November 21, 2003

No-host trackbacks

November 21, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Maybe I can use this to add trackbacks and comments to my semi-static
pages! =) It’ll require Javascript, though…

Oh, but they’re capped at 25 accounts. Tough.

Learning styles

November 21, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

The paper has important insights. I learn inductively – from complex
examples, I try to figure out principles and ideas. However, classes
tend to be structured deductively – neat, organized, and bewildering.

Important excerpt:

Teaching Techniques to Address All Learning Styles

– Motivate learning. As much as possible, relate the material being
presented to what has come before and what is still to come in the
same course, to material in other courses, and particularly to the
students’ personal experience (inductive/global).

– Provide a balance of concrete information (facts, data, real or
hypothetical experiments and their results) (sensing) and abstract
concepts (principles, theories, mathematical models) (intuitive).

– Balance material that emphasizes practical problem-solving
methods (sensing/active) with material that emphasizes
fundamental understanding (intuitive/reflective).

– Provide explicit illustrations of intuitive patterns (logical
inference, pattern recognition, generalization) and sensing patterns
(observation of surroundings, empirical experimentation, attention to
detail), and encourage all students to exercise both patterns
(sensing/intuitive). Do not expect either group to be able to exercise
the other group’s processes immediately.

– Follow the scientific method in presenting theoretical material.
Provide concrete examples of the phenomena the theory describes or
predicts (sensing/ inductive); then develop the theory or formulate
the mod(intuitive/inductive/ sequential); show how the theory or
modcan be validated and deduce its consequences
(deductive/sequential); and present applications

– Use pictures, schematics, graphs, and simple sketches liberally
before, during, and after the presentation of verbal material
(sensing/visual). Show films (sensing/visual.) Provide demonstrations
(sensing/visual), hands-on, if possible (active).

– Use computer-assisted instruction—sensors respond very well to
it. (sensing/active).

– Do not fill every minute of class time lecturing and writing on the
board. Provide intervals—however brief—for students to think about
what they have been told (reflective).

– Provide opportunities for students to do something active besides
transcribing notes. Small-group brainstorming activities that take no
more than five minutes are extremely effective for this purpose

– Assign some drill exercises to provide practice in the basic methods
being taught (sensing/active/sequential) but do not overdo them
(intuitive/reflective/ global). Also provide some open-ended problems
and exercises that call for analysis and synthesis

– Give students the option of cooperating on homework assignments to
the greatest possible extent (active). Active learners generally learn
best when they interact with others; if they are denied the
opportunity to do so they are being deprived of their most effective
learning tool.

– Applaud creative solutions, even incorrect ones (intuitive/global).

– Talk to students about learning styles, both in advising and in
classes. Students are reassured to find their academic difficulties
may not all be due to personal inadequacies. Explaining to struggling
sensors or active or global learners how they learn most efficiently
may be an important step in helping them reshape their learning
experiences so that they can be successful (all types).

Things to try in class — education

November 21, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

– One-minute papers: most important point made in the lecture and the single most pressing unanswered question
– Encourage or mandate cooperation on homework

– Think of three good questions about what we just covered.

HTML wizardry: including files

November 21, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

But this has scrollbars and doesn’t really inline the text…

HideShow mode

November 21, 2003 - Categories: emacs

M-x hs-minor-mode

I think I rather like hs-hide-all…

(defun sacha/hs-minor-mode-hide-all ()
  "Turn on `hs-minor-mode' and hide everything."
  (hs-minor-mode 1)

(add-hook 'emacs-lisp-mode-hook 'sacha/hs-minor-mode-hide-all t)

Books mirror

November 21, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Automatic encryption of wiki pages

November 21, 2003 - Categories: emacs

From EmacsWiki#AutoEncryption

;; crypt++ – i use this in conjunction with emacs-wiki
(require ‘crypt++)
(setq crypt-encryption-type ‘mcrypt

crypt-encryption-file-extension “\\(Secure\\)$\\|\\(\\.enc\\)$”)
(setq emacs-wiki-ignored-extensions-regexp “\\.\\(bz2\\|gz\\|[Zz]\\|enc\\)\\'”)


November 21, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized
(add-to-list 'erc-nick-popup-alist '("BBDB" . (bbdb nick nil)))

Cool elisp hack!

November 21, 2003 - Categories: emacs

I’ve gotten the bot-like improvements I wanted thanks to these snippets of elisp code:

(require 'hippie-exp)

(setq hippie-expand-try-functions-list

;; Particularly fun with ERC. I am now a bot!
(defun sacha/try-expand-factoid-from-bbdb (old)
  "Try to expand from BBDB. If OLD is non-nil, cycle through other possibilites."
  (unless old
      ;; First time, so search through the BBDB records for the factoid.
      (he-init-string (he-dabbrev-beg) (point))
      (setq he-expand-list nil)
       (lambda (item)
         (setq he-expand-list (append he-expand-list (list (bbdb-record-getprop item 'blog))))
         (setq he-expand-list (append he-expand-list (list (bbdb-record-getprop item 'web))))
         (setq he-expand-list (append he-expand-list (list (car (bbdb-record-net item)))))
         (setq he-expand-list (append he-expand-list (list (bbdb-record-getprop item 'notes)))))
       (bbdb-search (bbdb-records) he-search-string he-search-string he-search-string he-search-string nil))
      (setq he-expand-list (delq nil he-expand-list))))
  (while (and he-expand-list
              (or (not (car he-expand-list))
                  (he-string-member (car he-expand-list) he-tried-table t)))
    (setq he-expand-list (cdr he-expand-list)))
  (if (null he-expand-list)
        (if old (he-reset-string))
      (he-substitute-string (car he-expand-list) t)
      (setq he-expand-list (cdr he-expand-list))

hippie-expand inside an ERC buffer will then cycle through the blog, web, net and notes fields of whatever entries I have. Yay! =)