Archive for September, 2005

Teaching programming

A very common complaint among computing students is that they hate programming. Say what? It is a fundamental of so many computing jobs, so there is something wrong... Programming should not be taught via lectures and should not be assessed via written examinations. Sure, there are practical issues with this when you have large classes. […]

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Evolution vs Intelligent Design…. duh

No point trying to fight religious fundamentalism (the so-called War on Terror) with religious fundamentalism. But that's what Dubya is doing. The Americans are still debating evolution and some schools require... ninth-grade students to hear a brief statement about ID [intelligent design] before biology classes on evolution (from a report in eSchool News). Intelligent design […]

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On ya, Arnie

How should we improve teachers who are, errr, not very good at what they do...? I don't think Arnie has the right approach: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign posted a form on its Web site asking Californians for stories about inferior teachers to support the ballot initiative to lengthen teachers' probationary period. (from "Schwarzenegger seeks 'bad […]

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H20

I just finished watching a brilliant Canadian movie, H20. It was intelligent, well-written, well-directed and very thought-provoking. A conspiracy involves the son of a recently-assassinated Canadian prime minister. A group of businessmen attempts to change the political landscape of the whole of North America. The bargaining chip? Water. Full of mystery and danger, the movie […]

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Using Technology in the Classroom

by Bitter, GG and Pierson, M (©2005, Pearson Education) Summary Review Using Technology in the Classroom has been around for a while (first edition 1984, revised every 5 years or so). The book appears to be aimed at an undergraduate teacher-trainee level, with advice on how to select software & Internet resources and how to […]

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Poor math, science, technology - a better way?

IBM has an interesting offer to financially back employees who want to leave the company to become math and science teachers as reported in eSchool News (article no longer available). They are doing this to help improve the level of math, science and technology in US schools. Sorry to be cynical, but depending on what […]

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HeyMath update - I’m in

I requested more information from HeyMath and they opened an evaluation account for me. First impressions: It is based on British sytem (lessons are classified as Secondary 1 to Secondary 4, Mathematics and Additional Mathematics). This covers topics from basic algebra to early calculus. (Such a classification alienates the countries that don't use British system). […]

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I’m blogging this

I was involved (as MC) in an interesting blogging seminar this morning. Four well-known Singapore bloggers (Xia Xue, Popagandhi, dsng.net, mr brown) answered my not-so-tricky questions about free speech in Singapore, how to avoid being arrested for sedition, how blogging improves your writing, how they get 5000+ hits per day and that kind of thing. […]

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sqrt(16) - how many answers?

When we take a square root, does it have 1 or 2 answers?

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Nobody Knows

Nobody Knows (誰も知らない - 'Dare mo Shiranai'), directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu, is a fictional reconstruction based on the true story of 4 children who were abandoned in a Tokyo apartment in 1988 ("Affair of the Four Abandoned Children of Nishi-Sugamo"). It was a very moving film for me, especially as it seemed so disturbingly possible. […]

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