David Wees's blog

Social media for parents

Reprinted with permission from our school's Imprint magazine.

On May 2nd, at 6:00 PM, Stratford Hall will be hosting a social media bootcamp for parents, with myself leading the workshop. The intention of the night is to teach parents some of the basic issues with social media, and how parents can be proactive in helping their children understand these issues.

Donor's Choose for Global Education

I just sent off this email to someone in the UNESCO office for Global education. What do you think?

I teach kids, not subjects

I listened to a podcast recently where a teacher made the claim that his job is to teach chemistry, not values, and I would argue that if this was really the case, he is failing at his job. If we think of values as being a set of cultural norms, then it is easy to argue that it is impossible to engage in the act of teaching without teaching values.

A constructivist approach to symbolic logic

First, some background. Symbolic logic is a way of taking ordinary sentences, and turning them into mathematical statements, and then examining the truth value of the sentences by working in the symbolic form. An example of a complex argument which was completed using almost all symbolic logic, see Gödel's theorem.

Richard Feynman on Education in Brazil

Richard Feynman writes:

....

The lecture hall was full. I started out by defining science as an understanding of the behavior of nature. Then I asked, “What is a good reason for teaching science? Of course, no country can consider itself civilized unless… yak, yak, yak.” They were all sitting there nodding, because I know that’s the way they think.

Electronic Textbook reader

I'm in contact with a company called Active Textbook which aims to produce an electronic reader and a platform for sharing pre-existing content in web ready format. Currently their technology uses Microsoft Silverlight (use Moonlight beta on a Mac) but I asked about moving to HTML 5 and the company spokesperson said that this is in the works.

Here is an example (it will take a while to load, and you may need to install Silverlight first):

What does math in the real world actually look like?

This is a great video from the Alberta Ministry of Education. I definitely see it as explaining the purpose of mathematics in a way that kids can understand. I also think it gives mathematics educators something to think about when they watch it. Have they done enough to embed what they are teaching in contexts which are recognizable and important to their students?

Topic: 

TED application - Math in the real world

I saw on the TED blog that they were accepting applications to do a TED talk in May in Long Beach, so I thought that it was worth trying to create a video application. This isn't the most amount outstanding video I've created, but give me a break, I had limited time. :)

 

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Transformation of education through communication

If you look at every major change in our society, you will find that communication between individuals was instrumental to the change, and that in many cases, a change in how communication occurred between individuals precipitated the change itself. For example, the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, and the current revolution in Libya are all the result of the masses who believe in change being able to communicate that belief through social media.

The effect of communication tools on education

It should be clear to anyone reading this that the type of tools we have for communication strongly affect how education occurs. If we examine communication tools over time, we can see two trends in our communication tools.

History of communication tools

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