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Archive for the month “October, 2011”

One small step in creativity

Last week I had the opportunity (almost missed it) to participate in an Elluminate presentation by Russell Schoen. I actually enjoyed this interactive session in which we had to figure out what type of creative thinkers we are , and what methods work best when it comes to unleashing individual creativeness. I was inspired. So much so, that after the session ended I was brainstorming ways to incorporate these methods on a daily basis while educating my children. I wanted to get started immediately, but how?

I sat on my bed staring at my aquarium surrounded by house plants, and daydreamed. Then realized, wait the rug is wet.  Wonderful, now the carpet was soaked. It turns out that while rearranging my room and moving my 5 gallon aquarium yet again, an old crack had finally opened up( the tank is acrylic and belonged to my brother). After moving the two goldfish to a fish bowl, I wondered what to do with the tank and gravel. I did not want to throw it away because it looked useful. I wandered around my room a bit until my eyes rested upon a pack of lettuce seeds that I never got to plant this summer. An idea was hatched. I’d add a layer of soiled over the gravel, there was a trace of water under that, so I planted the seeds. Two days later, with the aid of the aquarium light, the seeds sprouted, much to the astonishment of my children. My 10 yr. old was so fascinated that I found some pepper and flower seeds and let him throw those in. Would you believe that everyone walks into my room, and peers into the tanks to check the seedlings? ( ok so I do it too) I do not understand what the big deal is , we have gardened for years so watching seeds turn into an edible plant is not new.

So, that was my trial in creativity, lettuce seeds in a tank. Now onto something bigger……


Sometimes We Forget


Transliteracy… What if…

So I have been reading  and watching You Tube videos in an attempt to understand transliteracy.  From what I have come to understand, it is simply the ability to learn from a variety of methods and resources. For more educational purposes there is this definition- “Transliteracy is the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks”. –  Sounds more professional.  Yes, in this world where we can press a button and speak to someone on the other side of the world, and even those who are not ( astronauts), transliteracy is a requirement. Even for those who “live off the grid”, unless you are Amish, you may have to press a button or enter a code when interacting with the rest of our highly connected society.

Experiments are being conducted in schools where electronic classrooms are quickly becoming the norm. Some schools are completed wired, the students all have laptops instead of textbooks, and I saw one experiment last year where students were given tablets that are connected to Khan Academy instead of mathbooks.  I think that it is crucial that a teacher or student can use any resource available to teach or learn. At the same time I believe in the 3r’s. I have taught students who did not grasp multiplication concepts  via computer animations, hands- on materials, or pen and paper. What did I do? I pulled out a Pilot Arithmatic mathbook printed in 1832 and took the lesson back to the basics “3 fives are 15 , plus one” , and so on. Oral repetition, it worked and helped reinforce the lesson for the few students who needed reinforcement.

All of this research on transliteracy and  metaliteracy has caused me wonder, what would happen if the Great Plug of Connectivity were to be pulled instantly and indefinitely?

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