I'm compiling notes for a presentation entitled Getting The Most Out Of Your Digital Projector (I know. Really catchy.) the main thrust of which is that my instruction has never been happier than when I made friends with:
- A digital projector, and
- A laptop.
One reason why:
The story goes that during World War II, Allied pilots were taking a beating. There was a very limited supply of retrofitting armor at the time so the Allies hired a statistician to determine where and how they might best allocate it.
The statistician took a top- and right-view diagram of the planes out to a runaway and watched the planes land. He marked a dot wherever he saw bullet holes and came back with something like the slide below. [cf. Abraham Wald's original study.]
So after you tell your class that story and after you show that slide, you ask the question, "Where would you put the armor?"
You insert the question real quick and you turn your inflection up at the end like it's just a quick set-up for the real question when in fact, nah, this is the only question.
They walk right into it and tell you they'd attach the armor where all those dots are clustered.
Then you tell 'em, "Nah, see, mister statistician put the armor where you don't see dots."
And I tell you: there isn't any correlation between the age of the student and how long it takes her to figure out why.
See, I first told that story last year. I happened upon it 'cause some friend linked to some other blogger who linked to it out of someone's del.icio.us feed.
Basically there was no way I'd ever find it again this year. I mean, maybe I'd remember the story but odds are slim I'd relocate that image again if not for the fact that my lightweight presentation files (a few megabytes per week) let me save every fun thing I've ever shared with my class. Forever.
And now this year, the same friend links to kottke who links to waxy via boing boing who gives up some other cool thing to share with my class. And suddenly I've got two awesome thought-provocations to spread over two days.
How long until I have 180 provocations for every day of the school year? No way to tell but given how happily my laptop and digital projector play together, I can only surmise: not very.
[Updated: to add a citation link to the source (courtesy Tim) and to clarify for anyone who thought I was claiming authorship for this anecdote or the illustration, I wasn't. This post was explicitly about effective storage of found online resources.]
[Updated again: to add a link to Abraham Wald's original study.]
For Your Consideration: