“It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say ‘It’s as plain as the nose on your face.’ But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?” ― Isaac Asimov, I, Robot

I saw this robot today, and he got me thinking about my teaching and Technology in the 21st century.  I guess my main worry is that I am not preparing my students sufficiently for the 21st century.  If this little guy is two or three years away, what else is possible?

My Dad in 1981 made me take grade 9 typing as an elective, I had no choice, that was what I was taking.  I was the only boy in the class and I despised it because it was hard and I barely passed.  He made me take typing because he could see the future of computers coming through the number of them appearing at his workplace.  He saw that trend and made sure his kids were comfortable around computers.

I think of my parents and growing up in mainly rural Southern Ontario, the closest thing to a computer they had was a telephone, or maybe a radio.  The main source of information was through experience, learning from someone older and  through books.  I cannot imagine seeing what we have in 2014 from that vantage point, it boggles my mind.  Now hold that thought.

Moores law is a law that states ” over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years”.  Which means that the number of transistors has gone from 2,300 in 1971 to, wait for it,  2,600,000,000 in 2011. (and yes it is 2014 so it has all ready doubled again) Whoa!  This in turn gives an upgrade to computing power every 18 months.  

If the power of the computers in the world gets stronger every 18 months I need to keep my skills as a teacher in the 21st century sharp or they are going to become rusty very quickly.  I hope I am giving the skills my students need to become members of the workforce in jobs that don’t even exist today.  What I wonder about is what are some of the things we can teach right now that will help our students become successful when we cannot really see where technology is going.

I don’t think I can just send them to typing class.






“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher

Todays blog is about setting up kids for success, not every time but for the long haul.  I think for some students I have taught If I could distill liquid courage and perseverance and have them drink a cup of it every day I would, and sometimes its not enough.  Those little words of encouragement I find when no one else is listening, during reading or writing work well at giving kids a boost.  

Boosting them only gets me so far though.  

I have to remember to let them fail sometimes so that they can see that it is ok to take a chance and not hit your target.  Earlier this summer I was fortunate enough to go to the OAME Math conference and listen to Mawi Asgedom.  His talk was all about how to show kids that when we fail, we haven’t really failed we just increase our circle of understanding to a smaller level than we hoped.  I keep using his ideas in my class.  My students have started to realize that failure is not an option, not because they won’t fail but because their mindset is different.