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random number generator


Posted by Teacher in Need on June 23, 2001 12:36 PM

I'm taking a course in which one of our assignments is
to create a spreadsheet that includes a random number
generator that performs a useful function for the
spreadsheet. I'm a teacher. I use excel for budgets,
I could use it for grades, but why would I want a
random number and for what would I use it? When I
posed this question to the instructor he said to find
out. Real helpful. Anyone know what I could use it
for? (keep it clean!)


Posted by Ben O. on June 23, 2001 1:06 PM

I haven't used random numbers personally, but I would think they'd be useful for simulation purposes. If you had a strategy for betting on a random event, such as a game of roulette, you could use random numbers to simulate the results and test your strategy.

-Ben

Posted by Joe Was on June 24, 2001 11:13 AM

Using random numbers in the class room;

Set up a sheet with all the students names on it.
Add additional sheets for "Team1" and "Team2."
Have your code remove half the students from the master list, using a selection by random number test and place them on the "Team1" sheet, then copy the remaining students to the "Team2" sheet.

Then re-order the class room into the two teams.
Run a "Subject Challenge." Answer correctly stay where you are, answer incorrectly move to the back of the class room.

It works with spelling real well and lends to other subjects as well.

Each time you run the application, you get a unique list of students for teams 1 & 2. Students don't like to always be in: A through K or K through W, Even seated or odd seated or any other non random selected group.

A simple random number selection utility is used where, random drug testing is allowed.

It can also be used for any function where only one or a few students are needed; like: feeding the class pet.

Each week have a student write an essay and read it to the class. Select the student assignment order by your random student list!

The class room uses for a random selection; are only limited by the imagination, creativity and resourcefulness of the instructor! I am glad to see a future instructor ask for help with a concept they don't understand rather than dismiss it like so many other people often do. By asking a question like the one here you have elevated yourself to an elite class of instructor. Keep up the good work! JSW

Posted by Joe Was on June 24, 2001 11:40 AM

Now for the dark side;

I hope you are just becoming a teacher and are just now being trained. Your class instructor seems to know something else you don't?
How to get a student to learn. The instructor got you to go that extra step. Good for the instructor, good for you! Is that not how we learn?
If teachers only answer questions, regurgitate the current excepted dogma and preach to the class. May someone else help the students!

The best teacher is the one who best traps the students into learning for themselves. The best teacher is the teacher who builds the best traps. We learn best when we find the answers ourselves!
I fear you have been a teach by rote, teacher. The hope is that you are now taking your first steps towards real teaching.

Your role in the class room is an awesome responsibility, the future is in your hands; do we want the students to become robotic - factory - laborers or constructive - creative - leaders?

The choice is yours? JSW

Posted by Aladin Akyurek on June 24, 2001 12:24 PM

The ennemies of Socrates

JOE

BRAVO. YOU HIT A SENSITIVE NERVE OF MINE.

ARE YOU THAT MUCH SURE THAT'S THE (ONLY) WAY WE LEARN?

"regurgitate the current excepted dogma and preach..."

BEAUTIFUL PROSE. EINSTEIN I SUPPOSE DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT NEWTONIAN DOGMA. HE DIDN'T HAVE TEACHERS "regurgitating" NEWTON OR MATHS TO HIM.

May someone else help the students!

OH, SURE. THAT "someone else" DOESN'T COUNT AS TEACHER OF COURSE.

AGREE. THAT WOULD BE NICE. HOWEVER, THE LOGISTICS & THE REQUIREMENTS ARE HEAVY. I WONDER IF FEYNMAN WOULD FIT THE DESCRIPTION.

We learn best when we find the answers ourselves!

ARE YOU THAT CERTAIN?

LETS SAY THAT ONE NEEDS TO KNOW/LEARN X[1]...X[N] WHERE N IS LARGE ENOUGH. ONCE YOU MASTERED THIS SET, YOU'LL GET ITS CLOSURE WHICH IS A MUCH BIGGER SET (THE GOAL, ONE MIGHT SAY).

TRY TO COMPUTE THE TIME A LEARNER WHO MUST FIND THE ANSWER HIMSELF OR HERSELF WILL NEED. TRY TO DO THE SAME COMPUTATION FOR A LEARNER THAT IS SUBJECTED TO A "regurgigator/preacher".

I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT MOVES YOU TO MAKE SUCH BOLD STATEMENTS. ONLY PIECE THAT IS AVAILABLE TO YOU IS THE FOLLOWING THAT "Teacher in Need" HAS WROTE DOWN: " I'm a teacher. I use excel for budgets, I could use it for grades, but why would I want a random number and for what would I use it?" IT AMAZES ME THAT THIS MUCH SEEMS TO BE SUFFICIENT FOR YOU TO CONCLUDE THE WAY YOU DO.

?

Regards.

Posted by Joe Was on June 24, 2001 5:48 PM

Re: The ennemies of Socrates

Aladin;
I agree with your edit.

And must say that I have enjoyed your code on this board.

I too have a senitive nerve with education.
That is why I divided my responce into two parts and you did respond to the "Dark side."

Yes I did only have limited information.
Yes it is a danger to work with only some of the information. The "Dark side" was based on the feeling found in: "When I posed this question to the instructor he said to find out. Real helpful. Anyone know what I could use it for?"
It brought up all sorts of bad feelings about education.

In my experience only one in thirty teachers are break through teachers. A fact,which saddens me deeply. After thirteen years of graduate education and fifteen years in the work place I can only remember a few teachers having a profound affect, saddened again. It was interesting to note how a teacher being taught, responded. Thus, the need for two responses.

After countless instructors who punched a time clock and recited the packaged curriculum and made students suffer for not marching in line.

It is a wonder we all don't walk around with a begging bowl in or hands, chanting: "The answer, please!"

Every day is a fight against the inclination towards and the trap in waiting for someone to supply the answer. It is worthwhile work to ask the questions, search out the answers and dare to not follow the herd mentality. Boards like this one are great when all wlse fails. Thanks. JSW
: How to get a student to learn. The instructor got you to go that extra step. Good for the instructor, good for you! Is that not how we learn?

No, but if we dig on our own what we find becomes our own. That which is our own and that which we share become more permanent. JSW

In the right hands dogma can pose the real questions. Sadly though dogma often becomes its own answer. Einstein knew enough to see Newtonian physics did not describe the world he was seeing. But then again he was Einstein. How many of us can wear his shoes? JSW
One of the best way to learn ourselves is to teach. One of the best ways to learn is to go to the source for answers we best understand. Learning is a skill and a talent, just like teaching. JSW

Yes, like when we use this board. Time and logistics require that we sometimes require that second set of eyes. JSW

Seeing Feynman teach was a mix, when he was on a roll he painted a beautiful picture. When brass tacks were needeed, he was as boring as the rest. But, oh the wonderful traps that man could weave! JSW

Closure is is the light deep down in the essence of our understanding. It is what we truely own! If it comes on the back of a multitude of steps or all at once, it becomes real when we say "I." I see it now. I know it now. I found it. Why did I not see it before? JSW

If you teach one student to memorize a list of access codes. And teach another student to decipher access codes. And then test them on the list given to the student taught to memorize. The memorizing student will answer quicker and take less time to teach. But give them a real life test without a list and the student taught to decipher will get the answer faster every time. So in a way regurgitation does have its place. JSW

My response was soley based upon: "When I posed this question to the instructor he said to find out. Real helpful. Anyone know what I could use it for?"

It smacked of a response made by a mind set in; "Here do this." Rather than, "What can we use this for..." And triggered the separate "Dark side" response, separate because I hoped I was wrong! JSW

We have a choice in life, do we develop the tools to have a grasp on how each new piece of information fits into the whole of everything that has come before. Or, do we develop the tools to bring the new thing out into the open, for the other camp to academically review?
To be successful we must spend most of our time on one side or the other. The world is too big and too complex to have it all. It is harder to create that to critique, so more people critique. It is harder to create new jobs, so most people learn what is needed to do a job and seldom more. With this in mind education is more concerned with supplying the world with needed, rote minded people. But, every so often a "constructive - creative - leader" escapes. JSW

A Note: This dialog is an open attempt at helping and was not intended to offend, belittle or condescend any of the involved parties.

Code - on and be excellent to one another. JSW

Regards. :

Posted by The Teacher on June 24, 2001 7:17 PM

Re: The ennemies of Socrates

Dear Joe, Thanks for trying to be helpful. I can
select students at random without the use of a $1000
machine. You have the students write their name
on a POPSICKLE STICK at the beginning of the year.
Then you put the sticks in a big plastic cup. Instantly
you have am excellent method for random selection.
The low tech solution is also better because you don't
have to wait for it to boot up and you don't have to
assign numbers to students each time you need a
random selection. The stick is always ready. I sure
hope that is not what my instructor is looking for,
because it is a waste of time.
Now part two.
Your answer was arrogant, condescending, and presumptuous.
To play at your game (using very little information)
I can assume you have never stepped into a classroom as a
teacher or you are a university professor who has
started believing the stuff he shovels.
I am an adult with adult responsibilities. I do
not have time to play games guessing at what the
instructor wants me to learn. He is wasting my time
of which I have very little. The first rule in
education is respect your students. This instructor
is playing with his power, NOT trying to create a
learning opportunity.
As for my teaching style, you have no idea how fabulous
I am. My students adore me. I'm sorry you didn't have
teachers that inspired you, you would have loved me.
My speciality is arrogant gifted kids.
The Teacher

Aladin,
thanks, nice job! Aladin; I agree with your edit. And must say that I have enjoyed your code on this board. I too have a senitive nerve with education. That is why I divided my responce into two parts and you did respond to the "Dark side." Yes I did only have limited information. Yes it is a danger to work with only some of the information. The "Dark side" was based on the feeling found in: "When I posed this question to the instructor he said to find out. Real helpful. Anyone know what I could use it for?" It brought up all sorts of bad feelings about education. In my experience only one in thirty teachers are break through teachers. A fact,which saddens me deeply. After thirteen years of graduate education and fifteen years in the work place I can only remember a few teachers having a profound affect, saddened again. It was interesting to note how a teacher being taught, responded. Thus, the need for two responses. After countless instructors who punched a time clock and recited the packaged curriculum and made students suffer for not marching in line. It is a wonder we all don't walk around with a begging bowl in or hands, chanting: "The answer, please!" Every day is a fight against the inclination towards and the trap in waiting for someone to supply the answer. It is worthwhile work to ask the questions, search out the answers and dare to not follow the herd mentality. Boards like this one are great when all wlse fails. Thanks. JSW : JOE : BRAVO. YOU HIT A SENSITIVE NERVE OF MINE.

Posted by Joe Was on June 25, 2001 6:57 AM

Missed the point !

Sorry, for the tangent, education is important. This board is seldom used for opinion. Its a code board.

Once again you missed the point. I hope the instructor views your; names on a stick idea as extra credit.

Dear Joe, Thanks for trying to be helpful. I can select students at random without the use of a $1000 machine. You have the students write their name on a POPSICKLE STICK at the beginning of the year. Then you put the sticks in a big plastic cup. Instantly you have am excellent method for random selection. The low tech solution is also better because you don't have to wait for it to boot up and you don't have to assign numbers to students each time you need a random selection. The stick is always ready. I sure hope that is not what my instructor is looking for, because it is a waste of time. Now part two. Your answer was arrogant, condescending, and presumptuous. To play at your game (using very little information) I can assume you have never stepped into a classroom as a teacher or you are a university professor who has started believing the stuff he shovels. I am an adult with adult responsibilities. I do not have time to play games guessing at what the instructor wants me to learn. He is wasting my time of which I have very little. The first rule in education is respect your students. This instructor is playing with his power, NOT trying to create a learning opportunity. As for my teaching style, you have no idea how fabulous I am. My students adore me. I'm sorry you didn't have teachers that inspired you, you would have loved me. My speciality is arrogant gifted kids. The Teacher Aladin, thanks, nice job! : Aladin; I agree with your edit. : And must say that I have enjoyed your code on this board. : I too have a senitive nerve with education. : That is why I divided my responce into two parts and you did respond to the "Dark side." : Yes I did only have limited information. : Yes it is a danger to work with only some of the information. The "Dark side" was based on the feeling found in: "When I posed this question to the instructor he said to find out. Real helpful. Anyone know what I could use it for?" : It brought up all sorts of bad feelings about education. : In my experience only one in thirty teachers are break through teachers. A fact,which saddens me deeply. After thirteen years of graduate education and fifteen years in the work place I can only remember a few teachers having a profound affect, saddened again. It was interesting to note how a teacher being taught, responded. Thus, the need for two responses. : After countless instructors who punched a time clock and recited the packaged curriculum and made students suffer for not marching in line. : It is a wonder we all don't walk around with a begging bowl in or hands, chanting: "The answer, please!" : Every day is a fight against the inclination towards and the trap in waiting for someone to supply the answer. It is worthwhile work to ask the questions, search out the answers and dare to not follow the herd mentality. Boards like this one are great when all wlse fails. Thanks. JSW