Archive for category teaching + learning

2012/02/27 18:03 – What It Takes To Make A Leader: Singh

When I heard that the University of Tokyo announced in January that it would change the start of its academic year from spring to fall, it reminded me of this last condition.

The announcement means more than just a change in the timing of enrollment; it is a trigger for debate on making Japanese universities more global. And it is important that not only universities but also each student have a global perspective.

If universities change enrollment to fall, students will need to figure out how they will spend the half year between high school graduation and college enrollment, and between college graduation and entering the workforce. I believe those six months will give young people more opportunities to build up experience in foreign countries through traveling, studying and other means.

Canadian Solar Inc. will build and operate megasolar plants in Japan. The Canadian company hopes to construct four or five facilities this year, each with an output of 500kw to 2,000kw. It will sell some of the power generated. This would be the first time that a major solar cell manufacturer from overseas generates electricity in Japan.

(President, Sumitomo 3M Ltd.)

via 2012/02/27 18:03 – What It Takes To Make A Leader: Singh.

Instructional video: Doceri on the iPad

This sounded good: how to use an iPad as an interactive whiteboard, using some software called Doceri. I thought, if I watched this, I’d learn what Doceri is and how to use it. Well, I watched 4 minutes of this 7-minute video, and after that time, I was really no wiser as to what Doceri is, or how you can use an iPad as an interactive whiteboard. Apparently, you hook it up to a computer, and you need a projector, and you need Doceri, and you need at least one other bit of software… after that I tuned out. And this guy needs not just ONE video but TWO to tell you all this and more. You still awake?

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If you want to know what Doceri is and does, I think we’re better off going to the Doceri website. I did get a tip on something called ink2go, which looks more useful for what I want to do.

The above video breaks a basic guideline for instructional videos: explain clearly in the first few seconds what the video is about and why the viewer should keep watching.

How (not) to make a video

A video I won’t be imitating any time soon, unless I ever want to put people off.

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  1. Altho the speaker is facing the camera, he has his eyes closed or looking off-screen much of the time. I don’t get the feeling he is really interested in talking to me. It looks like a self-indulgent rant.
  2. What’s with the weird animation? Is this a real person? A cartoon figure? Why am I wasting time asking myself these questions?
  3. Why should I or anyone care what Andrew thinks? He doesn’t provide a convincing answer within the first 10 seconds.
  4. He doesn’t provide any compelling reason within the first 15 seconds  why I should continue to listen to the remaining 7 minutes and 40 seconds. I didn’t.
  5. Is he the beast of “Beast TV”?
  6. He looks miserable. Maybe I’m weird, but I prefer to watch people who are either nice to look at, or who look like they’re enjoying themselves and believe in what they are talking about, or preferably all three. See below for some examples.
  7. Did I miss anything?

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Another short, well-made video

Here is another interesting short video. It is professionally made, and I don’t aspire to make anything this slick – it is not worth my time to learn how to do so. I like the background graphics. Watch for the ones that pop up when Ferguson says “Lehman Brothers”. I prefer a speaker on video to be facing me/the camera, tho I suppose switching to a side-view or some other view helps provide variety. But does a short video really need it?

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Simple but effective videos

What do you think of this video as a teaching or a marketing tool?

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I’m looking into creating my own instructional videos. If I could make something like the one above, I’d be happy. Here’s why. Read the rest of this entry »

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“So you point to a tree and say, ‘See that car?’

Jon Rappoport writes some pretty interesting stuff.  Today he came up with something that wraps up in a nutshell a recurring concern I have, like a sore that won’t go away,  about “education”: “Education tends to define what is there before a person can experience it on his own.” Here’s the context, but click the link below and read the whole thing. It won’t take a minute and might throw you for an interesting loop.

“If you hand a person a fig and tell him it’s a plum, there is a chance he’ll see a plum.

“If you give a person a copy of Nabokov’s Lolita and explain its ‘themes,’ there is a chance that, as he reads it, he will find those themes and consider them the most important result of his reading. “Instead of relying on his own imagination and perception, a person imagines that what he is told is what he is looking at.

“So you point to a tree and say to a friend, ‘See that car?’

“Education tends to define what is there before a person can experience it on his own.

via IMAGINATION UNTITLED « Jon Rappoport’s Blog.

Salvador Dali's "The Temptation of St. Anthony"

Rene Magritte "This is not a pipe"

Rene Magritte "This is not a pipe"

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Classrooms of the heart

Recently looked for this in my bookmarks and discovered I hadn’t bookmarked it! So here it is. I watch this for clues as to what Gatto actually did in classrooms, his interaction with his students. He’s rather coy about the details in his books (probably to protect the innocent), and this is a good resource if you want to find out more about his teaching methods. (Other sources of specific information are in the 3-page chapter “A Year with John Taylor Gatto”, by a former student, Jamaal M. Watson, written when he was 13. It’s in “A Different Kind of Teacher”.)

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Austrian Economics and teaching

A teacher who obviously enjoys his work, talks about teaching and Austrian economics.

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Is Being an Entrepreneur in Your DNA? | LinkedIn

Would you believe it? A college finds that college courses are useful and necessary. Who’d a thunk? Is the Pope Catholic?


Is being an entrepreneur in your DNA, or can it be taught? A new study from Babson College finds the evidence is “overwhelming” that if business students take at least two core entrepreneurship classes, that can “positively influence” them to go on to start up a business.

Professors at the Wellesley, Massachusetts-based college analyzed a survey of some 3,755 alumni and found that two (“or better yet three”) entrepreneurship classes strongly affected students’ decisions to pursue start-ups, and that writing a student business plan also had some influence, though not as strong.

Is Being an Entrepreneur in Your DNA? | LinkedIn.

There is evidence that entrepreneurs don’t do well in school, but you won’t find that discussed in the article.

This is a false dichotomy. The writer thinks there are only two possibilities: either it’s in your blood, it’s innate, or it is taught in a college course. What about apprenticeships? Or mentors? No. None of that. It’s either DNA or college. No other possibilities.

And in the third paragraph, the article makes the predictable but unfounded leap from “entrepreneurship CAN be taught (in college)” to “it SHOULD be taught”. Surprise, surprise. Also notice the stress on reducing risk, a typical professorial attitude.

Why learn entrepreneurship from a professor who has never entrepreneured anything in his life?

“It’s time to cast off the prejudiced question, ‘Why teach entrepreneurship?,’ because we now have excellent empirical evidence that it makes a difference.  We think that entrepreneurship should be taught not only for the production and training of entrepreneurs but also to help students decide if they have the right stuff to be entrepreneurs before they embark on careers for which they may be ill-suited,” the professors wrote in the study, called “Does An Entrepreneurship Education Have Lasting Value? A Study of Careers of 3,775 Alumni.”

I don’t deny that entrepreneurship can be taught. Cameron Herold’s dad taught him (see the TED talk on the video below). I just don’t believe that college courses can teach entrepreneurship.

What’s next? Maybe college courses to teach selflessness and community spirit?

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Helen Blofield leaves her worldly possessions to road paver who cared for her… cutting her globe-trotting granddaughter out | Mail Online

Life imitates art:

A former airline executive has been cut out of her grandmother’s will because she left everything to a former neighbour who helped her during her final years, a court has heard.

via Helen Blofield leaves her worldly possessions to road paver who cared for her… cutting her globe-trotting granddaughter out | Mail Online.

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