Penmanship

Master penman Jake Weidmann is an amazing teacher and student. His capacity to learn and apply his knowledge becomes self-evident. He is one of twelve master penmen in the world and he is 20 years younger than the others. He gives what he is doing his heart and soul and then puts in all the hours of application to be the shining light he is. He epitomises the art of learning, the art of knowing and now the art of teaching. This video can show us how someone can be encouraged to learn and know. The bottom line is commitment.

Old books as art

Like one of the commenters on this clip , I didn’t know whether to be disturbed or inspired by this. I was brought up with a huge respect for books and the knowledge and creativity they could bring to my life. As a mother I realised I had preached the message well when my daughter was horrified I was going to dispose of the blue Webster dictionary she had grown up with and we had always used and replace it by a brand , spanking new dictionary. The Webster now has a place of honour in her home. I do think we need to move on and I do think we need to move past paper. Some of these works of art are created from very old books which I would have thought had a cultural and archival value. Maybe not. Maybe we already have preserved other copies. If we move away from paper then we shall have all these excess books and to reinvent them into works of art which bring a clear artistic and cultural message is amazing and better than throwing them away. We do need to honour books. I was wondering what I’d do with my set of encyclopedias. Remember when we all thought someone was a genius because they had actually read the encyclopedia Britannica one volume at a time? Those people were revered. Can anyone read the whole of Google? These book artists , though, are making an interesting statement. They are not only very talented and imaginative they are making books spectacular for the visual messages they can now create. You can see more examples on the TED Ideas Gallery and decide where you stand.

ICT is priceless

Surprisingly, first world countries debate whether we should use ICT or not. Whether it would not be better to stay with books, paper and pens. We are surrounded by technology in the real world. Everything is being upgraded in terms of technology and we wonder if it is valid. Some teachers choose not to use it. If schools are not using technology they have been given then it needs to go to the SOS Children’s Communities , Kenya or India. There are hundreds of clips on YouTube showing us how ICT in places like that is giving women livable lives, saving their children and making a difference in their communities. Many of these communities revolve around a radio station. It is their technology and community hub. If people can get access to mobile technology they can then get the help they need. They can save their children, they can give birth safely, they can learn to read, write and broadcast their messages. It puts them in control of their pathways. We need ICT to educate our children appropriately for the 21st century and part of that will be fostering viable links with communities which need to deliver much needed help and education via mobile technology, satellite links, mobile connectivity. It is humbling when you watch these clips but also enlightening because it puts ICT in perspective. It’s life changing.

Old technology meets the new generation

This is funny but it is interesting in so many ways. The old gadgets are so familiar to me but so is the new way of doing things. I have mastered the old skills and the new ones. These children are looking to do that too but you can hear how in charge of the new technology they are. They seem to be modest, balanced, interested and full of good humour. These children have a good way of engaging with learning. Not just good. It’s impressive. In the typewriter scene you hear about how the  young boy creating his own story, The Lost Island. His ideas are complex and well thought out. In the mean time you watch the young girl become totally entranced with the typewriter and she is watching it all very closely. Ellen engages the children by talking to them, asking some natural questions and then using humour. We then watch a generational exchange of ideas and had the video gone on for longer some real learning and creativity would have occurred. It was connecting everyone’s knowledge and it was about collaborating. This video also demonstrates clearly that being on familiar ground makes you feel confident. The young boy exclaims how complicated an answering machine is but now he is ready to learn something new and the potential of it. Finding ways of generating curiosity and teaching content at the same time has been mastered well in this video. Everyone is learning and everyone is teaching. That’s how it works!

100 most subscribed Australian You Tube Channels

This is interesting, to say the least. The top 100 most subscribed You Tube Channels in Australia. As a teacher you need to be aware of the media influences and influencers and what local content is having an impact globally. You need neither like nor dislike it. You can value it or not as you choose. You are a teacher: an educator and education is about enlightening experiences and authentic learning. Sometimes you have to know what is currently holding society in its thrall so you can work a pathway to learning objectives though content delivery. Sometimes you need to know what the influences are so you can balance them by creating perspective and context. You Tube is a big influencer and our students spent a lot of time on it. I wonder how much? They used to come out with how much time students spent watching television and then playing games. I haven’t seen any information about how much time students spend on which internet sites.