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Science Fiction Becomes Real

With the recent release of the Blu-Ray version of Star Wars (you can buy me a copy here if you’d like!), it was interesting to see this news posted on the Discovery Channel web site Friday. Here is the gist of it: If you could stand on the surface of Kepler-16b, you’d have two shadows. […]

Technology: Good or Bad for Teaching?

Thanks to AP Stat teacher, personal friend, and fellow Messiah College alum Doug Tyson for pointing out this article. The article points out the clear lack of convincing statistical data to prove that the mad rush to have the latest technology is actually paying off in improved student performance. Here is a taste: To be […]

Managing Search Engines

A couple of interesting posts today about search engines. (HT: Messiah College librarian Beth Transue) The first from the back end/business side, trying to optimize their placement in search results. The second discusses how Google’s search engine essentially filters the results we see, and so reinforces our current beliefs, rather than exposing us to a […]

The (Shorter?) Ride Home

Interesting, in light of my recent post about homesickness, that I just read this article by Joe Palca today (published yesterday on NPR) about the frequent perception that the ride home from a trip is shorter than the trip to the destination, even if they take the same amount of time. In 1969, astronaut Alan […]

Update: A Response on Math Ed

After this recent post on the state of mathematics education, I was pointed to this response by Al Cuoco (HT: former guest blogger Corey Andreasen). Here is the introduction: A recent editorial in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/opinion/how-to-fix-our-math-education.html puts forth a plan to “fix math education.” I’m disappointed. The arguments presented are variations on themes […]

Feeling Homesick?

Interesting article from George Mason’s History News Network on the feeling of homesickness, and its long predicted demise. (HT: John Fea) For over one hundred years pundits have predicted that advancing means of technology, especially in communication, would help to end homesickness. Lately, it has been thought that the pervasiveness (or perniciousness, if you prefer) […]

The Difference in the First Week

Thanks to John Fea’s Sunday Night Odds and Ends post for this reminder that the first week of classes is never quite the same as the rest of the semester, and therefore can be a poor predictor of the rest of the semester: If you’ve taught before, or even just been a student before (which […]