Archive for June, 2005

What is a good teacher?

There is an interesting section on Teacher Assessment and Teacher Development in Classroom Assessment Issues and Practice (see my summary review of the book). There are several levels of accreditation that teachers in the US go through - and on the surface, a lot of it makes sense. At the national level, there are 5 […]

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Making Sense of Online Learning

by Patti Shank, Amy Sitze A Summary Review A Guide for Beginners and the Truly Skeptical Even though technology has radically changed the way the world works - and learns - there are still many luddites out there who refuse to accept that technology should be closely integrated into the design of learning. How many […]

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Designing World-Class e-Learning

by Roger C. Schank A Summary Review Schank is strongly opinionated - but we need a jolt occasionally to produce fresh approaches to education. There are several themes throughout this book (eg, learning is best done when we do something, failure should be encouraged, institutions should be about learning and not only about certification) that […]

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How to Persuade People Who Don’t Want to be Persuaded

by Joel Bauer & Mark Levy John Wiley, 2004 A Summary Review "[Bauer's] experience proves that the best way to influence others is to employ fun and enterntainment to make a more convincing pitch." Source: Dust jacket notes. As a teenager, Joel Bauer used to work as a magician on cruise liners. So his approach […]

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

by Sean Covey Fireside Books, 1998 A Summary Review Sean Covey is the son of the (highly successful) Stephen Covey who wrote "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People". The book suffers somewhat from the "Oprah Syndrome" - it is on occasions rather saccharine and simplistic in that 'we can fix your problem in one […]

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Classroom Assessment Issues and Practices

Steven R. Banks, Allyn & Bacon, 2005. Book review/summary What is assessment for? I have been doing exams all my life - either writing them as a student, or marking them as a teacher. Frankly, I'm not sure what is worse. Exams are a good example of the many great disconnects in education. That is, […]

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Math that made Google rich…

Some mathematics that has made Google the richest (in results and $) search engine... Google talks about "solving an equation of more than 500 million variables and 2 billion terms" for determining the PageRank of a particular Web page. PageRank is the process Google uses to determine the position of a Web page in a […]

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Dinosaur Mathematics…

The discussion usually goes something like this... Me: Good to see you! What are you teaching this semester? Lecturer: Advanced Technical Difficult Engineering Stuff. Me: Sounds like an interesting topic. Does it include a lot of mathematics? Lecturer: Oh yes, it has some differential equations, some matrix work and some finite element analysis. Me: Sounds […]

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Extreme Learning: Decision Games

Deep and meaningful learning takes place in authentic settings. When it is too dangerous or expensive to allow learners to experience real settings, simulations are the answer. They don't have to be computer-based simulations - it can be achieved by well-designed role-play. On a related note, it can be argued that demonstrating "good practice" is […]

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Math Optimizes Kidney Matches

This is an interesting 'real-life' application. There are currently about 90,000 patients waiting for a kidney donation in the US. Donated kidneys cannot be given to anyone who wants them - there are many factors in compatability, including physical distance between donor and recipient. This article shows an interesting algorithm that has been developed to […]

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