A few thoughts and ideas

Happy New Year 2018

This is Wellington Point in Queensland at sunrise on New Year’s Day 2018. Although the jetty is a popular local photo location, New Year’s Day sunrise is not really the time to take the ‘best’ shot. The jetty and foreshore is often teeming with sightseers and fellow photographers all wanting that first shot of the year.

Anyway, this is my attempt. The photo is processed from the camera’s RAW file (a RAW file is the format that is equivalent to a film negative) using a program called Darktable.  This is an ‘open source’ and free RAW photo editor that has recently been ported to Windows. Darktable is a wonderful piece of software with a different approach to many RAW editors such as Lightroom (Adobe).

I learned to use Darktable when I was using Linux as my operating system for most of last year. At that time Darktable was only available on Linux and on Mac operating systems. Unfortunately, most of my work requires (or is more convenient when using) the Windows operating system, consequently I reloaded Windows on my home computer and stopped using Darktable. With the software now available on Windows, I can now resume using Darktable.

Good  luck and best wishes to all for 2018.



Inquiry Learning and Habits of Mind

I think, therefore I'm dangersous

Image by John Eisenschenk https://flic.kr/p/fiDzZh

Over the last several months, my College has been working on ways to support student engagement, enduring understanding, and looking at ways to serve our students more effectively as they face a rapidly changing and unknown future as workers, learners and members of society. As a result, we are now building a teaching and learning approach which includes all the most effective and relevant parts of Inquiry Learning, Habits of Mind, Growth Mindset and many of the principles and methods presented by Marzano and his associates.

We have considered the pedagogical continuum that stretches from the most teacher-centric models of education through to the most student-centred methods of teaching and learning in the Primary and Secondary setting.

Read More

Is gamification the answer? Maybe, maybe not.

A recent blog post was shared to me by a colleague. The short article stated that students are learning incorrectly and that gamification would improve student learning if used throughout education. See here for the online article from Futurism.com called ‘The way that students learn today is wrong‘.

The article makes the case that the stages that gamers follow in solving problems is akin to the scientific approach. This may be so, however, my initial response is to say that Read More

The AltSchool Initiative – Algorithms in Education

Image: https://pixabay.com/p-908168

A colleague of mine recently sent me this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-40485293 which presents a short movie clip showing the AltSchool initiative. This is a thought provoking piece.

AltSchool is developing a model of education that relies on modern technology to bring about tailored programs of instruction. The system marries sophisticated algorithms, resource development and adaptive instructional programs. It utilises algorithms that track student progress through ongoing formal, but predominantly formative, assessment and the use of quality teacher- and child-actionable feedback, built in to the learning process.  This is supported by the development and presentation of tailored resources, activities, assessment and experiences. Read More

First edit in Darktable

New Year's Day Sunrise

New Year’s Day Sunrise

Just for kicks, I decided to upgrade my computer so it can boot into Windows and Linux (Ubuntu). I use Adobe Lightroom for processing my photos under Windows, I wanted to try Darktable which is only available for Mac and Linux. This is my first Darktable edit. It isn’t brilliant but it still looks like the scene I pointed my camera at!

The picture is of the first sunrise of the year.

In Darktable I used parametric masking – which Lightroom doesn’t do in any great way – to adjust saturation, exposure and contrast. I also used colour reconstruction which is quite good, it allows you to put back colour in areas that are ‘blown out’, for example the disk of the sun.