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education

“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

I'm on! I'm on!!!

Forgive the movie trailer but sometimes I feel just like she does. - Bad carpel tunnel that.
I wrote this movie, Carver's Gate, A.K.A. DreamBreaker, with Douglas Bagot. Hard to believe that a sci-fi's plot of gaming addiction and the desire to be 'always on' has already turned into the norm of our society.

But it seems that most people are Always On. According to a new PEW study, 36 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 see themselves as "almost constantly" on the internet.
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/12/08/one-fifth-of-americans-r...
Of course you'd not need a study to grasp the fact that many people are always on if you looked at a highschool. It would...Read more

Student Work

My grade 9 and grade 7 media students are learning to make 3d photo-realistic animations using the physics engine in Blender.

Remember, there is no glass bowl, nor is there any cloth, nor is there a room. It is all modelled in the software environment.
Impressive? My hope is that through this process the student will gain an understanding of how media is created and how to create it. By practicing in the 3d digital environment I believe they will gain greater spatial awareness and mathematical understandings. Certainly at an advanced level this type of modelling and animation demands an understanding of code and mathimatical formula. There is so much that is crazy good about this. Not to mention that the physics engine allows them to virtually test different materials and designs for real world applications! Engineering anyone?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 the end it is the poor who will be chained to the computer; the rich will get teachers."

Quoted from an article in Forbes magazine by Diane Ravitch, that is quoted in Jane Healy’s “Failure To Connect.”

I suspect in the near future the poor will have YouTube and Khan Academy. And most teachers will be without a job.

It will really be our own fault. We really haven't educated the public as fully as is necessary for them to support a more enlightened school system. We haven't even developed a self monitoring system for our own profession, accepting the ideology of various governments to be catalyst for educational change and we have accepted our current high school system of pedagogy as being locked into an archaic practice of "sorting" winners from losers simply so that Universities don't have to take responsibility for their own sorting practices. Yes, we are in a bit of spot here, and if public education functions ONLY as such a sorting and grading machine, well, we best be prepared for a real machine to do the sorting.

Teachers are an...Read more