Abstraction

The essence of abstraction consists in singling out one feature, which, in contrast to other properties, is considered to be particularly important. Sparks of Genius, p. 72 Looking past the obvious is hard to do, especially when you're up against a deadline. Our quick-to-consume culture has conditioned us to see the world in snippets...short burstsRead More

If You’re Not Going to Use Attribution, I’ll Just Do It For You

It's important to use attribution online. When you pull a picture, make sure you tell other people where it's from. Some sites make it easy for you to do that, others...not so much. Flickr used to be great at making attribution easy, but their latest redesigns have made it harder to accomplish. Alan Levine hasRead More

A Second Look is Often More Revealing

Sometimes the simple challenge to think concretely about abstract concepts can be effective. Sparks of Genius, p. 64 Perception is how our mind interprets data. Those interpretations are influenced by our surroundings, experiences, and biases. Root-Berenstein (1999, p.43) point out that "objective observation is not possible" because of the own influence our mind has onRead More

Loops, Algorithms, and Headaches

Loops When I got into coding, loops were one of the more difficult tasks for me to get the hang of - especially iterating through conditions. Part of my struggle is that I made my loops too complicated...I tried addressing symptoms, not the overall desired behavior. When I jumped into the Noughts and Crosses game,Read More

Prototypes and Constructing Models

Each year teaching chemistry, I made it a point to my students that everything they learn over the course of the year is based on observation and best guesses. Up until 2009, we hadn't actually seen a molecule or an atom...they're just too small. What we can see is how they behave and change whenRead More

Game Theory and Computational Thinking

Game Theory Games and learning go hand in hand. Children learn social interaction, communication, and even motor skills through playing. Remember, Piaget and early learning theorists broke learning down into formal and informal actions. Play is very much in the informal category, with school in the formal setting. Lately, the gamification movement has pushed toRead More