„It’s OK to be different!“ is one of those lines you find a lot in geeky/nerdy/dark (or a mix of things) subcultures. Unfortunately there is / was a time in the life of each of, well, us, when we found out we were different but had not yet connected with like-minded people.
For some of us it was relatively easy to find people because of sheer luck or because they grew up in an environment where being different was actively encouraged. Personally, I was lucky enough to find people interested in RPGs in my class. For others, it was and is not that easy.
Strangely, I think the age of the internet has made it more difficult to find a niche and take root, if you are different from your peers. I will explain more in the podcast, please enjoy!
It has been two weeks since I opened an account with Netflix and I am already despairing! I binge-watched The Expanse, but to my dismay, it is only two seasons long so far, with another season due in 2018.
But what seasons they are!
The Expanse offers a relatively hard sci-fy look into what the solar system could look like in about 200 years. It features:
A united Earth and Moon
An independent Mars
An independent coalition of various factions in the asteroid belt beween Mars and Jupiter and settlers on the Jovian Moons
realistic high-tech space flight
realistic problems of space travel and colonies
realistic battles and weapons technology (all based on our best understanding of science)
a strange alien artifact which may be a weapon, or something else entirely
great characters and character development
The Expanse is hands down the best science-fiction series I have ever seen. It is gut-wrenchingly realistic in its portrayal of the struggles one faces when confronted with the fact that outside is nothing but hard vacuum. All the characters are real, have real motivations (even if it just greed) and the really good guys and knights in shinig armor types are few and far between, but all are human and even the bad guys are not beyond redemption.
And the space battles are simply one step beyond everything I have seen so far!
Try it out yourselves, watch it!
I hope The Expanse will be for science fiction what Game of Thrones is for fantasy.
For the past almost four months I have been working as a teacher and it has thus been the best time of my working life (not counting university and actually eclipsing my time with Games Workshop).
Before that, I spent the last ten years working with, in, and on the internet. Mostly SEO-related stuff, but also some social media and some backend development and programming. Of xourse, I learned a few things and tricks during this time and I know some tools which are not common knowledge or not as commonly known as I would like.
As I state on my personal portfolio site, I am a proponent of using the internet in the class room and now there is something I noticed:
The majority of my colleagues are not really internet-savvy, which is something I hope to change.
For example, I used the service of Animaker to create this video, which I used as an opener for a lesson recently (and which really impressed my tutor):
Time to do this: About half an hour.
Then we had the problem that we needed some listening-comprehension material for the novel all the 8th graders are reading at the moment, so I did the following (please click the file):
Again, my tutor was rather pleased with the results I delivered.
There have also been instances of teachers being concerned that pupils were using the Darknet. All that was happening was, as we found out a bit later, that the pupils were chatting via a service provided by a certain website where you can purchase things. Steam.com.
I have not felt so much like a tech-priest of Mars or a technomage from the Babylon 5 universe in my life…
So, the next steps I think I have to take is spread the knowledge of useful tools on the web to my colleagues (and pupils) and cure some of my other colleagues of their fear of unknown sites and/or the internet in general.
The internet is an excellent pool of ressources for teaching and also a great medium for teaching in and of itself, to neglect this in this time would do our pupils a severe disservice and it should not happen.