kitchen table math, the sequel: 21st century skills

Saturday, September 5, 2009

21st century skills



Solitaire-playing legislators draw criticism

I'm sure you've all seen this, but I couldn't resist.

16 comments:

Catherine Johnson said...

I just noticed - I think the person in front is looking at a sports photo.

Redkudu said...

And here's more good news:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/09/04/a_library_without_the_books/

Private school gets rid of ALL books. Puts a $12,000 cappuccino machine where the circulation desk was.

Where's my copy of "High-Tech Heretic" when I need it?

"When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books," said James Tracy, headmaster of Cushing and chief promoter of the bookless campus. "This isn’t ‘Fahrenheit 451’ [the 1953 Ray Bradbury novel in which books are banned]. We’re not discouraging students from reading."

It still amazes me how people continue to misinterpret that book and bringing it up here...gah, the irony is killing me.

I could understand incorporating technology into the library, but what strikes me is that they turned the library into an entertainment center. It seems like such a knee-jerk reaction to get rid of all the books. And if, as is noted later, students weren't checking out books, whose fault is that?

Ari said...

"What have you done? Thousands of years of building and rebuilding, creating and recreating so you can let it crumble to dust. A million years of sensitive men dying for their dreams... FOR WHAT? So you can swim and dance and play. "

Doug Sundseth said...

Clearly, it is utterly impossible for legislators to read the bills they vote on; they don't have the time.

(I'd be fine with their playing any game at all on their computers if they would just stop spending my money.)

Anonymous said...

My husband is perfectly capable of playing solitaire on the computer and listening, which comprehension, to a lecture or news or ... It does not take much thought to play solitaire and it can keep hands busy and minds alert and maybe even awake.

Ari said...

It's a simple matter of respect and common decency that if you are working for someone or listening to someone speak, that you don't play games or check your blackberry/cellphone at the same time.

Anonymous said...

What is the situation at that time? Exactly what is happening and who is speaking and what is he speaking about. Is this the middle of the night after a full day and is there a need to stay alert somehow? I don't know enough of the situation before jumping all over it; and I can imagine an instance or a personality-type where playing solitaire while listening to someone talking is beneficial. There is so much jumping all over something captured in a picture that may or may not be the entire story, so much "Let's take hold of this and run with it and make a bit deal out of it and ban this and ban that" as a political tool to get elected.

Catherine Johnson said...

My husband is perfectly capable of playing solitaire on the computer and listening, which comprehension, to a lecture or news

Interesting.

I **tend** to think I don't listen well when playing solitaire ---- BUT it could be in the same category as doodling, I suppose.

There's at least one very cool study out finding that people who doodle while they listen take in more information.

I think that may be the case for knitting....

The basic idea, as I recall, was that doodling (or knitting) probably keeps your mind **just** occupied enough to prevent daydreaming.

(I think that was the suggested mechanism. The study authors didn't know why doodling should be associated with better retention; they just found that it was.)

Catherine Johnson said...

Ari is right, though; there's a basic courtesy issue.

Whether these folks are or are not listening, I find the image hilarious.

concernedCTparent said...

The basic idea, as I recall, was that doodling (or knitting) probably keeps your mind **just** occupied enough to prevent daydreaming.

Wow. I don't know if I'd ever heard that, but it does make sense. *A* loves to knit while I read out loud. She'll ask me to wait while she grabs her knitting stuff.

le radical galoisien said...

Reminds me of what I do in lecture halls sometimes. Perfectly defensible.

I mean, if you're in there because they summoned a quorum and the guy on the floor is pulling a filibuster, I think it's quite defensible to play computer games.

And that said, it seems that more and more speechmaking seems more ceremonial. Where has a legislator changed his or her mind because of listening to another legislator's speech?

Catherine Johnson said...

I don't know if I'd ever heard that, but it does make sense. *A* loves to knit while I read out loud. She'll ask me to wait while she grabs her knitting stuff.

Interesting.

I'll rustle up that study when I get back.

Catherine Johnson said...

le radical galoisien gets the common sense award!

Molly said...

I find that I am better able to pay attention to a lecture if I am knitting. I figured it was my version of Ritalin - keeps me focused and prevents fidgeting. Without my knitting, my attention tops about very quickly. If my hands are occupied, I can focus far longer.

Catherine Johnson said...

Interesting.

That's absolutely what the study found, though they were looking at doodling, not knitting.

Catherine Johnson said...

I used to knit CONSTANTLY.

Gave it up when I started learning math.

I had a friend who told me that knitting and math are connected .... and I think there might be something to it. As I recall, she meant that math is 'soothing' in the same way knitting is.

I think that's what I experienced.

Once I was teaching myself math, I didn't 'need' to knit.

I don't think it was just a matter of not having time to knit.