Friday, February 16, 2007

It has been a while.

I feel guilty that I haven' t blogged lately. My reports are due on Monday, family is coming into town and I am in the midst of basketball season.

I feel like the cat in the hat doing his stuff on a ball. Oh that fish......

Here are some notes that I would like to share. Jeanne and I started a collaborative project but she had to shut hers down because all the wikis were being filtered in her school. That was a real drag. It was a good start and taught me some valuable lessons about having backup plans. We will try to collaborate again using google docs and some open ended questions.

Jeanne and I created a wiki about using google video and youtube in your classroom. One of the biggest hassles has been gettng access to these educational tools.

Two recent posts have been added to the wiki. Here they are

From M Guhlin's

Online FLV Converter : Download online videos direct to PC / iPod / PSP. It's free!

Here is another It is called Save Tube. It looks pretty simple. Cut and paste and you have the youtube saved on your desktop without much hastle.

I read 2 great posts on Ewan McGregors blog about the acceptance of Failure and its importance. I have so many kids that do not want to fail so they do not even start projects that are given to them. They want the answers not how to get to the answers.

David Law of Speck Design gave a presentation. From reading Ewan's post here is the gist of it
  • first failure cool stuff isn't easy to come up with the time
  • second failure be creative but link it to reality
  • third failure you can't have it all
  • fourth failure fail fast fail frugal fail again
  • fifth failure don't get me to get obvious advantage
  • sixth failure keep your credibility
This is a business model. How does this relate to education
This is right from Ewan's post...
1 . Cool stuff: we constantly put ourselves under pressure to come up with cool entertaining stuff to get the kids educated better, deeper, wider or in a more motivating way. We're never going to get that all the time, so is it worth investing more energy in one or two big projects where we can see a feasible sign of success?

2. Link it to reality: so many projects to effect educational change don't offer a hook to what we do at the moment. Unless we can hook onto reality of today we can't expect to make a success of the unknown of tomorrow. School 2.0? Let's work our way there through all the 0.1s first.

3. You can't have it all: We can't have huge innovation in broadband overnight without huge cost. Spending money in one area means another suffers. Do you want high speed with no means to publish or a means to publish which is a bit sluggish in school? We'll always have to make that choice - nothing will change.

4. Fail fast, fail frugal, fail again: I'm not convinced the public sector allows us to do this. Projects are generally funded (saying you just want to do a project with no funding means the project is not taken seriously), and sometimes overfunded. There's rarely a get-out clause - part fund people until they fail and then part fund again until they have success. Website rarely just appear, they're always launched. A bit like most education initiatives. Maybe there's something to learn here.

5. Don't do a me-too: It's easy to copy others' ideas and think that what they're doing is the best possible thing. Don't. The best ideas are borne out of a localised, individual need. Satisfy what you need in your classroom and someone else might find it useful, but don't feel you have to join a bandwagon if it's going to stop you spotting a success for your own class.

6. Keep your credibility: I think teachers are pretty good at this. What are the instances of people losing their credibility through social media, though?

This is a post that just hit home for me. I have so many kids that will accept failure because they just do not care. Others will not attempt anything without willing to be unsuccessful on their first attempt. Where is the "learning to ride a bike" like in the olden days. You fell off and learned from your mistakes. Finally after failing a few times you were able to ride that bike. I want kids to accept failure as the first step to success. Better results will come out of making mistakes. Let's lose the silver spoon.

This is enough for this post. Thanks for listening.....reading.

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