Private school woe over rise of state pupils at Oxbridge | News | The Times

The recruitment by Oxford and Cambridge of more state pupils has led to private-school parents claiming that their children are being edged out by “social engineering”, a leading head teacher has said.

My jaw dropped when I saw the front page of The Times in the paper shop this morning. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I can’t read the whole thing online as it is behind a pay wall.

It is the social engineering bit that got me. A whole class paying for their children to be schooled differently 1 may not fit the exact description of social engineering but it an huge effort of that class to shape society and keep itself on top.

  1. along with a huge network of connections, private tutors, being able to pay for internships…

I am looking for a bit of advice on getting a new camera.

I take quite a lot of photos. I’ve owned three digital cameras over the years. Since I’ve had an iPhone I am mostly happy with that. I do like to have a camera with a good zoom as well. I mostly take photos outdoors, plant, birds and animals, and a zoom helps.

I don’t really put much effort into the craft of taking photos and don’t have any real technical knowledge. I can’t see me learning any at this stage. I’ve occasionally started or some kind soul has tried to teach me but it doesn’t really stick.

I do really enjoy having a visual notebook of things I’ve seen, walks I’ve gone on and interesting flora and fauna.

For a while I had a PowerShot SX10 IS which I really liked, it stopped being reliable, failed to take photos often and slowly faded away. I then go a Panasonic DMC-TZ80. I liked the zoom on this, but the photos didn’t seem much clearer than my iPhone 6. It also didn’t take being stuffed in a rucksack or pocked very well, the wee dial on the back fell off and later it just stopped working altogether.

This year I’ve just had my iPhone. I do really like it but I’ve taken a few photos of distant dots where I can’t get close enough, typically of birds. I’d like a new camera with a zoom.

The problem is camera reviews don’t seem to help much. The TZ80 had good reviews but the pictures weren’t all that good and it was not robust enough. I bought it mainly because it has a view finder. I was going to replace the canon with anther canon, but at my price range they don’t have one.

Here is what I think I need:

  • A ~50x zoom
  • A view finder
  • < £300 preferably nearer 200
  • Not too flimsy

I don’t need the latest, there seems a lot of previous models on amazon that look ok. I probably want things that help automatic, stabilisation perhaps. Easy time lapse and long exposure would be nice.

I don’t really want to have to learn much, I’ll use auto 99% of the time, dip into to random settings and go back to auto. I don’t care about “creative” modes, filters etc.

There seems to be plenty of choice, I just don’t know what to pick.

The Panasonic DMC-FZ72 is the sort of thing I’ve been looking at, but the last one I had was a Panasonic and did not last. I’ve also though about giving up the viewfinder and getting the older Canon SX530

Any thoughts or opinions gratefully received.

Watched Crow Moon from Vimeo

A flock of roosting crows, black as night themselves, are threatened by the advancing shadows at dusk. They need light for protection so with the help of the Raven…

I’ve watched this with my class several times now and a few more myself as prep. It is a lovely animation and a really good film to discuss the elements of film. Especially sound and music. Crows and a Raven, what is not to like! I’d highly recommend it if you are looking for a short, 5 minute, film to watch in upper primary during literacy lessons.

Replied to Bryan Mathers on Twitter: (twitter.com)

(@BryanMMathers)

points to his blog post The way of the remix.

Where he asks:

Do you remix?
If so, how do you remix? What is your remix trigger? Is it curiosity or simply joining the dots as you see them? Do you like to layer-up? Or strive to simplify? Is it a tickly thought? Or a random one from left field?

Well yes, I think I do, although my definition of remix might be widened to include mashup. but of course, Everything is a Remix.

How, is a long story. I guess I prefer DIY approaches. I use baby steps, image editors (Fireworks is my fav), JavaScript, php, commandline tools (ffmpeg, imagemagick, gifsicle) and anything else that seems interesting.

The why is harder, I am not a developer or an artist, I don’t make anything as polished as the remixes that scale on social media. I like to think it is because I nearly can. That is I am going to learn something in the process.

DS106 was a major trigger, the people involved, especially @cogdog, @jimgroom and @mvdfunes The daily creates from DS106 often led to remixing.

Wouldn’t it be cool is another trigger, or I wonder, or will it be funny, or impress someone(Usually only me). Or I learn about a new, to me technology and try it out.

Here are a selection remixes & mashups I am quite please with:

Featured image, a remix of a gif that I made as a remix of an image in the Tate. using The way of the remix by @bryanMMathers is licenced under CC-BY-ND.

Photos on the map:

walkmap

and on Flickr

Yesterday I went on this familiar walk.

Bright day with clear skies and a lot of haze. Little or no breeze. Waerm, t-shit all the way.

The grass and heather on the hills has not started growing, very dry too, which make for easier walking.

Lots of wee birds singing in the woods at the start.

Stonechat and wheatear further up the path.

A common lizard on the way up Troisgeach.

Quite a few white feathers then a few ptarmigan neat the top of Troisgeach.

Pools were filled with frogs, croaking loudly and mating all over the moor .

Plenty of deer sign but no deer.

As I came off Meall an Fhudair what looked like a peregrine flew by.

As I got back to Troisgeach a couple of eagles circling and drifted off south.

Met the ptarmigan again.

Half way down Troisgeach I sat down an the two eagles appeared briefly over the ridge to my side. By the time I got over only one was in sight, being mobbed by a raven or crow. The size of the eagle compared to the mobber made me sure it was an eagle.

Interesting Ground Beetle. Carabus nitens perhaps on the track.

A few butterflies, peacocks and one orange tip near the bottom.

Watched Jolly Brancher Demo from youtube.com

Following from this conversation
Tom Woodward whipped up a plugin to clone posts on a WordPress Multi-site blog to one of your own.

I think this could be a really useful way of giving pupils a template for e-Portfolio post. I’d be very interested in exploring getting this into Glow Blogs. I’ve been asked about this sort of functionality a few times.

Listened How will AI change your life? AI Now Institute founders Kate Crawford and Meredith Whittaker explain. from Recode

Listened to Artificial intelligence explained on Kara Swisher Recode Decode podcast – Recode

Instead of talking about far-flung super-intelligent AI, they argued on the latest episode of Recode Decode, we should be talking about the ways AI is affecting people right now, in everything from education to policing to hiring. Rather than killer robots, you should be concerned about what happens to your résumé when it hits a program like the one Amazon tried to build.

“They took two years to design, essentially, an AI automatic résumé scanner,” Crawford said. “And they found that it was so biased against any female applicant that if you even had the word ‘woman’ on your résumé that it went to the bottom of the pile.”

Great listen. The comparison of how China is implementing AI, at a national level, compared to the huge corporations made me think.

You’re looking at a set of practices, in that case, that is pretty similar to a social credit score in China, but under different auspices. The public is not aware, there is no process of acknowledgement or consent there. This is happening sort of under the cover of proprietary private sector tech that is actually not disclosed to the people that it’s going to affect.

Bookmarked “Bullshit and the Art of Crap -Detection” by Neil Postman (media.usm.maine.edu)

As I see it, the best things schools can do for kids is to help them learn how to distinguish useful talk from bullshit. I think almost all serious people understand that about 90% of all that goes on in school is practically useless, so what I am saying would not require the displacement of anything that is especially worthwhile.

Found in this tweet by @MarkRPriestley.

My link is to a pdf of the talk from 1969.

Postman also wrote ‎kairosschool.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Teaching-as-a-Subversive-Activity.pdf.

A good fun read with many cringe points, which of the forms of BS have you used? I’ve used a lot.