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Comment: Re:Also, this is silly: (Score 1) 299

by JimFive (#47677295) Attached to: Writer: Internet Comments Belong On Personal Blogs, Not News Sites

And as in real life, the only way to deal with those people is to physically remove them from the conversation. That is, have a moderator whose job it is to delete the posts and evict the poster, even if it is a throwaway account.

Threading helps, too. It is a huge pain to try to follow a conversation on an unthreaded comment system.
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JimFive

Comment: Re:"Just let me build a bridge!" (Score 2) 372

by JimFive (#47530931) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

We need thinkers who can define requirements precisely, designers who can describe processes to produce those results, and then turn the design (UML. Warnier-Orr, Flowchart, etc.) over to a generator

We already do this, that generator is called a compiler. By the time you have specified a design to the same detail as an engineer specifies a bridge you have already written all the code. Engineers specify a design down to every individual bolt. Software specifications do not design down the individual line of code. This is the difference between engineering and programming: in engineering when a design is completed then the object still has to be built, in programming when the design is completed then the program is done.
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JimFive

Comment: Re:We shall see. (Score 1) 285

by JimFive (#47525539) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

We definitely had that multiplication table nonsense when I was in school. The result was that most people forgot most of them and ended up having to calculate them manually.

Seriously? You think that MOST people in your class forgot single-digit multiplications (even as they continued to use them daily) and started counting on their fingers (or drawing dots on paper)? Because that's what "calculate them manually" means, doing it by hand. There are 3 ways to do single digit multiplication: memorize, count, or restate the problem into problems that you have already memorized. Restating requires that you have a sufficient number of the problems memorized for it to work.

They are. I saw it in action myself. The 'teaching' methods you describe don't go into the full picture at all.

The teaching methods I describe are first grade and addition/multiplication using tokens is a perfect example of what those operations actually are and quite helpful in moving from physical manipulation to the symbolic manipulation of arithmetic. If you think that there is more to either of those operations than can be shown by an array of stones on a table then please, enlighten me. That grid of tokens can show commutation, distribution, association, primality, squareness, divisibility, etc. Moving that physical representation to a symbolic system is what arithmetic in lower elementary is about. I submit that knowing the answer to those 45 problems without having to spend time figuring them out every time is useful to the student and everyone who has ever complained about cashiers being unable to make change agrees with me.
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JimFive

Comment: Re:We shall see. (Score 1) 285

by JimFive (#47525077) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads
So, when you do the problem 7*8 what is your thought process?

You seem to be hung up on the idea of a literal table of math problems, while I think I've been pretty clear that I'm referring to a figurative table that is the collection of 45 single digit problems that make up the basics of symbolic arithmetic manipulation. And, I think it is safe to say that you have a significant number of them memorized.

Comment: Re:We shall see. (Score 1) 285

by JimFive (#47522495) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

If you know 9x6

I actually don't. I had to think about it for a split second.

Sure and what did you think? You certainly didn't think 9+9 is 18 and 18+9 is 27 and 27+9 is 36 and 36+9 is 45 and 45+9 is 54, which is what you get from "an understanding of multiplication" without having any memorized answers. You seem to believe that you haven't memorized these things but if you are not counting on your fingers to add numbers together then you HAVE memorized these things, and you probably memorized them so long ago that you can't remember not knowing them. Certainly, there are tricks that make mental math easier, but those tricks still rely on you having memorized a sufficient set of single digit addition and multiplication problems.

I don't buy your logic that because someone has to think about it for a second, then they suddenly won't know what's going on.

It's not a second. If it's a second then they have enough stuff memorized to do the arithmetic. It seems that you've never worked with a student struggling with basic arithmetic such that it takes them 15-30 seconds to do 15+27, if they do it all without giving up. By that time the teacher is on a different problem and the student is falling further behind.

Using a tool often does not mean you don't understand how and why multiplication works.

Using a calculator before you understand how and why multiplication works means that you are likely to never understand. You seem to be under the impression that memorizing of tables is used in place of teaching how the operations work. Children are taught to add using tokens on a desk, dots on a line, and marks on a page, then they are pushed to memorize the single digit answers. Multiplication, similarly, starts with making rectangles of tokens and then moves onto paper before memorization of the answers.

The basic material is important. Memorizing a table or results, however, not so much

In arithmetic the only thing more basic than single digit addition is the numbers themselves.

The problem with rote learning is not in the memorization of simple arithmetic facts. The problem with rote learning in mathematics comes when you start doing mathematics instead of arithmetic.
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JimFive

Comment: Re:We shall see. (Score 1) 285

by JimFive (#47517563) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

Did you know that current tests are absolute garbage and are part of the reason the education system itself is abysmal?

You're talking about standardized tests, I'm referring to in classroom tests.

I never truly memorized the table and yet I understand math

You are being disingenuous. If you know 9x6 without thinking about the answer then you have memorized it, whether you ever filled out a grid with the answers is irrelevant to whether you have memorized the material.

It's absolutely ridiculous to say that someone cannot follow along in a fucking algebra class if they don't memorize the results of calculations

If the teacher is demonstrating a problem, e.g. 6x-27 = 15 and for the next step writes 6x=42 it is surely easier for the student to follow along if they can quickly see that 27+15 = 42 without having to write it out and calculate it.

tool-using creatures

You can't gain understanding if you fall back on a calculator for basic knowledge. Now, whether you think it is valuable to be able to do long division it is practically impossible if you don't know single digit multiplication. A student who knows the multiplication table will be able to complete a quiz on division while the student who doesn't, won't. I'm not saying that students should never use calculators, I'm saying that learning the basic material is important and until you've learned it a calculator is a hindrance.

As an aside, they don't seem to actually teach it as a table any longer, which is good because learning them as separate facts prevents relying on the patterns of the table format.
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JimFive

Comment: Re:We shall see. (Score 1) 285

by JimFive (#47515419) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

Math is not about speed to begin with.

It is when you have maybe 45 minutes a day to teach it and you have to give timed tests. Memorization of the addition and multiplication tables is not done just for its own sake; it is done to facilitate later learning. It is done so that in classes such as algebra the teachers can skip a couple of details and still expect the students to follow along. It's done because dealing with big numbers is easier if you already know the answers for small numbers without having to calculate it out every time.
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JimFive

Comment: Re:Yeah, students will use bandwidth (Score 1) 285

by JimFive (#47515293) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

That is not happening in a household where the single parent works 3 jobs.

The way to fix that is after school clubs and activities.

No, the way to fix that is to structure our society so that a person only needs to work 1 job to support their family. Potential ideas might include subsidized daycare, wage supports, basic income, increased availability of and respect for adult education, better transit systems, etc.
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JimFive

Comment: Re:Why is this news? (Score 1) 443

by JimFive (#47449251) Attached to: The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One
How about pushing the pedestrian cross walk button? If there isn't one then probably the only "legal" way to cross is to dismount (become a pedestrian) and walk across. Also, I think there is a law for dealing with lights that are not functioning properly which probably says treat it like a stop sign.
JimFive

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn

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