Sunday, November 24, 2013

black screen of death...

I have a small problem on my Mac Air that I use when I travel to keep up with things including this blog. Every once in a while the screen will suddenly go black for no apparent reason, and while it doesn't result in any loss of data, I'm left poking keys to try to get it back to a state of wakefulness. That may not be a problem if I'm just responding to emails, but is a larger problem if I'm making a power point presentation and am suddenly left black screen for no apparent reason.

This morning I decided to see if I could learn why, and to see if any fix was proposed for this recurrent problem. It seems that a number of folks have learned how to make it do this thing and have demonstrated it at their local Apple stores, but the folks at the genius bars are not as smart as Apple would have us think. Is that not always the case? I'm not complaining, but simply pointing out that there is a distinct difference  between being able to run through a checklist, and the capacity to really understand what goes on within a complex mechanical/electronic/software system. Those who have faced this black out problem have called it the black screen of death, but as of today's date, no one has actually died from it.

The following is from much too early, a brief look at early childhood education:
Children must master the language of things before they master the language of words.” —Friedrich Froebel, Pedagogics of the Kindergarten, 1895

In one sentence, Froebel, father of the kindergarten, expressed the essence of early-childhood education. Children are not born knowing the difference between red and green, sweet and sour, rough and smooth, cold and hot, or any number of physical sensations. The natural world is the infant’s and young child’s first curriculum, and it can only be learned by direct interaction with things. There is no way a young child can learn the difference between sweet and sour, rough and smooth, hot and cold without tasting, touching, or feeling something. Learning about the world of things, and their various properties, is a time-consuming and intense process that cannot be hurried.
We make the assumption that once kids reach a certain age, the necessity of tactile engagement is no longer a factor in their learning. And yet, all of my students of all ages demonstrate the foolishness of that notion. Certainly from the standpoint of being able to measure short-term learning gains in the short-term memory of kids, a quick in and out of presented data, that lasts no longer than is required to provide statistical evidence of learning makes sense. It provides the short-term sense of effective learning. But when the senses are fully engaged, what is learned makes greater sense to the child and has greater lasting effect. Hence, that which is learned hands-on by the doing of very real things in service to useful beauty and community makes greater sense, and in comparison anything less makes little sense at all.

Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

  1. Maybe a loose connection on the motherboard? The cable carrying the video feed could be loose at either end. Or something more serious like the video chip going bad.