by Stephen Downes
Mar 15, 2016
Virtual Worlds on the Go
Stephen Downes, Mar 13, 2016, Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education, Online, via AvaCon
In this presentation I speculate about the future of virtual worlds in learning when they are mixed with mobile devices and performance support systems. Presented inside a virtual world using AvaCon.
Interestimng discussion of student engagement. "Are we preparing students for today? Are we engaging them in a discussion about what is happening in the present? Too often the mantra is “Prepare for the Future”. In some respects, today isn’t even close to what I thought it was going to be 10 years ago. In other way, it is." Now there are aspects of this discussion I don't exactly agree with - including, for example, the observation that "The current focus on the state of education on a global scale is on what teachers do in the classroom." This is the sort of thinking we need to get away from. It's not what the teacher does that is important. It's what the student does.
OK, I'm no mathematician. But this article has me convinced. "Pi (π) is a pedagogical disaster. Try explaining to a twelve-year-old (or to a thirty-year-old) why the angle measure for an eighth of a circle—one slice of pizza—is π/8. Wait, I meant π/4. See what I mean? It’s madness—sheer, unadulterated madness." The author proposes instead that we use Tau (τ) which has the value 2π, or 6.283185307179586… It creates a lot more symmetry in formulae across a range of mathematics. That, by the way, would make Tau Day (to Americans, at least) June 28.
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