2021 September 11 Saturday 18:36
citc has never "felt the love" — or appreciation — by the management; if your "face don't fit", you ain't gonna progress...It was a pleasant surprise to open the e-mail inbox and see some surprising messages from past students, to express gratitudes at one's efforts to teach. Moral of the story: regardless of the pressures, criticisms, one can only do one's best, with consistency...
Deep thought, vanquished by video
2021 September 17 Friday 21:58
Everywhere one goes, people are seen staring, enchanted by their mobile phone addiction. Within the education context, it is especially a sad state to see students succumb (wow a lot of 's's!), with obvious consequences. Only top ability students seems able to desist (better self-discipline?), whilst the rest...
Computer nerds have also succumbed; there is an increase in the number of self-help, technical support content, now distributed in the form of video hosted on proprietary servers. Such nerds now expect learners to sit patiently through 15, 20, 40 minutes of material, with no transcript, no synopsis of content and decide whether said video is relevant to the topic to learn.
Despite the recent global experiment of social interaction via video conference software, many have forgotten about some of the benefits of the old ways; text-based information that the reader can view, concentrate, review, analyse. "skim read" at her/his own pace. Oh, for the days of the linux documentation project.
Data visualisation (again)
As continuation of a previous post about the lack of a decent alternative to micro$oft office spreadsheet, have since encountered some ostensibly decent alternatives: 'desmos' and 'geogebra. Unfortunately, recent experience has indicted a reluctance by many students to want to learn a new tool, without anything other than instant gratification, video to copy, a type of "gamification" mentality to acquire knowledge. Not appropriate traits for a scientific/technical perspective. Are you at fault other teacher? ;)
...hole countries and reality check on narrow aspirations
2021 September 26 Sunday 23:49
'Tis that time of year, for the beginning of the wane of the fairytale; effortless transition from year one gce a(s) study to application and acceptance onto medical school at any, if not all, of those prestigious universities within the "golden triangle". What is of particular interest is the demographic obsession with this fairytale. To paraphrase a Trumpism about the low status of certain countries (!), should one be surprised at that immigrant mentality of high motivation, conservative/low risk (enough risks were taken to embark on being an
ex-pat immigrant) preference for first-generation study of medicine, as opposed to ppe...
Thus, the next few weeks will be about damage limitation. Second year exam results will be sobering, the time wasted on social media will reluctantly be recognised, lower (sorry "realistic") " plan B" preparations will be advised (often without parental knowledge). On a more positive note, more students appear to be more open-minded to university alternatives, primarily apprenticeships. Problem is, "it's the economy, stupid": uk plc prepared to invest in young people?
Socialism, science, within a capitalist ecosystem
2021 September 30 Thursday 22:21
Although gnu/linux has been branded a "cancer" within the computer software world, the same could be said about capitalism in the context of human life.
Consider, open source publication of scientific knowledge. 'Researchgate'[sic] considers itself to be an advocate for such a concept, yet does so within the capitalist context of the need to generate revenue as a means to resources allocation (private investment, advertising, proprietary communication, all to become "break-even" (i.e. profitable) eventually); the recent blog post about removal of proprietary licence scientific research articles, exposes this dichotomy. As always, there is a significant "time-lag" between new technological development (electronic dissemination of scientific knowledge) and resource allocation (personal career development contingent upon legacy, "high impact (factor) journal" publication).
Better late than never
Half-term holiday approaches (not to mentioned summative assessments (a.k.a. examinations), uk government finally publishes a press release about summer 2022 assessment plans. What were they doing during the summer? Since fish rots from the head, what would be expected, when there were more pressing matters to resolve?
Professional skills, not enough per se
Looking at jobs, depressingly evident that all this education, experience, skills acquired over x years, is signficantly undervalued without the necessary, vital, concomitant social skills...What to do???