Another dot in the blogosphere?

Posts Tagged ‘video

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The video above seems to have little, if anything, to do with being an edtech champion. But the words of historian Rutger Bregman ring true.

Bregman gained attention at the most recent Davos summit when he emphasised taxation of the ultra rich over philanthropy.

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Change agents who take their roles seriously might take to heart his reminder:

We can’t afford to just be tinkering around the edges. If history teaches us one thing, it’s always that change never starts in the centre, but it always starts on the fringes, with people who are first dismissed as crazy and unreasonable and ridiculous. Every milestone of civilisation, the end of slavery, democracy, equal rights for men and women, the welfare state. All these ideas were dismissed once as unreasonable and crazy. Until they happened.

Be crazy. Be unreasonable. Be ridiculous. But only you have your head screwed on right and are a student of the history of your field. You can project only if you have depth, and that comes from the past. For change agents, this past does not hold back; it anchors to realities that need to change.

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I have a habit of reflecting on my blog every day. How did I form this habit?

According to this SciShow Psych video, a habit is an automatic action that develops from a contextual cue. My cue seems to be anything that I read, listen to, or watch in my RSS, Twitter, podcast, or YouTube feeds.

But relying on such cues makes such habits extrinsically-driven. So how did I make the writing an intrinsic habit?

Again according to research condensed by the video, I might have piggybacked on some other task.

I started blogging in earnest right before my son was born in an effort to journal his milestones. Back then, I was also writing my Ph.D. thesis and maintained an online journal for that journey as well.

Despite then returning to Singapore and working as a professor, lecturer, and head of department, I kept the daily writing up because it had become ingrained. I have left those hallowed halls for almost five years, but that habit has stuck with me.

Today I conduct a mobile learning and game-based learning session. This is part of a Masters course on educational technologies.

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This Wired video from 2018 appeared in my YouTube feed. Two days ago, my Twitter feed led me to a news article about how Singaporeans spend the most time playing video games when compared to the rest of Asia.

While the video focused on the impact of video games on the brain, the article provided a few insights into how and how much we play.

My session is a primer on game-based learning. If my learners walk away from the session knowing the differences between game-based learning and gamification, I would be a happy man.

I only wish I could focus on educational gaming for an entire semester instead of just one session. This would almost mirror the immersion and flow that gamers experience, and the learning would be both intentional and incidental.

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This SciShow video addresses a trend by asking a simple but critical question: Is alkaline water really good for you?

The bottomline is that drinking alkaline water does not make much of a difference. The human body is a giant homeostatic machine designed to keep it operating within narrow margins so that we stay alive.

I would wager that any immediate feel good factor on the part of the consumer of such water is psychological, not physiological. The feel really good factor on the part of the seller is financial, not ethical.

The uncritical consumer is not just poorer financially, but also developmentally. They would rather believe hype than consider bitter truths.

I wish there were more videos like this one. It presents the facts, but passes little or no judgement.

Consumers are left to make their own decisions. This reminds me that good educational videos are like the best teachers: They show you where to look, but do not tell you what to see.

The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see. — Alexandra K. Trenfor

One incident. Two perspectives.

The first perspective was a video recorded by an ordinary citizen and shared by the “blog father” of Singapore, mrbrown.

The second perspective was a newspaper article and headline.

The first laid the blame largely on the truck driver for being aggressive with his vehicle and then brandishing a weapon. The second focused on the cyclist hitting the driver in the face before cycling off.

Each entity had decided who was to blame. This exemplifies the opposites that we might find online. The same opposites that find ourselves caught between.

Instead of simply favouring our bubbles and biases to decide which side to take, we might use the principles shared so far in Crash Course’s Navigating Digital Information series (my summaries).

See for yourself. Decide yourself. But only after arming yourself with modern literacy skills.

It has taken me a while, but I finally used an old example to illustrate to future faculty how to start with the concrete to build up to the abstract.

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In 2015, this ill-informed lawmaker brought a snowball as evidence against climate change. But he is not a model for using the concrete to illustrate the abstract.

No, the video is the concrete anchor with which to start student discussion on the abstract principles of weather, climate, and the difference between them.

Why start with something concrete? It is relatable, easier to understand, or otherwise meaningful.

Why link the concrete to something abstract? Learners need to develop higher order thinking — conceptualising, linking, extending, and the like — and it helps to provide some scaffolding.

This week’s Crash Course episode on navigating digital information focused on evaluating evidence offered by online creators.

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Anyone who says anything online needs to back up any claim with evidence. But not just any evidence.

Some might offer claims as evidence. Host John Green highlighted a claim about a new and supposedly deadly spider that had already killed five people in the USA. That claim (in all caps, no less) was made without reference to any other resource.

Others might offer wrong evidence after making a claim. Green provided the example of a US senator who brought a snowball into the senate floor and offered it as evidence that there was no global warming. This was evidence of winter and short term weather, but nothing against long term climate change.

In Green’s own words, not all evidence is created equally. So what are we to do? Ask two questions:

  • Does the information make sense?
  • Does the information merely confirm my pre-existing worldview?

Answers to both questions require value judgements and this can be a subjective process. To make things more objective, we could evaluate evidence by finding out how valid and reliable it is.

Validity is about how relevant and credible the information is; reliability is a measure of how much or how often that same evidence shows up.

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