Sun(Fun)day Night: Lots O’ Links on the Future of Tech

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It’s another Sunday night and if you’re like me – YOU DON’T HAVE SCHOOL TOMORROW! Sorry to “shout” there, but it’s always nice to enjoy a Sunday night without the preoccupation of having to prepare to teach on Monday morning.

Rather than just offer one funny  or thought-provoking Sun(Fun)day Night link, I’m offering a whole list of them. I’ve been saving these up and now seems like as good a time as any to share them here.

Enjoy these links and take a look into the crystal ball to see the future of technology:

“Mechanical Trees Become ‘Power Plants’ When They Sway in the Breeze”

“3D Touch Opens a New Dimension of User Interaction”

“Battery Research Claims 10x Gain”

“This Samsung Patent Lets Smartwatches Recognize You by Your Veins”

“Insane Ways of Making Energy You May Not Know”

“The Mobile Phone of the Future Will Be Planted in Your Head”

“Dissolvable Devices Keep Tabs on The Brain”

“Autonomous Robots are Changing the Way We Build and Move Products Around the World”

“Hop, Skip, Drive: Uber, But For Kids”

“Scientists Can Now Predict Intelligence From Brain Activity”

“Fiction’s Newest Frontier: Literary Geocaching”

“Wearable Sensors Could Translate Sign Language Into English”

“New Foam Batteries Promise Fast Charging, Higher Capacity”

“Artificially Intelligent Software is Replacing the Textbook and Reshaping American Education”

“How Your Device Knows Your Life Through Images”

“Meet Kangaroo: A $99 Windows 10 Desktop PC as Small as a Smartphone”

“You Are Your Smartphone”

“Do Robots Need a Human-Like Sense of Touch”

“This Guy Wants Us to Commute in Autonomous On-Demand Pods” 

“Why Hearables May Be the Next Big Thing in Tech”

“Mind Controlled Robot Suits Help the Paralyzed Move Again”

“Salt-Based Batteries Could Make Your Next Mobile Device Cheaper and Greener”

“7 Unexpected Virtual Reality Use Cases”

“Microsoft’s 2016 Predictions: Expect the Year of Machine Aided Wit”

“Yahoo Labs Develops Biometric Authentication Method for Touchscreens”

“2016 Will Be the Year Wearables Disappear”

“Google Testing a Feature to Eliminate the Password”

“Future of Messaging Apps Spells the End of Google as We Know It”

“OrCam’s MyMe Wearable Will Watch and Decode the World For You”

 

 

On-Line Catholic Faith & Science Course Starts February 9th

Faith and Science Course

A brief post to let you know about a unique on-line course starting next week. The website bills it as:

The first 100% online course of the Catholic Church on the dialogue between Science and Faith. Provided by specialists it is easy to follow and uses the latest e-learning methodology.

Under the Patronage of the Pontifical Council for Culture

It’s not free (like most MOOC’s), but there is a discount based upon country of residence. And I imagine most schools, churches, dioceses, etc have reimbursement plans for Continuing Education Units and similar.

 

An App to Know – Curiosity.com

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After hearing the announcement/ad for Curiosity.com numerous times on NPR, I finally got around to checking it out and down loading the iOS app.

I’m not going to say much about it here, because I emphatically encourage you to click the link above and check it out yourself.

As a passionate learner (which hopefully every teacher is), I like the set of five interesting links it gives me every day. An example from the last few days is above. And here’s a few more:

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When you click on the image, it takes you here:

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Here’s one more pair of examples:

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What are you waiting for? Visit Curiosity.com and get learning!

 

A Learning Typology – 7 Ways We Come to Understand

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I’ve been thinking about how my students best learn and thus this post from Te@chThought caught my attention.

A question I can ask daily: Which of these methods of understanding am I activating in my teaching today?

Teacher as Farmer

I’m a simile and metaphor kind of guy.  Therefore my eye was caught by this thoughtful reflection on teaching as farming. 

I’ve long thought that the central parable of Jesus for teachers to ponder is The Sower & the Seed.  How often I’ve felt distressed when what I’m teaching is falling on the rocky, resistant soil of a disinterested young man. Or I see that a young woman is excited one day by what I’m teaching and the next she is distracted, unenthusiastic and tangled up in the brambles and drama of adolescent life.

At these times, I recall the parable and remember that I am just the sower.  I am not the seed. Nor am I the rain or sun or soil which brings the seed to growth. Indeed, I can craft my lessons in a manner likely to engage and lead to learning. I can certainly nurture a healthy environment for learning in my classroom.  Ultimately though, it is a power far greater and more skilled than I who works within my students to bring them to learning and growth while they’re in my classroom and elsewhere.

I think the author of Teaching as Farming gets these ideas even as he is writing from a secular perspective.  I particularly like his guiding questions:

How might we develop a professional growth pathway for teacher-as-farmer? What skills must we hone?  What habits will be broken? What discomfort and risk is involved?  Who are the farmers in your school that already teach this way and how might you adopt some of their best practices? What do you need to make this transition and where will you find those resources?