YouTube Tumblr Twitter FaceBook RSS_Feed
David Anthony Colarusso - Sadly not Havoc Dinosaur
Intermittent musings on the law, science, education, technology, design, and life. Also, I build things: furniture, software, reasoned arguments... To learn more about that, click a persona below for my eponymous website.

Archive for January, 2007

Why There Will Be One Laptop Per Child

by David Colarusso - January 29th, 2007

The economics of providing computers to students is changing. It used to be that providing every student with a computing device cost as much as an extra teacher or two. However, if the people at the One Laptop per Child Foundation (OLPC) have their way, it should soon cost roughly as much as an expensive high school textbook, something we already provide. OLPC’s goal is to realize the dream of the connected classroom, especially in the developing world. Right here in Edinburgh there’s a similar move afoot aimed at giving every student a hand-held computer. Here’s the story in the Scotsman.The economics no longer beg the question “How many teachers could that pay for?” The question becomes instead, “Is 24 hour individual access to the world wide web worth the cost of a few text books?” Last time I checked, the world wide web had a few more pages.

(more…)

The Firewall’s Chill

by David Colarusso - January 29th, 2007


Schools should not by default restrict access to “potentially” inappropriate web content for secondary students. They should monitor usage and crack down upon those violating school policy, limiting and revoking their usage, and saving the innocent from undue intellectual censorship. Play is essential to learning, and should schools limit access to emerging technology out of hand, they risk chilling educational innovation as well as their students’ personal and academic growth.

(more…)

Brain Gym Makes Me Sad

by David Colarusso - January 27th, 2007

[This post is part of a series examining Brain Gym which can be found here.]


Following up on my January 17th post, I attended a Brain Gym training session yesterday with a fellow teacher, Kate, who ranted about the program last week. Mostly, I wanted to be sure she wasn’t being overly critical. She was not. It was the second of two sessions, each two hours long, and I must say that coming out of the class my overwhelming feeling was one of profound sorrow.

(more…)

Refresh Rant

by David Colarusso - January 27th, 2007

The high school finished undergoing refresh a couple of weeks ago, and I still don’t have a login. Refresh is the council’s name for upgrading all of the schools’ computers. In theory it’s a grand idea. Unfortunately, it’s also resulting in the out sourcing and centralization of computer services, which seems ill equipped to meet the idiosyncratic needs of individual schools. Check out what a computer teacher across town has to say about it. Unfortunately, the powers that be have decided to base logins on payroll numbers. As an exchange teacher still payed through my American school, I have no such number. I’ve been told, half jokingly, that it should be sorted by June. It’s not like I need my computer to work. Heck I don’t ever need to write up reports, create worksheets, or enter attendance. This week, however, they did finally get me a login. I can now pretend to be someone else, my exchange mate. So far I have exhibited great restraint in not reading her email. At least I can turn things on and access attendance. For another “cheery” Midlothian perspective, check out my mate John’s posting on the issue, “How Re-freshing.” Keep in mind he is at a different school than me. So this is not an isolated problem.

(more…)

Skepticism

by David Colarusso - January 19th, 2007

On Wednesday I posted my concerns surrounding the Brain Gym program. Consequently, I’ve been thinking about skepticism, and how credulous we can be. With this in mind, I’d like to share a talk by Michael Shermer, founder of Skeptic Magazine.

Given at the 2006 TED conference, this talk is a pleasure to watch, primarily because you get taken for a ride–falling victim to your own human nature. Stick in there for the reprise of “Stairway to Heaven,” and you’ll know what I mean.

[I replaced a dead link to the talk with embedded video as part of spring cleaning.]

Previous Posts



   DISCLAIMER   |   youtube    tumblr    twitter    facebook    google+   |   art portfolio   |   email - phone