Liberating education

“Liberating education consists in acts of cognition, not transferals of information.” 
― Paulo Freire

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Rebooting this blog

Looking back at 2012 after changing jobs twice and thinking I should have kept up with this blog all along. Now that I am at UVA, trying to learn Data Science to keep up with my new colleagues, I should document my learning here on my old blog. My old posts were limited in number, but looking back at them and remembering what I was working on and thinking about back then has been really valuable to me. A lot of those posts were about educational technology, which is a field I was exploring, but didn’t end up pursuing further. This exploration did culminate in a publication, though.

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

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The American psyche

[326/365]  Lottery Money

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

– John Steinbeck

photo credit: Lisa Brewster via photopin cc

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There are plants and then there are plants…


“If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t

– Michael Pollan

photo credit: jazzijava via photopin cc

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Exquisite dependence

we are here

We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.

– Carl Sagan

photo credit: Sérgio Bernardino via photopin cc


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Python MOOCs: The ultimate show-down!

In which Goldilocks learns to code.

These days, there are several dozen ways to learn to code online.  Python, in particular, is the language of choice for several online courses.  This has allowed me to “shop around” for the online tool or tools that suit me best.  It has also given me a chance to think about the different elements that go into a successful online learning  experience.

I have been thinking about learning some computer programming for quite some time.  In fact, as I’ve told a number of people recently, not taking CS is my biggest regret about my own college experience (oh, so many years ago!)

When I first read about the mechanical MOOC, I decided that it was time.  It would use Python, which is the language I had settled on, and it would use existing online resources in combination: Opencourseware and online textbooks courtesy of MIT, exercises from Codecademy and online discussion in OpenStudy. Continue reading

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Inventors of the Future


Inventor of the future

“Science, math and engineering can give you the exhilarating power to become not mere spectators or consumers, but the active explorers, makers and doers who will help invent the future.”

– Susan Hockfield

photo credit: 4-6 via photopin cc

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There are problems and then there are problems

Barbary sheep ~ "head-butting"

“Problems worthy of attack, prove their worth by hitting back”

– Piet Hein

photo credit: rogersmithpix via photopin cc

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