Thursday, September 30, 2010

Five dangerous things we should let our kids do

Have a look at this TED talk by Gever Tully (founder of the Tinkering School, a school in which children build the things that they can think of).  This highlights the need for our students to create and take risks in practical learning sessions.

In summary, here are the five 'dangerous' things we should let kids do:
  1. Play with fire
  2. Own a pocket knife
  3. Throw a spear
  4. Deconstruct appliances
  5. Break the DMCA, and drive a car (you'll really have to watch the video to understand this one!)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How to get really good at something

According to Professor Anders Ericsson, who has ideas highlighted in Dan Pink's book 'Drive', getting better at something isn't rocket science, but it is hard work.  Follow these steps and you will become a master at whatever pursuit you choose to follow:
  1. Remember that deliberate practice has one objective; to improve performance.  Deliberate practice is about changing your performance, setting new goals and straining to reach a little bit higher each time. 
  2. Repeat, repeat, repeat.  Top sports performers don't hit 20 tennis balls in practice, they hit 2000!
  3. Seek constant and critical feedback.  If you don't know how you're doing, you won't get better.
  4. Focus on where you need help.  Too often we focus relentlessly on what we can already do, not what we are struggling to do.
  5. Prepare for the process of getting better to be really hard work. If it was easy, we'd all be masters!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sharing through digital technology

Digital technology is a great way to share work that is being done in class by students that parents, caregivers, other teachers and friends may otherwise not have the opportunity to see. This is demonstrated by students at Lakeview School who are learning Mandarin. Have a look at their videos in which they are sharing information about themselves.












Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pop Quiz

This week's post is a quiz.  There are five questions in the quiz, with the first four answered by clicking on the answer link that follows.  The final question is one to think about and for readers of this blog to answer.

Question 1
What is the least corrupt country in the world?


Question 2
What is the most beautiful country in the world?


Question 3
What is the safest country in the world?


Question 4
What is the most generous country in the world?


Question 5
With the natural advantages New Zealand has, along with the honesty, generosity, and self regard we have for the welfare and safety of others, what can we do to create the best education system in the world?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The New Apple Keynote Address

Last night while my daughter was watching Nancy Drew with her friend on a sleepover I strategically removed myself from the room and went to watch the latest Apple keynote address on the new Ipod range.  This is definitely well worth a look (although you may choose not to do it on a Saturday night as I did).  The thing that really caught my interest was the new Ipod Touch.  What an incredible and easy way for children to create and share video!   Take the time to check out the keynote; I am sure that you too will be impressed.