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Archive for December, 2016

On hamsters and hamster wheels and pizzas

Posted by jturner56 on December 7, 2016

Once there was a hamster wheel that was cherished as a provider of energy that fueled the hamster economy. It also helped keep young hamsters fit and occupied.

But over time the hamster elite wanted more and more from the hamster wheel. They devised ways to increase the hamster wheel speed by getting hamsters to go faster. They considered this was an improvement without end.

To help with this, they devised ways of measuring speed and using this to show how inefficient the wheel was becoming. They also blamed the wheel engineers, without ever listening or seeking to understand the impact of an aging, flawed system. Perhaps it was just a need for better more-committed engineers. The elite also created several variations of wheels to ensure that their own offspring wouldn’t be caught in any of these efficiency drives. They devised ways of putting wheels up against each other to identify winners and losers. This included testing whether feeding pizzas into the system led to better outcomes. Finally, they also noted that hamster wheels in other communities were becoming more efficient, while failing to note that in part this was because those communities could afford better wheels than they had previously. If only their wheel could go faster.

What they also failed to see was that the energy required by the community was no longer just from the hamster wheel, and that by pushing the young hamsters even harder, and in inconsistent ways, the energy that these hamsters had for non-wheel contributions was being dissipated. Those older hamsters who did not enjoy the energy provided by the wheel in egalitarian ways grew increasingly concerned about the whole situation. Some even contemplated sabotaging the wheel. Which led to the elite putting up dividing walls.

But of course, these elites had had to go through their own hamster wheels when younger, even if in less taxing ways. And of course, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander (although a hamster has no idea what a goose is, because if they ever met one they wouldn’t survive to tell others).

So the hamster community just kept on focusing on going round and round the wheel. One can only surmise what will happen when the goose finally arrives.

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Vale 2016

Posted by jturner56 on December 7, 2016

I see where I have not been posting all that much this year. Have been more involved with looking at school structural possibilities in real and relevant ways.

One area has involved working with teachers on a State University of New York – Buffalo (SUNY) course that has been developing teachers are researchers who can add value to themselves and the school. As we came to the end of this particular course I provide a snapshot of my rationale for use of educational technologies in schools. Beliefs play an important part in what is likely or even possible.

I have topped and tailed the video and provided it here for those who might be interested.

I look forward to the ongoing discussion with the teachers I am working with as we go into the next course which focuses on Action Research.

All the best for a well earned Christmas break and may 2017 be a better year all round.

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