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Take a look at Atkinson Hyperlegible

Enter the Braille Institute’s contribution, the Atkinson Hyperlegible computer font, especially designed for those of us with blurry vision. Follow the link to download your free copy, ready to install on a Mac or Windows PC. I gave it a spin yesterday with Microsoft Word, and it works like a charm, much more readable than Word’s default Arial or Calabri fonts. Continue reading Take a look at Atkinson Hyperlegible

The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good

Many of us university instructors are scrambling to adapt our formerly face-to-face courses into online courses. This, to allow “social distancing” in response to the Wuhan Flu pandemic. Rebecca Barrett-Fox urges us “Please do a bad job of putting your courses online.” I’m absolutely serious. For my colleagues who are now being instructed to put some or all of the remainder of their semester online, now is a time to do a poor job of it. You are NOT building an online class. You are NOT teaching students who can be expected to be ready to learn online. And, most … Continue reading The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good

Caught in the Draft

In December of 1969, the Selective Service held a lottery to determine the order in which young men would be called up for the Draft.  My number was a low 53, and that set the course for much of my adult life.  Turns out, the odds were against me. A nice description of what happened. More details available on Wikipedia. More details that you ever wanted to know. Was the 1970 lottery truly random? Some clever statistician at the College of the Redwoods shows a simple analysis with R that suggests men born in December (like me) got shafted. Want … Continue reading Caught in the Draft

You can teach yourself

Tara Westover gives the Big Reveal about education My parents would say to me all the time: you can teach yourself anything better than someone else can teach it to you. Which I really think is true. I hate the the word “disempower,” because it seems kind of cliché, but I do think that we take people’s ability to self-teach away by creating this idea that that someone else has to do this for you, that you have to take a course, you have to do it in some formal way. It took me a long time to learn that … Continue reading You can teach yourself

Feynman’s 4-Step Learning Process

From the man who showed up rocket scientists, a simple checklist: pick a topic you want to understand and start studying it pretend to teach your topic to a classroom* go back to the books when you get stuck** simplify and use analogies Exactly the technique I use to “get smart” on lots of stuff I should know, but don’t. Tip from Old Remus at the Woodpile Report (report #553). *Pretend, hell!  Wiggle that topic into your course syllabus, and commit yourself to teaching it.  Nothing sharpens your studies like trying to create a coherent lecture.  Or two.  With a … Continue reading Feynman’s 4-Step Learning Process

Ooo, ooo! I have a better idea!

Those wily Brits have identified some major stumbling blocks in their education system: Schools are removing analogue clocks from examination halls because teenagers are unable to tell the time, a head teachers’ union has said. Teachers are now installing digital devices after pupils sitting their GCSE and A-level exams complained that they were struggling to read the correct time on an analogue clock. It gets worse Earlier this year, a senior paediatric doctor warned that children are increasingly finding it hard to hold pens and pencils because of an excessive use of technology. …”It’s easier to give a child an … Continue reading Ooo, ooo! I have a better idea!

When all you have is a hammer…

…everything looks like a nail. Daniel Lakens, the 20% Statistician, takes a rare but easy shot at statisticians and null hypothesis significance testing. Our statistics education turns a blind eye to training people how to ask a good question. After a brief explanation of what a mean is, and a pit-stop at the normal distribution, we jump through as many tests as we can fit in the number of weeks we are teaching. We are training students to perform tests, but not to ask questions He defines …the Statisticians’ Fallacy: Statisticians who tell you ‘what you really want to know’, instead … Continue reading When all you have is a hammer…