A lot of work.

I’m headed into a very busy time. Several projects, all with deadlines, are looming.

Almost all of them involve shooting and editing a substantial amounts of video- all at 1080 res, all uncompressed. Which means huge files, and long rendering times. And while I love my new MacBook Air 11″, I’ve found a flaw: I can either connect storage or a monitor. I realize that with Thunderbolt displays and hard drives I could do both, but if there’s one thing that my projects always involve, it’s shoestring budgets. So there’s no new gear- Firewire800 drives, and good old VGA displays.

It also means I’m getting started on building a new shooting rig in my basement- seamless background and all.





Every time I talk about Flipped classrooms, I always get asked a few questions- and it’s usually a math teacher that asks me.

1. How do we make sure students actually watch the video we assign as homework?

2. How do I make (fill-in-the-math-concept-here) interesting on video?

I’ve not had much in the way of good concrete answers to those. I usually talk about how if the content and delivery are really good, the kids are more likely to watch a video. And I talk about how applying math concepts to real-world situations is always more compelling for students.

But now, I’ve found a YouTube channel that is math based, amazing, and not Khan Academy (which, honestly, I’m not a huge fan of…). Witness this:

Required Viewing.

Adam Savage, of the Mythbusters, has done several talks in the last year or two that I’ve watched. This one, a keynote from the Maker Faire this year, has a great story about the power of learning and making. That’s why it’s required viewing.

Learning something new.

I don’t really end up feeling alive and vivid if I’m not learning something new.

It’s almost as if the act of me learning generates (though at a somewhat lower level…) the same sort of endorphin rush I used to get from some of the action sports I did.

There’s got to be a way to create that sensation in students.



I’m curious as to what parameters architects use when designing schools.

What, exactly, are they trying to accomplish with the spaces that they design? Is housing 1000 students in classroom space enough, or os there further thought about how the traffic should flow from one part of the building to another? To how the cafe sits in the building? To what a modern High School library actually gets used for?

I’d just like to see a list, if you’ve got one.

Attention to detail.

So there’s this interesting thing that I see on twitter.

Sometimes an article will get posted by someone- linked by a big twitter account. And within moments, it’s being re-tweeted by all sorts of people. I’m a pretty quick reader, but one thing has become clear:

Many people don’t read the articles they are re-tweeting.

They base the re-tweet off the account of the person that posted it. Or the title of the article. Or something.

It is, I think, indicative, of a certain lack of diligence. Read the article. The whole thing. Add something to the conversation. React. Object. Endorse. But a blind re-tweet is just parroting. And about as useful.

Educational Profiteers.

The College Board and Texas Instruments are education profiteers.

Because the College Board has a near monopoly on SAT-type testing, and because they mandate that the only calculators that can use on SAT’s and AP’s and the like are Texas Instruments, they have managed to essentially price-fix the cost of TI calculators.

When I was in High School, years ago, my AP Stats course used TI-83 calculators. They were something like $130 then. They still list at $145, and can be had for $100. That’s an insane amount of money for something electronic with such limited capabilities. For the price of four TI-83’s, I can have an iPad- which can do so much more. It’s a crime.

And it’s been done intentionally. Texas Instruments has been able to keep the price of it’s calculators high via the College Board’s mandate that they are the only acceptable calculator for standardized testing. Our schools pay an absurd premium for sub-par equipment because of the equivalent of price fixing.

The industry of education is based not on providing the best possible product, but on producing the biggest possible profit.