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  • Showing only topics with the tag "education". Back to normal view
    1. I just got accepted to do a Master's degree!

      I'm dead excited, and I just wanted to share somewhere! Since graduating from my Bachelor's I've been working in IT support, and it's slowly killing me. Progression is slow, the work is boring,...

      I'm dead excited, and I just wanted to share somewhere!
      Since graduating from my Bachelor's I've been working in IT support, and it's slowly killing me. Progression is slow, the work is boring, and at the end of the day all I have to show for my efforts is (hopefully) a slightly lower number of open tickets than at the start. It all feels incredibly pointless, and like I'm not making a difference in peoples' lives.

      I decided earlier this year to start looking into possible Master's degree programs, to help me enter a different field, and I'm happy to say that from next September I'll be returning to my alma mater to study Linguistics and English Language Teaching. From there, I'm hoping to go into teaching English as a foreign language, first abroad, and then to immigrants and refugees back here in the UK.

      I'm super excited, and also a little nervous. I coasted through my Bachelor's and the past few years of my working life, so it'll be a shock to the system to have a proper workload again. I've got to get through the next 8 months or so first, but that will be easier knowing that I have something different and exciting waiting for me at the end of this particular career path. I'm desperately saving up as much money as I can to cover my living expenses for the year (I don't intend to work during my degree), which is another thing to feel nervous about.

      But right now, I'm mostly just ecstatic, and wanted to share! In the interest of discussion, I'd love to hear about your experiences studying a Master's degree, and whether or not it helped you in your life after graduation.

      25 votes
    2. I'm having a little trouble with my 'gifted' son

      Please understand that I am not stroking my self off here. I am, legitimately, having some trouble understanding how to move forward with my son's academic achievements. For now, because it is...

      Please understand that I am not stroking my self off here.

      I am, legitimately, having some trouble understanding how to move forward with my son's academic achievements.

      For now, because it is late, I'm going to keep this short.

      My son (11 yrs old) just finished explaining to me that, outside of his GT (i.e. Gifted & Talented program that he's been in since kindergarten), he doesn't feel challenged (his words are: 'too easy') at all.

      I assured him that I would talk to his teachers tomorrow. However, I would like to hear from anyone here that may have advice in a situation like this.

      25 votes
    3. How do you (or your company) retrain staff for new roles?

      Hive mind: Does your company re-train people to teach them new skills? What about mindset skills, such as problem-solving and critical thinking? What's worked -- and what doesn't? I'm writing an...

      Hive mind: Does your company re-train people to teach them new skills? What about mindset skills, such as problem-solving and critical thinking? What's worked -- and what doesn't?

      I'm writing an article on how to do effectively re-train workers, and I'd like to hear from you (particularly if you have a management or HR background). I might like to quote you, but I certainly would like your input even if that isn't possible.

      Companies have always needed to ensure their employee learn new tools (such as replacing OldProgrammingLanguage with NewLanguage) or entirely new skill sets (e.g. for those whose jobs are replaced by automation). But the rate at which old skills perish and new ones have to be learned is increasing.

      If we assume that technology changes jobs rather than destroys them, what does that mean for companies in practice?

      I was inspired to write this article after reading about “the work skills of tomorrow" https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/10/top-10-work-skills-of-tomorrow-how-long-it-takes-to-learn-them in which critical thinking and problem-solving top the list of skills employers believe will grow in prominence. But that made me wonder: How the heck do you teach soft skills? This isn’t like telling someone, “Take a course in data analytics.” What, if anything, can you do to improve a worker's agility in learning new things, or to become a better problem-solver?

      So: What has been your experience? What worked, what failed, what advice would you offer someone (particularly in larger organizations) who wants to take care of their people and move the company forward?

      Note that I'm thinking less in terms of training an individual with a new skill (PhotoShop) than skills for a different career (a move to the Accounting department). And please leave out the "I trained myself!" stories; they're a tangent that doesn't help me. And yes, I know plenty of companies just lay people off rather than retrain them; we can leave those out of the discussion, too. This is meant to be a useful how-to to guide companies that want to do it right, so I am interested in practical advice.

      We can take this to a private discussion if that's easier.

      5 votes
    4. My son is entering middle school (virtually) this year and I just found out that they've gutted the GT program because of budget cuts

      He will be entering 5th grade and has had a gifted and talented (GT) instructor every year since kindergarten. I'm afraid that he will not only become bored, but also fall behind his potential....

      He will be entering 5th grade and has had a gifted and talented (GT) instructor every year since kindergarten. I'm afraid that he will not only become bored, but also fall behind his potential.

      Thus, I'm asking this group for any recommendations or advice that you may have. Are there any online instructional programs that he could benefit from as a substitute?

      16 votes
    5. If you had to teach a class on literature, what books would you put on your syllabus?

      I asked a similar question over in ~games and am interested to hear how ~books would respond to the same setup. Here's the task: pretend you're a professor! You have to do the following: Choose a...

      I asked a similar question over in ~games and am interested to hear how ~books would respond to the same setup.

      Here's the task: pretend you're a professor! You have to do the following:

      • Choose a focus for your class on literature (with a snazzy title if you like)
      • Choose the books that you, as a professor, will have your class dive into in order to convey key concepts
      • Explain why each book you chose ties into your overarching exploration

      Your class can have any focus, broad or specific: victorian literature, contemporary poetry, Shakespearean themes in non-Shakespearean works -- whatever you want! It can focus on any forms of literature and does not have to be explicitly limited to "books" if you want to look at some outside-of-the-box stuff (I once took a literature class where we read afternoon, a story, for example.)

      After choosing your specific focus, choose what will be included on your syllabus as "required reading" and why you've chosen each item.

      16 votes
    6. How are schools preparing in your country?

      Primarily non-US, as there's been a lot of discussion for various places in the States. In my country (Croatia, EU), nobody knows anything, including the government, and the school year starts in...

      Primarily non-US, as there's been a lot of discussion for various places in the States.

      In my country (Croatia, EU), nobody knows anything, including the government, and the school year starts in three weeks. With the govt change this summer, and the new ministers enjoying their summer vacations, they only created a "task force" last week, which only met today for a few hours and concluded "there are challenges ahead". The minister in charge "thinks" schools will start normally, and "thinks" masks won't be required, with no straight answers or plans.

      Teacher associations, individuals, parent groups have been calling for development of some kind of strategy for weeks (as a tourism-powered 2nd wave hit us), but there doesn't seem to be any sense of urgency on the part of govt.

      This leaves parents (we'e gor one kid in primary school, other in kindergarten) in total fog, there's no way to prepare. Our family is better placed to handle this due to grandparents around to help and flexible schedule (self employed), but the online school from this spring was a disaster and I don't see a chance of the fall doing any better.

      Even with preparations it would be hard, right now looks like it's going to be a disaster.

      How is your country (not) coping with these challenges?

      (edited to clarify the school year start)

      7 votes
    7. If you had to teach a class on an element of gaming, which games would you put on your syllabus?

      Here's the task: pretend you're a professor! You have to do the following: Choose a focus for your class on gaming (with a snazzy title if you like) Choose the games that you, as a professor, will...

      Here's the task: pretend you're a professor! You have to do the following:

      • Choose a focus for your class on gaming (with a snazzy title if you like)
      • Choose the games that you, as a professor, will have your class dive into in order to convey key concepts
      • Explain why each game you chose ties into your overarching exploration

      Your class can have any focus, broad or specific: level design in first-person shooters; the history of pixel art; the psychology of non-linear narratives; the use of sound effects in mid-2000 platformers; the limitations of turn-based systems in tabletop strategy games, etc. Anything goes, and any forms of gaming are valid!

      After choosing your specific focus, choose games that you would put on your syllabus as a sort of "required playing" for students, and talk about why you've chosen each item and what it brings to the table. If you decide to choose, say, NetHack and The Binding of Isaac for your class on "Roguelikes, Roguelites, and the Fallacy of the Berlin Interpretation", discuss how those particular games illustrate some of the key concepts you want to convey to your learners.

      While I'm intending this to be serious and straightforward, I also like the idea of people having fun with it, so feel free to come up with some less serious or more entertaining classes. I'd love to see the outline for course that explored, say, the history of exploding barrels or an investigation of taste levels in the fashion of JRPG outfits.

      19 votes