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Posts Tagged ‘wired

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One thought that crossed my mind as I watched this video was how much science undergirds and enables the art. The same could be said about pedagogy.

I define pedagogy as the science and art of teaching. The science refers to the theoretical principles, experimentation, and research of what might be quantified about teaching. The art is the practice getting better with critical and reflective practice. Do one without the other, or favour one over the other, and we are unlikely to teach effectively.

I love this Wired video series where an expert teaches five learners at very different levels. I highlighted a previous video last month in which a neuroscientist discussed connectomes.

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In the video above, another biologist was challenged to discuss CRISPR at five individuals: Child, teenager, college student, graduate student, and expert.

The previous five-level video inspired me to link it to personalised teaching. This video might remind teachers how they might teach at any and all levels. They should seek to ask questions, not just answers.

At each level, the biologist asked at least one question:

  1. Child: Do you know what a genome is?
  2. Teenager: What do you think about being able to edit genomes?
  3. College student: Do you know how CRISPR works?
  4. Graduate student: (Are there) any unintended consequences?
  5. Expert: How are you using gene editing in your own work?

Despite the different types of questions, they shared the same property. The questions drove to where the learner was likely at and were designed to build knowledge from that point.

If you seek to indoctrinate, provide the answers. If you seek to educate, provide questions.

Too often teaching starts with answers without questions. This only teaches students how NOT to ask questions. This also reinforces in teachers not to ask good questions or to not get students to do the same.

I share below a few image quotes I created in 2015 and 2016 that highlight the importance of leading with questions. These image quotes and many others are available in one of my Google Photos galleries.

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

We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself. -- Lord Alexander.

Good GRADES may help you LOOK smart. Good QUESTIONS help you GET smart.

Clive Thompson wrote about the future of reading in a Wired article. I agree fully with him that book publishers need to wake up, listen, adopt, adapt and offer something relevant to readers.


  • Book publishers are already getting left behind. They should look at what is currenty happening with the newspaper and magazine industries.
  • The future of reading is tightly linked to the future of learning. It is far more participative and collaborative!

The laptop celebrates 40 years, so says this Wired article. More accurately, the concept of the laptop is 40-years-old.

In the interview, Alan Kay, who first conceptualised the laptop, was reported to say:

my thoughts about an intimate personal computer were mostly of a service nature – that is, how could and should it act as an amplifier for human, especially child, endeavors?

So we have laptops, UMPCs and netbooks today. The cost of netbooks in particular are dropping and will continue to drop. Why are more of them not in the hands of learners? Why are educators needlessly clinging on to outdated mindsets and not using innovative ways of teaching and learning with netbooks?

And speaking of netbooks, let’s recall how Asus took the lead in producing what seemed ridiculous at the time. A small, underpowered but cheap and portable netbook for the consumer masses. Why? Because they could. Then netbooks from Asus and other companies became a roaring success and netbooks even topped Amazon notebook sales in September this year.

From a link in Dawson’s blog entry, I read that Asus may be phasing out the smaller ones to focus on larger, more powerful units. Why? Because they can. Dawson bemoaned the fact that Asus might lose the education market. Then again, what computer company thinks of the education market?

I think we will use whatever is available. After all, educators co-opted Microsoft Office, a product designed for business use. Look where that led us. Hmm, low level tasks, PowerPoint pedagogy, and form over substance.

Maybe Dawson has a point after all…

Based on a Wired writer’s analysis, individual, personal and non-professional blogging is going the way of the dinosaur. And it took just four years for the art of blogging to give way to “blogzines” and fresher, cooler ways of airing your views.

If the writer is to be believed, the new “blogs” are Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Facebook. This speaks volumes about the way Netizens prefer to create and read “text”: Short text, sound bites, and visuals in the form of pictures and videos.

I think that the writer might have identified a trend. But to tell bloggers to “pull the plug” is to miss the point. Bloggers blog because they want to write, be it for an audience of one, a few, or  many. Bloggers can write in bite-size pieces and embed relevant media in their blogs too. Blogs are not irrelevant just as books are not irrelevant in this day of DVDs and streaming video.

Long live blogs!

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