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Posts Tagged ‘new

I had a happy first few days of the lunar new year, not least because I found this funny video courtesy of SGAG.

I fell ill on new year’s eve and am still recovering. Don’t worry, it is not Wuhan-related. My illness meant I had to avoid people like the plague.
 

 
I do not have problems with people proper. I simply dislike inane or meaningless interactions. So my illness was a bonus hongbao for my misanthropic tendencies.

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That is my short form for Product and Processes, Lunar New Year edition.

This was the product — a short story shot on the iPhone 11 Pro.


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This was some insights into some of the processes that created the product.


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You might cynically point out that this was Apple’s blatant effort to keep advertising the iPhone 11 Pro to the largest market in the world. You would be right.

You might also see how important it is to be aware of the processes behind the product. You might learn to be reflective.

So which would you rather be — right or enlightened — in the Year of the Rat?

I heard a few questions from new faculty at a recent pre-semester meeting. The questions revealed how much I take for granted and how much the new folk need to level up.
 

 
One person confused academic integrity with general integrity. Academic integrity is normally about how one writes essays and reports research. We want individuals who are models of overall integrity, of course. But when we focus on assignments and reports, we zoom in on specific aspects of academic integrity like citing, attributing, and not plagiarising.

Another person brought up how students might be confused as to why they had to cooperate in class activities (e.g., co-editing Google Docs) but could not do the same with most summative assignments. While such students bring up a valid argument, we should counter that with accountability. We focus on group accountability with shared documents, but we determine individual accountability with end-of-course essays.

I was glad to hear how a few faculty had started using mobile apps to quiz their students. However, I was dismayed that they focused on the bells and whistles instead of the praxis of feedback or assessment. Such application of educational theory could be the need to monitor learning and/or to provide formative feedback. It should not be about a timer counting down or background music adding tension.

All three examples bring up the importance of being an academic who is literate in pedagogical theory and research. Being a good instructor and facilitator is not just about knowing what works. It is also about knowing why it works.

It is the time of year when people tend to make new year’s resolutions.


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Shortly after the new year, most people fail or give up on them. To keep on task, folks might apply the strategies in the video below.


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The shortlist of strategies in the video:

  • Pick small and realistic goals
  • Be specific and detailed about the goals
  • Keep track of your progress in a concrete way
  • Change your environment to remove distractions or temptations

I did not set out to blog every day for the last several years. I did resolve to try to learn something or reinforce something worthwhile each day. As an educator, I know that cementing learning means acting on new information to make it encoded and embodied knowledge. So I keep that habit going.

I love the Pessimist Archive podcast. I hate that there are so few episodes. But I appreciate how much work it takes to create each one.

I have not been listening to the podcasts in the order they were made because I jumped on whatever interested me first. A standout phrase in episode 1 from host Jason Feifer was this: The best antidote to fear of the new is looking back at fear of the old.

So I made an image quote of it.

The best antidote to fear of the new is looking back at fear of the old. -- Jason Feifer

We cannot claim to be teachers or educators unless we have been, and continue to be, students first. What seems like new problems the students experience or bring into the classroom often has old roots.

We can deal with the symptoms or we can tackle the causes. The key to understanding our new fears is having a mind open enough to learn from history.

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To paraphrase a Biblical reference: You cannot put new wine in old wineskins. If you do not get that reference, you should also not get why people do this.

Old ideas applied to new technologies make both look ridiculous. And yet we keep repeating that mistake.

New technologies might make current processes better. But we should also be looking for what they enable, i.e., what we thought previously difficult or impossible to do.

Applied to schooling, edtech should be about enabling new possibilities, not entrenching old habits. If we ignore that approach, we risk looking as foolish as the VR soccer players.

I like using Google Sites. They are open almost by default and I can embed just about any tool for teaching and learning. This is true for the classic and current versions of Google Sites.

The ability to embed, say, a Padlet was not a given when the new version rolled out. Content and tools were restricted to the Google Classroom or Drive suites. Thankfully that has changed given how educators who wish to incorporate technology are brand agnostic*.

*I type this on a Mac for a reflection posted on WordPress about a tool Google bought and redeveloped.

However, there is still one change that the classic version of Google Sites had that the new version does not — page level permissions.

Google Sites access permission.

I can selectively share an entire site with a group or users or open it to all. This is a site-level permission setting. I still cannot specific page level permissions.

One enterprising user suggested a workaround — embedding user-specific Google Docs in a page, but this is not as good as providing fully fledged editing rights.


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