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Comment: Re:Ability to multitask (Score 5, Informative) 109

by zkiwi34 (#49714607) Attached to: Microsoft Study Finds Technology Hurting Attention Spans

Zheng Wang, Illinois University is but one of a throng of people that have debunked the bollocks that is multi-tasking.

Multitasking is only possible if at least one of the tasks is so well learned that it is almost automatic, like walking or eating but it's epic fail for the most part when we try to both walk and eat). The general case where it appears that we can multitask are when two activities involve different types of brain processing, such as auditory and visual, like driving and listening to the radio although it's pretty bloody obvious that one has to focus far far more on the driving to not be a complete and utter disaster.

At best all we are doing is task switching, and that pretty bloody inefficiently.

Attention span of a gnat is what passes as a "true multi-tasker."

Comment: The word important is being used in a flawed sense (Score 2) 39

by zkiwi34 (#49565943) Attached to: An Open Ranking of Wikipedia Pages

Do page views really reflect importance? I'd conclude that that proposition is bollocks.

Classic case in point. No music video even comes close to Psy's "Gangnam Style" in views. But seriously, is it the most important music video? Hint, the answer is not even close.

I'd even hazard that water is (just probably, slightly) more important than Chocolate, but it wouldn't even register on this measure.

Comment: This English Teacher should focus on History (Score 2) 352

by zkiwi34 (#49558101) Attached to: The Future Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher

This has all been tried and failed before. But they'd have known that if they learnt from history. I guess he needs a History "super teacher" session or few.

It's almost as bad as the "everyone can learn [insert insanely difficult subject area here]" with the best teachers and all that of course, and no particular requirement for aptitude or engagement by the student.

As for me, the most I ever expect from a teacher is to be average over time.

Comment: Re:just because the dept of ed.... (Score 3, Informative) 528

by zkiwi34 (#47765849) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Which of course explains away why a steadily increasing number of incoming college freshman have to take remedial courses. Here's a quote from for you.

"he California State University (CSU), a large public university system, for many years has applied placement or readiness standards in reading, writing, and mathematics that are linked to first-year college coursework. All first-time students at all 23 CSU campuses must meet these standards, principally through performance on a common statewide placement examination. Despite systemwide admissions policy that requires a college-preparatory curriculum and a grade point average in high school of B or higher, 68% of the 50,000 entering freshmen at CSU campuses require remediation in English language arts, or math, or both."

Comment: Amusing, but potentially a waste of time (Score 1) 180

by zkiwi34 (#47590871) Attached to: How Many Members of Congress Does It Take To Pass a $400MM CS Bill?

Saying that CS will be considered core doesn't change the simple fact that it won't make the universities care.

If you want to do CS (or EE) at uni then the requirement is top end math (Calculus) and Physics, with it being a bonus if you've also done Chemistry. Until that changes it doesn't matter what else happens, CS is going to continue to be a lame duck option for high school students.

Comment: The sick joke is this (Score 1) 113

by zkiwi34 (#47341949) Attached to: Is K-12 CS Education the Next Common Core?

Even if CS for everyone was a laudable goal, all these initiatives are aimed at going off to college, and in case the universe has changed in the last 24 hours people will get a rude shock when they find the universities care less about what you did in CS at K12, especially if you want to CS or CS/EE.

Vast amounts of cash thrown at a solution to a problem that doesn't care. Epic American knowhow baby.

Comment: A lot of the posters here have it part right (Score 2) 293

by zkiwi34 (#47245399) Attached to: Average HS Student Given Little Chance of AP CS Success

However, I reckon the real issue is that CS at university cares less about what you did at high school. They want Calculus/Further Mathematcs and Physics for sure, and having Chemistry is a help. It is rare than a college cares about AP CS other than in a token way. All this has the effect of making CS in high schools a complete and utter waste of time, for the student and for the school, which is why CS in high school will (unless things change) always have a wave of enthusiasm sinking back into a slough of "why did we even care?"

Think of it this way, if you go to university wanting to major in X (be it Art, Music, Languages, Sciences, Mathematics etc, anything but CS), they check that you've done X in high school. CS doesn't want X, they want Y and Z. So, the failing to have a proper CS program in high schools that would properly prepare students for CS (and for that matter Engineering and to a degree the Natural Sciences) is that the universities cannot or will not agree to what constitutes a proper preparation for CS.

What makes it worse is the likes of Google, Microsoft etc plump down money for these "feel good, everyone can/should code" initiatives. The kids, their families etc get all excited and then it hits them like a brick - the universities do not care.

I believe if the universities got their act together, or were presented with a solid CS program that fed into their undergraduate core on much more than a "Whee! We can now write functions!" (which is all AP CS provides) then things would get real and be of actual practical good to all. I know there's the smarts for this in high schools, and I know if universities got over themselves they'd be able to as a team come up with something great.

Comment: Gates et al are all... (Score 1) 165

by zkiwi34 (#46067093) Attached to: K-12 CS Education Funding: Taxes, H-1B Fees, Donations?

Well, let's be polite.

Nothing's going to change until two things happen. Firstly, people value education for its own sake, not as a set of boxes to check on the route to "somewhere," having no other value. Secondly, until the programs taught at high school (CS, Engineering, anything not "core") have both the rigour and the status of pre-requisite courses (for university study or vocation) then the devolution to the "core" will continue as will the decreasing value placed on education. Would that taking a CS/Engineering/Other strand was actually valued and required for entry into matching university programs!

All that exists is the faffing around that is the AP and such as "Project Lead The Way" which butcher the job and are perhaps the biggest barrier rather than being a decent stepping stone. The AP should never have existed except as a stop-gap measure. The state curriculums and program strands (In CS, Engineering, and pretty much anything else) in and of themselves should have had the required rigour, and more, the recognition by universities as valid pre-requisites.

Not that Gates et al have anything like this in mind with their peanuts that they toss at "the problem."

Comment: Re:Ads added post-purchase? (Score 1) 169

by zkiwi34 (#44172285) Attached to: Microsoft To Add Ads To Smart Search

Newspapers (may want to) but don't/can't troll your hard drive and your online presence to "serve" you the "ads you want."

It'd be interesting to see how the EC reacts to Windows doing this privacy invasion thing. Google's already been walked about 1/2 way along the plank for its sins, and you have to note that Microsoft has already ticked the EC off to epic proportions. Mayhaps Google could toss this current Microsoft bollocks to occupy them for a while.

Comment: Re:I guess I don't mind this (Score 1) 318

by zkiwi34 (#43617291) Attached to: Repeal of Louisiana Science Education Act Rejected

That's simply because education in the modern USA and more recently the UK is seen merely as a bunch of check boxes to be filled in to be "qualified" for something. There's bugger all involved in getting kids to just like learning stuff and to see where it takes them.

Mind you, I don't mind discussing philosophy with the local kebab vendor, who apparently has a PhD in Engineering and some other fantastic academic background. It's a pity he and his family had to high tail it out of Iran as the revolution came, just to survive.

Excessive login or logout messages are a sure sign of senility.