Farmers misleading advertising?

photo 1 (1)If I ever choose to teach print media instead of web pages I will explain how to deceive your customers:

  1. Use a very small font size.
  2. Make sure the contrast is not great, and
  3. Best of all! Place it on a wall well above the shelves so your customers have no show of reading it,

If you agree, share this around!


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Snakes and Ladders to teach programming

snakes and ladders

Teaching students programming concepts such as sequence, selection and iteration can be quite challenging. One approach I tried was to have students play Snakes and Ladders (Yes I actually have 10 sets) and discuss examples of sequence (whose turn), selection (if snake go back) and iteration (keep playing till someone gets greater or equal to 100). “Modules” such as who goes first can also be discussed (Thrown dice and highest number starts).

Its fun and seems to work. The metaphor can be extended to input, output and variables with a bit more imagination.

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Realme… Really



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. 

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