Cartoons keep speaking to me
These are not the voices you want reminding you of where education is headed.
Centralized pacing guides, centrally created lesson plans and myriad of other choices are moving teachers into the role of trained chickens with little choice and less say about what happens in their classrooms. Standardization is great for planning and scaling but haven’t we proven over and over again that learning should be individualized?
If we can’t trust teachers to pace their own classes, to make their own lesson plans then there’s a serious problem with the people we’re hiring as teachers. Providing all the processes and structures in the world won’t fix that.
It has been interesting to see the excitement surrounding WolframAlpha . The new “Computational Knowledge Engine” called Wolfram|Alpha has gone through a full media cycle before it has even been unleashed on the world. It has been hyped as a “Google Killer” and denounced as snake oil, and we’re still at least a few days from release. The simple goal behind the engine is to connect searchers with precise information. Wolfram|Alpha’s search magic comes through a combination of natural language processing and a giant pool of curated data. That quote is from Radio Berkman (which is a very interesting podcast out of Harvard Law) and they’ve got an interview with the creator as well. Watch the abbreviated 10 minute version below. I’m not sure how well the idea of a curated semantic web will work (although I can understand that urge). This does really show a different way to think about searching for information. It really takes it beyond search, making it closer to exploration maybe. It’s similar in some ways to one of David Huynh’s Parallax project (of Simile Exhibit fame) which has been out for quite a while now. Video of that is below. Freebase Parallax: A new way to browse and explore data from David Huynh on Vimeo. While the media may be portraying Google as being […]
To play off a bit of David’s post on social justice MOOCs, there seems to be a base need for tools for helping identify evil people on the web. That’s not in a dox type of way but more like a way to guide people in determining if accounts have ill intentions.That would make a good old school rap album name. That’s probably a messy description but it was brought about by a post I saw on Facebook last night. Essentially,I am simplifying to get to the point. it was a conversation between two people I know- one black male (in Richmond) and one white male (in Baltimore). It was a passionate conversation. The white guy added a screenshot from a Twitter account (included below) into the mix that seemed to confirm all his greatest fears about what was happening in Baltimore.I’m not seeking to judge him here. It’s really messy stuff when you’re in the midst of fearing for your child’s safety. It’s a high emotion situation in lots of ways which never helps people critically evaluate items that confirm their fears but I felt like this account had to be fake. Then I wondered if I could prove that? I did a couple of thingsEnoch might call them “intellectual moves” although it’s interesting to me that they’re blended […]
Mike Caufield’s post made me realize I’ve done a pretty poor job of publicizing what we’re trying to do lately in good old HCPSWhen I have to leave Jim Groom length comments there’s a problem.. So here’s my attempt to put this out there for people to spot holes, misdirection, etc. Setting Best Practice We’re turning to video for best practice more and more. We’re doing that for individual subjects, certain pedagogical techniques, major tools like IWBs (no luck so far) and for other things you might not expect like administrator training. We have a whole series dedicated to illustrating the art of the post observation interview for our administrators. It’s a three step process so for some of them we now have the planning conference video, the class itself and then the post-observation wrap up interview. That allows administrators to see the steps of the process, put themselves in the classroom to gather data and then watch how that administrator wraps things up. This video series supports a larger web based structure that has different observational tools, process maps etc. We tend to use the videos when the administration is brought together. They’ll watch a video, break it down in small groups etc. etc. and then be directed back to the main site for the tools/process maps/documentation. So that’s […]