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Posts Tagged ‘youtube

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 like watching clips of QI because what the panel discusses often straddles the line of entertainment and education. The clip below was an example of game theory.


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If you were in a “truel” — a duel with a total three people, each with a gun loaded with one bullet — which person would you shoot first? The conditions were that you had a 10% chance of hitting your target, the second person was good shot with a 60% chance, and the third person was an excellent shot with 90%.

If you followed the numbers, you might play by the rules and take your chance. Even if you hit either one successfully by slim chance, the remaining shooter is even more likely gun you down.

The seemingly illogical option would be to miss on purpose and make it obvious. You would likely be ignored because you are not perceived as a threat and the other two would take each other out. You remain alive as a result.

It can be tempting to follow the numbers and the rules that seem to accompany it. However, the numbers should only guide what should be logical and forward thinking.

Such game theory not only applies in the truel scenario, it could apply in policymaking in schooling and education. Administrators and policymakers cite numbers, build walls with them, and enact plans. But if they rise above those numbers and think about the people — the students and the teachers — that are create those numbers, they might build bridges instead.

It is no secret that I am an avid player of Pokémon Go. Given my age, you might be tempted to include me among the uncles and aunties that now dominate the game here.

Unlike many of those players, I stay informed with strategies like using type effectiveness. I do not rely on game recommendations for battling Pokémon.


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I am also an educator, so I look at how the game might be used as a tool for learning and how it might misrepresent content. The tongue-in-cheek video above does the latter with Pokémon “evolution”. What happens in-game is rapid metamorphosis, not evolution. I also learnt this from my days as a biologist.

While the game’s terminology might not be taken seriously, those in and out of school cannot help but be influenced by what they see and experience. They could internalise what it not critically analysed or countered.

I choose to be informed instead of remaining ignorant. Doing so lets me enjoy the video as a form of entertainment and as a resource for teaching. I choose to know, to model such thinking, and to teach others how to do the same.


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Did you make a new year’s resolution and have you broken it already? Other than not setting resolutions right or being ill-disciplined, you might have procrastinated.

But procrastination gets a bad name. Sometimes it can be good if you know you are introducing a purposeful delay for the good of something else. This is called active or productive procrastination.

I recently exercised this option when I avoided email and requests during an almost two-month long hiatus last year. If I did not procrastinate on responding, I would not have kept promises to myself and my family.

I only responded after my email auto-notification ran the clock. There were inherent risks of doing this, of course. But I kept my word: I said I would not respond during my hiatus and got back to work after.

With an educated guess I can say that quite a few preservice teachers want to be teachers because they wish to make a difference. But I wonder how informed their collective decision is.


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This interview of preschool teachers is brutally honest about what might go wrong day to day. Such a reality check is important because it removes the rosy tint from the glasses of preservice teachers.

The video also reveals the humour and passion that keeps the preschool teachers going. This provides a balance to uncomfortable realities.

I recall how we would invite teachers to speak to preservice teachers once every blue moon. Failing that we would rely on ex-teachers who became professors (like I was back then) to incorporate their experiences into lessons.

But take a few years out of teaching daily in mainstream classrooms and you lose touch and relevance. That is why constant conversations and meaningful interviews with actual teachers are key to nurturing preservice and beginning teachers. They provide realistic expectations about what it means to teach and how to behave as a teacher.

Some of the folks in special needs and inclusive education already know this: You can focus on the disabilities or the abilities of your learners.

This is not just a philosophical shift in perspective. The shift can determine curricula, programmes, and resources.


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More people need to be inducted into this more progressively oriented approach. Perhaps these two recent videos might pave the way by listening to the those with these abilities.


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The second episode of the YouTube Original series on artificial intelligence (AI) focused on how it might compensate for human disease or conditions .

One example was how speech recognition, live transcription, and machine learning helped a hearing-impaired scientist communicate. The AI was trained to recognise voice and transcribe his words on his phone screen.

Distinguishing usage of words like “there”, “their”, and “they’re” required machine learning of large datasets of words and sentences so that the AI learnt grammar and syntax. But while such an AI might recognise the way most people speak, the scientist had a strong accent and he had to retrain it to recognise the way he spoke.

Recognising different accents is one thing, recognising speech by individuals afflicted with Lou Gehrig’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is another. The nerve cells of people with ALS degenerate over time and this slurs their speech. Samples of speech from people with ALS combined with machine learning might allow them to communicate with others and remote control devices.

Another human condition is diabetic retinopathy — blindness brought on by diabetes. This problem is particularly acute in India because there are not enough eye doctors to screen patients. AI could be trained to read retinal scans to detect early cases of this condition. To do this, doctors grade initial scans on five levels and AI learns to recognise and grade new scans.

This episode took care not to paint only a rosy picture. AI needs to learn and it makes mistakes. The video illustrated this when Google engineers tested phone-based AI on the speech patterns of a person with ALS.

Some cynics might say that the YouTube video is an elaborate advertisement for Google’s growing prowess in AI. But I say that there is more than enough negativity about AI and much of it is based on fiction and ignorance. We need to look forward with responsible, helpful, and powerful possibilities.


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