I like this recent GOTO conference talk about the role of linguistics in understanding the language of coding. It touches upon many issues I’ve noted over the years as well as newer-to-me issues in non-English programming.
Here, Charlie speaks to an issue that’s near to my heart and that too many people have forever gotten far too wrong: sex & consent. He speaks well and he speaks honestly. I commend you, lend an ear.
In this age of people doing awful things to one another and yet somehow justifying it to themselves, consent is fundamental. As humans, we should be able to discuss it and manifest it in meaningful ways.
If you’ve experienced non-consensual sex at any age, I hope you have or will find your way to talk about it with people you trust. RAINN—the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network—is available, if you need assistance.
- Greatness and innovation come from great teams.
- Your legacy is about how good of a person you are in your various roles—child, sibling, spouse, parent, community member, colleague.
- Potential is realized through integrity.
To the list of books mentioned in the video, I would add:
- Ken Bain: What the Best College Teachers Do
- Alan Alda: If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating
- Steven Strogatz: Calculus of Friendship
- National Academies of Sciences: How People Learn
Bryan Cantrill, a leading technologist and CTO of Joyent, outlines the vital differences between principles, values, and buzzwordy vacuousness.
Despite the reality that we use tools and techniques every moment of every day that have been devised and revised through the constant questioning and reflecting process we call science, far too many people don’t believe they understand what science is, don’t consider themselves scientists, and don’t trust the expert opinions of the scientific community. How can that possibly be?
“We’re not really listening, unless we’re willing to be changed by the other person.” ~ Alan Alda
Science and Communication—Alan Alda and Neil deGrasse Tyson at the 92nd Street Y in New York City
“To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed—the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress.”
The Great Dictator—Charlie Chaplin
“A diversity of viewpoints is not ‘a nice thing to have’… it’s an imperative. How can you know you’re making the ‘right thing’ if you don’t have a counterbalance?” — David Nolen @ GOTO 2017
Mike offers some blunt and intense advice about maintaining absolute integrity in one’s work. While he’s addressing his concerns to designers, I take his advice to apply equally well to computer programmers, UX, UI, teachers… any profession where you’re creating… and really, shouldn’t that be all professions?
I’m supporting a friend with a great idea that’s a little less than 12 hours old….
My friend and fellow computer science education researcher, Brian Danielak, has worked hard today to create what we hope will be the first of many video podcasts to promote high quality visualizations in science.
He and his team would like feedback ASAP on their initial effort.
If you have ~25 minutes tonight (or as soon as you can) watch his ‘cast and provide feedback via the form underneath the video…
Whatever your personal level of achievement, it’s vital that you remember to make space for others to stand up and stand out. Here are three examples of celebrities rising to that challenge.
Michael Bublè and Sam Hollyman in 2010
Billy Joel and Michael Pollack– a Vanderbilt University student in 2013
Bono of U2 and Adam Bevell– a self-taught, blind guitarist– in 2011
My sense is that we all often throw up our hands and imagine that there’s nothing we can do, whether it be about our country or our organizations or ourselves.
We should fear failure: the failure to try and the failure to behave in a moral, principled way; everything else is ego.
Logan’s thoughtful, well-presented talk at a recent TEDx conference reminds me just how much massified education is failing our youth.
Learners need agency over their learning experiences.
When a close friend sent me a copy of this book, his inscription read, in part
it has always been about the students
In this short video, Dr. Steven Strogatz– a Cornell Mathematician– reminds us that the student-teacher relationship is complex, dynamic, enduring, and often unpredictable; far from the Brave New World-style cold, isolationism espoused by the so-called professionalization of education that the United States has experienced over the past 100 years.
Bret offers some interesting insights into the importance of immediate, direct feedback while learning to program—really, while programming at all in his CUSEC talk from early 2012.
When I’m commenting on electronic documents, I find it useful to be able to quickly generate a PDF of the marked-up version of the document to return to authors for review. I annotate the document using track changes and adding comments (using the INSERT > COMMENT feature… not by adding text to the body of the document!!!), then
Save as PDF…
to keep a copy for myself and to email (or post to a course management system) for the author to review.
Unfortunately, OSX doesn’t have a built-in keyboard shortcut for Save to PDF…, but it’s easy to add one.
[Note: you can’t Save to PDF… from an Adobe Acrobat print dialog box… it would bruise their ego]
This 70-minute lecture by Charlie Kaufman— Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation, Being John Malkovich— on screenwriting applies equally well, I think, to being an educator. Consider the following excerpt, but replace screenplay with learning– for the student perspective– or even teaching!
A screenplay is an exploration. It’s about the thing you don’t know. To step into the abyss. It necessarily starts somewhere, anywhere, there is a starting point, but the rest is undetermined, it is a secret, even from you. There’s no template for a screenplay, or there shouldn’t be. There are at least as many screenplay possibilities as there are people who write them. We’ve been conned into thinking there is a pre-established form.
While I sometimes found it difficult to distinguish quotations from his original thoughts, I found both to be engaging and inspiring.
For me, the take away messages from this speech are:
- Find your passion
- Learn whatever you can wherever you are
- Life is a learning experience
- Looking forward is impossible; looking backward is deceptively obvious
- Rejection is not failure
- Rejection is only temporary
- Be gracious
- Be humble
- Be dedicated
- Be of service
How we frame a question both constrains and frees our creativity1,2. The form of the question itself either encourages or precludes certain types of answers. Some forms of questions encourage shallow, quick answers while others encourage you to dig deeper into a topic.
In this video, Richard Feynman– lecturer and physicist– discusses why questions in an attempt to understand magnetic force.
- Creativity: flow and the psychology of discovery and invention by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi ↩
- Framing in Discourse by Deborah Tannen ↩
One of the most widely watched videos about teaching, learning, and life, Randy Pausch’s talk– The Last Lecture– offers lessons from which we could all benefit.
I find Dr. Pausch’s creativity and joy of teaching to be inspiring. In the last months of his life, he managed to share with the world his love of a life well-lived.