Today I walked in the foot steps of my ancestors!

Today I had the chance to step back in time. Although the grave stones are long gone I visited the cemetery where my Great Great Great Great Grandfather William Pearson (Died 26 April 1800),  my Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather Samuel Pearson (Died 08 January 1790), my Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather John Stedham (Died 1765), and my Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandmother Mary Smith (Died 30 October 1780) were buried. This visit was a bucket list item for a long time for me.IMG_3335

Crazy busy week

As we get close to take off day for Florida, there are so many things to get done. This week We finished up the new deck for the top of the van. That video is rendering out now and will be up soon. I will be able to mount my camp box up there. We also finished off wiring the solar panels and made screens for the windows. Defiantly a priority as we get ready to head south.

Solar Finally Going On!

Over the weekend, we got a ton of stuff done and it was warm enough to wire in the solar panels. That video will be coming soon. But here is the video for installing the WindyNation 200 watt solar panel kit. Sorry, it took so long I had some camera issues to over come.

You can find it on my YouTube channel.

WindyNation 200 Watt 12V or 24V Solar Panel Kit w/ Adjustable Solar Mount Rack and LCD Charge Controller RV, Cabin, Off-Grid Battery

Busy weekend, but productive

This weekend, we got the solar panels mounted on the van, look for that video soon. Also, replaced a bad cable running from my alternator to my battery bank. Then to top it off I was able to save a about a $180 on van maintenance, using Seafoam. You can look for that video coming soon as well. And of course the deep cycle battery testing continues, things are looking good on that front.

 

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Started testing on Pulsetech PowerPulse

This evening I started testing  the Pulsetech PowerPulse on a new battery. The battery is a deep cycle Marine battery, just purchased from Walmart. The battery had an initial voltage of 12.69, but testing with the hydrometer showed 2 week cells. I placed the Pulsetech PowerPulse on the battery tonight and will let it run 24 hours. Then I recharge and test the voltage it will hold.

The entire idea behind this testing is to see if I can improve a weak battery and then test this on 2 other batteries weaker. This will be done in later testing. Stay tuned for updates on this testing. Then down the road you can expect a video of the entire process on my YouTube channel.

Such a nice day out!

I can’t believe it has been more than a year since I have posted. So much has happened and I didn’t even share. For those that don’t know I have been building out a CamperVan. I got a Dodge B3500 Cargo van, it is rough, but getting there. I did quite a bit last spring and summer with the conversion. You can find those videos on my YouTube channel. And I have taken it to Nashville, Chattanooga, and New Orleans. Lots planned for the up coming year. Soon I will be off to the Florida keys. But much to do in getting ready.

Here in Wisconsin it has been so cold and my project list is full. My solar panels are here and ready to go on the van as soon as it is warm, I also want to put a new deck on top and a camp storage box, so look for those videos coming soon.

I wanted to share the letter I sent to my US Senator.

I have great concerns over Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education and here is what I sent my Senator.

To the Honorable Senator Johnson,

I have been a life long Republican and put my first GOP sign up in 3rd grade. I have lived in Wisconsin for 15 years now and have been proud to vote for you a couple times. I am writing to express my concern over Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. I believe this person has no qualifications to serve in this role. I have worked in Higher Education for more than 20 years and I do see a need for change in both the K12 system and Higher Education. I do believe that placing a person in the role of Secretary of Education with no personal experience with public education is a mistake.

I do support both Charter Schools and Voucher programs, both can be a benefit to a number of students. But I don’t believe these are the solutions to our struggling education systems. Much better examples of educational reform can be found in the ideas presented by Jeb Bush or Sir Ken Robins.

Further, I believe her views on main streaming students with disabilities will hamper the improvement of the public classroom. I say this as a person with dyslexia and having spent a great deal of time in special education classes. Teachers in the classroom already struggle to engage our best students when they are contently trying to help those struggling. Placing more students in a classroom that require even more attention will further hinder those students at the top and wishing to be challenged.

One final thought and I quote Benjamin Franklin “Genius without education is like silver in a mine.” I believe a vote for Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education is a vote squash the potential and the dreams of the genius that exists in our public school systems. Thank you for your excellent representation.

Thank you for your time,
Russel Pearson

15 Questions To Ask About Tech Integration In Your Classroom

*this blog was originally published at TeachThought PD

by Drew Perkins, Director of TeachThought PD

For professional development around integrating technology in your school visit our technology integration workshops page.

As I watched Christmas, and the corresponding break from school for my daughters, come and go I was reminded of the fun that technology toys can provide. I was gifted the new Google Home device and it’s quite entertaining for my daughters to ask it to make funny sounds, play silly games, set timers, and even ask it for help on their homework. For me it’s a great way to start my day asking it to tell me the news or play music throughout the house.

Read here

First thoughts on Abundance: The future is better than you think

Book by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler

Today I stated reading “Abundance: The future is better than you think”. It has been on my reading list for awhile.  As I read through this book, I will post some of my thoughts and take a ways. As I began reading about the possibilities of a planet where there is an abundance of resources for everyone, it was the mental hurdles we face that struck me. It seems that the same things that hold us back on believing in an abundant society are the same hurdles we face daily when dealing with all kinds of situations.

Heuristics are cognitive shortcuts, time saving, energy saving rules of thumb that allow us to simplify the decision making process. In social psychology these show up when we assign probabilities like evaluating the possibility that a suspect is armed. The first thing the brain does is check it’s database for known situations and examples. The ease of access of this information is known as the availability heuristic and leads to increased perception of the probability.

Heuristics are an essential tool in decision making when we have limited information, limited time to respond and limited mental resources available. Although on average this process of decision making can be very effective, there are times when it can lead to severe errors in judgment. There are a number of cognitive biases that can impact our decisions. Among the most powerful is the conformation bias. This is the bias where we unconsciously search out information that tends to confirm or support what we already think or believe. Then there are biases like anchoring, where we tend to focus too much on one piece of information.

These biases and others work in tandem to affect our decisions and thoughts. When combined with our tendencies to be local optimists and global pessimists this can lead to even bigger problems. This means we tend to seriously overestimate our abilities and significantly under estimate the world at large.

Which comes first? Pedagogy or technology?

Miranda picks up on a common point around the combination of technology and pedagogy with this post titled Pedagogy First then Technology. I disagree. If you have to think in simple sequential terms, then I think pedagogy should be the last consideration, not the first. The broader problem though is our tendency to want limit ourselves to the sequential

Here’s why.