Archive for the ‘school’ Category
Recently I’ve gotten the online learning bug back, not that it’s ever away for long, so I’ve been busy again on Coursera. And thanks to a HTML 5 course I also started to use Udemy. An Eric Ries course is waiting on Udacity for me to start it. In the past I used to use iTunesU to follow online university courses, such as Yale’s Game Theory Lectures by Benjamin Polak.
I’m currently enrolled in 6 courses, and I’ve followed a number of courses here, yet none to completion within the time period set by the tutor. Often the amount of time I would need to set aside for the course can be between 6 and 12 hours each week, this is entirely possible and I often do manage to do a couple of hours in the evening. Another issue is that to receive course credit these Problem Sets need to be in at a certain date, or courses which have been running over 1 week it is often impossible to submit these on time to be eligible for course credit.
Coursera does allow you to download all the video’s, so it is possible to view these at a later date, or even from the beach somewhere. And they sometimes offer the course multiple times, so in the example of Model Thinking I have enrolled a second time so I can complete easier.
I believe he is wrong, and I will tell you why.
I’ve had an interested in memory for as long as I can remember, so when I saw Joshua Foer on The Colbert Report I went straight to the store to get myself a copy of his book Moonwalking with Einstein. I read it over three days, and haven’t given it a chance to sink in yet.
Through out the book Foer briefly dips into techniques that he used to improve his recollection, although he calls it memory in the book. He starts with Simonides’ memory palace as his basis and continues by learning the Major System, below, and the PAO system – where every two-digit number from 00 to 99 is represented by a single image of a person performing an action on an object – which he uses for committing cards to memory three at a time.
Although the book is mostly about how Foer trained to become the US champion in one year – and it only touches on the underlying techniques used – it shows the power of not just the mind, it shows that perseverance can make the unlikely possible.
Monotony collapses time; novelty unfolds it. You can exercise daily and eat healthily and live a long life, while experiencing a short one. If you spend your life sitting in a cubicle and passing papers, one day is bound to blend unmemorably into the next—and disappear. That’s why it’s important to change routines regularly, and take vacations to exotic locales, and have as many new experiences as possible that can serve to anchor our memories. Creating new memories stretches out psychological time, and lengthens our perception of our lives.
A great read.
John R. Rymer wrote a piece on Forrester about the The Future Of Java, it’s pretty complete with the exception of the greatest weakness being called the greatest strength.
“Fewer young developers will learn Java first. One of Java’s greatest strengths has been the number of young developers who learn it as a first language.”
–John R. Rymer
It may have been an advantage for the adoption of Java as a programming language, but it is certainly not a strength of a programming language that students learn it as a first language.
Personally I don’t see it as an advantage for students to learn Java as a first language, it means that every language learned afterwards is seen from a perspective of a language which doesn’t teach the student simple rules like type safety or writing portable code. A programming language as teaching tool should allow a student to make all the mistakes which can be made, as a student learns more of their failures than from their successes. It should allow different programming modes, Object Oriented, Linear and a mixture.
I’ll stop here before I start talking about round pegs and square holes.
Image source: Hillary Hartley
I was watching FourCast episode 60, in which they discussed the paperless office, and briefly mentioned the paperless school when it comes to homework. And I wondered what would really be required in a prototype or proof of concept. So I quickly fired up my pen and brainstormed what the essential items would be needed to have a paperless school.
- Digital Signing
- Online Grading
E-Mail or some sharing mechanism is needed for teachers to receive the documents. A document standard is needed which can be modified by the teacher, and can be added to the student’s current records. These documents naturally need to be digitally signed for non-repudiation. Online grading is an extension of the current student record. And lastly the most important portion for students who have no internet or computer access a scanner – with or without OCR.
Have anything to add?
Timothy Leary once told us to “Turn on, tune in, drop out“, and although he was referring to mind expansion using drugs there is a move to the internet from institutionalised learning. Jason Fried, CEO of tech company 37signals, says “the next bubble to burst is higher education. It’s too expensive. It’s too much one-size-fits-all. This is an alternative way to think about teaching — simple, personal, free and moving at your own pace.”1 Languages, economics, biology, mathematics, social sciences and more are coming into their own online. Allowing interactive and customized education, like the correspondence courses of yesterday, yet morphing into freely available online education.
The only thing missing? Online accreditation. Although it is available for commercially available certifications: CISSP; CEH; MSCE; etc, it has yet to come for “government sanctioned” education programs. Even correspondance course educators still need to personally examine their customers by way of mass examination.
So where can you get this personalized education? That is what I will examine in the following blog posts entitled: “Turn on, tune in, drop out: Personalised Online Education.” I will cover the subjects ranging from languages to exact sciences, and you can help me by filling in the poll below to help me make a decision. And as always all comments are welcome. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve always been spending time on Time Management, I developed my own techniques and have borrowed some from Randy Pausch. I’ve been developing my own presentation for a lecture to be given to a group of beginning developers and systems administrators, and have adapted it for my blog.
You can find it on Blogger: Time to work on my dreams?
For more information have a look at Randy Pausch’s lectures:
I bought Mathematics for Engineers and Scientists for €10, the Amazon list price is $66.55.
I know mathematics, but when it comes to mathematic notation I’m lost. So I used this book as the teaching tool this is, it goes from simple addition and sets to differential equations and Fourier. I learned things I will probably never use, and some things I applied immediately. Now I can read an analysis on cryptography without needing to refer to the cheat sheet … very often.
Need to brush up or learn mathematics skills, this is absolutely the book for you!