Remote-learn, recorded lecture, relevance maintenance

2020 September 12 Saturday 10:52

During the routine inset meetings prior to resumption of "normal" teaching, there seems to be an expectation that schools could close due to a "spike" in coronavirus incident and that some sort of "remote-learning provision" would have to be re-activated.

There is much written about what extant technology allows in terms of "lecture capture" (i.e. making a multimedia record of one-self teaching. Why not just call it making a video? ;)), but have the benefits been fully investigated? Of course, the mad rush is lead by managers fearful of students' realisation of the scam that "invoice" education is all about: to keep people in conceptual acceptance of debt-slavery from as early an age as possible... Anyway, we are where are. As recently commented (via Mastodon), video production, transcript production, software training etc. is a laborious process. If it consumes two hours to produce a hour lesson/lecture, to be cost-effective it would be expected that the lesson needs to be re-used (repeated to a different class again in the future) at least twice. However, to produce content that is relevant, video would need to be reviewed quite frequently. Factors such as new knowledge (e.g. re-definition of fundamental si units of measurement), new legislation, would have to incorporated into new lessons to remain relevant, so all those video production time costs would have to be incurred again. This does not seem sustainable, nor productive, (for citc) nor desirable. Also, each class, each individual, makes slightly different speeds of progress through content.

The notion that video lecture could be used for four, five years seems ambitious. Although planning is considered less important as more teaching experience is acquired, the process of preparation should be considered a useful critical review of what is being taught, why, relevance, etc.. For now, citc shall resist that fashion to be a "you-tube–edu-celebrity–narcissist" and try and get away with a sharing a presentation (LaTeX Beamer to pdf; for another post!). Perhaps an audio file of a couple questions could be created on a rare occasion.

A change in work-flow

2020 September 26 Saturday 10:52

Hate micro$oft. Hate the successful marketing, such that most, if not all teachers, equate so powerfully the concept of oral "presentation" with "powerpoint" that the latter is used both as a verb and a noun, interchangeably. Similarly, really hate how "micro$oft excel" is synonymous with data organisation and worst of all, data visualisation. Hate how difficult it is to be able to think differently...

Free(dom) software in education is dead. Long live free(dom) software. Is there a glimmer of hope? No, but an iota of resistance is possible.

With "corporate" computers supposed to be secured and administrator privileges denied by default, should weaknesses be notified or quietly exploited? A smile emerged this week as the latter was decided.

As a classic manifestation of the inept strategic marketing "nous" within the open source software world, a typical "cloud" computing environment (i.e. thin client-mainframe) would see a user desktop featuring either Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Imagine the quiet surprise of being able to install Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird programs "apps"! This has opened the opportunity to use various "add-ons" or 'extensions' to Firefox, to resemble crudely the GNU/Linux lifestyle. A good text editor is crucial and to have only "notepad" available? No thanks. Text editor will do as an alternative to Jedit (with an ignorance of the "ecmascript trap" for now. Overleaf, an online LaTeX editor, will allow the avoidance of death-by-powerpoint to be postponed a little longer. Yes, this will allow LaTeX to be used! Next challenge on the "to-do list", to try and use TinyTeX in a micro$oft system, from a usb port removable media memory