People are to pay $5 when they RSVP via paypal or credit card, which will be refunded in cash when they show up at the event. Deposits will be refunded for cancellations more than 24 hours in advance.
The next meeting will be at Chanpen Thai, an affordable Thai restaurant a few blocks from Times square. Most entrees are $15, a Thai beer is $5. Menu: http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/chanpen/menu
A Harvard physics teacher is using enhanced teaching methods with dramatically improved results over the standard lecture. He is using several innovations at once (listed in the order in which they happen, not necessarily in the order of importance):
- First, he is enforcing over the web that students must do the reading before coming to class.
- Then, he gives students a way, after they've done the reading, to submit questions prior to the lecture.
- Next, he asks multiple choice questions during the lecture and electronically polls what answers the students are guessing, giving him immediate feedback of where they stand.
- Then, he has students discuss the answers among themselves.
It's hard to say which of these innovations is resulting in the improved learning.
- Getting the students to do the reading before the lecture is a huge step forward. I pretty much never did the reading before the lecture except in literature classes or one anthropology class where the professor gave us a quiz on the reading at the end of each lecture specifically to enforce our having done it. If I had done all the reading before the lectures, I would have done better, especially in those courses where I was struggling.
- Allowing students to ask questions privately prior to the lecture accomplishes 2 things: it allows shy students to put questions forward when they might be afraid of looking stupid, and it gives the teacher excellent feedback of where the students stand.
- Getting polling during the lecture to find out what students know could be quite a help. When I taught, I was clueless about what the students knew. The only students with the guts to project the fact that they didn't understand something were the brilliant students.
- I would be concerned here, a lot would depend on which students were sitting next to each other. When I taught computer programming, a lot of students collaborated on the homework. The bright students wouldn't copy, so I'd get lots of unique homework done right, and then clumps of identical, wrong homework as the dumbest students copied from each other -- the dumb students had dumb friends. So unless the brighter students were distributed among the class, I'm not sure how much would be learned from the collaborative step. However, having the students know there was going to be a collaborative step might motivate them to study harder in advance so they'd look smarter in front of their peers.
Technology, as opposed to math and science, is dramatically under taught in K-12 and in the core curriculum at universities. Should this change?
It is well known that choosing the right major drives your employment prospects and likely income for the rest of your life. WSJ on which majors have the best prospects. On the other hand, here is a piece advocating a traditional liberal arts education. Note that this is advice for Harvard undergraduates, whose prospects, regardless of what they major in, are probably a lot better than those of liberal arts majors from less exceptional schools.