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Are We Teaching for Their Future?

Last I looked the preparations for the 21st Century Learner we're still underway 15 years into the century. Where is that entrepreneur-oriented education? Below is an excerpt from Yong Zhao's blog http://zhaolearning.com/2015/04/06/a-world-at-risk-an-imperative-for-a-p...

Excellence in Education

There is no disagreement that the world needs excellence in education but what defines excellence matters. There are two educational paradigms: employee-oriented vs. entrepreneur-oriented (Zhao, 2012). While both aim to prepare children to live successfully, the former focuses on transmitting a body of knowledge and skills predetermined to be valuable and the latter emphasizes on the developing the potential of each individual child. The former presumes that a body of knowledge and skills can be decided based on predications of

...Read more

Complexity Fatigue and Schools

"Is it possible that the population as a whole has complexity fatigue? How much energy does the average individual or family have to devote to privacy management? By this, we mean understanding the flow of personal information and the exercise of privacy rights and options. The importance of enforceable citizens’ rights in these deputizing situations remains. However, the likelihood of anyone actually acting on those rights grows fainter because of the complexity of life in an information society. What will best provide for the enforcement of privacy rights?"

from: Deputizing the Private Sector
Requiring the Collection of Personal Information by
Non-Governmental Entities for Law Enforcement or Other Purposes
by Robert Gellman, Stephanie Perrin and Jennifer Barrigar Digital Discretion Inc.
May 2015
An Independent Research Report Commissioned by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta...Read more

The voice of reason is whispering.

Maybe there are caring and intelligent people in the world. The following is from http://www.pewinternet.org/2012/02/29/main-findings-teens-technology-and...

Another comprehensive insight came from Barry Chudakov, a Florida-based consultant and a research fellow in the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto. He wrote that by 2020, “Technology will be so seamlessly integrated into our lives that it will effectively disappear. The line between self and technology is thin today; by then it will effectively vanish. We will think with, think into, and think through our smart tools but their presence and reach into our lives will be less visible. Youth will assume their minds and intentions are extended by technology, while tracking technologies will seek further incursions into behavioral monitoring and choice manipulation. Children...Read more

Commercialism in Education Micheal Apple takes a bite out of the holy fruit

It was 1992 when this was published. The ideas were ignored then, and twenty years later they echo off the big screens in the classroom, remaining unheard ghosts of intellectual freedom. The above is taken from Technological Literacy & the Curriculum – Jan 1 1992 by John Beynon(Author) Chapter 5 "Is the New Technology Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem in Education?" an essay by Educationalist, Michael W. Apple.Read more

Why are schools so sold on Apple?

It isn't hard to find an educational blogger that is awe struck by Apple products and suggests that using iPads or iMovies or any iThingy is 'awesome' educational practice. It isn't difficult to figure out why. Apple spends a lot of money on marketing and branding and public relations and their equipment is beautiful and shiny. It doesn't take much to make everything any student does look great once it's been put through the Apple template.( http://timothylee.ca/what%20do%20programs%20allow%20students%20to%20do%3F ) But is this teaching the student what we wish them to learn? How deeply researched is the premise that Apple computers increase learning? I ask every teacher I meet to show me research that shows that Apple products increase learning outcomes. Because I'd really love to know! My own research suggests that all is NOT well when students get iPads, nor is all good when they start...Read more

I'm not Alone

I'm not alone in my thoughts about the relationships of technology and society, and in what we all should do about it. And neither are you.

https://medium.com/backchannel/why-i-m-saying-goodbye-to-apple-google-an...

It is time that schools went completely to Linux based systems and joined the 'free' (as in freedom not price) software movement.
It is ironic and certainly it is a sad statement of how difficult it is to extricate oneself from the oligarchy of techno control that when I went to add a comment to the above article, I could not, as one needs a Facebook account. I don't have a facebook account. I don't want a facebook account. But as the 'commercial web' grows in power, the independant web is diminished. All website traffic is seen as the property of the big data players. Not because it is, or should be, but rather because they have the money...Read more

Programming in Processing


I call this one "Wandering Lines," and it is derived from a sketch by Daniel Shiftman ...I think.
It is built in Processing. And the code is very simple. I find my students (grade 7, 8, and 9) enjoy programming in Processing because it is such a visual and playful language. Of course when the ideas become more complex and the need for mathematical understanding recognized, many of my students back away from the challenge. Still quite a few do not. I believe that if a student has a reason to learn something they will, as long as that reason is powerful enough to drive them through the struggle of learning.

More...Read more

Ms. Google: Our Free Librarian

Our schools' librarian, Ms. Google, is a most remarkable librarian.
She has the most exceptional memory. She is very clean and very precise. Like the fabled Elephant, Ms. Google is said to never forget. And is she ever fast! Within a second of asking - and she always tells you how much time herself! (which would be conceited if it weren't so amazing!)- She can give me a list of over 22 million possible choices. 22 million! Isn't she amazing! My gosh I love having that much choice! How empowering it is. Not that I ever look at all of them... ( If truth be known I seldom go past the first page) But I love the incredible speed and thoroughness of her searches. I just love them and I just lover her. I almost never go anywhere else. And I never ask anyone else. Why would I? I trust her. Oh, I know she used to be a bit difficult. I don't mean she didn't deliver, but, on her first page she used to have like 30 choices. 30 choices on one page is too many isn't it? So, even...Read more

How Does Technology Affect Schools, Part I

"We can't ignore the social implications of our technical progress."Douglas Engelbart

The study of Technology and Technological Media is perhaps a subject more suited to Social Studies than Science. Though computerized technology runs on mathematical formulas, algorithms made up of binary code, the ubiquitous network of computerized systems that we use has become the infrastructure by which our world is run. Technology is therefore a socio-economic and cultural structure as well as a machine of engineering. It is imperative for the student to be educated in the workings of technology so that they may be prepared for the experiences of their future.

The digital technology with which we are dealing has already, is still and will continue, to alter the old infrastructure of our world, changing it forever in many obvious and many hidden ways. We do not see the workings of this computerized infrastructure, as they are largely invisible, performed...Read more

“In (Education), many take advantage of the ephemeral awe that the new computational tools bring — only to have it revealed later that their power was based on the tool they used and not on their own intellectual ability.”

“It is possible to claim that a (child’s) creativity is limited by the very programs that are supposed to free their imagination. … …Whenever they use a new tool provided for them by programmers, they think that they are now able to do something new and “cool.” But are they really doing anything new? Or are they simply replicating a process already conceived by the programmer who provided the tool?”

“In (Education), many take advantage of the ephemeral awe that the new computational tools bring… by using them as means to establish a new concept, style, or form — only to have it revealed later that their power was based on the tool they used and not on their own intellectual ability.”

The above quotes are taken from the introduction to "Algorithms for Visual Design Using the Processing Language" by Kostas Terzidis. I would have printed his whole introduction as it is an elequent comment about the need to understand programming in order to take personal control of the...Read more

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