When I worked in Sweden, I met an amazing human being named Sara Wallén who would send me QQs–quick questions on operational details, logistics, reference material and so on. We saved the big questions for face-to-face. I’m turning the term into a tag here and using it to grab questions that pop into my head. They’re likely big questions but I don’t have time or a face to talk to right now and I don’t want to forget that I asked.

  • QQ: Does this mean the end of (strict) subject-based teaching in schools? -   Source: John Seely Brown quotes Hesse in his presentation, Reimagining the University. Or, maybe, K12 education is about subject-based teaching and universities are the place to step free of that? Dorothy Sayers wonderful essay, The Lost Tools of Learning, suggests something like that. I say something like that because organizing curriculum by chronological age, rather […]
  • QQ: Do schools have an obligation to help students get more sleep? - The Winnipeg Free Press reports a US study showing 90% of US teens don’t get the 9-10hours of sleep they need each night. Too-early school start times are a major contributor to the sleep loss. The simple economics of (home)work suggests students might do better if we let them sleep more and work a little […]
  • QQ: Are final exam questions too easy? - My friend Julia Leong, who has a gift for slicing through cruft, asked me today, “Why don’t they give students harder problems so teachers don’t have to invigilate?” Brilliant question. See also this post on How to write a good math question.
  • QQ: Will social media kill accreditation? - The University of Toronto recently hosted the first national summit devoted to Co-Curricular Records or Transcripts (CCR/T). Is the effort coming from a real social need to accredit or from the institution’s drive for self-preservation? I have a feeling that accreditation, at least as we know it, will be made unnecessary by social media in […]
  • QQ: Is personalized learning really just personalized de-personalization? - Yong Zhao asks if schooling isn’t like sausage making. And if machines are replacing cognitive functions, why are you going to school? Yong describes contemporary schooling as sausage-making: people enter the system with all kinds of unique talents but over the years we strip those away in favour of developing a select few skills and […]

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