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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

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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

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

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.

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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

One does grow weary of the hyperbole

"Indeed, once you begin contrasting 1968 with 2008, you might even find yourself thinking that, on balance, the Web is not an engine for social activism but an engine for social passivity. You might even suggest that the Web funnels our urges for “participation” and “sharing” into politically and commercially acceptable channels – that it turns us into play-actors, make-believe elves in make-believe clans."
Nic Carr http://www.roughtype.com/?p=1119

For professional development teachers are often required to go to Symposiums about technology and education.
Looking to learn further I looked at the Symposium website when I was struck at how it highlighted the relationship between our educational system and corporate commercial enterprise. I couldn't help but wonder why all that we teachers were going to discuss at this symposium is what we're being sold by Apple and Google? There seems nothing about teaching our...Read more

3d Frankenstein

I am a fan of Mary Wollenstonecraft Shelley. What a great author. Out of 23 years of straight war, "The Summer that Never Was" (1816), a night of ghost stories, Shelley, Byron and Pollidori, philosopher father and preminent feminist mother, Mary Shelley wrote a tale that still is vitally resonant today. I wrote a bible for a television series based on Frankenstein's Creature having survived in the Canadian Arctic. I built this 3d animation in Poser, PhotoShop and rendered it in Vue to assist in explaining the idea.Read more

I know we all care about kids.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics state infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day (AAP 2001/13, CPS 2010)

I just wonder how can schools require students to be on computers longer than what the Canadian Pediatrics Society recommends? What do the CPS know that the teachers don't? What do the teachers know that Pediatricians don't?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cris-rowan/10-reasons-why-handheld-devices...

The article by Cris Rowan is a bit scary and a bit sparse to be sure, however, those who have followed the growth of technology in the schools as well as the health concerns related to this growth have been aware of these issues for some time. Current viable research is supporting recent past...Read more

12 Grades a Slave

According to Wayne Grady in his book, "Technology" the "mark of a slave is obligatory submission to a higher authority."

Thinking about Slavery and schools. I wonder if in some way our modern system doesn't have the same issues of freedom and exploitation. I don't mean whippings and the racist suppression of groups of people,-- though, it is interesting to look at the recent Canadian stats on which ethnicities go to prison, and which don't.-- I mean a more general truth; that in any system, freedom from the system demands that either the system change, or, that you leave the system. We could compare a slave to being a student who doesn't have a say in attending school but must conform to a system of education that is defined by a small group of men whom they will never meet. This is not a form as visceral or brutal or disgusting as it was (and is,) but, nonetheless a form of slavery in which the individual could be expected to desire, "freedom." Yet, having resented my...Read more

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