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Comment Re:It's just an issue that's gotten too polarized (Score 1) 618


The harassment comes when someone attempts to have a conversation about it. Sitting it out just means putting off the inevitable: having to stand up to the bullies and say NO MORE.

We cannot wait for irrational people to calm down and suddenly become rational. Their irrationality is the point of the conversation. It won't just go away. It has to be dealt with.

Comment Re:Seriously... (Score 2) 245

Poor rebuttal. Not only can teachers not choose their students, but teachers can rarely choose how they teach, as well.

The move toward standardization is not simply toward testing, but also toward scripted lessons, highly stringent time-tables, and an artificially imposed metric of "success" that leaves no room for innovating a solution. While standardized tests are performed disgustingly often in our schools, the results are so inconsistent and delivered so late that there is no opportunity for teachers to craft an effective intervention strategy.

"Most people that object to our current system of testing, have no interest in improving it, but rather prefer no accountability at all."

Unsupported, unadulterated, reactionary bullshit. Find a teacher and talk to them instead of pulling out rhetoric like this, please.

Comment Re:People, not tools (Score 1) 167

You've got it absolutely right. It's the people that make the space, not the tech.

I currently serve on the board of directors for Quelab in Albuquerque. (We're a 501c3 org, so we have to have some formal structure.) Like you, I've been involved for about 5 years. It is ALL ABOUT the people. Get the right people in the door: they'll figure out what to do with what you've got, and they'll bring their own toys when they really get inspired.

My research for my Masters in Educational Leadership is exactly on how to create a great makerspace. I focus on community relations and social justice topics. I also blog, reflect on processes, and post occasional papers about it.

Let's get in touch.

Comment Re:There's a lot of stuff (Score 1) 87

FTA: "Their recommendations to make videos better are sound (keep them short, informal, etc.), but the overall emphasis is too much on the instruction, and too little on the student—which is where learning really happens."

It doesn't matter how good your videos look if the teacher is the one doing all the interesting work. Shift the load to the students in creative ways; they'll do the learning.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 7

They would get them back and then punish them and then separate them.

Exactly. If that's what he deserves, then truth will out.

And I have seen an awful lot of people saying that he wasn't worth any particular effort to get back, which is pretty close to "let him rot." That's just mind-boggling to me.

User Journal

Journal Journal: These are the things in my head at night 7

Then-PFC, now-SGT Bergdahl may in fact have deserted his post. There are certainly credible accusations to that effect, and if so, then he should be tried and convicted for the crime. But it's a whole lot easier to investigate those charges with him here, and we don't let the Taliban mete out justice for us.

Comment Re:What? (Score 1, Informative) 35

Makerspaces are places where people--either the general public or a group of paying members--can gather together and make things. Makerspaces usually have an abundance of tools, materials, and places to work on hands-on projects. They typically celebrate open source, notions of hacking technology, and playful misuse of technology to do interesting things.

Think: informal, engaging, creative spaces where you can collaborate with people to make things.

Here's a blog I wrote with good pics: Quelab - a Community of Practice. Full disclosure: I'm on the board of directors at Quelab in Albuquerque. Drop by if you're in the area code.

Comment Re:Isn't this a lot like programming? (Score 1) 107

No, biological processes are inherently non-deterministic, and this becomes more apparent the smaller the scale. At the genetic level, it's all about probabilities. I suppose you could argue the same about computation since circuits are now getting small enough for quantum effects to show up, but I don't think most programmers are explicitly modeling random bit flips! On large scales, when you're talking about big programs with lots of different possible inputs, it's often more effective to model them statistically, I agree, but the underlying processes are still quite different.

Comment Re:Next goals: (Score 3, Insightful) 107

Co-evolution only looks "co" on very large timescales; every new trick our immune systems have come up with has been in response to something a pathogen already came up with. Sure, there always can (and will) be new plagues, whether the victims are trees or people. I just think they're a whole lot more likely to come from the nigh-uncountable number of random "experiments" taking place in the wild than they are from anything done in a lab.

Machines take me by surprise with great frequency. - Alan Turing