A Supercomputer in Every Backpack

A Supercomputer in Every Backpack: People visit my school all the time. They shake my hand as they leave and tell me how inspiring it all is and often they sign off with “truly, the iPad is the future of education”. I bite my tongue every time because unlike Richard Stallman I’m not an anti-social jackass, but I want to correct them.

I want to tell them that the iPad is not the future of education, it’s the present of education. If we consign the iPad to the realms of the future, then we are implicitly saying that it’s not for right here, right now, today. We’re saying that we can postpone the task of seriously engaging with the educational and social impact of ubiquity of Internet-connected computing.

I ask you to consider other industries that put off dealing with such challenges. How is that approach working out for record companies? For newspapers? For booksellers?

The hour is already late. We have allowed a 16-year gap to develop between society and schools in terms of our children’s access to computers. Can we properly prepare Beth and her cohort for the year 2029 with the same level of access to computers that I had 35 years before?

How long can we let this gap continue to grow? Another five years? Another ten? In another 14 years, if GSMA are right, society as a whole will have 7 connected devices each – will we be delivering relevant education in that world if each pupil only has a third of a computer to themselves?

Cedars is not a school of the future. I think we’re a decade late. [Everything that Fraser has been working cuts close to my heart as I concern myself Noah’s education. What parts are his school getting right? What parts are they getting wrong? Where is it so bad that I need to shore it up, where can ignore it as it as irrelevant? Clearly his school has the computer and technology stuff wrong. But I don’t think it matters because that is something that I can (fortunately) fix. Not everyone can, but I (we) can. The stuff I can’t fix? What they feed him. The crappy behaviors he learns from the kids on the bus. Yeah, I know all survivable stuff, but considering the importance of these years… anyway, consider how your child’s education doesn’t match the needs of the marketplace. What are you going to do about it? Where do you think it’s lacking?]
Source: Fraser Speirs

Automatic Spelling Corrections On Github

Automatic Spelling Corrections On Github: “Github projects may be seeing a different kind of contributor than normal: a small bot is now crawling through projects, contributing spelling corrections. It builds on top of the github API and existing documentation style-checking code. Future directions for the project look beyond spelling mistakes and at automated bug fixing on a large scale.” [Github has a number of features that make it interesting. It’s really a wonderful tool for collaboration that goes beyond code.]
Source: Slashdot

Unconventional Monetary Policy

Unconventional Monetary Policy: “Unconventional monetary policy” means the Fed targets some level of nominal GDP and keeps buying things until that level is met. Usually, the Fed buys and sells short term Treasuries to influence the clearing price of reserves in the overnight interbank market. The clearing interest rate in the overnight interbank market is the “Federal Fund Rate” and this intervention is the mechanism it uses to manage the level of excess reserves in the system (as it can drain reserves by converting them to Treasuries). Scott argues that the Fed can buy other things, like road repair services, bridge building services, etc. etc. and therefore hit any NGDP target it chooses. [Hmmm.]
Source: Zimran