jason: jason (Default)

Being both Autistic and an educator, I’m very interested in how our educational institutions are structured to inure children to accept the heteronomy of adult run institutions. I know that if children are given autonomy to do whatever they want that disaster will ensue, but I also know that we do not help children learn to be as autonomous as they safely can be. As John Locke said, children should be kept safe, well cared for and safe from hurting others, but beyond that they should be left to their own devices, and given nothing. They should find their own way until they choose to come to adults… only then should we engage them. Otherwise we are inculcating them with our own goals, values and dreams, and replacing what is their intrinsic interest with a worldview based on performance for adult approval. By the time they end up at university, it is too late to refind the intrinsic interest that is what they need to become fully actualized individuals.

Being confronted with the notion of Childism (Childism is the subordination of children’s needs/interests for the benefit of adults, even if adults think it benefits children.) is a very inconvenient notion for parents and educators. The whole notion of the institutionalization of lived experience that is reflected in our schools, hospitals and social services represents the organization of our own adult lives according to externalities. Yet, we ostensibly have a say in this matter. Children do not. We all decide for them, and by the time they are in a position to have a say they have been operantly conditioned to comply.

More on this later. Just a thought I wanted to get down.

Mirrored from Lemmingworks.

jason: jason (Default)

This is a great primer on Net Neutrality and how it is going to impact Canadian users. I wish we could have internet access like we access highways and water and whatnot. The access should be a public utility, not a corporate controlled cash grab. Also check out Save our Net.ca on how to help.

  • Share/Save/Bookmark

Mirrored from Lemmingworks.

jason: jason (Default)

Facebook sez, “Don’t mind us, we’re just whoring out your photos”. So, they can use YOUR photos, even the photos of your friends and children in advertisements, and yes, you gave them permission. Read the article to see how to turn it off though… Opt out, of course.

I would not be using facebook except that it is my job to know about social media. It is a really slimy operation.

Mirrored from Lemmingworks.

jason: jason (Default)

I’d forgotten about this video, but HowardR twittered it. And here it is. Every students in/of education should watch it, over and over and over. It will be on the exam… the exam of one’s own life.

jason: jason (Default)

I saw this on Slashdot | Leaked ACTA Treaty to Outlaw P2P?
: Proposed US ACTA multi-lateral intellectual property trade agreement (2007) - Wikileaks

In 2007 a select handful of the wealthiest countries began a treaty-making process to create a new global standard for intellectual property rights enforcement, which was called, in a piece of brilliant marketing, the “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement” (the agreement does not cover currency fraud).
ACTA is spearheaded by the United States along with the European Commission, Japan, and Switzerland — which have large intellectual property industries. Other countries invited to participate in ACTA’s negotiation process are Canada, Australia, Korea, Mexico and New Zealand. Noticeably absent from ACTA’s negotiations are leaders from developing countries who hold national policy priorities that differ from the international intellectual property industry.
A “Discussion Paper on a Possible Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement” was reportedly provided to select lobbyists in the intellectual property industry, but not to public interest organizations concerned with the subject matter of the proposed treaty.[1]
Wikileaks has obtained the document.
The agreement covers the copying of information or ideas in a wide variety of contexts. For example page three, paragraph one is a “Pirate Bay killer” clause designed to criminalize the non-profit facilitation of unauthorized information exchange on the internet. This clause would also negatively affect transparency and primary source journalism sites such as Wikileaks.
The document reveals a proposal for a multi-lateral trade agreement of strict enforcement of intellectual property rights related to Internet activity and trade in information-based goods hiding behind the issue of false trademarks. If adopted, a treaty of this form would impose a strong, top-down enforcement regime, with new cooperation requirements upon internet service providers, including perfunctionary disclosure of customer information. The proposal also bans “anti-circumvention” measures which may affect online anonymity systems and would likely outlaw multi-region CD/DVD players.

It reminds me that the solution is at hand… to stop engaging in corporatist IP practices as people: open source, open license, open government and open industries, versus back room deals where we’re not allowed to participate. If we vote for governments that act like this we are ‘complicit’ in the evil. Since it is clear that corporations will respond to ‘customers’ when they won’t respond to activism, because of course they’re not customers :) there’s no question that governments and corporations will respond if properly prompted. The first step is to vote for change.

jason: jason (Default)

Jobs goes on the offensive right on the apple website:Apple - Thoughts on Music. I haven’t been playing close attention, but a number of reports of the EU coming down heavy on Apple’s DRM (Digital Rights Management) restrictions have been popping up. Jobs response is clear…. it is not us, it is the record companies, and they’re largely European… so get off our backs and look in your own back yard… hee hee.

Much of the concern over DRM systems has arisen in European countries.  Perhaps those unhappy with the current situation should redirect their energies towards persuading the music companies to sell their music DRM-free.  For Europeans, two and a half of the big four music companies are located right in their backyard.  The largest, Universal, is 100% owned by Vivendi, a French company.  EMI is a British company, and Sony BMG is 50% owned by Bertelsmann, a German company.  Convincing them to license their music to Apple and others DRM-free will create a truly interoperable music marketplace.  Apple will embrace this wholeheartedly.

jason: jason (Default)

Ex-Lemmingworks. ##.

Jeremeanie started me thinking again with Too many topics, too little time. » This note’s for you » One Laptop Per Child? about the One Laptop Per Child issue, and then I found this on SlashDot below. I think what’s bugging me is that old standard of ‘what was good enough for me is good enough for everyone’ nonsense. When was our modern notion of the child invented. I’ve heard it variously put as post war, turn of the century, early 19th C or beginning of the industrial revolution. And this has nothing to do with whether we loved children or not. Point: how we see children is socially constructed and open to change. Secondly, technology for children is also not eternal, and will change, just look at the history of children’s books. Personally, I think TV was a bad thing because it opened up children to advertising, aside from the notions of what the CRT does to the brain. Point: children are already wedded to produced content and current technologies of the time.

As with most everything, people think that what they grew up with is the norm, and befores and afters are somehow unenlightened.

I don’t know if the OLPC project is a good thing. It definitely bugs me for its lack of transparency and inclusivity, and the hegemonic air about it. Perhaps I’m just out of the loop and everything’s kosher, but who knows.

I do know that there’s no validity in the status quo argument at all.

I’ll wait to see what happens.

Slashdot | OLPC’s UI To Be Kid-Tested In February
“The AP is reporting that kid testing of Negroponte’s ‘$100 Laptop’ starts in February. This article is some of the first mainstream coverage of just how different the user interface of the XO Computer is — it ditches the traditional office metaphors in favor of a ‘neighborhood’ and an activity-based journaling approach. Video of Sugar, as the UI is called, has been out on the net for a while, and Popular Science recently gave the color / monochrome display a ‘Grand Award’ in its 2006 technology roundup. What do you think of this new UI?”

Related links:
Low-cost laptop could transform learning - Yahoo! News

YouTube - Slightly better demo of the OLPC User Interface

PopSci’s Best of What’s New 2006

jason: jason (Default)

Ex-Lemmingworks. ##.

Nice thing to watch on Christmas day. Instead of opening presents we’re watching the docu How the Kids Took Over: “The fight for your children’s money & influence.” Wonder how I can get this into my course.

[related: Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood]

jason: jason (Default)

Ex-Lemmingworks. ##.

Rochelle sent me this article which is really interesting: The Chronicle: 10/6/2006: E-Mail is for Old People: “As students ignore their campus accounts, colleges try new ways of communicating….” While I’m very happy that people are thinking this through, they don’t seem to be thinking that wisely or deeply. I did post something recently about this and thin technologies but it also is an issue of appropriate technologies. When I’m the prof. and I want to communicate with students about formal matters, sending an IM is, well, stupid. And with Facebook and Myspace, the cognitive equivalent of social communication as dressing up to go to a disco in a stripmall, you’ve got to wonder how far out of touch the admin might be. I’ve used IM for communicating with students for years. The problem wtih that is that they don’t use any of the ‘good’ ones and I have to use MSN (I guess I’m old school prefering IRC (yes, I know I trash IRC but that’s for a diff reason), ICQ, AIM/iChat, MOOs or the like).

I use AIM/iChat mostly to communcate with colleagues. While I was working with my RA on the songchild project (http://songchild.org) I was IMing with Danny, who teaches part time at ECE, showing him how to use media wiki, and editing the CSS for his wiki. We were in text, but when he was trying things out we switched to audio (which is a function of iChat) so we could type while we talked. And of course I could have 2-3 other chats going on with other faculty. Facebook isn’t quite up to that level of communication, though it is good for the rather thin communication that perhaps is all students want to engage in.

I’d prefer a jabber server for our school though, then we could be sure that we had a record that messages were at least sent. That’s what I like about institutional email… we have proof that it got to a student’s account, and the reverse. You can lead a student to email, but you can’t ensure they read it… Hmmm… I’d even think that setting up a monastic learning environment in World of Warcraft would be better than just getting a school facebook account. Now that’s a thought.

Our job is to improve student’s ability to communicate, not bring the level down to what has been marketted at young people. I’ve yet to find anyone who can justify FB or MS as a more rich or sophisticated form of tech over whatever else is available… and there are so many other ways of keeping in touch… of course blogs and livejournal, or even MOOs.

As well, if students were ACTUALLY more sophisticated they could do what I do. My university email is forwarded to my gmail account, and the email I send out from Mail.app is configured such that anything I send out appears to come from my university. And they wouldn’t need to go to the unversity account at all, nor embarass their friends with a stupid email account name.

This is also funny. UofT and Ryerson both allow for firstname/lastname@ email accounts. My students who try (they stop after the first try) to email me from elsewhere as fuzzybunny15634@coolmail.com are directed to try again from something slightly more appropriate.

The final interesting point is that I strongly suggest that students experiment with a more professional language register than they are used to.

Dear Jason;

I am sorry that I will not be in class today, as my new puppy ate my bus pass, and my student loans will not be in until next week, and there’s a meteor shower at the moment.

Ed the Horse

Most of my students want a job when they graduate, and they see the point of knowing how to communicate effectively and professionally with their future employers, and later on with their employees. If they just want to communicate with their friends, they’re more than welcome to, since education is all about the choices we make based on the opportunities available to us.

jason: jason (Default)

Ex-Lemmingworks. ##.

George Blake

Originally uploaded by complicitytheory.

This is a picture of George Blake who has been an active storyteller in toronto for as long as I can remember. At least 25 years. I went to school with his son Arun. If you don’t know work on the street (http://wordonthestreet.ca) you should. Here is a set of all the pictures I took today.


jason: jason (Default)

Ex-Lemmingworks. ##.

Slashdot | Professor Sells Lectures Online

“Students at NCSU have the option of purchasing the lectures of a professor online. The Professor did this as a way to help those that missed class, didn’t take good notes, or from another country and have trouble understanding an English speaking Professor. The reactions on campus were mixed among the students as some saw it as a great way to keep up with things should real life interfere and others see it as something to pay for on top of the tuition cost at the university.

Each one cost $2.50 for the entire lecture. Some students feel it should be free or cost less. The professor brings up a point that doing this takes extra effort and it’s only fair that they should have to pay for that extra time and effort needed to put the lectures online for sale such as editing, recording equipment, etc. No one is forced to purchase the lectures, they are only an additional option that students will have.

Quote Dr. Schrag “Your tuition buys you access to the lectures in the classroom. If you want to hear one again, you can buy it. I guess you could see the service as a safety net designed to help the students get the content when life gets in the way of their getting to class.”

Any thoughts on this one?

jason: jason (Default)

Ex-Lemmingworks. ##.

Do I Need to Know This?

You can survive without the things you learn in college. People survive scrounging out of dumpsters and sleeping in doorways. If you want to talk about quality of life, we need to be a bit more demanding.

Professor Dutch has this quote an others on an interesting page that Buridan shared with me; probably in the hopes that i’d blog it.

Top Ten No Sympathy Lines is a typical sort of rant that I’ve heard over the years by ‘old school’ profs who like to maintain the fiction that university is a rare and special place where students are afforded 4 years of an opportunity to grow and learn in a challenging ivory towered environment. He’s not like that, I’m just saying that this is where I’ve heard it in the past.

I’m someone who struggled to do well in university; working though most of high school and all of university (except the summer of 1985 when I went to school full time). I have sympathy for students who have to work, as well as sympathy for people with children to take care of, bills to pay, special needs that require extra support. I’m using the larger meaning of sympathy that is beyond mere pity.

I think that university has become more than an elite learning environment, just as it is a de facto requirement for anyone who wants to get ahead in life.

That said, Dutch’s page is full of intresting truisms and unproblematized statements, reflections and whatnot that are for me useful reminders of the challenges students and faculty face when sharing the experience of doing university.

All I Want is the Diploma

The work force is full of people who do the minimum necessary to get by… For people who want to get by on the minimum, there’s a reward already established. It’s called the minimum wage.

jason: jason (Default)

Originally published at .... You can comment here or there.

I saw these Tumi Backpacks & Messengers packs in a store yesterday. Was hiding from the rain with gary. I seriously want one… saving all my pennies.

tumi packs

October 2013

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