Another guest blogger

My name is Jon Becker and I am an assistant professor in the Department of Foundations, Leadership and Policy Studies (FLPS) of the School of Education and Allied Human Services (SOEAHS) at Hofstra University.  You might wonder why Scott is willing to have me guest blog this week...and your guess is as good as mine.  It's probably because Scott knows I have a lot to say on matters about which he and I care deeply and he'd rather read it than hear me talk.  Regardless, as I begin my guest blogging stint, I'm inspired by those who've blogged before me.  David WarlickWill Richardson.  And, now, on this site, Scott McLeod along with previous guest bloggers David Quinn and Steve Poling.  Thanks for having me, Scott, and I hope I can add some value to the ed. tech. blogosphere.

For today, here are some snippets about me and my beliefs that might engage you enough to keep you reading for at least the rest of the week:

*I am what Will Richardson calls a "nomadic learner."  Like Will, "I graze on knowledge. I find what I need when I need it. There is no linear curriculum to my learning, no formal structure."  I firmly believe there are millions of kids who are like that too, but they are forced to attend schools that know nothing but sequence and boxes and compartments and labels.  For me, the only boxes I care about are those that have a microchip in them.

*Ed. tech???...Frankly, I'm tired of the excuses.  "We don't have time for that."  "We can't afford that."  "That's not what we do."  Nonsense!  How can you/we NOT afford to bring the institution of schooling in line with our 21st century society?  And, in this asynchronous world our children live in, what is time anyway?

*I'm annoyed by the "technology as tool" mentality that permeates the K-12 world.  Tools are limited in their application.  Technology, on the other hand, makes possibility limitless.  As my colleague and mentor Dale Mann once told me, "digital is different."  Most people are afraid of different.

*But, some have embraced difference.  Districts like Lemon Grove, CA and Plano, TX are glorious educational technology lighthouses, and I'm moved by the possibilities they represent.  But, they are WAY too few and far between; they are the examples, the exceptions.  We need to make them the norm.

I could go on...and I will, but no more today.  It's been a formal day of atonement for me.  I look forward to starting this (Jewish) new year in blogging mode.

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"

Surprising Science
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  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
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Are we all multiple personalities of universal consciousness?

Bernardo Kastrup proposes a new ontology he calls “idealism” built on panpsychism, the idea that everything in the universe contains consciousness. He solves problems with this philosophy by adding a new suggestion: The universal mind has dissociative identity disorder.

We’re all one mind in "idealism." (Credit: Alex Grey)
Mind & Brain

There’s a reason they call it the “hard problem.” Consciousness: Where is it? What is it? No one single perspective seems to be able to answer all the questions we have about consciousness. Now Bernardo Kastrup thinks he’s found one. He calls his ontology idealism, and according to idealism, all of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). He suggests there’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them.

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California wildfires death toll climbs to 50

Firefighters in California are still struggling to contain several wildfires nearly one week after they broke out.

(Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Hundreds of people are still missing after three wildfires spread across Northern and Southern California last week.
  • 48 of the 50 deaths occurred after the Camp Fire blazed through the town of Paradise, north of Sacramento.
  • On Tuesday night, a fourth wildfire broke out, though it's mostly contained.
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