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Comment: Re:Wikipedia is convenient, not accurate (Score 2) 186

by Pumpkin Tuna (#49484969) Attached to: How Many Hoaxes Are On Wikipedia? No One Knows
This is the exact point I used to make to my high school students and now to the teachers I work with. The real problem is not whether or not Wikipedia is an "accurate" source. We should never trust one source as being the perfect model of accuracy. Instead we should look at multiple sources. But overall, as I told my high schoolers, it's a quick reference and should be treated as such. You shouldn't cite Wikipedia in a research paper. Not because it's unreliable, but because it's an encyclopedia.

Comment: Re:Balance is the key (Score 1) 397

by Pumpkin Tuna (#49380067) Attached to: Why America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous
Good points. Another thing to remember is that a lot of this push towards STEM is in the middle and high schools. It's sorely needed there, and emphasizing it won't hurt humanities at all. For example. Not many years ago, the high school where I taught English was not very STEM friendly or humanities friendly. We were down to one real elective in English, a very popular mythology course. The others failed to "make" becasue not enough students signed up for them. Of course that was because most students were put in a "mandatory elective" writing class so they could pass a state writing test. They didn't have the room in their schedule for a real humanities elective. In the meantime, our "Career and Technical Education" department was going strong because students had to take a certain number of those classes. One of their more popular classes was "Sports Marketing." They had three or four sections of that. Now, these courses are changing a bit. They have fewer courses focusing on Jerry Maguire and more on robotics and coding.This is a good thing.

Comment: Sounds familiar (Score 3, Interesting) 222

by Pumpkin Tuna (#49354239) Attached to: Broadband ISP Betrayal Forces Homeowner To Sell New House
I'm having the same situation. AT&T swears up and down that they can give me U-verse service . . . until the tech gets there and finds out that the nearest box is miles away. They then tell me that they can probably get me DSL. But when I talk to the call center folks, they say they can't process a DSL order while the system says U-Verse is available. Don't worry, they say, as soon as the maps are updated, we can order your DSL. Almost a year later, the maps aren't updated. It's almost like they vigorously don't want my business.

Comment: Re:About time (Score 1) 417

by Pumpkin Tuna (#48812575) Attached to: Obama Unveils Plan To Bring About Faster Internet In the US
Yep. Except at this point, I'd be happy be ABLE to tell Comcast or anyone else to take a hike. I live in a relatively new subdivision (2008) in a ruralish suburban community about 45 minutes from Charlotte, NC. I can't get broadband from either AT&T or Charter Cable. The cable company refuses to consider running cable into the subdivision and AT&T is so incompetent that they can't get their own system to admit that the nearest U-verse node is too far away to give me Internet. I've called and begged for service. I've offered to pay to run the cable. They won't even consider it. I asked AT&T to let me step down to DSL. They say they can't "process the order" while the system thinks I can get U-Verse. It's clear they don't care about competing for my business. It looks like they don't even want my business.

Comment: Re: Predictions (Score 1) 280

by Pumpkin Tuna (#48564765) Attached to: Utilities Face Billions In Losses From Distributed Renewables
Agreed. I used to have power service from the for-profit Duke Energy (the same folks that dumped coal ash in the Dan River). Outages were frequent, service was poor and they were constantly appealing to the State power commission to raise rates so they could fatten the purses of their stockholders.

Then I moved 1 mile away into an area covered by the local rural electrical co-op. In two years, my power has gone off a total of 2 times. Each time for under an hour. Customer service is excellent. When Duke (from which my co-op buys power) got a rate increase, the co-op lowered a fee to keep our effective rate down.

If that's socialism, Yay socialism!

Comment: Re:A Plan without a Plan (Score 5, Insightful) 229

by Pumpkin Tuna (#48511979) Attached to: FBI Seizes Los Angeles Schools' iPad Documents
Good points. I'm a former classroom teacher whose job now is to help integrate technology into the classroom. We do it slowly, deliberately and with a lot of thinking and planning. We never roll out anything to every kid at once. We study, pilot, review, pilot again if needed and then implement. When I first heard about LA's plan, I was horrified. It was too big, too fast, and not well planned. It was doomed to fail, and at the time, I figured that the fix was in, probably with Pearson. They scare me. Technology in the classroom should be used to create, to collaborate, to innovate. Instead, Pearson and other companies like them want to use it to drill and kill while making a mint off of taxpayer dollars.

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