Realme… Really

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To apply for a job (not me) NZTA requires that you Login using the government service “Realme“. Talk about a deterrent. Why is complete overkill required to apply for a job? Could be DIA are trying to justify  Realme investment by “encouraging” agencies to use it even when it is not required. Why not use Realme for Library cards also?

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Rate my teacher

snapshot2Despite best advice I had a look at the (notorious? ) “Rate My Teacher” web site. I was disappointed, there were few teachers listed and fewer comments. There were no entries for me. Of those comments I did read, several were complementary, some were clearly written by people of low intelligence and in a few cases the comments were malicious. Ratings can be carried out anonymously so I cannot take the site seriously. I wonder if rate my boss is any better?

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Mario Gotze and Wikipedia

snapshot1Timeliness is an important characteristic of the value of information. I was surprised how quickly the Wikipedia entry for Mario Gotze was updated after his match winning goal. Fantastic.

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Everything is hard before it is easy

I frequently say to students “no pain, no gain”. The following blog entry backs up this point of view.

Michael McQueen explains a difference between the Gen Y and the Baby Boomers and Gen X (approximately pre 1980). He proposes these earlier generations were taught that life is hard, life is unfair, toughen up and get over it. In contrast the Gen Y’s believe life is suppose to be easy. So why do they think life is easy? Read more …

 

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Class sizes or teacher quality to improve learning outcomes

 

Education is headlining politics again. Class sizes or teacher quality?

From where I sit (and with the benefit of practice) the answer is….. “It depends”.

A good teacher in a large class will usually be less effective. Worse, if there are students with poor behaviour or well below norms of capability. Recall, the teacher is increasingly expected to facilitate students individualised learning: this means lots of 1:1 time. It only takes 1-2 students at Senior levels that cannot read, or write  coherent sentence to consume vast amounts of a teachers time to the disadvantage of other students. Likewise with poor behaviour,  1-2 students can easily swing the entire productivity of a classroom.

Likewise, a small class with a poor quality teacher will likely be just as ineffective.

I suspect, like the author of this blog, it all comes down to money. https://libcom.org/blog/class-size-matters-money-tight-22122011 

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School Bells?

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The ancient ritual of the school bell is under threat! We still have bells you say? WEGC is considering becoming a bell-less school next year. We had a sample run recently, more by accident than design. A fault in the bell system led to bells being turned of for a day or so. It seemed to make little difference once the students adapted (after a lesson or two) and the peace and quiet was welcomed by most.

Some pros and cons can be found here: http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-all-schools-have-bells My view… I can’t wait to be rid of them.

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Linux rules the Supercomputer market

“Ten years ago Unix claimed five the top-10 fastest computers on the planet and 44% of the overall supercomputer market. Today? Unix, the once indomitable performance powerhouse, doesn’t make the top-10 list of the world’s fastest computers. Heck, it can’t even crack the top 50. Not since Linux took over, that is.”

 

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