"Hello World!"

Le Mon 28 December 2020 Par Tony Spiker  | Cat├ęgorie : misc

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So, This is a test

Just started with this markdown stuff and I am learning how to use it. Far cry from a wordpress site.

anyway, about me

I am a High School science teacher. I like it. But I think I can do better. You see, here is the thing: ther eis a big push for a style of learning called 21st Century Learning. The idea behind it is that the jobs of tomorrow are going to require the students of today to be adept at technology. What that seems to mean to most drivers of this idea, ~~is that students need to use tablets in class.~~ Granted that is selling the idea a bit short, there are other tenets to it, tenets that I believe to be important, like knowledge construction, real world problem solving, ajustment of work based on feedback from the instructors, but the big push always seems to come down to using technology.

and that is the problem

For one, students know how to use ipads better than we do. Hell, I hand those damn things out and the kids have the settings so far out of sorts in the first five minutes that I will spend hours trying to fix. And two, who cares? What are they going to use the ipads (which is really just a substitution for any sort of technology in this diatribe) for? Google something that someone else has already figured out? They, and everyone else with a pulse, already knows how to do this.

so you don't like current pedagogy? big deal...

This brings me to the point of this site, which is really an off shoot of what I am actually working on. Kids don't need to konw how to use technology. They already know how, and trying to incorperate it into current learning paradigms just takes time away from other things teachers should be teaching them. So if we are going to do something along these lines, it needs to be more important, more pressing, that studying Algebra, physics, or the trade patterns of colonists in the 17th century. And maybe actually be able to assist in those endeavors as well.

No, Kids don't need to learn how to use technology, they need to learn how to make technology actually do things for them. They need to know how to program, and how to use programming and hence technology to make their lives easier.

so why is this site here?

Well, I have started teaching myself python, in the hopes that I can one day pass this information on to my students. I am currently developing a class that uses computers to model scientific phenomena. Things like how a ball flies through the air, or how rabbits reproduce in an ecosystem. But the key thing is, the students have to program these models themselves. This way they will understand the math behind the explanation and actually build knowledge for themselves. In the process of learning python I learned about Github, and Pelican, and all the opportunities for collaboration that such things make possible. So... here I am...

wish me luck