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posted Jan 9, 2012 4:05 PM by Kevin English

Hmmm.  I am taking an on-line distance learning course on "Teaching Mathematical Problem Solving".  The course utilizes Blackboard, an industry standard platform for on-line training.  Within this blog post, I will highlight my impressions.

First Day on Blackboard - Initial Impressions
  • The Blackboard technology feels "old".  The input box for writing is small, the hyperlink feature didn't work, ....
  • When I take a course I like to highlight the important material - due date in the syllabus, phrases I like, etc. On Blackboard, there is no way to do this.  The only solution I have come up with is to print out all the uploaded documents, place them into a binder, and then highlight what I want.  In essence, I am making a paper book.  A book that isn't conveniently searchable.  Arg!!  The other thought is to download the documents to Dropbox and then open them up on the iPad.  Seems like a lot of "wasted".  With Balckboard, it feels like the technology is getting in the way of the learning.
  • Videos - where are they?  How about having a quick video of the teacher introducing themselves.  Can I do my blog posts by video?  Will need to check on this.

Mashable - 11 Tech Factors that Changed Education in 2011

posted Jan 5, 2012 5:18 AM by Kevin English   [ updated Jan 5, 2012 5:23 AM ]

This is a great summary article by Mashable detailing trends and factors in education.  We have experimented with many of the tools and products mentioned in the article.   Explore more >>

Feel the Passion. Eric Lander of the Human Genome Project.

posted Jan 4, 2012 2:28 PM by Kevin English   [ updated Jan 4, 2012 3:51 PM ]

Eric Lander talks about his life as a mathematician and geneticist on the Human Genome Project.  
  • "Science is a social activity."
  • "There never has been a more exciting time to be a scientist."
  • "You've got to be stubborn."

I want to make an app. (Ohh, by the way I am 12 years old).

posted Jan 4, 2012 12:11 PM by Kevin English   [ updated Jan 4, 2012 12:11 PM ]

This is our new favorite TED video.  This video succinctly summarized what we wan to do at Davinci's Lab -- get kids excited about invention and get them the tools and knowledge to invent.

 

NYT - Stanford AI Course

posted Jan 3, 2012 6:47 AM by Kevin English

We have been keenly watching the "grand experiment" in teaching that two Stanford professors undertook in the fall of 2011.  Over 168,000 people enrolled in an on-line Introductory to Artificial Intelligence course and 38,000+ turned in the first homework assignment.  

Read the full article from the New York Times here.

And .... be sure to read the comments (click on the comments icon), some very interesting thoughts about this "grand experiment", both positive and negative.

One example:
"This model of education has profound implications for K-12 public schools. We'll first see the effects at the high-school level, most likely via a mass exodus to alternative, better, and ironically lower cost forms of education.

The notion that a child attends his or her neighborhood school, with 30 other children of the same age, but varying ability and interests, usually led by a teacher with mediocre credentials only made sense when most kids were slated for big company jobs in a manufacturing oriented economy. Now that we are in an innovation oriented economy we need to move beyond institutionalizing our children for 13 years. Instead, we need to engage them in the real world."
Dave W. / Tempe, AZ

Another example:
"The whole nature of education, especially in high school should migrate to this model. Homework should be the online lecture, and the actual problem solving, aka learning, happens at school, with the teacher actually teaching instead of wasting time lecturing. I know this would work better for my children where I spend a fair amount of my time actually teaching math and science.
Paul / Verbank, NY

Ivy League - At least 3.0 and 1440

posted Dec 25, 2011 4:22 PM by Kevin English   [ updated Dec 29, 2011 3:14 PM ]

Thinking of attending a Ivy League school on an academic scholarship, it will require at a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and 1440 combined on the SAT test for math and reading (max possible 1600).  Read more in this New York Times article.

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