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This is an experimental, informal blog for learning about blogging, blog development, and blog-related professional development activities.

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Diigo bookmarks (weekly)

  • "Vischeck is a way of showing you what things look like to someone who is color blind. You can try Vischeck online- either run Vischeck on your own image files or run Vischeck on a web page. You can also download programs to let you run it on your own computer" (What is it, ¶1, 2014.03.28).

    tags: accessibility color-blindness colors images presentations simulations tools webpages

  • Purrington, C. B. (n.d.). Designing conference posters [blog page]. Retrieved March 28, 2014, from http://colinpurrington.com/tips/academic/posterdesign

    tags: conferences posters presentations tips

  • Fincham, Frank. (2009, December 23). Learned helplessness. Retrieved Mach 25, 2014, from http://www.education.com/reference/article/learned-helplessness/

    tags: achievement attribution behavior cognition contingency Dweck Carol S. education effort feedback learned helplessness learning mastery motivation socialization

    • Learned helplessness results from experiencing uncontrollable events that cause individuals to expect future lack of control. It is characterized by decreased motivation, failure to learn, and negative emotions such as sadness, anxiety, and frustration.
    • Learned helplessness is formally defined as a disruption in motivation, affect, and learning following exposure to noncontingent (uncontrollable) outcomes. There are three crucial elements to its definition: contingency, cognition, and behavior.
    • Children who display learned helpless versus mastery oriented patterns perform equally well prior to encountering failure, but those who are mastery oriented show superior performance following a failure experience.
    • There is some evidence that the learned helpless and mastery oriented patterns are socialized by parents.
    • Effort attribution feedback is likely most successful in the early stages of learning and for difficult tasks, when greater effort can produce better results and its credibility is high. However, Dale Schunk has found that ability feedback (e.g., “You're good at this”) given when children succeeded early in the course of learning enhanced achievement better than effort feedback.
      • (Implications of learned helpless for educators, ¶1)
    • Although feedback that focuses on controllable attributions (e.g., effort, strategy use) is widely recommended, research suggests that focusing students' attention on the goal of learning rather than on showing how well they can perform has beneficial effects in combating helplessness.
      • (Implications of learned helpless for educators, ¶2)
  • Great tips for presentation building

    tags: coherence continuity images segmenting slides signaling text

    • In an educational setting, students may feel that any effort is fruitless, as they do not understand the content, and so refuse to make any effort whatsoever. Learned helplessness may also result from low expectations of students, and students not being held accountable in the classroom to engage in academic tasks or activities.
    • When everyone is seen as a learner with diverse skills, strengths and areas of need, students are more likely to thrive and attempt to progress.
    • Students can and should also clarify directions and instructions with their peers. This is becoming increasingly important as we ask students to read and access more complex text, and as students are asked to complete more complex tasks, having a finished product is helpful for students, as well as a rubric or clear evaluation criteria.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Diigo bookmarks (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Diigo bookmarks (weekly)

  • Opinion piece by Randy David for the Philippine Daily Inquirer (2014.03.09).

    tags: education globalization internationalization Japan opinion universities

    • All over the world, there is a growing recognition by governments of the need to produce graduates equipped with global competency—individuals who not only can live and work in foreign cultures but can also navigate the complexities of a world society
    • Japanese industry worries that its own universities are turning out graduates who cannot function in the global system
    • The global pressure on education is exerted primarily by industry but is also coming from families. It takes the form of a demand for high-quality graduates with global knowledge, skills, and values, who can find high-paying jobs and pursue stable careers in the world economy
  • "[A] statement of the nature of the need and an account of why it is so generally felt are necessary preliminaries to any discussion of how a new party may grow up and what its program will be" (1931.03.18, ¶1).

    tags: Dewey John NewRepublic political parties politics

  • "if you are going to pursue offline efforts with your deck, then go the Serif route. If you are doing everything online, go the Sans route. If you are unsure, Sans is presently the most modern and popular style of typeface."

    tags: design fonts presentations SlideShare tips

  • "In an age calling for an increasingly globalized workforce, there is widespread alarm about declining standards in the Japanese education sector. Where do the problems lie? Kariya Takehiko, a sociology professor who has taught at universities in Japan and England, analyzes the current situation."

    tags: education globalization higher education internationalization Japan

    • Japanese universities have become places in which no learning goes on outside the classroom.
    • Japan has suffered a clear decline in the talent and skills of its workforce, precisely when these things are more crucial than ever in an increasingly globalized environment. Although many people realize what is wrong, companies, universities, and the society as a whole have been unable to act to change the system.
    • it is likely that the short-sighted competition for advantage will lead to a further decline in educational standards and a loss of equal opportunities.
    • costs are multiplied by the number of users
  • "Just as we teach children how to ride bikes by putting them on ... bicycle[s], we need to teach students how to write grammatically by letting them write. Once students get ideas they care about onto the page, they are ready for instruction—including grammar instruction—that will help communicate those ideas" (¶5).

    tags: TheAtlantic college education elementary school grammar languages learning instruction instructional practices research secondary schools teaching universities writing

  • "Unequivocal" findings are precipitating "strong reactions" (Picking winners and losers, ¶4).

    tags: academic writing academics careers gender gap publication publications

  • Introductory article by Diane Larsen-Freeman (March 2014) about lessons to learn from complexity theory, prior to speaking in Portand, OR, at TESOL 2014.

    tags: adaptation complex systems complexity theory inert knowledge interaction language learning Larsen-Freeman Diane power law of practice teaching

    • Although the components that make up a complex system may be many and may be different from each other, what makes a system complex is the quality of emergence. Emergence is “the spontaneous occurrence of something new” (van Geert, 2008, p.182) that arises from the interaction of the components of a complex system, just as a bird flock emerges from the interaction of individual birds.
    • The inert knowledge problem, given its name by Alfred North Whitehead many years ago, refers to the fact that students appear to be able to do something in the classroom at one time but not at a later time. In other words, what they have acquired has become inert — unavailable to use for their own purposes at a later time and place.
    • The power law of practice reflects the fact that the effect of practicing something declines over time. In other words, the immediate benefits of practice of the right kind can be considerable, but as time passes, the effect of continuing to practice falls off dramatically and only makes a more modest contribution to proficiency. This is a nonlinear phenomenon.
    • Sometimes complex systems are referred to as “complex adaptive systems.” Calling them adaptive recognizes their capacity to change in response to a changing environment. One way that I think this characteristic applies to language is through what is called co-adaptation (Larsen-Freeman & Cameron, 2008). Just as children benefit from speech customized for them, second language learners can benefit from the modifications or adaptations that are made in speech to them in order to enhance its comprehensibility for them. But notice I wrote co-adaptation. The language resources of both conversational partners are changed by the interaction.
  • "This Framework describes the rhetorical and twenty-first-century skills as well as habits of mind and experiences that are critical for college success" (Executive Summary, ¶2).

    tags: composition critical thinking education frameworks habits of mind learning metacognition teaching writing

  • In this article, Nicholas Behm, Sherry Rankins-Robertson, and Duane Roen argue, "Talking only to one another is never enough."

    tags: academia academics civics communication communities democracy education engagement intellectuals professionalism public speaking scholarship writing

    • Doug Hesse, a rhetorician at the University of Denver, has argued in the Washington Post that machine grading is not capable of measuring how well a piece of writing “fits a given readership or audience; how well it achieves a given purpose; how much ambition it displays; how well it conforms to matters of fact and reasoning; and how well it matches formal conventions expected by its audience.”
    • Les Perelman, research affiliate with MIT’s comparative media studies program and president of the Consortium for Research and Evaluating of Writing, has shared his insights about the weaknesses of machine scoring in interviews that have appeared in such venues as the New York Times and Inside Higher Ed. Perelman stated in a May 5, 2013, interview with the Australian Broadcast Network that artificial-intelligence programs cannot match human raters because computers can count but they cannot understand meaning. He said, “Language is much more complex, and until we can get a computer that can actually understand the meaning of words, it’s not going to be able to analyze argument or the important parts of writing.”
      • Fostering a healthy democracy, ¶3
    • Les Perelman, research affiliate with MIT's comparative media studies program and president of the Consortium for Research and Evaluating of Writing, has shared his insights about the weaknesses of machine scoring in interviews that have appeared in such venues as the New York Times and Inside Higher Ed. Perelman stated in a May 5, 2013, interview with the Australian Broadcast Network that artificial-intelligence programs cannot match human raters because computers can count but they cannot understand meaning. He said, "Language is much more complex, and until we can get a computer that can actually understand the meaning of words, it's not going to be able to analyze argument or the important parts of writing." These scholars and others have drawn on numerous research findings and a policy statement on machine scoring published by the National Council of Teachers of English.
  • "First of all, blogging is writing, 21st-century style, plain and simple. Blogging constitutes a massive genre.  It comes in many forms, addresses myriad topics, and can certainly range in quality. For my money (which usually means free), blogging provides the best venue for teaching student writing. As bloggers, young people develop crucial skills with language, tone their critical thinking muscles, and come to understand their relationship to the world" (¶1, 2014.03.11).

    tags: authenticity blogging blogs change civil discourse discourse education engagement feedback learning media passions practices processes student voices teaching transparency wink_students writing writing practice

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The languages of Japan

Thanks to David Paul (LinkedIn) for pointing out a great post by Keiko Tanaka (GlobalVoices) about endangered languages in Japan, in which she interviewed Byron Fija (official site).
Tanaka's interview shed light on a number of issues related to definitions of and attitudes towards those languages in Japan, in particular, the tagging of a group of them, Ryukyuan languages, as dialects. The interview post included a detailed map of the Ryukyuan languages by Fija, with transliterations by Tanaka. The lines across the East China Sea in the map as well as the text of the interview highlighted lack of homogeneity among the languages of Japan.

To lean in and round up the discussion, I'd like to share a mashup of notes about disputed higher level classifications of Japanese and arguably related languages that I'd sent to a student working on a graduation paper last year. Here is the mashup:
I used the DigitalColor Meter app (a Mac app.) to check the area north and east of Korea and Japan [in a map from Before It's News, 2013], both of which were color-coded as isolates. Though it was [coded] the same color, the area to the NE of Korea and Japan may actually be a Yupik branch of Eskimo-Aleut (Wikipedia, Eskimo-Aleut languages, ¶4).
(close-up from Before It's News, 2013)

That same area NE of Korea and Japan is color-coded as Paleo-Siberian in another map (Wikipedia, Primary Human Language Families Map). The Primary Human Language Families Map still coded Korean as an isolate, but coded Japonic as a separate family of languages, one which may include Ryukyuan languages (Lewis, 2013).
There is plenty of controversy about relationships among Japanese, Korean, and other languages, for instance: "According to its [Altaic's] proponents, Altaic is a language family comprising at least TurkicMongolic, and Tungusic" (Wikipedia, Classification of Japonic, Altaic hypothesis, ¶1). 
The idea of a Japanese-Korean relationship overlaps the extended form of the Altaic hypothesis..., but not all scholars who argue for one also argue for the other. For example, Samuel Martin, who was a major advocate of a Japanese-Korean relationship, only provided cautious support to the inclusion of these languages in Altaic, and Talat Tekin, an Altaicist, includes Korean, but not Japanese, in Altaic....  
 (Wikipedia, Classification of Japonic, Korean hypothesis, ¶6).
Pereltsvaig (2012) summed up controversy about an Altaic language family, suggesting similarities [among those languages] might be due to borrowing rather than genetic[, but the matter is by no means resolved]. Lewis (2013) reexamined related issues.
References
Lewis, Martin W. (2013). Altaic and Related Languages. GeoCurrents. Retrieved from http://www.geocurrents.info/cultural-geography/linguistic-geography/altaic-and-related-languages 
Pereltsvaig, Asya. (2012). The Altaic family controversy. GeoCurrents. Retrieved from http://www.geocurrents.info/place/russia-ukraine-and-caucasus/siberia/the-altaic-family-controversy
(pab, personal correspondence, 2013.12.14)

Viewed from both up and down the human language family tree, it seems clear that the languages of Japan are neither homogeneous nor unique. Hopefully we'll achieve a modicum of certainty before the majority of those languages in the far reaches of Japan die out completely.

[501 words]

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Diigo bookmarks (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Diigo bookmarks (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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