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James Crook
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James Crook

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Peer Instruction...
 
Peer Instruction and the Curse of Knowledge

This is a great explanation of peer instruction by Harvard physics professor, Eric Mazur. He tells the story of what a great lecturer he was early on in his career, and how, one day after reading about some research, his world came crashing down. What he learned from that research was that students in the southwest U.S. tended not to remember anything from their physics classes. 

Mazur then explains how, by accident, he stumbled onto a new approach to teaching, something that he and others call peer instruction. One of the key insights was that students were simply memorizing 'recipes' that were useful on tests, but never really seep into the level of deeper understanding.

The problem, he notes, centers on what Steven Pinker calls "the curse of knowledge" - the tendency for those who've long mastered a topic to forget what is actually hard to understand the topic when approaching it for the first time. It's much easier for someone who's just recently learned the topic to explain it to someone else who's just learning it for the first time. 

Mazur is a good storyteller, and by listening to this 13-minute video, you'll come away with a solid understanding of peer instruction and the concrete steps that Mazur uses in his classroom at Harvard to put it to work. Great stuff. 

#learning   #knowledge   #understanding   #teaching  

cc: +George Station +Laura Gibbs 
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Let's bring an end to attention theft! :)
Mindfulness empowers us to personally stand up against an economy that trades our attention — and possibly our well-being — for profit.
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On holiday in Madeira.

(This lizard is about 10cm long.)
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Spring in Phoenix Park

Most of the trees in Phoenix Park are just starting to develop leaf buds, but some of them are fully in leaf, in that new green colour.


#green   #Dublin   #PhoenixPark   #spring  
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Ted Lemon's profile photo
 
Looks like Vermont!   :)
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Graham Shaw presents an enthusiastic demolition of the idea "I can't draw", and by extension demolition of other "I cant's".  

The video could be handy for teaching about computational thinking.  Graham presents a sequence for a cartoon face - on which you can make 100's of 1000's of variations.

Some good pedagogy I noticed:
- shows what you will be able to do, early on (shows the why)
- the first two cartoon faces have a lot in common, so there is practice/reinforcement in drawing the second face, rather than all new.
- each character is given a name.  There is a sense of completion and achievement with each step.

Can we do the same for programming too please?

h/t +TN Free Blocks 
 
This is brilliant.  It can be applied to EdTech and getting teachers to take risks and try new things.  Get over the factor of "i'm not a tech person."  The last minute brought it all together for me.  Get a Pen a paper and follow along with this guy.  +Sean Thompson +Brady Cline +Davis Apas +Sethi De Clercq 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TXEZ4tP06c
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I can't draw well, but I do it anyway, for exactly the reasons he talks about. I'm very much down on negative self talk in my classroom.
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Knitted snarks and Klein bottles...
 
Knitted graph theory and knot theory! The image below is a snark (a 3-regular 2-edge-connected triangle-free graph that cannot be 3-edge-colored) embedded nicely onto a Klein bottle. The same gallery also has some knitted torus links.

See also an earlier news story, http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-19208292, about mathematician and artist sarah-marie belcastro's knitted mathematical works (with a genus-five surface) and how being left-handed has led her to be more cerebral about her knitting.
I am a mathematician who knits as well as a knitter who does mathematics. It has always seemed natural to me to combine mathematics and knitting, whether that results in knitting a model of a mathematical object or in using mathematics to design a garment. Indeed, over my mathematical life both ...
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This looks like a major advance in the understanding of the root cause(s) of Parkinsons. It makes sense that gut bacteria will interfere by various routes with smooth muscle action - Botulinum toxin for example aids the proliferation of Clostridium botulinum.
 
Parkinson's Disease Linked to Gut Microbiome

Caltech scientists have discovered for the first time a functional link between bacteria in the intestines and Parkinson's disease (PD). The researchers show that changes in the composition of gut bacterial populations--or possibly gut bacteria themselves--are actively contributing to and may even cause the deterioration of motor skills that is the hallmark of this disease.

The research is in Cell. (full open access)

#parkinsons #microbiome
Summary: A new study reports a link between the deterioration of motor skills in Parkinson's disease and alterations in the composition of populations of gut bacteria.Source: California Institute
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Beautiful. Well I think so.

h/t +SERGEY SUKHOTSKIY 
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Lovely explanation of counterpoint beautifully put together by Jonathan Kulp, with embedded examples to listen to, based on a 1910 original.   

h/t +Morten Juhl-Johansen Zőlde-Fejér 
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Ted Lemon's profile photo
 
Neat.   Of course, I find some of the things they say not to do more interesting than the things they say to do, but still, very interesting.
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Spring is trying to come in Andalucia, and the flowers are bravely making an effort to show themselves.
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Less than 3K of code, to transmit FM Radio signal from an airgapped MacBook Air, using the system bus.  
 
Transmitting FM radio from laptops in software using the system bus, without any specialized software. https://goo.gl/Cx7bGW
system-bus-radio - This program transmits radio on computers without radio transmitting hardware.
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Physics Balsa Bridge Building Contest

Photo of the day, this time from the March 2013 contest. Clearly, this 100.0 g bridge is supporting an impressive load. Very impressive. In addition to the heavy steel weights you see there, every cubic centimetre of the can below is filled with either more steel or dry sand. As this shot was taken the bridge was nearing it's maximum load bearing value. When all was said and done a new record had been set, 273.55 kg. That's kilograms! 603 pounds if you prefer it that way. This figure obliterated a previous record by around 50 kilograms.

In a couple of weeks we'll be holding the 36th annual contest. We hope to once again be live streaming the event. We are fortunate to have attracted almost twenty top-flight sponsors, ranging from professional organizations (e.g. APEGBC, ASTTBC) to schools of engineering science (e.g. UBC, SFU, Kwantlen Polytechnic, BCIT) to companies such as FortisBC and Dynamic Structures.

More:
http://balsabridge.com
http://balsabridge.wordpress.com

Thanks for your interest.
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