Reminding Myself to Keep My Mouth Shut

I believe strongly in debate and civil discourse. I’ve gone so far as to design a course that explores what this looks like particularly online. I’ve not hesitated to critique language and ideas I think may be harmful. 

That disposition always needs to be tempered with an understanding of the world we live in. Social media means the newest app, trend or idea often gets positioned as revolutionary and then immediately bashed by naysayers. Neither are right. 


Pokemon Go arrives and soon folks go from downloading to playing to seeing potential for learning. As quickly as that’s shared, they take a beating. I was one who downloaded the game and before I could play was immersed in the hype and sniffed the “game changer” claims. 

But before I hit the snark button I better step back. Just because someone thinks something has potential and gets a bit excited doesn’t mean we attack. This happens too often to anyone suggesting something might have educational value. I’ve been guilty of this myself. What I need to remind myself is to keep quiet and let people play. 

In the classroom I remember introducing my kids to new technologies. Dating myself, I recall handing … Read the rest

Hour of Code is Good Enough

Whenever a new idea is introduced to education, expect a flood of criticisms. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, in fact, we need naysayers and critics to challenge all our ideas. It’s what makes a democratic society function and it’s important for our ideas to be challenged in order to improve them.

Hour of Code is one of those burgeoning ideas that is getting a lot of up take in schools. Proponents love it as an easy way to introduce the coding and computer science to students with little or no background needed from either the teacher or the student. Critics argue that it’s not enough and it dumbs down what is a critical and important skill.

We are doing a disservice to kids by assuming that they can’t grasp industry-standard languages, complex computer science topics, and applications. By limiting them, we undermine their capabilities and stifle their creative and inventive potential.

 

The promise of K-12 education has always been to provide children with a broad liberal arts experience that prepares them for life. While some chose a greater focus on college and career, this still suggests that we offer students a wide range of opportunities. We head down … Read the rest

How Can I Get A Higher Grade?

I teach a Masters level course at Wilkes University. Like many teachers,  I often get asked by my students, “What do I need to do to get a higher grade?” They offer to do extra credit or anything. While I understand that for some, grades are tied to funding, scholarships, etc, my grading practices are pretty clear. Students essentially grade themselves while I, and others provide feedback.  You can read more here if you like.

I understand that even as adults, the idea of grades is deeply embedded in our thinking about learning. So when I was asked recently about how to get a higher grade, this was my response:

So without going into too long a diatribe about grading, let me just say that I don’t care at all, or at least very little about grades. It’s partly why I simply ask all of you to grade yourself and give very little pushback unless there is a huge discrepancy.  What I’m interested in is your learning and trying to measure it is a futile pursuit at best.

This igcse physics tutor can help students to score straight As in their IGCSE exams.

I hope that what we’re doing here is

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Tarot is really like a tool, a tool to facilitate talking about things. Instead of having a deck of cards, your meditations use a pen and paper. Instead of changing the shapes of the cards (a la tarot cards), your meditations use the letters you send. A tree stands for growth, a sun is energy, and a hand is connection. So, meditations can be used to touch a tree, a light bulb, your spirit guide, or yourself. Each medium has different meditations to suit a variety of needs and preferences. You can create meditations in minutes. The sooner you start, the better. Creating a meditating environment? Creating an environment that facilitates the practice? Maybe an energy system? Of course, you can use each medium to represent a different element (Fire, Water, and Earth are in the Sanguine color wheel). These meditations are simple and simple in form. They don’t require lengthy exercises. How about giving you some instructions?

The Joy of Adding Tarot Meditations

So, whether you’re an experienced tarot reader or just starting out, you can start some meditations. The key to creating meditations is to start small. With each step, your meditation will begin to feel more and … Read the rest

More on Digital Dualism

I continue to think about what is it that we struggle with as we consider mediated relationships, aka digital dualism. The following can be seen as a draft of challenges I hear and some attempt to respond to them and provide more fodder for discussion than simply a simplistic view of bad or good. This is not a zero-sum game. 

Complaint #1

Kids today expect immediate and constant feedback and connection. 

Think back to the days just before the telephone. The only way to maintain a relationship with someone not in your physical place was the mail. You wrote someone a letter and waited to hear back. You expected a response, you just didn't have a time frame expectation, or at least a very specific one. Perhaps you gave them a few weeks or months depending on your previous experience. But still, you expected feedback. If you didn't a response after a reasonable time, you likely did begin to get anxious and concerned. Today it's the same thing only the time gap has shrunk from months to seconds. So what is it the bothers people? Is it the impatience? We would argue the same thing about standing in line, waiting Read the rest