During last week’s discussion of whether couples choose to learn the sex of their baby before he or she is born, a number of you said you wanted to keep the secret as long as possible, because the moment people hear “boy” or “girl” they begin to make assumptions about a child.
One couple in Sweden decided to take that logic a few steps further, and are refusing to tell anyone whether their toddler is a boy or a girl.
The child — called Pop in Swedish papers to protect his or her identity — is now two-and-a-half-years-old, and only a handful of close relatives (those who have changed the child’s diaper) know the sex. Pop’s parents, who are both 24, say they made this decision in the hope of freeing their child from the artificial construct of gender.
Mirrored from Lemmingworks.
Buridan just sent me this link. I’m really interested in the role of informal learning about science. I’m not so interested in Informal Science Education, however. One, IMHO, leads to engagement and internal motivation, and the other is a more temporary and passive external motivational experience. But that’s just my opinion, and I look forward to being proven wrong. Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE)
What can informal science education contribute to efforts to engage publics with science-related issues? That’s the main focus of a report now available on the CAISE website, Many Experts, Many Audiences: Public Engagement with Science and Informal Science Education (PDF, 3MB). The report sums up work over the last year by a CAISE Inquiry Group led by Larry Bell of the Museum of Science, Boston, and Tiffany Lohwater of AAAS. Also contributing were Jane Lehr of TWIST (Theatre Workshop in Science, Technology, & Society, California Polytechnic), Bruce Lewenstein of Cornell University, Cynthia Needham of ICAN Productions, and Ben Wiehe of WGBH, as well as CAISE Co-PI John Falk and CAISE’s former director, Ellen McCallie (now of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh).
The group offers this report as food for thought and discussion. To that end, they will be leading a one-week online discussion starting March 23 in ASTC Connect, the online learning center, cohosted by ASTC and the New York Hall of Science’s TryScience project. The asynchronous discussion will take place in the forum called “Working with Scientists and Volunteers.” To enroll, set up an account on ASTC Connect, at connect.astc.org, and use the keycode “volts” to enroll yourself.
Deathwatch: The End of Second Life talks about how SL is dead and useless and only good for education and the like. Great! Now that people move on to create something ‘better’ it can fall below the hype-radar and we can get back on to learnification. Blogs, after the hype, could grow and mature as a learning too. Same for wikis. The best things, imho, often happen after the wave, not on the bleeding edge. Thanks to jeremy for this, as he pointed me to it, and it always saying SL’s dead.
Jeremy pointed me to this article: The Walrus Blogs » The Failure of One Laptop Per Child » World Fast Forward. I disagree with a number of the ‘failures’ as I noted in my comment on the site. But the XO did change our notions of computing, and was a valid attempt to bring constructionism into a wider world.
That’s when it hit her: The kids were practicing science.
They were using the scientific method. They’d think of a hypothesis — This boss is really susceptible to fire spells — and then collect evidence to see if the hypothesis was correct. If it wasn’t, they’d improve it until it accounted for the observed data.
This led Steinkuehler to a fascinating and provocative conclusion: Videogames are becoming the new hotbed of scientific thinking for kids today.
A new project to create a £6 computer is underway at MIT, the same University that spawned the One Laptop Per Child non-profit laptop.
The PCs will be loosely based on Apple 2 machines, first unveiled over 30 years ago, and the team are actively recruiting enthusiasts of the retro computer to help with development.
The Apple 2 was the first mass-produced PC, which sold over 5 million units. It was extremely popular for educational use in the 80s, but is set to get a new lease on life.
Rather than a laptop, the unit will act as a desktop computer and plug directly into a standard television.
Derek Lomas, Jesse Austin-Breneman and other designers want to create a computer that Third World residents can buy for less than you probably spend on lunch.
“We see this as a model that could increase economic opportunities for people in developing countries,” said Lomas, part of a team that’s trying to develop a $12 computer at this month’s MIT International Development Design Summit. “If you just know how to type, that can be the difference between earning $1 an hour instead of $1 a day.”
Jeremy and I were talking around this issue last night. He sent me a link to an article that claims that the OLPC’s a con, because it was never about constructionism. I find the notion silly. Constructionism as it was developed (not used) was based on using technology, so the two are wedded. Also, it is MIT, so of course it has to have a toy attached. And bowing in to allow for Microsoft to take it over is just fate. Apple offered their OS for free, but were denied, I’m told, because they wouldn’t open source everything. So now they pay for Microsoft. Hubris crushes all.
To me, the OLPC/XO was never the point. Julia D and I have talked for years about Zero Cost Computing before the OLPC came a long… so it was fun to watch someone do all the work. Sure they’ve failed in a pretty spectacular way. Sure it was an hegomonizing act of technology and pedagogy. But it sure was neat! They tried and have failed. Now more people can try, and fail less. This AppleII group is cool because it is a geek project. OLPC tried to be other than geek, but couldn’t pull it off. I’d like to see a proper educatator’s project some day too.
What is best about all this, is that any time you disrupt the corporate culture, even just a little bit, the world becomes an infinitely bit more human.
GimpGirl Grows Up: Women With Disabilities Rethinking, Redefining, and Reclaiming Community has been accepted for presentation Internet Research Conference 9.0 in Copenhagen this fall. I’m working on this with Jen Cole and Aleja of Gimpgirl.com. And it will, I’m sure, be an interesting presentation. YAY!
Also, my paper “Who’s Getting All the Fun: Locating Constructionism in Science Simulations in Second Life” has been accepted. It is part of a panel that Jeremy’s organizing. Just waiting to hear if “Songchild on the OLPC: Authentic voices co-constructing identity in meshed-networked learning environments” has been accepted, and I’ll have a hat-trick.
Jeremy is again in a sharing mood, sending me this link for Aviary - Creation on the fly / tools
All of our tools are based right in your browser or as downloadable AIR applications. Our tools all communicate and relate to each other. To illustrate an example: You can import a swatch from Toucan into Phoenix, while doing complex bitmap processing of a 3D object developed in Hummingbird. Finally, you can take your finished artwork and lay it out in Owl as the DVD artwork for a music CD you and your friends put together in Roc and Myna and offer it for sale in our marketplace, Hawk.
Sounds useful for educators and kids alike.
Kids lie early, often, and for all sorts of reasons—to avoid punishment, to bond with friends, to gain a sense of control. But now there’s a singular theory for one way this habit develops: They are just copying their parents.
Very interesting article. I’m not putting any of my own support behind it (i.e. don’t blame me for what it says), but it is interesting.
Jeremy pointed me to this: My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World by Julian Dibbell (Book) in Computers & Internet is now available for FREE as a download, or you can buy it on line: “Part memoir and part ethnography, My Tiny Life is about the social life of the online, text-based virtual world LambdaMOO and my own brief encounter with it in the early ’90s. Andrew Leonard, in Salon, called it “the best book yet on the meaning of online life.””
Jeremy knows that I teach “Concept Development in Science” at Ryerson, and I’m always looking for ways to help students understand and get enthusiastic about science. He suggested this as something to look at:
How do objects and images move? How can animals move? What is motion?
- How does a rainbow form?
- Is levitation possible?
- Do time machines exist?
- What does ‘quantum’ mean?
- What is the maximum force value found in nature?
- Is ‘empty space’ really empty?
- Is the universe a set?
- Which problems in physics are still unsolved?
This site provides a free physics textbook that tells the story of how it became possible, after 2500 years of exploration, to answer such questions. The book is written for the curious: it is entertaining, surprising and challenging on every page. With little mathematics, starting from observations of everyday life, the text explores the most fascinating parts of mechanics, thermodynamics, special and general relativity, electrodynamics, quantum theory and modern attempts at unification. The essence of these fields is summarized in the most simple terms. For example, the text presents modern physics as consequence of the notions of minimum entropy, maximum speed, maximum force, minimum change of charge and minimum action.