Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
Now, this may seem like I'm contradicting the opinion of the guest blogger last week. However, I'm not referring to the endless pursuit of rankings and grades.
I'm meaning the fantastic things that can happen when competition is used as an instructional tool. I'm meaning having students race to solve puzzles, or sort number cards into Pythagorean triples. I'm meaning getting a wild energy in class, and having students speak up who never said a word before.
In most of the work on social technology I've been reading, it's paired with the word "cooperation". What happened to competition? Why is it so wrong?
This concerns me because mathematics is particularly suited to competition. Some competitions are downright legendary. Solving problems in high-level math competitions can lead to thinking that shatters the hierarchy of intelligences, creating wonderful things I still don't fully understand.
What's wrong with students competing to solve an Internet math hunt, or students challenging each to ever-harder problems?
I simply implore technology coordinators: please consider the possibilities competition can offer.
Goodness, it's been a week already? I feel like I've just nicked the surface of this territory. I'll try to continue with things I couldn't fit next week at my blog. I'd like to thank everyone for their comments; I learned much more than I ever suspected possible, and I'll be closely following this blog and others for new developments.
Jason Dyer, Guest Blogger
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
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