Louis Lafair

Austin, TX, United States

Someone is shy

Louis hasn't completed a profile. Should we look for some other people?

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

170121
Louis Lafair
Posted about 2 years ago
Annotating TED Talks: A New Platform for Interacting with "Ideas Worth Spreading"
For the most part, texts on the platform remain open to annotations. However, it's possible to "publish" a text and to limit the number of additional annotations. With the annotation platform, we're able to break down specific lines from a talk. For example, in "10 top time-saving tech tips," David Pogue mentions a shortcut that allows you to skip the voicemail instructions. A user can then annotate that specific line with how the shortcut changes based on which phone carrier you use (http://news.rapgenius.com/1714469). It's not an official extension to TED. Instead, it's a separate platform that's well-suited to annotating TED Talks.
170121
Louis Lafair
Posted about 2 years ago
Truths and Facts. Does Science prove anything?
"I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I'm not absolutely sure about anything." - Richard Feynman Science can prove theories wrong by showing that they don't agree with experiment. However, science can never definitively prove anything right - it's always possible to come along and show that a theory is wrong, that an experiment doesn't agree.
170121
Louis Lafair
Posted over 3 years ago
What is your favourite quote and why?
“If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original.” -Sir Ken Robinson I also really love this quote because it demonstrates how the willingness to take risks is a vital component of creativity.
170121
Louis Lafair
Posted over 3 years ago
What is your favourite quote and why?
"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today." -James Dean "I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something." -Steve Jobs These quotes really put life into perspective by highlighting two things: 1) You should dream big. 2) Since you only have limited time, you should make sure that you're happy with how you spend that time.
170121
Louis Lafair
Posted over 3 years ago
Should public schools in the United States eliminate the traditional A to F grading scale? And if so, what assessment do we replace it with?
As a high school student, everything you've said rings incredibly true. As my math teacher phrased it, we're been taught to simply "learn school" instead of to foster a lifelong love of learning. In the focus on grades, which are often ambiguous and not at all indicative of an individual's abilities, students tend to overlook that grades are simply numbers and that what really matters is the development of critical thinking and creativity. Here's an incredible article I recently read on this topic: http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/fdtd-g.htm (It's by Alfie Kohn and was originally published in "High School Magazine" in March 1999.) These are the major points from the article that I believe are a great summary of the dilemma with grades: "1. Grades tend to reduce students’ interest in the learning itself... 2. Grades tend to reduce students’ preference for challenging tasks... 3. Grades tend to reduce the quality of students’ thinking... 4. Grades aren’t valid, reliable, or objective... 5. Grades distort the curriculum... 6. Grades waste a lot of time that could be spent on learning... 7. Grades encourage cheating... 8. Grades spoil teachers’ relationships with students... 9. Grades spoil students’ relationships with each other." The article continues by refuting common objections to replacing grades and by discussing routes to reform. I strongly suggest reading it to whoever's at all interested in the education system of today. I myself, as well as many of my current teachers with whom I've discussed this topic, believe that, although far more time intensive, replacing grades with some form of comment feedback would be significantly more beneficial to students and conducive to learning as a whole.
170121
Louis Lafair
Posted over 3 years ago
In your opinion, what should the purpose of education be?
I'm currently a high school student, and in my experience, this is a vital question that students themselves often overlook because of the emphasis on grades and college. Education is supposed to prepare us for the future, but with the rapid acceleration of technology and our changing world, we can hardly expect to predict what the future holds or where it will take us. What education can and should do is teach us to learn, adapt, analyze, and ponder; the only way we can face the challenges of tomorrow is by developing a lifelong love of learning, so that, when the time comes, we can acquire whatever skills may be necessary to pursue whichever path we choose. Education must instill in us the desire and curiosity to explore these challenges. Education shouldn't be viewed as an isolated entity, but should instead open our eyes to learning as a lifelong pursuit.