Thursday, July 29, 2010

The iPad as a brainstorming tool

I am currently very much interested in exploring how the iPad platform could be used in teaching and learning. One of the first few apps that I have purchased and used is this app called Popplet. The nice thing about this app is not just its mindmapping-like structures, but also its ability to incorporate drawings/sketches and pictures into its whole scheme of things, compared to just pure text! Of course there are a couple of features that I would like this app to have, but I guess this would definitely take time. In the meantime, I am enjoying the use of Popplet as an ideation and also a planning tool. In fact I was just using it the other day for brainstorming about my possible business ventures, should I want to be an entrepreneur one day.

Here I have used it to look at some of the ideation tools that I have knowledge of, that I planned to incorporate into my current and future lessons.

Ideation tool popplet

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Playing to Learn?

I thought this presentation on Learning through playing is rather interesting. I certainly would love to emulate some of the ideas given in my teaching, and I do hope I can do so.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The iPad as a disruptive technology in education

I thought with the recent craze on the iPad, it would be good for us to look at how such a device could be useful as a tool for teaching and learning. I sincerely think that such a tool can be a disruptive technology of sorts, much like how the iPhone changes our idea of what a smartphone is supposed to be. Just think of the possibilities, and 'impossibilities' that such a device could offer and overcome respectively. It's lightweight feature could redefine how a physical space for teaching and learning ought to look like, it's touch-screen ability bridges the gap of artists and handwriting purists, who thinks that the use of keyboards are slowly 'killing' the art of writing. Couple these with perhaps the immense possibilities that an app could muster, I would think that the idea of how teaching and learning is supposednto be done, and experienced, is just something that we could only imagine, or even have not imagined of!

And I'm happy to say that I hope I would be able to be part of this wave, this defining of what education for the future is all about. It's really about redefining of how a learning experience ought to be, leveraging on the use of a device. But before I forgot all about the primary objective, let us not forget too, it is still all about the child, first and foremost. Like what I always remind myself: Teach the child first, and then the subject.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The DaVinci Creativity Code

An interesting look at how to be creative, from 'Da Vinci' himself. Interesting points he brought up...especially on the part about knowing so much because he took the time to draw! An interesting food for thought...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Do schools kill creativity?

A little bit late for me to realise the enormity of the message, but nonetheless still as inspiring as ever. Perhaps there could be many more Gillian Lynne that have slipped pass by us...if we don't do something about it.

Harnessing the power of our creative and innovative youths

Why are children more creative and innovative than adults? Would this lead on to a systemic way of being more creative/innovative?

The oxymoronic thinking would be that because we know a lot more things as adults...the structures and the methods of being creative, we tend to look down and scoff on some of the ideas given by our children. But the truth of the matter perhaps is that, they could be the ones that have an edge in terms of coming out with these more creative ideas. Perhaps it is this environment of 'not knowing' that provides the catalyst for creativity to bloom. Perhaps...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Designing for the elderly...

I was pretty impressed with some of the thoughts put up by some of my students when I did a group-think sort of exercise on designing a calculator and a mobile phone specifically for the elderly. I thought that perhaps this is something that I would like to showcase immediately, given that they have done and put in some depth and criticality in their thoughts/ideas/comments. Here's the embedded information:

Wall wisher 1

Wall wisher 2

Update: as an update to compatibility issues that I have when viewing on my iPad, I've decided to just put in the URL link instead of embedding the wall wisher in my blog post.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The gift of Giftedness

I have always been tickled by the idea that one is defined as gifted (or not) by virtue of an IQ test, and the resultant score that he or she obtains from that test. During one of the training sessions that I had recently, I can't help but concur with the trainer on how superficial this type of indices is...and like what the trainer mentioned, so what if you have an IQ of 120? What is the maximum score that one can score for this? Does getting such a score, over say a theoretical value of 200 necessarily make him gifted, over say, someone who scores 119? Hmmm...

And the idea that tickled me most was the scenario that educators like me always get from some parents, and giftedness proponents, that in order for one to know that a child is gifted, he or she would have to sit for a test. So lets say the qualifying score for 'being labelled gifted' is 80%, would a child scoring 78% be any less 'ungifted' than one who scores, say 81%. Wouldn't it be even funnier if, say the former scenario happens, the parent were then to ask the child to sit for the test again? And if the child passes the mark, he or she would then be qualified to be called gifted!

So then, is giftedness just about making and reaching that particular number?

On the other hand, I do believe in the existence of natural flair, talents, abilities...but then, if this was just subsumed and labelled under a particular number, it would be such a sad state of affairs for mankind, wouldn't it?

And now just a little something for that comic relief...