Another wonderful sound-bite from Sir Ken Robinson:
” A great gardener, a great farmer, depends upon plants growing under their care, otherwise they’re out of business. But the irony is that every farmer and gardener knows you cannot make a plant grow. You cannot do that – you don’t stick the roots on, paint the petals, attach the leaves, you know. The plant grows itself. What you do is provide the conditions for growth. Great farmers know what the conditions are and bad ones don’t. Great teachers know what the conditions of growth are, and bad ones don’t. With bad teaching all this potential of students shrivels in the face of it. With great teaching all this stuff starts to flourish and flower. And that, to me, is the great gift of teaching: to recognise that growth is possible, at any time.”
Earlier this year I was invited to contribute to a guide for teachers on the flipped classroom, concentrating on the inclusion, or rather availability, of video to increase student engagement (flipped classroom or not).
This is what I wrote:
“Believe it or not YouTube has only just turned 10 years old. Yes, that’s right. So much has changed in that time that it’s often easy to forget just what the rate of change has been. Video has always been something that could be used in classrooms or for teaching and learning, but it was often a bulky CRT television on a trolley, with a VHS player and a multitude of knotted cables that the teacher could never unravel to get it near the wall socket. Therefore, in my experience, my teachers often gave up and tried something else instead. Not only was the actual technology / hardware itself difficult to use, the materials we were shown would be old programmes, not always relevant or interesting, and more often than not of poor quality that only a few in the class would be able to see and hear it properly.
You know I like sketching and sketchnotes, yes? If you do too, whether you realise the full benefit of doodling for pleasure instead of doodling out of boredom, then you’ll love this TED talk from Sunni Brown – Doodlers, unite!
As usual, here are some choice extracts from the talk, ones I like.
“I spend a lot of timeteaching adults how to use visual languageand doodling in the workplace.And naturally, I encounter a lot of resistance,because it’s considered to be anti-intellectualand counter to serious learning.But I have a problem with that belief,because I know that doodling has a profound impacton the way that we can process informationand the way that we can solve problems.”
“Here’s what I believe.I think that our cultureis so intensely focused on verbal informationthat we’re almost blinded to the value of doodling.And I’m not comfortable with that.And so because of that belief that I think needs to be burst,I’m here to send us all hurtling back to the truth.And here’s the truth:doodling is an incredibly powerful tool,and it is a tool that we need to remember and to re-learn.” – Sunni Brown
Back to work after a week or so off? Need a little motivation? This will help … I know so many creative and unique talents in the learning technology ‘industry’ that we all need this little pick-me-up once in a while.
If the student voice has so much power, as I keep reading that it does (when it comes to module feedback, learning resource development, pricing, etc.) then it stands to reason that the voice of students yet to reach Higher Education also have a voice that should be heard?
This is a great video, students and staff alike, saying what their ‘digital age’ education should be … note the accessible, flexible, personal, social, and collaborative attitudes these students ‘want’ from their learning. Yes, they’re talking about what HE should be in the future, but it’s grounded in their understanding in what is currently available, and possibly what they wish they had already?
“I see technology as the accelerator, the expander, the multiplier.”
This post is a slight detour from my usual educational technology based around use and uses in higher education, but this video from Charles Jennings of the Internet Time Alliance does have impact and relevance to those of us working and supporting higher education.
In it Charles talks about workplace learning and how much is retained at different times: “any one of us will forget about half of what we’ve been told within an hour of being told it, unless we have the opportunity to put that into practice within that hour.”
So, what do think happens to students who sit through an hour lecture? Charles talks about informal learning and the benefits over a formal structured class (with tests) on workplace learning. If we think about the College or University as the ‘workplace’ then are we fulfilling our obligation to provide adequate learning environments for the students (and their own personal learning styles)? Continue reading →
Here’s a great video for this Friday afternoon: ‘the innovation of loneliness’. What is the connection between social networks and being lonely? The …
“…idea, that we will never have to be alone, is central to changing our psyches. It’s shaping a new way of being; the best way to describe it is “I share, therefore I am”. We use technology to define ourselves by sharing our thoughts and feelings even as we’re having them. Furthermore, we’re faking experiences so we’ll have something to share. So we can feel alive.”
“The size of a small cauliflower, the human brain is the most complex organ in your body. It squeezes out 70,000 thoughts a day. But where does it store information? And how does it generate flights of fancy? Explore the inner workings of your personal ideas factory.”
This video posted to The Guardian ‘extreme learning’ section is a great introduction to “how your brain works” (and therefore learns).
Sorry, the video isn’t embedded but if you click it it will take you to The Guardian website where you watch the short video.