Today, in Curmudgeon’s Corner, we take issue with Salman Khan, founder of the phenomenally impressive and successful learning site Khan Academy. #YouCanLearnAnything is the message, and you have to admit it’s an appealing thought. “No-one is born smart” is the opening line to the video… and that’s where it all falls apart for me. [Read more…]
There are three things you need to worry about on the beach this summer: sunburn, your kids’ whereabouts, and whether your moobs have grown since last year. You don’t need any help with the first, you’re beyond help with the last, but what about the risk of your kids disappearing up a busy beach?
Nivea, of all people, has an answer, and you’d find it in the pages of your partner’s shoddy magazine:
Amazing, eh? First thought of anyone who watches it: is that thing waterproof? It’s apparently ‘humidity-resistant’, so I think we can take that as a ‘no’. It includes a low-energy Bluetooth unit that broadcasts a signal that is picked up by the linked smartphone. The phone works out how far away the unit is, and as soon as it’s out of range, triggers an alarm.
It’s the same iBeacon technology that’s being trialled in places from museums to supermarkets, using your location to push you info about that sculpture and 20p off coupons for Steradent tablets. But this Nivea experiment looks like a genuinely useful and clever idea, albeit not one likely to win any environmental awards.
Only one small issue: it was included in a subscriber’s only issue of an April edition of a women’s mag. In Brazil. Sorry about that.
When’s the right age for a child to get their own smartphone? The influential teacher and behaviour champion Tom Bennett has a stock reply: ‘Whenever you’re happy for them to see porn.’ At which point I’d hazard that most parents wish they’d never asked: Pandora’s box has been thrown open. So to speak.
There are ways to blocking adult content on phones, although they’re patchy at best. But back at the ranch, many parents reach for a filtering system, not least because the ones introduced by ISPs are mostly useless. [Read more…]
Would you like to meet someone I know? She’s a good type, but others have described her as “domineering, dominating, overbearing, imperious, masterful, autocratic, autarchic, officious, high-handed, high and mighty, authoritarian, dictatorial, strict, harsh, severe…” I could go on, but in short, she’s a bit bossy.
This one came our way today: The problem with bright girls, on Psychology Today. The basic premise is that women struggle for parity in the workplace because they are brought up being praised as individuals (“Good girl!”); they believe that talent is innate and fixed, so if they find something tricky, it’s because they don’t have it in them. [Read more…]
Here’s a great piece written by Paul Ford over on Medium. (If you don’t know Medium, I’d really recommend you take a look: it’s all about great writing, beautifully presented. Not everything will hit the spot, naturally, but right now it’s surprisingly high calibre stuff.)
Anyway, Ford has taken a crack at a reflective piece about toddlers and has avoided the honey-trap of twee, icky observations. Instead he puts forward some interesting thoughts, such as the idea that learning comes through mimickry, and that discomfort has to be acknowledged before it can be disregarded.
And he ends on a beautifully written line…which I’m not going to tell you so you read this short, thought-provoking piece.