Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

  • “I enrolled the next fall, but with no intention of staying. I’d read my Fitzgerald, and I wanted to go east; I wanted to ride the train to the last station. As a natural-born child of the meritocracy, I’d been amassing momentum my whole life, entering spelling bees, vying for forensics medals, running my mouth in mock United Nations meetings and model state governments and student congresses, and I knew only one direction: forward, onward. I lived for prizes, praise, distinctions, and I gave no thought to any goal higher or broader than my next report card. Learning was secondary; promotion was primary. No one had ever told me what the point was, except to keep on accumulating points, and this struck me as sufficient. What else was there?”

    Lost in the Meritocracy – #thoughtvectors “I enrolled the next fall, but with no intention of staying. I’d r… http://t.co/dkzBFCC1Gr

    — Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) March 28, 2014

    tags: IFTTT Twitter weekly thoughtvectors education learning tweet

    • even unbidden privileges must be paid for.
    • With no stored literary material about which to harbor critical assumptions, I relied on my gift for mimicking authority figures and playing back to them their own ideas disguised as conclusions that I’d reached myself. The deployment of key words was crucial, as the recognition of them had been on the SATs. With one professor the charm was “ambiguity.” With another “heuristic” usually did the trick. Even when a poem or a story fundamentally puzzled me, I found that I could save face through terminology, as when I referred to T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land as “semiotically unstable.”
    • And unlike the material from my classes and lectures, these fragments stuck with me—maybe because I’d collected them for their own sake, not as cards to be played at final-exam time and then forgotten when a new hand was dealt.
    • And so, belatedly, haltingly, and almost accidentally, it began: the education I’d put off while learning to pass as someone in the know. I wasn’t sure what it would get me, whose approval it might win, or how long it might take to complete, but for once those weren’t my first concerns. Alone in my room, exhausted and apprehensive, I no longer cared about self-advancement. I wanted to lose myself. I wanted to read. I wanted to find out what others thought.


  • “A theme that surfaced and resonated with us was the notion of Data Across the Curriculum, which is analogous to Writing Across the Curriculum. Our CIO added, “what if we had a common data set?” similar to the Common Book concept. Imagine the interdisciplinary possibilities of merging these two—a thought-provoking book accompanied by a related thought-provoking data set.”

    tags: thoughtvectors data university weekly vt chronicle

  • “Joseph Garrett of Portsmouth, England, records himself as “Stampy,” and has passed 2 million subscribers and 708 million views. The Daily Mail estimates that his channel currently grosses anywhere from $88,000 to $880,000 a month. A less-watched channel with 140,000 subscribers brings in $5,000 to $10,000 a month.

    tags: youtube minecraft 4john weekly

  • “The perspective on this is first to ask whether the current educational practices are even using books in a powerful and educative way. Or even to ask whether the classroom process without any special media at all is educative.

    I would say, to a distressing extent, the answer is “no.”

    The education establishment in the U.S. has generally treated the computer (a) first as undesirable and shunned it, (b) as sort of like a typewriter, (c) not as a cheap but less legible textbook with smaller pages, etc. (d) as something for AP testing, (e) has not ventured into what is special about computing with reference to modeling ideas and helping to think about them.

    This in spite of pioneers such as Seymour Papert explaining both in general (and quite a bit specifically) just what it is and how it can revolutionize education.

    I’ve used the analogy of what would happen if you put a piano in every classroom. If there is no other context, you will get a “chopsticks” culture, and maybe even a pop culture. And this is pretty much what is happening.

    In other words, “the music is not in the piano”.

    tags: thoughtvectors kay education weekly time AlanKay dynabook

  • ““The only things that interest me in the U.S. are Tupac Shakur, Allen Ginsberg, and Jackson Pollock,” said a sanctioned Russian official. “I don’t need a visa to access their work.””

    tags: weekly russia 2pac

  • “Psychologists have understood that people prefer things they’ve experienced before at least since Robert Zajonc first demonstrated the ‘mere exposure effect’ in the 1960s. It doesn’t matter whether those things are triangles or pictures or melodies; people report liking them more the second or third time around, even when they aren’t aware of any previous exposure. People seem to misattribute their increased perceptual fluency – their improved ability to process the triangle or the picture or the melody – not to the prior experience, but to some quality of the object itself. Instead of thinking: ‘I’ve seen that triangle before, that’s why I know it,’ they seem to think: ‘Gee, I like that triangle. It makes me feel clever.’ This effect extends to musical listening. ”

    Why we love repetition in music – Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis – Aeon “Psychologists have understood that peop… http://t.co/rLGXRYfEhl

    — Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) March 24, 2014

    tags: IFTTT Twitter repetition Music weekly like exposure tweet thoughtvectors

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