast Line Railroad at Station and in round house. Fueled first diesel train that came into Florence.
Then to Phila for Catapult School, then west coast waiting for ship corridor.
Then back to Koppers Co.
Heart attack in 1978. Retired 1980. 5 operation and 3 heart attacks one of them bypass.
Built 2 houses.
We’re pretty amazing creatures…
Given Tablets but No Teachers, Ethiopian Children Teach Themselves | MIT Technology Review: “Earlier this year, OLPC workers dropped off closed boxes containing the tablets, taped shut, with no instruction. ‘I thought the kids would play with the boxes. Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, found the on-off switch … powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child, per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs in the village, and within five months, they had hacked Android,’ Negroponte said. ‘Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera, and they figured out the camera, and had hacked Android.’”
I love the Incase Origami case/stand…
Review: The Origami Workstation for iPad — Shawn Blanc: “Well, why not just use the iPad’s smart cover, and carry around the keyboard by itself? I’m glad you asked. For one the Workstation allows me to use the iPad with keyboard on my lap (for times I’m sitting in a conference room or an airport terminal). Secondly, the Workstation offers a sturdier support for the iPad than the Smart Cover. Thus allowing me to press the Home button and navigate the touch screen without using two hands to keep the iPad from tipping over. And if you prefer to type with the iPad in portrait mode, you can do that no problem.”
I’ve been using an Origami case for my Apple keyboard exactly the same way as Shawn (here’s my setup that I take to the office and school, complete with the same Jawbone Jambox) since last May. It’s rugged, stylish and does what it says it does.
Not bad for $30.
One of the best posts that Jason has made in a long while…
Google’s Fiber Takeover Plan Expands: Will Kill Cable & Carriers – LAUNCH -: “Google is going to kill AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and the cable companies. Kids don’t talk on the phone and they don’t have a ton of money. If they can be reasonably sure they’ll have a wifi network, then they are simply not going to sign up for AT&T or Verizon.
It’s game over… in five short years.”
“Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.”
Be like the fox indeed.
Half a penny of every federal dollar goes to NASA…
NASA 2014 Budget: More for Asteroids, Less for Planets and Education – BadAstronomy: Continuing the bad news, education takes a big hit, going from $137 million to $94 million, a 33 percent cut.
Shame on us.
One of those questions I ponder frequently (having been a tween of the early 90′s and having frequently used his music as benchmarks in my life):
Mrs Loosemore has taught me that it’s good to have a list of things not understandable.
I had to wince to make it through this article and visibly groaned when I read this:
Teacher Knows if You’ve Done the E-Reading – NYTimes: “CourseSmart is owned by Pearson, McGraw-Hill and other major publishers, which see an opportunity to cement their dominance in digital textbooks by offering administrators and faculty a constant stream of data about how students are doing.
In the old days, teachers knew if students understood the course from the expressions on their faces. Now some classes, including one of Mr. Guardia’s, are entirely virtual. Engagement information could give the colleges early warning about which students might flunk out, while more broadly letting teachers know if the whole class is falling behind.
Eventually, the data will flow back to the publishers, to help prepare new editions.”
As a teacher, I definitely understand the well meaning intention behind something like CourseSmart. I use Khan Academy a great deal with my 7th grade students for similar intentions.
However, the reason I use Khan for reinforcing math skills we’re discussing or for enrichment is to increase a student’s “number sense” and basic quantitative reasoning skills. We have conversations about their work on Khan, we do track progress a little (though it’s not used as the basis for a grade) and I am able to see where a particular student might be struggling, bored, competent or proficient on certain math skills that we’re covering. It’s a handy tool just like worksheets or pencil and paper. In the end, my job as a teacher is to converse with each student and see where they are in their math work on an individual basis. Khan along with many other tools helps me do that more authentically. I don’t “helicopter” students but want them to realize that they can take charge of their own learning for learning’s wonderful sake.
Khan, Code Academy, iTunes U, Coursera etc have made me a much better teacher over the last three years because I fundamentally believe that conversation (meaning more than verbal but conversation in the truest sense of the word possible) with an individual student is still the best test.
Nonetheless, what CourseSmart is doing from a teaching point of view is taking something like reading and making it into a quantitative model of “engagement.” Rather than a student being able to engage with material that suits them best, they’re being pigeon holed into an algorithmic expectation of highlighting and note taking in a way that up-ends the teaching process. Services like CourseMart are yet another example that boxed one-size fits all education at any level does not work.
Plus, the connection to corporate edu is so disturbing. Pearson and McGraw-Hill have become the Facebook and Google of education with their takeover of the education cloud.
23 Beautiful Fonts Released Last Month: “A geometric sans serif typeface, with caps inspired by Art Deco signage found inside the ‘Gare Maritime’ ocean liner terminals in both Le Havre and Cherbourg, France, in the early 1930s.”
Sad and true across the landscape of education (public and private)…
“Teacher’s resignation letter: ‘My profession … no longer exists’” – Washington Post: “My profession is being demeaned by a pervasive atmosphere of distrust, dictating that teachers cannot be permitted to develop and administer their own quizzes and tests (now titled as generic “assessments”) or grade their own students’ examinations. The development of plans, choice of lessons and the materials to be employed are increasingly expected to be common to all teachers in a given subject. This approach not only strangles creativity, it smothers the development of critical thinking in our students and assumes a one-size-fits-all mentality more appropriate to the assembly line than to the classroom.