Sunday, October 29, 2006

Old influences, happenstance and the whirl of fun ideas.

I was reading a blog (I should write an old blog mate's blog but I have never met the blogger and would never want to attach any kind of chronological measure to folk one stumbles over online). Nevertheless, for folk who enjoy the odd bit of good fun around curriculum, schooling, computing and so on then Arti's little blog is a heap of fun. I was responding to a post about Starbucks and the NZ curriculum and was pointing out my own preference for drawing on business ideas and thinking. I do this because, generally there is a lot of good, hard-nosed thinking goes on about teaching, learning, leadership, change etc. It was also how I stumbled so long ago into the fun little habit of scenario planning after reading Stewart Brand's the media lab (which is also where I stumbled over the size/problem of so-called global money!!!). But back to the Artichoke post and Arti, true to form, goes beavering away and pulls up some stuff about Semler that I had not heard about, Semler's Escola Lumiar. From the bits you can find online it sounds a bit like KPS schools on steroids. Some quotes from the Telegraph report: "One of the things that is very silly - and I hear from educators all the time - is that schools essentially teach kids to learn. They don't need school for that. Learning is what they do best. We kill it for them." "We are trying to prove that by giving kids freedom, they will in the end be better educated, with much more residual knowledge than the kids in the disciplined schools. They can have a much happier existence and be much more prepared for life if we don't teach them the stupid things that traditional schools do." and Armed with University of Chicago statistics showing that 94 per cent of what we learn in school is never used in later life, he decided to ditch what he calls the "unsuccessful teaching methods" used in millions of schools around the world.

Friday, October 20, 2006

My (bad) digital habits

As a pseudo/semi-functional academic, I am always interested in ways of tracking contemporary writing, ideas (memes) in and around the stuff in which I have interests. i/e/ how to drink from the fire hose without drowning. One little trick I have been exploring is to do a Google Blog search for the key words/phrases and to copy the 100 RSS feed into my RSS aggregator. I end up with an always updated set of posts, many of which often point me to a publication I have missed, a conference, or call for papers, and even occasionally some useful commentary. And you can filter and search the inputs from this into the aggregator with the search facility in the aggregator.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Widget's for blogger

As you probably know, Google owns Blogger and has a neat widget for posting, so this is a small test of how well it works.