David Wees's blog

Why textbooks should be open source

In the past few years, there has been a push for open source content, and enough resources have been created so that schools can completely do away with the traditional textbook. However, adoption of open source content has been low, and the vast majority of schools are still relying on tradtional textbooks.

Wheel of Fortune Game

My colleague asked me if I could find a Wheel of Fortune game he could use with his 1st grade students. I looked around for a while and found something which sort of worked here. The problem was, the code was kind of broken and needed a lot of repair. However it was the best thing I could find, so I spent a few hours and tidied it up.

Clayton Christensen on the shortcomings of math education

"The curricular activities are designed to make students feel like failures." Clayton Christensen

The relationship between family income and FSA score

The Fraser Institute released their annual "report" on the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA, a standardized exam given to 4th and 7th grade students in British Columbia) results. As usual there have been complaints about the validity of the results, and some interesting side stories.

Blended Learning: The Importance of Face to Face contact

Here's a great story (shared on the Huffington post) about a student who is attending his school remotely, through a robot. Watch the video below.

Mumbo Jumbo

Algebra is just mumbo jumbo to most people. Seriously.

If you asked 100 high school graduates to explain how algebra works, and why it works, I'd guess that 99% of them couldn't, not in sufficient detail to show that they really deeply understand it. Remember that I am talking about high school graduates, so these people have almost certainly had many years of algebra and algebraic concepts taught to them. Most of these people will only be able to give you some of the rules of algebra at best, and some of them don't even remember that much.

This isn't using technology

First, thanks to @fnoschese for finding this video. 

An Algebra Class Uses the iPad from MindShift on Vimeo.

Understanding nature

My wife and son went to Cathedral grove today. It's one of the only first growth forests left in BC, and it is amazing. The trees here are spectacular! What I realized when I saw the photos my wife sent me, you cannot understand nature without standing in (literally) her most majestic works.

My son standing inside a tree

Manufacturing Demand

Thanks to @rmbyrne and his Free Technology for Teachers website, I just saw Annie Lenox's "The Story of Bottled Water" video which is recommended viewing, but chances are those of you coming to this blog know the story she's telling already.

15,000 tweets

15000 tweets

I hit a milestone quietly today. I posted my 15,000 tweet. It's not  a milestone I'm going to celebrate, nor will anyone else, but it got me to thinking. What if we had students with 15,000 tweets?

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