Make them THINK!

The Future?

I often try to make my students think. I teach them arithmetic, guesstimation and how to think outside the box. I show them shortcuts that will make them look smart and teach them how to use their heads (and if that fails, their fingers).

I was just reading about generation AO (always on) and about their ‘external brain’ and need for instant gratification and quick fixes. It sounds like a entry ticket into the world of Idiocracy.

How do we keep them thinking if we allow them to gratify themselves upon the sword of Wikipedia. Are we encouraging morons, or is there yet hope? For mankind to succeed we need to start making everything EMP proof. Nuclear winter will no longer be the greatest threat.

Lectures & Blogging

I’ve just been looking at our lecturers blog.

It’s given me some insights into what he wants to achieve with students. Different course to the ones I run, but it seems to be mainly about engaging the student – my major complaint in the first week of a course is how bloody quiet they are, it makes it hard to know how they are going.

Course barometers seem like a good idea, not maybe with TAFE, but if I can get some stuff online it may help with those students.

Lectures, we’ll I still like them. Maybe that will change later but I do like the chance to interact and to get them thinking, and to know they’re thinking! They give the student a fair amount of content in a short space of time, and if it’s documented, it’s something they can refer back to. I’m not sure how I can replace them for online students, the ramble seems ok, but more suited to a cloud generation. I can’t see it working with students that are only there for a matter of weeks or who are not tech savvy and driven.

Blogging, well I’m blogging aren’t I? Anathema! Not happy Jan… but there is a point there. I am generation X, teaching generation Mc X-box. They learn differently, find information differently and want everything now. They blog, Facebook and tweet (Gods I hope I don’t have to tweet too).

Time to change my old-fart mindset. ICT will make me much more capable to teach the new generations if I can provide information how they want it, and maybe even assess that way, but what about the authenticity of a random computer in cyberspace? Maybe assessment still needs to be in a set location… I’ll try and keep an open mind, but that seems like a barrier at this stage…

Mahara School

Trying to learn about Mahara I stumbled across an old ePortfolio orientation site and went through the “All recordings” folder to re-examine what I had played with a few years back.

At the time, it didn’t seem to have any great value to me. It only seemed to do much the same as I was already getting from my facebook and linkedin accounts.

Having played with it a bit now I can see more interconnectivity that I didn’t notice the first time, such as putting individual journal (blog) entries into different views available to different people.

I think I need to explore a bit more…

Mistakes are OK!

Errors and Mistakes

I’m only human, we all are, so we all make mistakes, we all make errors in judgement and occasionally have a fubar or two.

I never see mistakes as negatives. Sure sometimes they cause damage, often it’s just a slight loss of face. These are however all learning opportunities. Chances to learn and improve our skills.

Own your mistakes. Learn from them. Encourage your friends and students to do the same because this empowers them to achieve instead of setting them up to fail.