12 September, 2013

Belonging with '7 billion Others'

In a world where you are one of 7 billion other humans of all stripes and sizes, imagining your own place within it can be quite an experience.  It's amazing to be reminded however that despite all of our differences (global, cultural, social, economic etc) we ultimately share the deeper feelings, values, and beliefs of a common humanity.  KarmaTube shows us just that in this brilliant video entitled 7 billion Others a project by the GoodPlanet Foundation.

A film by GoodPlanet Foundation. Video from KarmaTube

Integration in the Classroom:
This is an engaging video which is sure to tune students in to thinking about themselves and others. Digging below the surface to find these common bonds takes great questions, something our Grade 2 students have been looking at (click here to see 2LFvis) and this film does just that. Creators of the film interviewed thousands of people from around the world, recording their answers to questions like:
  • What do you see? Why? Who are you? Where are you from?
  • Where are you going?
  • What scares you? What worries you?
  • Am I someone you'd speak to? Would you like to sit with me and have a cup of tea or a beer? 
  • Could we be friends? Could we get to know each other?  Forge alliances? Forge friendships?
  • Could we together make a community an ensemble and this world a better place?
  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
  • What is love?  What is happiness?
The combination of questions and people who answer them make this a must see to get anyone to think about the question:  Who am I?  I came across this video while planning for our Grade 2s unit "People Like Us" but it hasn't been shown to them yet.  A good age range is probably around Grade 3 and up. 

This would also make a great video resource for International Peace Day (September 21st).

Let me know what you think by posting your comments below!  Cheers.

03 September, 2013

Tinkering with Technology

As a digital learning integrator, I'm often asked all sorts of technical questions about various computer programs with a general expectation that I'll be able to troubleshoot fairly instantly.  Truth is that I'm generally a Jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none kind of guy.  Surely I have some technical knowledge about various applications, but I'm far from a guru.  What I am good at however, is tinkering.  

Tinkering is one of the best ways to learn about how something works, especially with computer applications.  It's a disposition we encourage our children to have and it's often one I plug heavily with the teachers I work with.  Like all great discoveries, new knowledge comes about as a result of tinkering around trying to do something or fix something else.  Doing so with technology often yields new discoveries and reveals opportunities for learning you never thought possible.  You'll definitely learn much more about the application beyond how to solve one isolated problem and chances are it'll stick around in your grey matter a lot longer.  

So tinker away.  You likely won't break what you're working with and chances are you'll learn a lot more than you bargained for.  Thanks to Steve for coming around to fiddle around with a blogging issue and allowing me to post a photo of him doing it.  Ironically enough we didn't solve it but we'll get there with a little digging.