Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Alameda Community Learning Centre

In my search for a real environment where students are truly self regulating their behaviour I stumbled across this video about the Alameda Community Learning Centre. There is a series of 5 videos on You Tube about this learning centre.

I truly believe these are the sort of schools we should be creating. Let's break down the barriers. Let's focus on learning and not on school as a structure.

Let's nurture life long learning!


Monday, 21 April 2008

What is twitter?

I am a twitter convert. Initially sceptical I now think that Twitter is a fantastic way to collaborate with others who have the same interests as you.

Twitter is a type of microblogging i.e. blogging on a smaller scale.

You find some people who you would like to follow and everytime they post a comment on their twitter page it appears on your page.

You may start by following only 2 or 3 people and then looking at who they are following and following those people that you think are posting interesting conversation on twitter.

The following video gives a great description of twitter.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Curosity Questioning Creativity

Curiosity breeds questions. Questions breed creativity.

All fits in with the idea of generation C ... the creative generation.

Some more food for thought from TED ... Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

Monday, 14 April 2008

Does a Wii mote make an IWB?

Who needs the pay top dollar for an interactive whiteboard when you can get the same results with a $40 remote control.

I discovered this guy, Johnny Lee on the net a while ago and have tried the software he has so cleverly written together with my wii remote (Yes we own a nintendo wii). Initially the whole thing was very experimental ... But now it’s being taken quite seriously by the world and Johnny Lee has been invited to TED to present his work.

The video only goes for about 5 minutes and is well worth a look

Hey while we wait for the decision makers to go through the process of identifying a supplier for interactive whiteboards we would be able to set these up in every single classroom at fraction of the cost.

At $40 a piece for the wii remotes it makes the idea of interactive whiteboards in every classroom more palatable ... Even to me ... $40 being about the right price for what is effectively another input device (instead of thousands).

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Saturday, 12 April 2008

will computer games take the place of books?

I've just returned from the Children's Literature Festival held in the beautiful grounds of the Norman Lindsay Gallery, Faulconbridge.

Numerous authors held workshops, story reading sessions for both children and adults. They spoke about the creative process - How they come up with ideas for books, what inspires them, whoe their favourite authors are, when did they start writing, what do they do when they get writers block.

Together with my son, I spent the whole day without technology. We browsed books. Walked through the gallery gardens. The closest we got to technology was the gas barbaque that cooked our sausages for lunch.

The interesting thing about the day was the various views that these authors had about the roll of computer games in literacy. Are computer games a type of literary text?

Although I love sitting down with a great book and would be disappointed if my children and grand children missed that experience ... I started to question whether this mode of expression will ever be 'digitised' and whether the experience of a digitised text would be as rich as that of reading a good book.

With a digitised text you would be in control of the plight of the characters. Every time you read the story there would be a different ending.

This raised another question in my mind. What is the purpose of reading a book for pleasure. Is it to get into someone elses world. To empathise with another's feelings. To experience their experiences and in the process reflect and learn more about yourself?

With a digitised text would this side of reading be missed as we become the creators of the content?

At which point is there too much content out there in the ether? Will we provide ways of determining with voices get heard above others and what is quality content?

Many questions to ponder. Some may not even be answered in our lifetime. As for me I'll leave the thinking for another day and go to bed curled up with a good book for now.