technological advances – intuitive AI

saw this TEDxPortland video shot last year only recently. while revisiting it that i noticed the opening words of the presenter:

“How many of you are creatives, designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, artists, or maybe you just have a really big imagination? Show of hands? … That’s most of you. I have some news for us creatives.”

what’s the significance of this short opening exchange?

i was quite surprised by some responses of people after they have watched the video, for example, “i feel scared”, “what if the machines are going to replace us”, “i admire those who are retiring soon”. but there again, these are quite normal too. however, i did not quite figure out the paradigm behind people with such responses. until, i revisited the video, and heard the opening exchange a second time.

my current hypothesis: people who produces such (downward spiral) responses are not knowledge creators. such words represent the mindset of industrial age production workers – routine, mass-production, clock-in-clock-out, predictability just to name a few. there’s no right or wrong judgment here. but in our business of preparing children for the knowledge age (or augmented age in the video), and where teachers’ beliefs influenced their actions, we need to think like and become a knowledge creator ourselves. what can we do to facilitate this shift in a major bulk of our teachers who learnt and grew up and laboured in the industrial age paradigm for a large part of their lives? how do we help teachers to shift into the creatives, designers, artists mode of thinking?

almost forget, here’s the video:


digital photography online course and blended teachers’ PD

was reminded by fb feed of Professor Marc Levoy’s Digital Photography google site, could this be a next step for creating a variant to the online component in our blended learning courses?

first, an instructor (teacher educator) would make his/her contents freely online. teachers would be free (in terms of will) to browse and learn from the contents/videos freely (in terms of time and cost).
second, an instructor would conduct a blended Clinic course(s). teachers who perused the contents, and would like to deepen the learning through face-to-face engagement can sign up for the Clinic. during the f2f-online-f2f-online-f2f… cycle, the google site can become part of the resources upon which the conversations are anchored upon. likewise, in the blended Studio course(s), the google site can serve the same purpose as conversations are steered to incorporate the practice component.

just a 联想 (:

critical thinking 批判个什么对错来着?

昨天12470课上,我们一起烧了一个下午的脑细胞,间中提到了“对 & 错” vs. “好 & 更好”的出发点和区别,过后我们也略微谈到了“批判性思维”一词。 “批判”一词在《现汉》(第5版)1034页是这样收录的:

(1) 对错误的思想、言论或行为做系统的分析,加以否定: ~虚无主义。
(2) 分析判别,评论好坏: ~地继承文学艺术遗产。

可见汉语对于批判的理解是对错鲜明的,甚至(1)里边就是针对错误出发。 难道我们在培养学生的critical thinking时只是在培养他们的挑毛病、找错误的能力?


英文中的Critical Thinking 呢? “Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.” (取自CriticalThinking.Org) 。可见英文里的出发点不在找错,而是通过不同层次的思维,尤其是高阶思维的运用来对事物、事件、现象作分析,以得出个人的结论。 要了解 Critical Thinking 的原意,可前往以下网址:

我们可要把学生“教对了”哦 😛

right wrong photoPhoto by

scaffolding teachers’ reflection – meaning-oriented

was reading Korthagen (2017)’s article “inconvenient truths about teacher learning: towards professional development 3.0”, and saw the mention that very often teachers may find reflection not useful as they may not know how to do it. (p.392) Korthagen introduced a possible approach – ALACT model.

the 5-phase ALACT includes (1) action; (2) looking back on the action; (3) awareness of essential aspects; (4) creating alternative methods of action; (5) trial. apart from the how-to itself, Korthagen emphasised the importance of focusing on the emotional and motivational aspects (cf. rational) during the reflection. teachers should bring in their personal theories (which are grounded in their own practices and this more relevant) (cf. formal/experts’ theories). further scaffolds for the reflection to support the transition from phase 2 to 3 include asking the following questions (p.394):

0. What is the context?
1. What did I think?
2. How did I feel?
3. What did I want?
4. What did I do?
5. What did the pupils think?
6. How did the pupils feel?
7. What did the pupils want?
8. What did the pupils do?

such reflections are meaning-oriented (cf. action oriented (Hoekstra, 2007)) as it includes the dimensions of thinking, feeling, wanting and acting. for such reflections to be effective, it requires the guidance of experienced experts or more knowledgeable others. the “inconvenient truth” (p.393) for policymakers and teacher educators would be that “we will have to focus on individual teachers and support them in their idiosyncratic learning processes. (p.393)” following this argument, for teachers to effectively learn something that will improve their practices, individualised mentoring is a necessity. this perhaps explains the limited efficacy of mass-production-styled short-term workshops/courses. i think this has also serious implication on the Studios of our blended learning workshop design and implementation.

furthermore, meaning-oriented reflection should ideally include all the layers of the onion model (Korthagen, 2004): [inner most layer] (1) core qualities (“people’s personal qualities, such as creativity, trust, care, courage, sensitivity, decisiveness, spontaneity, commitment and flexibility” (p.396)); (2) Mission – what inspires me? what is my ideal?; (3) Identity – who am i (in my work)?; (4) Beliefs – what do i believe in the situation?; (5) Competenices – what am i competent at?; (6) Behaviour – what do i do?; (7) Environment – what do i encounter? what am i dealing with? [outer most layer] (as cited in p.395)

another important note towards the end of the article – always take into consideration the teacher’s (school) context of their actual work right from the beginning for any changes to occur. lastly, perhaps we already know, for any approach to be effective, it needs to be intensive and sustained over time.

Korthagen, F. (2017). Inconvenient truths about teacher learning: Towards professional development 3.0. Teachers and Teaching, 23(4), 387-405. DOI:10.1080/13540602.2016.1211523

reflection photo(acknowledgement: Photo by WolfBlur)