MeisterTask

MeisterTask is a free project management tool which runs across all devices and so you are never limited as to when or where you can use it. It is also a tool where you can gather your own ideas and collaborate with others if you want to . Its closest competitors are Trello and Asana. It will import data from both of those. I use Trello frequently and haven’t yet tried importing anything into MeisterTask  because I have only just discovered it! The user interface is intuitive and well thought out. It is easy to follow, clear and the screen remains uncluttered. You know where your main tasks are, your checklists and then any comments you wished to add. It is an effective project management tool for anyone who has a specific task in mind . You can plan it out properly so that you can see all the steps from the first ideas, the ideas in progress and then a list of what you have already completed. All of that at a glance. You have to be able to easily identify the tasks you need to complete  and then put them through a clear process which you can see and MeisterTask does that for you. I really like it so far because there is a clarity there which I like and a process which I have adapted to quickly. There is a detailed review of it on projectmanagement.com.

 

 

DIY Raspberry Pi Game Boy Zero

I am a bit like one of the commenters under this video clip. I love watching videos like this but don’t think I could make one myself. I am just fascinated by how people can do things like this and how they go about it. Who would have thought of using a Raspberry Pi board to make your own version of a Game Boy? It’s a hands on thinking challenge. It is problem solving and creative. It also draws in the knowledge of others. Wermy has put his video up on YouTube to show others what he has done and then others have come in with their comments as to how the build could be improved. And that’s how you learn something in 2016. You make, share, show others and get feedback. The feedback can be rude and unhelpful but often someone will suggest something to move your skills and thinking forward. A project  video like this becomes an online learning community so that in the end there will be the best DIY Raspberry Pi Game Boy Zero ever. Skills and ideas sharing can be done very effectively on YouTube by using videos and getting effective comments which further promote ideas and thinking. Project based learning is something which has high audience appeal as well as involving the learner because it naturally creates thinking and puzzling situations. Part Two finishes the project off with the wiring.

Because we all need clipart

Technology

Image: Clipart Kid

We all need clipart from time to time. When I find a good site I put it on my blog . Clipart Kid has a lot of free, useful clipart. It clearly marks any clipart which is not for free use which is helpful. Sites need to be very clear what is free and what isn’t. The site also has some watermarked clipart which may or may not interest you. I like the approach where the boundaries are clear.

Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry

 

Whether you want to be doing and Inquiry or an Enquiry is up to you. I tend to think Inquiry is a formal research based investigation. The two spellings tend to be interchangeable these days. Most teachers would know about inquiry based learning and a lot of businesses and organisations would know about appreciative inquiry. Home schooling has favoured appreciative inquiry. The model is not just about effecting change in an organisation. It’s about creating a positive model to grow learning and knowledge and that in itself probably will stimulate change because you are working collaboratively to find solutions to problems and to build knowledge. Toby Elwin explains the principles really well in his blog post. Appreciative Inquiry  really isn’t just about changing organisations , though. It’s about changing knowledge and knowing. Where it reads corporate you could read your name, your family’s name, your class’s name:

AI seeks, fundamentally, to build a constructive union between a whole people and the massive entirety of what people talk about as past and present capacities: achievements, assets, unexplored potentials, innovations, strengths, elevated thoughts, opportunities, benchmarks, high point moments, lived values, traditions, strategic competencies, stories, expressions of wisdom, insights into the deeper corporate spirit or soul– and visions of valued and possible futures.

What is Appreciative Inquiry Commons

The image on this post comes from sidewaysthought and Chad Renando has a more personal look at the value  of appreciative inquiry :

I know which path I would take if I had to choose between two states of being: focusing on solving problems or reflecting on what is positive, aspiring towards a positive future, and identifying the most effective path to get there.

It’s about changing your frame of reference to a more positive approach. Looking at what is there and you already know. Finding out what you can from other sources. Working with others to look at the possibilities. Working out what is feasible and viable and then delivering on that.

From an education point of view Professor Louis Stoll published a detailed paper recently entitled Enhancing teaching and learning through enquiry-based collaborative R&D . It is available through your library or if you search Google you will find the link to the downloadable pdf file.  She discusses Inquiry from the point of view of leadership and pedagogy and in the end there are four areas of impact but you need to read the whole paper:

Appreciative Inquiry

Stoll, Louise & Centre for Strategic Education (Vic.) (issuing body.) 2015, Enhancing teaching and learning through enquiry-based collaborative R&D, East Melbourne, Victoria Centre for Strategic Education

 

The video explains it more from a business model perspective. Appreciative Inquiry is everywhere . It is how we need to be thinking about any approach to change, whether it’s organisational change, personal change or a change in knowledge brought about by learning. The Lutheran Education System has a lutheran-education-queensland-inquiry-based-learning broadsheet which gives an excellent overview of the inquiry based model and its links to the National Research Council and the Australian National Curriculum. If you make it an appreciative inquiry then the research is there to prove just what a powerful teaching and learning tool that is.

Little weekend maker projects

So what did you think? Shake the Future has put up 3 little DIY projects which involve recycling and has then asked for comments. If you read the comments there are some which are of no help. Other people have looked at the video and moved the ideas forward and offered some good suggestions. When you comment in a positive way, if someone asks for your opinion or help, then you allow yourself and others to grow ideas. I actually liked the fridge magnet project probably because it is cold and wet outside today and having the oven on would be a nice thing. I , too , thought he was going to turn the Rubrik’s cube into a clock. You can hear the disappointment that he didn’t . So who is going to make the Rubrik’s cube clock? The video has created impetus with that idea. Doing and sharing work. Doing and soliciting feedback work. It’s how some people use social media so their ideas create more ideas. They stimulate reactions and thoughts  in others and  gain valuable feedback to keep their own thoughts and projects moving along.

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