Jun 182014

Will adding an instruction in my assessments to tell students that do not follow instructions that they need to follow instructions make them suddenly do so ?

The dilemma of trying to give feedback before an assessment is marked. So often we write “please check before submission that all the requested information is included and that you have met the marking criteria” in the comments that I wonder whether to make this it part of the initial question. My gut feeling is that it will not make a jot of difference, but it will allow makers to cut and paste something neatly from the unit outline …

Jun 172014

When you see on a work colleague’s blog that the next THATcamp in Melbourne has as a theme “Pedagogy”, and then the next week your university seeks applications for funding for professional development of teaching, is it not the proper thing to do to take advantage of the synergy and apply to go to THATcamp?

Jun 162014

Why when I push the power-on button does my Dell XPS 1530 display nothing on the screen, make a noise of the HDD going, have the caps lock and scroll lock lights on and the num lock flashing – and then not do anything but hum at me ?


(Yes, I have tried pushing F12 on startup, and power-on plus Function, and toggling the media-centre button, and asking Aunty Google)

Jun 152014

A farmer has to cross a river. She has on her side a fox, a hen and a bucket of corn. She has a boat that will only take herself and one other item. If she leaves the fox with the hen, the fox will eat the hen. If she leaves the hen with the corn, the hen will eat the corn.

How many variations of this puzzle are circulating, with each person telling it being bewildered by the other versions ?

One of my kid’s friends told me it is a goat, a wolf and a cabbage. I always thought the hen was a goose. And the bucket of corn was a sack of wheat. Wikipedia thinks they are a fox, goose and a bag of beans . Beans????

Personally, I like Randall Monroe’s solution:



Munroe, R. (n.d.). xkcd: Logic Boat. xkcd:a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language. Retrieved from http://xkcd.com/1134/


Jun 142014

I have long contended that a room full of books is simply a closet but an empty room with a librarian in it is a library


Lankes, R. D. (2011). The atlas of new librarianship. Cambridge (Mass.); London; [Chicago]: MIT Press ; Association of College & Research Libraries. p.14



Jun 132014

Given the cost of textbooks, would it be too costly or superfluous if I made students in my tech unit buy a Kano, assemble it and then do some of the coding exercises ?

(Mine ships in the first lot, leaving the warehouse on 27 June. I’m looking forward to putting it all together)


Jun 112014

What do physicist Stephen Hawking and director of engineering at Google, Ray Kurzweil, have in common ?


˙ 2-2-4 ɟo sɹǝqɯnu ɥʇɐqqɐs-uoɔɐq-sopɹǝ ǝʌɐɥ ɥʇoq ʎǝɥʇ :ɹǝʍsuɐ


For more  (and the factette about Hawking and Kurzeil) see the Wikipedia entry on Erdos numbers or the Erdos-Bacon-Sabbath site .