Thursday, March 16, 2017

In Service

I lucked out finding parking at the school today. I'm a circuit rider, and sometimes traffic is unpredictable, at least by me.  I'll need to make an earlier start next week.  As it was, I got there by 2:30 PM on the dot, calling Darwin to assure him I'd hit my mark.

I'm impressed by all these boys getting along. They're developing culture around MIT Scratch. My own little offering is admittedly silly.  I like how the captions are so lame, in terms of timing, whereas this is a computer program, so should be perfect.

Getting a Quaker to concede to safe firearm training as a public school elective might've seemed quite the arm twisting feat. Safe driving courses: same category.  I didn't make the meeting in Salem. I'd go down there weekly when I consulted for Associated Oregon Industries however those days are long over. I make do with Facebook.

Is that K-16 public school? I know a lot of people agitating for that. Lots of boarding options. We'd have outdoor opportunities, but city folk don't always cotton to the ways of country folk, so orientation is essential, as for Peace Corps. Social engineers needed, and that includes politicians as a subspecies.

What do second graders know? I'm not the expert. I'd probably be more effective thinking through with teachers how they'd like to innovate. We had these discussions in Kensington (Greater London) in 2006, care of Shuttleworth Foundation but with the RSA in view, not the USA.  How would Learning to Code mix with math learning. In the USA they had an answer right away, without needing to think about it.

Their plan here is to teach a lot of topics several times in several ways, as we do now. Consider plotting points in the XY plane, then adding the Z axis. That's taught without vectors, the first time, then again with, though without mentioning vector graphics versus bitmap.  Now we'll probably want yet another pass, with Computer Science providing the objects (vectors are objects).  Is that an optimized approach?  Who knows and who cares.

I've agitated for the rights of math teachers to think outside of their box and get paid to do so. They want better jobs, less hectic, more creative, more respected.  Having responsibility for innovation would add all that, or could, but for now math teachers are told to stay in their box and let computer science nail them into their coffins.  Math teachers tend to not suffer from Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) and are getting boxed in.

With Computer Science come ray tracers and the ability to sculpt in computed light. Geometry beacons, with its hard science of set ratios.  There's grist for rationality as well as irrationality in that 3D printable domain.  The NCLB Polyhedron is there: the RT.  Whether we hearken back to NCLB or not, at least there's Phi (I say "fie", some say "fee").

Speaking of Phi, I'm not sure where Princeton Philosophy stands on whether I'm right in my claim that our Medal of Freedom winner grandnephew of Margaret Fuller should get in more air time in K-16.  I'm seeing where all the kids research famous people for their poster presentations, such as Helen Keller and John Glenn.

I'm aware that philosophy in general has rendered its decision, with Peter Sloterdjik providing enough of a context in the Bubbles, Globes and Foams trilogy to keep some of this heritage rolling forward, even if not in the US. Lets not confuse the US with North America the territory however. Silicon Forest remains a pioneer. Not everyone has to play the role of blood clot in this scenario.