Saturday, March 19, 2011

Online Courses

One of the questionable outcomes of the teacher myth has been the increase in online courses at the K-12 and college levels. (Here I mean courses taught entirely online, in which students and teacher never meet face to face and much content is learned by the students on their own by reading through online content.) On the one hand, putting information online is great (if it's open content) - students all over the world who don't have access to formal education can learn from it. Teachers can use it in their own classrooms, thus avoiding reinventing the wheel more than necessary and saving them time. But I worry that it walks a dangerous line inspired by the teacher myth: teachers are unnecessary. What about role models, emotional support, and the ability to ask questions?

Anything perpetuating the idea that teachers are unnecessary also potentially supports other problematic corollaries of the teacher myth, leading to the replacement of tenured unionized teachers with lower paid adjuncts (both at the secondary and college levels). All of this contributes to the de-professionalization of the field. So while we may be pro-online content and generally pro-technology, we should carefully consider the real consequences of being pro-online courses.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

SoCG Accepted Motion/Sensing Papers

Yes, this is somewhat delayed. Better late than never?

Here's the list of exciting-looking motion/sensing papers culled from the SoCG 2011 accepted papers list. Also known as my to-read list.

  • Mark de Berg, Marcel Roeloffzen and Bettina Speckmann. Kinetic Convex Hulls and Delaunay Triangulations in the Black-Box Model
  • Umut Acar, Benoît Hudson and Duru Türkoglu. Kinetic Mesh Refinement in 2D
  • Rishi Gupta, Piotr Indyk, Eric Price and Yaron Rachlin. Compressive sensing with local geometric features

Sadly, none of these seem to have a pdf preprint up yet, providing me with yet another excuse for procrastination...