Andy Gavin's blog

Models of learning: teaching for the student

In educational psychology it has long been known that people learn in a very individual way. To be an effective teacher or mentor, especially for new subjects, it is better to understand how the pupil learns--- to have a model representing how the pupil learns. Ski teachers in Canada do this; they have a concept of Student Centred Teaching. The model is quite simple and is works with most people that learn to ski. Pupils will fall, when learning into one of the categories:

Learns by watching. A good listener, prefers to be last in a group.
Practical and functional. Explainations have little meaning, learns by doing.

Seven blunders of the world

  1. Wealth without work
  2. Pleasure without conscience
  3. Knowledge without character
  4. Commerce without morality
  5. Science without humanity
  6. Worship without sacrifice
  7. Politics without principle

—Mahatma Gandhi


Flight over booked?

I've just been reading some interesting facts about your entitlement if your flight is overbooked. You are entitled in European Law to:

  • A full refund (with a free flight back to your point of departure where relivant)


  • Alternative transport with free refreshments, meals, accomedation, travel to and from the accomedation and two free telephone calls.

This is on top of compensation, payable in either case:

  • 250 euro for flights of 1,500 km or less
  • 400 euro for longer flights within the EU and other flights between 1,500 and 3,500 km

Gorillaz and MTV

Recently a saw Jonathan Ross interview Damon Alburn (famous as Blur's front man) and Jamie Hewlett (who comic enthusiasts will know as the creator of Tank Girl).
They told a story about how, a few years ago, they were sharing a flat in London. Watching the manufactured bands on MTV, they became disillusioned— so they decided to manufacture their own band. A cartoon band: the Gorillaz. Quite amazing to think, this month they won the MTV award for Best Band despite insisting there isn't a band.


Flock and Net Version 2

When I fist saw Flock, a new style of browser, I was skeptical. I thought why does the world need another browser. What's wrong with Firefox extensions. But actually, I've come around to the idea that the net is nothing like it was. Perhaps it is time to rethink the user interface for the IPod generation. The tools that are built into the standard browser now aren't quite what is needed anymore. Most people now don't dial up though a modem, they have at least access to one broadband connection; maybe many. They are far more likely to access the nest from multiple places during a day: from their phone, from their word and from their home.


Jools Holland

When you are young, you often believe that you can do anything. Sometimes this might mean that real talent gets missed, or gets downplayed by ego. It wasn't until recently that I realised how talented Jools Holland actually is. It might be a crime to waste a talent, but it might be brillant to use one.


George Best died today

A working man's hero and what a life he had. A tragic genius, some people just seem to self-destruct.

I spend a lot of my money on booze, birds and fast cars-- the rest I just squandered.

--- George Best

It is ironic that George dies in the week that the British Licensing laws change to be 24 hours. There is much speculation about how the British will deal with the new laws. George might just be the example of why it will be worse for some than others.

I hope he rests in peace.



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