I am reading a brilliant book at the moment that was suggested to me by a friend thus:
As a proponent of the power of the internet for extending our learning and adding to our life, I was so pleased to see a post in Google Plus that I have shared, as follows:
The book looks at a lot of recent studies that show intelligence to be a combination of genetics as well as environment and that the interaction of these two influences is effected by the amount of hard work that is put into developing skills that we may be born with or seek to develop but which will lay dormant if they are not worked upon.
In other words the old saying “genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration” is not too far from the mark.
The key thing is in discovering what it is that we want to develop. As the article says we are not all born to become Cristian Ronaldo and do amazing things with a football in front of thousands of fans. But then again Cristiano may have had an innate talent that was developed by his environment that celebrated and promoted soccer as against another sport that he may have had ability to develop in if he had worked as hard as he did to develop his skills in football.
I am, as readers of this blog will know, a great admirer of the work and writings of Sir Ken Robinson and in particular of his book “The Element” where he explains how we each need to find what our passion is and what thing we want to develop in our life.
If we find our passion then the hard work to develop our skills in it does not seem like a chore, but hard work there must be if we are to truly develop our talents to the full.
Shenk is right, we all have some sort of genius within us if we are able to find the thing that is our “element” and then work hard to develop it to the best of our ability. The tragedy is that, throughout history the majority of us have never found what our passion is or had the opportunity to develop it to the full.
The world is a poorer place because of all of that waste but more importantly, can we afford to not have the talents that we have within us developed to the full if we are to survive as a species in these traumatic times with the many challenges that we face ahead?
Filed under: Philosophy, Sir Ken Robinson | Tagged: David Shenk, Ken Robinson, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You've Been Told About Genetics Talent and IQ Is Wrong | Leave a comment »
I read a really interesting post yesterday called “Six Applications of Photography In Education” . I think that there is so much to be said about the use of photos in education.
The thing was this was a personal list by the author and many would agree with the Lange photo being there but might think that there were some more iconic photos that didn’t make the list. This led to a great comment section after the original post where there were some excellent suggestions including these two classics:
- Photographing the Great Depression, then and now – Dorothea Lange (oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com)
I did a Google search on “Steve Jobs and Education” which followed from a link to a talk and article by, of all people, Rupert Murdoch about schools, entitled, “The Steve Jobs Model for Education Reform“.
The subtitle was…. If we can engage a child’s imagination, there’s no limit to what he or she can learn.
This was the sort of thing that I have always been going on about (among others of course), so I decided that I would do the search on Google mentioned above.
This led me to a post called “Steve Jobs on Education” . As is the way with these internet trails I followed a link to this:
This was the transcript of the whole interview by Daniel Morrow and makes for fascinating reading. It contains a lot of details from Steve about his life, his background and in particular his childhood and his education. There are some powerful references to the role that his father played in the development of his interest in electronics and the fortune that he had in having moved to Silicon Valley at the age of five and growing up in an environment that celebrated innovation and experimentation.
The focus of the interview was very much one of education and Steve makes a number of interesting points about why the education system did not then (and does not now) allow children to develop their real talents and abilities.
I found a number of his ideas about the developments that technology can bring and also their limitations to be very interesting.
I think this interview is a real neglected gem if you are looking into the motivations and personality of the man that was Steve Jobs and has some important ideas that are still needing to be looked at in 2011 some 16 years since the interview was recorded.
This is an important talk that needs to be seen more widely. Tony Kennick explains the way that the Twitter campaign against the hacking of Milly Dowler’s mobile phone by The New Of The World actually happened.
We now live in a world where this kind of thing cannot go by swept under a carpet of secrecy. It led in the end to the public humiliation of Rupert Murdoch as well as the closure of the paper.
Politicians need to be aware that there is a new power around called the public voice and it has been seen right across the world in mobilising opinion and putting vested interests under pressure.
For those who think that social media is just about who is having a coffee with whom and where…take note…. and consider the consequences of your actions.
- Milly hacking ‘known about in 2002′ (mirror.co.uk)
- Exclusive: New hacking shame (independent.co.uk)
- Milly Dowler’s family offered £2m-plus to settle News of World hacking case. (politics.ie)
- News of the World: police watchdog investigates Milly Dowler leak (guardian.co.uk)
- Nick Clegg: NI will not be absolved over Milly Dowler phone hacking (guardian.co.uk)
- Milly Dowler Phone Hackers ‘Used More Than One Voicemail’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Great TED talks: Derek Sivers – How to Start a Movement (theartofgood.wordpress.com)
A teacher is not..
A miracle worker
A social worker
A full-time actor
The one with all the answers
The one who never goes wrong
A person with no feelings
A person with no past
A sage on a stage
A test passing superstar
A doormat to be walked over
A punchbag to be hit!
A teacher is..
A fellow learner
One who hopes for you
Shares your dream
Believes in you
And smiles with you
An important part of your life
But not Superman!
I am a great admirer of Chris Lehmann, the charismatic Principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, PA. He has a great statement that he has repeated on a number of occasions in various powerful talks about 21st century education……it is:
“Technology should be like oxygen: ubiquitous, necessary, and invisible.”
The problem with all of this is that to become ubiquitous, technology needs to be available for use by as many of the world’s students as is possible. Up till now this has been effected greatly by the basic price of the hardware. There are, of course, a number of schools that have adopted one-to-one laptop use and a number of brave schools that have allowed the mobile phone into their doors…. but generally the picture has been very patchy and therefore the tool that will become a part of everyone’s education has been in short supply.
Imagine my interest then when I read this post today on Google +
This is pretty amazing. Mobile tablet computing may soon be as ubiquitous as mobile phones. This could also be the beginning, or should I say, the end, of text books as we know it. How can schools justify paying, and insisting their students shell out, for dozens of expensive textbooks per year when inexpensive viewing devices will be available for just dollars, than can hold 100s of textbooks.
I did some research into this amazingly cheap tablet.The reviews are not fantastic and of course it doesn’t stand up to an iPad… but it does have abilities to have Android Apps downloaded, it can access the internet and has HD capacity for watching videos.
Now this could mean that we will one day see the fulfillment of Chris Lehmann’s idea…. the technology will be like Oxygen… not to be fussed about because it is some sort of transformative agent… in many ways it will be as transformative as the students capacity to use it….. it will though be like the pens and rulers of the past… a tool that will enable the student to learn… but what a tool….. with access to the vast and ever-changing knowledge base of this ever changing world. A tool that will allow communication across the divides of time and nation… a tool to design and think with, experiment and draw with…. and all for just a few dollars!
- India Produces World’s Cheapest Tablet for less than $50. 10k Made, Millions More To Come (singularityhub.com)
The above video was a part of “The Knowledge Navigator” which was made by Apple computers in 1987 as their prediction of what the future of technology would be.
“The Moment of Discovery” is the section that deals with education. It shows a child using a mobile device to take pictures that he can instantly access information about and then being able to show his classmates about this afterwards where all of the class have access to computers where they can interact with each other and indeed anyone in the world as they seek to take their learning further.
It shows a teacher planning lessons on her tablet where she is able to access new information almost seamlessly from a colleague that will add to the lesson she will be involved in the following day. When she talks to the colleague she sees him on-screen in a video phone message.
Considering that this video was put together in 1987 it is remarkable in its ability to predict the way that technology has actually developed. The only problem is that the technology has arrived but the schools haven’t!
The other day I did a presentation to some newly qualified teachers. I asked them if they used social media and found that out of twelve present only two did! These were newly qualified teachers, average age about 22. I was told that they “didn’t have time for all that… they were too busy preparing lessons!”
It is strange how so many teachers still don’t get it… they certainly would have struggled in 1987 but it seems remarkable that I am still “talking to the proverbial brick wall” here in 2011. I wonder when the penny will drop and they will get the ideas that Apple so brilliantly predicted before most of them were born!
- Apple envisioned Siri on tablets back in 1987 (news.cnet.com)
- Knowledge Navigator, Apple’s 1987 Computer Assistant Concept (laughingsquid.com)
- Steve Jobs, Father of Social Media (blogs.hbr.org)
- Apple’s Siri is the fulfillment of a dream from 1987 (telegraph.co.uk)
- Apple As Oracle (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
- Siri-ous Mind Blowing: Video Evidence Of Apple’s Prophetic Past – Circa 1987 (techcrunch.com)