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Posts Tagged ‘youtube

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This video snippet from the BBC painted a positive picture of the possible effects of mobile use by babies or toddlers. It was a better clip than the CNA video last year [1] [2] not because it was tech-positive, but because it was less biased.

The CNA video last year asked the question “Can e-learning make you dumb?” and sought to back up its answers with what its writers had already decided instead of what they could investigate.

The BBC video was not as negative, even when the narrator seemed to sneak in negative associations with mobile device use like “young children sat down using technologies won’t be as good at coordinating their bodies”. It was simply repeating a commonly held concern by lay folk.

The takeaways from the video should not be that the small sample of kids was representative of a larger group nor that kids who used technology were no worse with gross motor skills and better at fine motor skills.

If we learn anything at all from these videos it should not be the opinions on the effects of e-learning or mobile devices. It should be that we need to read, listen, watch, or otherwise process all sources of information with critical filters.

One coarse but vital filter is identifying bias. The CNA video asked questions and rushed to answer them with unbalanced certainty. The BBC video, while seemingly positive, asked questions and left room for even the child expert to express doubt.

One video tried to tell you WHAT to think; the other video could teach you HOW to think.

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Kenya banned plastic bags. They are not the only country to do this; they are just the most recent.

How did they do this?

It is hard to answer this question because the video shows a result and not the mediating processes. One might guess that political will and courageous activism were high on the list of change processes. And yet the video only hints at such processes.

Therein lies a lesson for those who go on “learning journeys” or “site visits”. You see the obvious products like policy documents and classroom layouts. You might even see model classes in action.

But these products do not always reveal the culture and processes of change. Learning about those important but insidious elements requires immersion or constant sensing, not snapshots or quick visits.

I am not saying that the visits are not worthwhile. I am saying that they are incomplete. If we do not take the effort to learn more about a system and how it changes, we kid ourselves into thinking we can do the same.

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The video above described the “five-hour rule” — setting aside an hour a day to read, write, set goals, and learn. It also listed and briefly describe what some famously successful people so to learn deliberately.

It went on to elaborate on what such learning might look like:

  • Planning for specific outcomes
  • Practising deliberately and getting feedback
  • Reflecting deeply on such practice
  • Actively setting aside time and effort to do these things
  • Dealing with small problems as they arise instead of waiting for them to grow
  • Tinkering with ideas

When I used to lead a department of about 20 lovely folks, I recall requiring them to do most these things. When I left, most left me notes that they learnt a lot. Not from me; they taught themselves because they became more deliberate learners.

Sleep — we all need it, but science does not really know why.

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We do know why sleep is beneficial though. In the realm of schooling, sleep is something that is not often actively prescribed as a learning strategy.

After watching the video above — specifically the part about brain plasticity and memory formation — I wonder if more schools will tell their students to sleep on it. If they do not, maybe tuition centres here will implement a compulsory 2-3pm nap time.

If I was still in the US, I would be marking Thanksgiving with a host family.

I am thankful for things big and small. As a leftie, I am thankful that my wrong-handedness was not selected against.

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Lefties persist because the advantages we bring are balanced by other pressures. We remain a minority, but we have a place in the world.

I would like to use this video to suggest a standard for technology integration in schools.

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The technology described in the video is GPS. It is so ubiquitous that we take it for granted, e.g., navigating with Google Maps, gaming with location-based apps, tracking packages, precisely timing transactions.

The best technology integration is powerful but transparent. It is an essential must-have, not an optional good-to-have. It is most needed and only noticed when it is gone.

The video below explains the differences between modern music videos and educational ones. In doing so, it works less as a how-to and more as a warning not to blindly ape popular methods.

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Fortunately, those of us who live and work in the realms of schooling and education do not have the time or inclination to make educational videos more like music videos.

Unfortunately, this has not stopped leaders and administrators from adopting concepts and practices from other fields, e.g., return on investment, best practices, being like Uber or AirBnB or Amazon of education.

I am all for learning about how others operate. I am not for trying to transfer or apply those ideas devoid of history or context.

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