education

Facebook and the Humanities

I strongly think this aspect of Facebook’s leadership, and leadership in Silicon Valley in general, is an important piece of the current trend in tech and politics. There’s a reason the “Titans of Industry” in the 20th century placed such an emphasis on the liberal arts and libraries… “That’s because it was based in the idea that Facebook was essentially benign. Worse: Mr. Zuckerberg stuck with this mix of extreme earnestness and willful naïveté for …

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Defending the Liberal Arts

Long overdue… The new statement offers a counterargument to the notion that the liberal arts are impractical, and perhaps unnecessary. The disciplines, it argues, increase students’ curiosity, prepare them to be lifelong learners, and offer a foundation for academic freedom. As a result, the associations argue, the benefits of the liberal arts should be available to “all college students and not solely a privileged few.” — Read on www.chronicle.com/article/2-Associations-Forcefully/243544

Microsoft and Apple helped build new braille display standard

It’s really nice to see traditional rivals like Apple and Microsoft working together on something as important as accessibility. Hopefully this partnership is fruitful and the two companies (along with other tech industry leaders) continue to work to make computers and technology more accessible for those with different kinds of impairments. — Read on www.engadget.com/2018/05/31/microsoft-apple-usb-if-accessibility-braille-display-standard/

Less School

This is going to put me at odds with many of my more liberal friends, but I do see the justification for the argument here as well as “The Case Against Education.” Education is big business and we’re not educating our children (or adults) in the US in a way that best suits their future or the future of our republican democracy. So what is really going on? Caplan offers plausible evidence that school functions …

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To Post or Not to Post About Your Kid’s Success?

On the topic of whether parents should post about their kids’ college acceptance on Facebook, but a good reminder for all of us parents who grew up in a time before social media and are still figuring out its long term impacts on ourselves and our children: “This isn’t your moment, as much as it may feel that way. Let your kids bask in their own glory. By letting your children tell people about an …

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Dogfooding

After two happy years as a WordPress self-hosted install, I’m moving our 8th grade science class site/home/hub, GriffinScience, to Blogger: GriffinScience: “Because we’ll be using Blogger as a main platform of interaction with the 8th graders next year due to our school Google accounts making that a no-brainer, I’ve gone ahead and moved GriffinScience from a self-hosted WordPress install to Blogger.” I don’t think the students will mind or notice much, and it does make …

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Front Page Article on SpaceCam Launch

So incredibly proud of my students… Science project takes off for Spartanburg Day School students | GoUpstate.com: “Nearly a month of calculated planning and scientific research flew up, up and away Friday afternoon over the Spartanburg Day School athletic fields and into a cloudy sky.” Go read the whole thing.

Engineering Creativity

So how do we as teachers cultivate and encourage creativity in a human existence that doesn’t require as many gigs of organic memory? LRB · Jim Holt · Smarter, Happier, More Productive: “It’s not that the web is making us less intelligent; if anything, the evidence suggests it sharpens more cognitive skills than it dulls. It’s not that the web is making us less happy, although there are certainly those who, like Carr, feel enslaved …

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School Books in the Present and Future

I’m laying on the bed with my 3.5 month old daughter who is interacting with the Princess and the Frog app on my iPad while I check my RSS feeds via Reeder on my iPhone. She is reading along with the book portion, watching the embedded videos and recording her voice as the narrator. It’s really something to observe. Then she dips into the coloring book part of the app where she colors on the …

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Flood of Mysteries and Science

Well worth your time time to read: How We Know by Freeman Dyson | The New York Review of Books: “The information flood has also brought enormous benefits to science. The public has a distorted view of science, because children are taught in school that science is a collection of firmly established truths. In fact, science is not a collection of truths. It is a continuing exploration of mysteries. Wherever we go exploring in the …

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De Grading

A big thanks to Joe Bower for pointing these links from Alfie Kohn out on Twitter today: From Degrading to De-Grading Grading: The Issue Is Not How but Why I also have to thank Joe for being one of the inspirations for my own “de-grading” trend in the classroom this year as I continue my search for more authentic learning environments for my 8th graders and move away from traditional grading as a means of …

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My Teaching Career in a Nutshell (or Parachute)

This short video sums up what I’ve learned about teaching over the last six years… get out of the student’s way and let them point you to real discovery. Camera Into Space – a set on Flickr “Hey, that worked!” Exactly. Thank you, Caroline and Ethan.

Cautionary Wave

People (especially students) don’t do their best work when compensation or reward is based on intermediate performance goals: Google Wave: Why did Google feel that Google Wave was a good product? – Quora: “In short, Google was experimenting with a drastically new model in an attempt to retain key talent and ended up getting the incentives so perversely aligned that it both directly contributed to a failed product and also compensated that failure more than …

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Sweet Reader

One of my 8th Graders is blogging about dessert pictures she takes that remind her of books she reads (she’s an avid reader). You should follow along… Sweet Reader Yes, it is awesome.

Vernier’s Physics App Blows My Mind

Vernier Video Physics for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store: “Vernier Video Physics for iOS brings physics video analysis to iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Take a video of an object in motion, mark its position frame by frame, and set up the scale using a known distance. Video Physics then draws trajectory, position, and velocity graphs for the object. Share video, graphs and data to facebook, your Photo Library and …

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Learning Without School

Go read: The Innovative Educator: I Learned How To Write Without School: It sounds too simple. How can people learn things if they aren’t taught the proper way? If information isn’t broken down for them into bite-sized, manageable little chunks? It’s almost like magic, and no one seems willing to believe in it. No one seems willing to believe in how much children are capable of learning and doing when they’re permitted to exist in …

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MH’s Artwork: Inbox is the New Refrigerator

Mary Hudson painted a few of the pages on the The Princess and the Frog Read-Along for iPad app and figured out that she could mail them to me… Not bad for a 3 year old.

Thoughts on Implementing iPads in a School

Below are my/our notes from Friday’s visit to Saint Andrew’s School iDiscover21c 1 to 1 iPad implementation: iPad Implementation Thoughts The visit was coordinated by Apple, so it was also a great chance to pick their brains on both the technical aspects of iPad deployment in schools as well as broader philosophical questions about what the iPad means for education (though, of course, they wouldn’t speculate on iPad 2). One of the most interesting observations …

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Headed to Apple Seminar at 1 to 1 iPad School

Four of us from Spartanburg Day School are headed to Savannah on Thursday/Friday to see how St. Andrew’s School is running their 1 to 1 iPad program… Apple – Education Seminars & Events – Digital Learning Environments in Action!: “St. Andrew’s School is one of the only K through 12 independent schools that is currently implementing a 1 to 1 iPad program for all students, preK through 12, as part of their new digital learning …

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