This week wasn’t very eventful. I worked on a lot of English language arts from IXL, I started doing a bit of world history and health from Khan Academy, and I did some Duolingo Spanish. I also did quite a lot of Brilliant! Other than that, I worked on some HTML programming from FreeCodeCamp, and I also did some Science News for my language arts.
Thank you for your Observing for Learnings. I’m responding to both your weeks 28 and 29 here under week 29 since you submitted them back to back.
You had a busy couple of weeks! I hope your NVOL final math exam went well — it sounds like you feel pretty confident about it. Congratulations on finishing up that course, and I’m so glad that taking the course was a positive experience for you. Reviewing the IXL was a great idea. Doing some English IXL was also a great idea for preparing for grade 9. How did you find the English IXL?
The Minecraft video was a great idea. I looked into getting it for my four-year-old a while ago (though haven’t got it yet), and found there wasn’t much information readily accessible that didn’t assume some sort of prior knowledge of it. I imagine it was interesting to try to take the perspective of someone completely new to Minecraft and think about what kinds of information they would need. Did anything surprising occur to you while making the video, like realizing you would need to define certain vocabulary? I wonder if you’ve ever had the experience of explaining how to operate a computer to someone who has never really used one before; it’s probably not something you’ve had to do, but you may get the chance sometime (public libraries often have programs where they recruit teen volunteers to teach basic computer skills to disadvantaged elderly people — that could be a great thing to volunteer with sometime!) and it’s an eyeopening experience about how much knowledge you have that you take for granted. Something different but related that I find entertaining and educational is to think about an era of history, imagining accidentally time-travelling a person from that era to modern times, and then figuring out how I would go about helping that person learn what they would need to know to be able to function in society. I suspect people from some eras would be more mind-boggled by some social aspects than by some of the technological aspects one might think would be most impressive.
It’s awesome you got to explore Georg Cantor and his very important contributions to the modern ideas of infinity in Brilliant. I’m glad you liked learning more about infinity! I’m glad you also really liked the hands-on approach to their Algorithms Fundamentals course. It’s great to see you getting back into biology with Khan Academy too — I know you did a paper on immunity a couple months ago so learned a lot about white blood cells, so learning about red blood cells must have been an interesting comparison. I’m also thrilled you’re doing some history learning through Khan too! That would be a great overview. We’ve inherited a lot from Ancient Mesopotamia (like circles having 360 degrees) and Ancient Rome (really all sorts of things).
I love the Science News reading you did! Knowing who/what to trust is perhaps one of the most important issues of modern times, especially with all the competing information and misinformation available online, and it’s something a lot of people have a lot of trouble with (e.g. the large numbers of people who trust people/organizations sharing anti-vaccine conspiracy theories and distrust health officials). I was just reading this article from Vox the other day about what the media could do differently in a future crisis to better educate the public and better build public trust in media, and one of the big points the journalist made was the importance of getting more comfortable with uncertainty and being clear about where there isn’t sufficient information to draw conclusions.
Thank you for your Observing for Learnings!