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UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

xaxa Re:Any experienced teacher already deals with this (388 comments)

Why should English classes be more about works of fiction and theatre by dead white European males and less about communicating your own ideas to other people?

Here's some of what I had to study when I was approaching 16, in 2002. You'll note the opposite criticism has been made -- "the inclusion of the poems represented an "obsession with multi-culturalism"."

I had trouble writing and analysing fiction, and always received poor grades. A few months before the final exam the teacher set me some work to analyse and write something more factual -- I think it was articles from a popular science magazine. That was easy, I got As. It was a topic most English teachers didn't enjoy teaching, and avoided, but the examination board allowed it as an alternative.

about two weeks ago
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UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

xaxa Re:Any experienced teacher already deals with this (388 comments)

Primary school teachers in the UK are paid a lot less than secondary school teachers, I assume because the job is a good bit easier.

Both my parents were secondary school teachers. They'd both manage a long break in the summer, at least 6 weeks, but made up for it by working well over the official hours in term time. I guess before they had children they might have valued the summer holiday less, and normal weekends / evenings more.

(Legal minimum holiday here is four weeks (20 days), but the actual average is 26 days. In both cases add 8 public holidays (Christmas day etc).)

about two weeks ago
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UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

xaxa Re:To be fair... (388 comments)

Right, agreed. So, once upon a time we had typing classes. Would you then expect the typing teacher to take on teaching shop and engineering courses that were about how to build a typewriter? No.

Actually, yes, but probably against their wishes. (But their alternative is being made redundant, so can you blame them?) My dad started as a woodwork teacher, which was replaced by engineering drawing. He'd failed his A level at that, but his school presumably couldn't find anyone else to teach it, and asked him. Apparently it was a stressful summer learning. That was more gradually replaced by IT, meaning "using software", which I think he did quite well at -- "using software" had the flexibility to mean using art + design + CAD packages. The children he taught got As, but if he hadn't retired a few years ago he'd be one of the teachers stuck trying to teach Hello World to 12 years olds -- I'd passed his level of programming when I was 9 or 10.

He also taught geography for a couple of years, I think covering for a long-term sick colleague, and PE (sport) similarly.

Similarly, I remember seeing teachers at my school change subjects. Sometimes it's fine -- a decent chemistry teacher can teach physics, biology and maths pretty easily, especially to children under 15 or so. But the teachers teaching computer science probably aren't the maths teachers, but the general technology / business teachers who have little choice but to struggle with the new subject.

I'm critical of teachers for a lot of things, but not knowing how to teach Towers of Hanoi isn't one of them. Demanding that someone who knows how to teach Towers of Hanoi get paid the same as the social studies or health teacher IS one of them.

I'm familiar with that one! In the last few months I've run out of patience with the public sector scientific organisation I work for, so I'm looking for a developer job elsewhere. I'm aiming for around double the pay... (Although the situation isn't quite the same. I have highly technical, general, transferrable skills, the scientists have highly technical, extremely specialist, less-transferrable skills, so they're "worth" less.)

about two weeks ago
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UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

xaxa Re:To be fair... (388 comments)

It's one thing for a teacher, like my computer science teacher in high school, to be expected to understand computer SCIENCE. It's another to expect them to know a bunch of software packages. That's one of the big problems with computer education in schools; the idiots putting together the curriculum don't understand the difference between conceptual learning and facility with using systems.

That is the issue here: it used to be knowing about software packages, the "idots" have changed it (see here and here, among others) to include some programming. FTA "It seems that switching from an approach that emphasised computer literacy to one that actually wants students to do more difficult things is the reason for the problem."

about two weeks ago
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Extra Leap Second To Be Added To Clocks On June 30

xaxa Re:Better way (289 comments)

arbitrarily-picked Greenwich, UK,

Greenwich wasn't arbitrarily picked. The only options were Paris, Berlin, London and Washington DC -- they had the necessary observatories. London was already in widest common use, and the anti-meridian falls in a convenient place (not crossing anywhere important).

about three weeks ago
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Pew Survey: Tech Increases Productivity, But Also Time Spent Working

xaxa Re:I answer work e-mail from home. (82 comments)

I am online all the time, I answer work e-mail from home at all hours. I can't technically discipline anyone for not replying to me off-hours, but it does get remembered.

British law states that, "workers have the right to 11 hours rest between working days (eg if you finish work at 8pm, they shouldn’t start work again until 7am the next day)." and "Workers have the right to: (a) an uninterrupted 24 hours without any work each week, or (b) 48 hours each fortnight". source

I set my phone to not check my work email outside working hours, and not at all while I'm on holiday. I don't think it would be a bad thing if the majority of people were normally prevented from accessing email (and other work systems) during these periods.

about a month ago
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New Year's Resolution for 2015

xaxa Re:Learn to drive (214 comments)

I already use a bicycle for my commute, and most local journeys. I intend to continue with that, especially as it keeps me fit.

Driving a car will let me transport more stuff or passengers than a motorcycle. I'll investigate the cost of owning a car for a while, mostly to get some practise after I've passed the test, but after that I'll probably just rent one as required.

about a month ago
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New Year's Resolution for 2015

xaxa Learn to drive (214 comments)

I've not got around to learning to drive in the last 10 years, but it would useful when travelling, especially within my own country.

(It's not hugely useful in London -- only a couple of friends own cars -- which is why I've not made the effort since I moved here when I was 18.)

about a month ago
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United and Orbitz Sue 22-Year-Old Programmer For Compiling Public Info

xaxa Re:Cheaper (349 comments)

Europe and the USA are similar in size (the Baltic and North seas have to be flown over). The EU has 500M people, all Europe has 750M, but the GP is a bit out anyway.

It's more like $100, especially if we make the comparison fairer by not sticking only to Western European cities or tourist destinations. Frankfurt to Athens at the end of March is $200 return, for example.

Non-EU places can be more, e.g. Minsk to Paris is $350-ish return.

The $50 flights are for flights between some of the key global airports (e.g. London to Frankfurt) or tourist destinations (e.g. EMA in England to Venice -- $70 return).

about a month ago
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United and Orbitz Sue 22-Year-Old Programmer For Compiling Public Info

xaxa Re:OT: one-way (349 comments)

We booked with Delta on the way down and US Air on the way back. It takes a little more work because you're shopping for plane tickets twice, but I'd bet in most cases, it's worth it.

I booked a flight to Greece and a separate return from Albania. That flight back from Albania was cancelled a few days before. I was refunded, but I had to book another flight (with a different airline) quite close to the date, so it cost me ~£150 more than the original flight.

European regulations mean that if I'd booked it as a round trip (even if it's A to B, C to A) the airline would have to get me home at no extra expense, and compensate me if there's a significant delay.

about a month ago
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Being Colder May Be Good For Your Health

xaxa Re:I sleep better in the cold (234 comments)

That probably affects the British recommendation -- it's permanently damp here. (amateur data in London, but the official data is only available as a download).

It's 3C outside now (17:09), with 86% humidity, changing to 0C and fog overnight.

about a month ago
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Being Colder May Be Good For Your Health

xaxa Re:what else is new (234 comments)

Fahrenheit is still used (unofficially) in UK, along with pounds, stones (and hundredweight); inches, feet, yards, chains, furlongs and miles; Gas Marks; guineas etc.

Fahrenheit is used much less than pounds/stones or inches/feet/yards/miles, including unofficially. Many -- very possibly most -- old people use Celsius, and the BBC weather forecast (on TV) hasn't given temperatures in Fahrenheit for many years.

about a month ago
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Being Colder May Be Good For Your Health

xaxa Re:It's amazing to me! (234 comments)

62F = 16.5C. Below 16C the World Health Organisation says vulnerable people are at risk of respiritory infection, they recommend at least 21C for such people.

about a month ago
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Being Colder May Be Good For Your Health

xaxa Re:I sleep better in the cold (234 comments)

In the living room I've got the windows closed, no heater yet, and it's 65. In the bedroom the window is open and it's in the 40s. I love snuggling under my pile of blankets, and sleep much better that way than I do in the summer when it's 80 in the bedroom.

British Government health advice is that living rooms should be heated to temperatures of 21C (70F) and the rest of the house to 18C (64F).

The World Health Organisation says "vulnerable people" are at risk of respiritory infection below 16C (61F).

My thermostat is set to 18C.

about a month ago
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Being Colder May Be Good For Your Health

xaxa Re:I sleep better in the cold (234 comments)

Getting used to cool temperature works even better when you're not wearing clothes at all in house.
It's 64F in my living room, I'm nude and perfectly comfortable (even sweating a little).
Thursday afternoon it's time for the annual new-year's dip in the 45F Northsea, going back to the beach-club in the 38F (predicted) air temperature should be an "interesting" experience.

Why did you bother to convert that to Farenheit? Now I have to convert it back to Celsius...

64F = 18C

45F = 7C

38F = 3C

18C is a reasonable temperature, and the British government recommended temperature for the "rest of the house". They recommend 20C for the living room. I think my house's thermostat is set to 17 or 18C.

about a month ago
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Being Colder May Be Good For Your Health

xaxa Re:tropical thailand (234 comments)

Malaysia is the most obese country in Asia.

Malaysia: 44% adult men overweight or obese

USA: 71%

Western Europe: 61% average (e.g. UK 67%)

Thailand: 32%

Thailand's adults are a lot slimmer than the average European, but Thai children have mostly caught up to European children's weight.

about a month ago
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In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

xaxa Re: About Fucking Time (435 comments)

Rum comes in all qualities. This one: http://m.tesco.com/h5/grocerie... is mass produced, though that didn't stop an American I met last summer buying everyone at the bar a drink of something "illegal".

about a month ago
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California's Hydrogen Highway Adds Another Station

xaxa Re: I suppose this is a good thing... (87 comments)

If you're only used in big cities you're better off just going pure electric. The efficiency is much greater, the vehicle cost is lower and it's far more convenient to charge up at night than to have to wait in line at a hydrogen filling station.

The bus depot will have it's own diesel (or hydrogen) pump, so it's probably only a small saving. In a major city with a significant electric night bus service they'd probably need rapid charging points instead.

London has six electric buses on various trials. I saw a video clip about them -- there were so many batteries they'd taken up the whole back of the bus, and obscured the read windscreen. That might not be the newest ones though.

Trolley buses are a cheap solution, still used widely in the ex-Soviet Union, China, Pyongyang etc. The buses are light as well, so there's much less damage to the road surface. A small battery could add the flexibility to make minor route changes away from the wires.

about a month ago

Submissions

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New UK government to reverse erosion of liberties

xaxa xaxa writes  |  more than 4 years ago

xaxa writes "In the UK, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have formed a coalition government. They have released an agreement document outlining their joint policies. In section 10 (Civil Liberties) the parties "agree to implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties under the Labour Government and roll back state intrusion", including "A Freedom or Great Repeal Bill.", "The scrapping of ID card scheme, the National Identity register, the next generation of biometric passports and the Contact Point Database." "Outlawing the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission", "Adopting the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.", "The review of libel laws to protect freedom of speech.", "Safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation", "Further regulation of CCTV.", "Ending of storage of internet and email records without good reason. (and others)."
Link to Original Source
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Rural areas overtake towns for broadband in the UK

xaxa xaxa writes  |  more than 6 years ago

xaxa (988988) writes "According to a report from OFCOM, the UK's independent communications regulator, for the first time rural households are now more likely to have a broadband connection than residents of towns. This could be the result of a drive to bring broadband to sparsely populated areas, enabling people to work from home. Overall, 57% of households have broadband Internet access. OFCOM also report that 20% of households now rely solely on mobile phones, 85% have digital television, 30% of adults have watched TV online, 20% have accessed the internet on a mobile phone.
Of the people without these services, most didn't want them or thought they were too expensive. Just 1% of consumers wanted them but found they were not available in their location.
The full report is available."

Link to Original Source

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