David Wees's blog

Why do I use social media?

I may be presenting on social media use in education for a group of administrators in month or so, and a discussion I had on Twitter prompted me to think about why I use social media. An important aspect of any presentation on any tool is addressing the question; why should I use this?

Welcome to the no fun school

When my wife and I moved our family to NYC from Vancouver, we knew that we would have to get used to many changes, we just did not know how large some of those those changes would be.

We started our planning in January because we knew that finding an affordable place to live and a school for our son was going to be challenging. We created a map to overlay the information about schools we were gathering with information about rental prices. Very quickly we noticed a few trends.

Experimenting with random walks

Root 2 in visual form

Based on this image created by Matt Henderson, I decided to write something for myself that would explore other possible random walks, although mine are generated in a slightly different way than what Matt did.

Ways to use technology in math class

Here are some ways you can use technology in your math class which are more interesting and innovative than using an interactive white board or having students watch instructional videos. Note that these ideas are all examples of potential student uses of technology.

Students could:

There are no aha moments

If we understand learning to be the developing of neural connections in the brain, then necessarily there cannot be true aha moments (or more accurately, every moment is an aha moment).

Lets suppose that a child has a (flawed) model of how something works. Each time they are presented with information, they build new connections between neurons in their brain, while also occasionally (usually while they sleep) removing connections that are not used. Over time, this gradually results in a child having competing models for understanding how something works.

Topic: 

How do you help develop mathematical curiosity?

A recent New York Times article talks about how to fall in love with math. Related to this issue is how to develop mathematical curiousity in your students as a math teacher. In no particular order, these are some of my suggestions.

The Teaching Gap

In the fall of 1994, after several months of watching tapes, the project staff met to present some preliminary impressions and interpretations. We invited distinguished researchers and educators from Germany, Japan, and the United States to attend, and we listened intently to what they had to say. We were ready for a fresh perspective. It came late on the last day of the meeting. One of the participants, a professor of mathematics education, had been relatively silent throughout the day.

Balance puzzle

What is developmentally appropriate?

My son programming
(This is my son learning how to program in Turtle Art, at age 4)

As educators, we give work to students based on what we consider to be developmentally appropriate, and what we feel they have the capacity to learn, which then helps them develop exactly in the ways we expect. Isn't this a bit of cyclical reasoning?

Why am I using LinkedIn anyway?

I don't see what value, if any, my time spent managing my LinkedIn profile has given me. I have nearly 1000 connections on the site now, but I have only used it to contact people a few times, and people have only used it a few times to contact me. They could have contacted me in a bunch of other ways, through sites that I use much more frequently.

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