Jacob J. Walker's Blog

Scholarly Thoughts, Research, and Journalism for Informal Peer Review

Archive for August, 2014

Thought of the Day: The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.

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The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. – Isaac Asimov

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Written by Jacob Walker

August 31st, 2014 at 6:16 pm

A Letter to my 4th Grade Daughter’s School about their Implementation of the Common Core Math Standards

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I continue to be frustrated with how Common Core is being implemented, and a school like H. Clarke Powers, which is usually excellent, is doing many of the dumb things that other schools are.  Thus, when I saw a handout tonight that my daughter was doing, that made very little sense, I wrote the following to her teacher:

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August 25th, 2014 at 9:16 pm

Minesweeper as a Technician Training Tool

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A screenshot of Mines-Perfect, a close alternative for Windows XP's Minesweeper game. From Wikimedia Commons, picture by Dimitri Torterat, See Wikimedia Commons Page for Licensing Information: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Minesperfect_windowsxp.pngSince at least 2007, I have used winning the game Minesweeper as an assessment to determine whether adult students were ready to join technician training classes that I have taught.  And in 2010, I conducted a Minesweeper and Hypothetical Thinking Action Research & Pilot Study as my Master’s project, in which I found some initial indications that ones computer ability was correlated with their ability to play Minesweeper. (Although, the sample size of that pilot study was so small, it should not be considered as any form of proof)

And, as I prepare to start a new technician training program with Highlands Community Charter and Technical Schools, I am again using Minesweeper as a prerequisite assessment.

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Written by Jacob Walker

August 16th, 2014 at 6:46 am

Thought of the Day: Rationalizing is when…

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Rationalizing is when you make dinner for the family, and you think it is fair for someone else to clean the kitchen, because you did all the work.  But when someone else makes dinner, you think it is fair for them to clean the kitchen, because they made the mess. – Jacob J. Walker

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August 14th, 2014 at 11:55 am

Thought of the Day: Life by Proxy

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Female in red pullover and blue jeans -coloured lights-2Nov2003, by Snowmanradio

I do not see you; I see the light’s reflection off your face
I do not hear you; I hear the rhythmic air within my ears
But when I touch you, I feel you; at least I feel the charge, with the connection between us only separated by nanoscopic space

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August 8th, 2014 at 11:52 am

HCCTS Offers Free English for Immigrant Classes

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Map of the U.S. with pictures of immigrantsAs I talked about recently, our nation was built by immigrants, and the commonality that we share is our language. But many English as a Second Language (ESL) programs have closed down, making it harder for immigrants to learn English. But, now Highlands Community Charter School has a free program that is about 20 hours per week, that focuses on teaching English to immigrants, and it also gives them the opportunity to later work towards earning a U.S. high school diploma, if they so choose.

If you or a friend is interested, the requirements are simple:

  • Students must be 22 years of age or older
  • Students cannot possess a U.S. High School Diploma (foreign diplomas are OK)
  • Students must be willing to attend classes about 20 hours per week, either in the morning (8:10 am to 12:20 pm) or in the afternoon (12:50 pm to 5:00 pm)

Those who are interested can call us at (916) 844-2283, (Our Office Assistant can speak Spanish, Ukrainian, Russian, and English!) or you can go right online and enroll!

Written by Jacob Walker

August 7th, 2014 at 7:07 am

Steps to Make a Cheap VoIP Phone

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Picture of the Android bot logo saying The following are the basic steps that can be used to convert an Android Phone to doing Voice Over IP (VoIP)  This can save a lot of money by not having monthly cell phone bills, but it will only have your phone work where you have wi-fi (or you use reverse tethering).

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Written by Jacob Walker

August 6th, 2014 at 7:02 am

Free Computer Science and Information Technology Training Opportunity

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On August 18, I am starting a small computer science and IT training program with Highlands Community Charter School, that will have no more than 10 students in it. This program is open to students who are 22 years of age, or older, and who don’t have a high school diploma.  Students must also have sufficient computer skills before entering the program, although, students who don’t yet have sufficient skills may join a self-paced IT Prep program with the school, to work up to joining the class.  This is a full-time program, where students go to school 6 hours per day for a full school year.

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Thought of the Day: When Immigrants Don’t have the Opportunity to Learn English, we become less of a United States

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According to Census data, there are over 100,000 people in the Sacramento region who do not speak English well.  And despite what the media implicitly portrays, most of these individuals are here legally.

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Written by Jacob Walker

August 3rd, 2014 at 7:31 am

Thought of the Day: Our Charter School’s Unique Opportunity

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Picture of person between many conflicting road signsHighlands Community Charter School (HCCS) is just about to start classes on August 18. And, I wanted to share today why I’m so passionate about starting this school, and why despite numerous major obstacles that has hit our team over the past several years, that we have persisted.  It boils down to: there are no other good options for adult high school dropouts in Sacramento, so we needed to create one. To do otherwise, would have been unconscionable.

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Written by Jacob Walker

August 2nd, 2014 at 6:49 am