Monthly Archives: January 2010

“Thin slicing” and its effect on educators.

I’m reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink.  He uses a variety of arguments to show the power of information we can receive from a very small amount of information, and the subconscious ways we make decisions very quickly.  It’s a fascinating read, I highly recommend checking it out. One point he brings up a fair bit […]

Free online education for anyone

Imagine a school without walls and completely online.  Students could log onto any web ready computer, and sign up to join classes.  They could interact via a moderated back channel chat and vote questions to the teacher up or down during live sessions and participate in forum discussions during asynchronous sessions.  Assignments would be handed […]

What could 3D do for language learning?

So I’ve had a thought about the direction of language learning.  I’ve been experimenting with 3D interactive worlds (specifically OpenSim), which are programs which let people interact with each other real-time in 3D.  Pretty cool stuff.  This is already being used to help people learn languages as many of the 3D servers offer the ability […]

My first semester as a teacher – part 9

…continued from here… Yes, I sold my soul to the administration of my school.  In exchange, I got to keep my job. Well, actually how it worked out was this.  We had a special department meeting about a week before grades were due in which it was discussed that if our students did not pass our […]

Maybe we should be aiming for computer programming instead of calculus in Math?

I read an article one time which questioned why we choose calculus to be the top of the math pyramid in school.  Basically, most of the mathematics students learn once they master the basics aims toward preparing the students to take calculus at the end of K-12 school.  The article I read suggested that statistics […]

My thoughts on Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers – The Story of Success

I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers.  It was very cool, I knew a lot of the information provided in it but some of the things had a fresh perspective and were collected in one place. He starts off with an observation, which I’ve known for a long, long time (from even when I […]

My first semester as a teacher – part 8

…continued from here… As the Christmas break loomed in front of me, I began to finally feel more confident in my teaching.  I had more classes which seem to run smoother, not many more, but a few.  A lot of these things though, in reflection, I really don’t think had to do with me. First, […]

Reflection on using Activexpressions for the first time

I used clickers in the classroom for the first time today.  For those of you who don’t know, a clicker is also known as a classroom response device, and is used to collect immediate student feedback.  Students have a small device, it looks like a remote and on your computer you have a hub of […]

Problem based learning in math

How does problem based learning work anyway?  According to Wikipedia, "Problem-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered instructional strategy in which students collaboratively solve problems and reflect on their experiences."  To me this means, choose problems which will reflect your curriculum and which students want to solve. Implementation of this in mathematics can be tricky for […]

My first semester as a teacher – part 7

…continued from here… There were some really bright moments during my first semester too.  I remember the first time my grade 10 class was completely silent.  They actually quieted down and we working away diligently on one of my many worksheets that year, and then one student blurted out, "Oh my god we are quiet! […]