Improving Memory

I’ve just attended a lecture about improving memory, mostly about mnemonic techniques. I’m not against learning techniques to improve memory and I think it’s good to teach kids a variety of things many of which won’t be needed when they are younger as you never know which kids will need various skills. But I disagree […]

Sysadmin Skills and University Degrees

I think that a major deficiency in Computer Science degrees is the lack of sysadmin training.

Version Control

The first thing that needs to be added is the basics of version control. CVS (which is now regarded as obsolete) was initially released when I was in the first year of university. But SCCS and RCS […]

One Android Phone Per Child

I was asked for advice on whether children should have access to smart phones, it’s an issue that many people are discussing and seems worthy of a blog post.

Claimed Problems with Smart Phones

The first thing that I think people should read is this XKCD post with quotes about the demise of letter writing […]

A Better University

I previously wrote about the financial value of a university degree [1], my general conclusion is that the value is decreasing for most fields of employment that don’t have a legal requirement for a degree. In the past I wrote about some ideas for a home university [2], basically extending the home-schooling concept to a […]

The Financial Value of a University Degree

I’ve read quite a few articles about the value of a degree. Most of them come from the US where the combination of increasing tuition fees and uncertain job market makes a degree seem like a risky investment. I think that most analysis of the value of a degree are missing some important points.

The […]

Effective Computers for Schools

Sam Varghese has written an article that is very skeptical of the educational value of the OLPC project [1].

Are Laptops Any Good for Schools?

Sam cites an article in the New York Times by Winnie Hu about schools removing laptop programs due to a lack of success [2]. Winnie’s article gives an example of […]

Open Source Learning

Richard Baraniuk gave an interesting TED talk about Open Source Learning [1]. His project named Connexions which is dedicated to the purpose of creating Creative Commons free textbooks is a leader in this space [2].

He spoke about Catherine Schmidt-Jones who wrote 197 modules and 12 courses on music [3], that’s a very significant amount […]

A School IP Project

The music industry seems fairly aggressive in taking legal action against children when they break the licence terms of copyright material. I think it would be good to teach children about how the IP industry really works.

It seems to me that you could have a school project that involves an entire year level (maybe […]

School Reunions

I’ve never understood the point of school reunions. The past students association of a secondary school can potentially be of some use when you are looking for your first job, but once your career gets started it seems to be of minimal benefit. But apart from that there is no direct benefit.

I didn’t enjoy […]

Christmas Toys for Children

It’s almost Christmas and time to buy scientific toys for children. Here are some random ideas, of course it’s probably too late for the online stores to deliver – but there’s always next year.

The MikroKopter is a kit helicopter based on four propellors (two rotating in each direction) and is capable of semi-autonomous flight […]