Saturday, March 22, 2014

What's the difference between Engineering and "Good Science"? Cliff Stoll (a digital hero) ... "Good science is having a question and not knowing the answer... Good science is good entertainment (better than TV)"

I was substituting in a class recently and I had four computers available.  I put up Traveler IQ challenge, and a couple of students got involved.

The kids were shouting across the room, led by a student who has a hearing deficit. "I have to shout.  I can't hear."  Her interpretation of the deficit  gave her an excuse not to do work that would improve her ability to complete worksheets.  She did not read closelyk or well because she was lazy and she didn't ahve "resilience" to complete a task.  So I tried to distract her and the rest of the class with the computer.  I took down names to follow up with parents later, but the real issue was "Can the teacher come up with a list of engaging videos?"  I had access to Youtube... so why didn't I use that access to engage the students?

Well, I have a block.  I thought, "I want to show them how to make a blog."  I was also trying to get two students through and so I was stuck on the idea that they should all want to complete work on the computer...  How about  (That's only about collaboration and completeing a math skill.   Again, my mind was so focused on meting the needs of the school that I neglected to think about the students).   I showed a video about making a website, but no student stayed engaged.  I need a list of videos to capture their attention and inspire one kid to say, "oo, look at that, Esmeralda.  Hey, shut up, I want to hear what they're saying on that video...Hey, guys, come over here and look at this..."
Here is my list for the next time I get stuck.
John Green's series of history in rapid-fire delivery
The Aurora Borealis
My walk through Vaison la Romaine
The flood in 1992
How to win at
Antarctica and the "fall" of salt
 Five names for ice

Dennis Yuzenas (tour of his classroom in 9 minutes)
Click here
Tour of an office
Interview with Dr. Fischler (hmmmm, can that be engaging to teenagers?  Yes, if you show them how to respect an older person
Click here
by asking questions and recording the answers for posterity)
How about introducing students to Teacherman Robert Maclachlan?
    • HD

"I'm going to find an answer this problem..."   That's engineering.

Good science is having a question and not knowing the answer...  Good science is good entertainment (better than TV)"  -  Cliff Stoll
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