How do we see the world?

Sometimes things just are so amazing all you can do is go ‘oh wow’. This was one of those moments. I mentioned to a couple of friends at work that 9 year old had been watching a video of a guy riding his bike along the sides of a bridge (which was very cool), then FM showed us the latest video from the trial bike guys – ‘Road Bike Party 2’. Wow. If you need a bit of inspiration, take 6 minutes out of your day and watch this. It is truly awe-inspiring.

Watching this (and the other bike videos it led to) really brought home to me that people see the world in completely different ways. These guys don’t just see trees and rocks and bits of wood, or even water slides or trains, they see places they can go on their bike. I’m grateful for videos like this that let me experience the world through the eyes of someone else and to think about things I’ve never thought of. It reminds me that even though I think my eyes are open, there is always more to see; there is always more to learn. Thanks bike guys for exciting … Read more...

Teach Like A Pirate – Part 2

Teach Like A Pirate – Part 2

…on hooks, silence, and iPhone ocarinas!

“If people think something is going to be great they are more likely to experience it as such.” Teach Like A Pirate p122

In part 2 of Teach Like A Pirate the author, Dave Burgess, explains some of the ‘hooks’ he uses to craft engaging lessons. This got me thinking to some of the lessons I’ve been part of that have been special experiences, and funnily enough they all involved some sort of hook – something that excited curiosity!

4’33” by the composer John Cage is a piece that requires an introduction. Possibly his most famous piece, it is 4 minutes and 33 minutes of ‘silence’. Arguably, there is no such thing as silence and so it is really a study of the sounds around us. I introduce it for some time, going into details about the composer, the piece, how it is performed and what it hopes to achieve. I try and ramp up the student’s curiosity to such a level that they can’t wait to hear it! Before we listen to the piece, I ask the students to get comfy – to choose any place in the room, the floor, their … Read more...

Teach Like A Pirate

…On Being Enthusiastic, Passionate and Exciting Curiosity!

Teach Like A Pirate coverEarlier this year, when this Exciting Curiosity project had just begun, one of the first things I saw people talking about via Twitter was the book ’Teach Like A Pirate’ by Dave Burgess (@burgessdave). There was a lot of excitement around the book, and with a title like that who wouldn’t be curious about the content! So with a copy ordered for a pirate-loving friend, and a copy for me, I embarked on the adventure.

There is a story in Part 1 that really stuck out for me. The author, his family and their dogs were out and about when they came across a man who was also walking his dogs and they said hello. The man then spotted a hawk on the top of a nearby tree and told Dave all about the hawk, ‘the type of hawk it was, its hunting behaviour, and how its feathers were specially designed for the type of flight manoeuvres it needed.” (Teach Like A Pirate, p11) The discussion around the hawk and ecosystem of the surrounding area went on for around 30 minutes.

But why would a story like that stick out? Well … Read more...

You can learn a lot from dogs

You can learn a lot from dogs

Be More Dog! This video from O2’s recent advertising campaign sums up the whole of Exciting Curiosity’s philosophy in one minute…

As O2 say:

…you can learn a lot from dogs, to them life is amazing. Balls are amazing. Sticks are amazing. Chasing your tail is amazing… Our world is full of great technology ready and waiting for us to enjoy.

I have had the pleasure of working with a number of educators over the past few weeks, opening up the wonders of creating books, movies and music on the iPad, teaching and learning with each other using techniques previously unimaginable, and showing the wonder of iCloud to gasps of excitement and general wonder! Helping educators to ‘be more dog’ is fun, enjoyable, always entertaining, but most of all a complete pleasure.… Read more...

The power of a musical experience – Part 2

The power of a musical experience – Part 2

Friends and I were discussing yesterday how playing and experiencing music together with other people, in bands, orchestras, choirs, whatever group, is a magical experience. When I’m playing in a group I always feel that we’ve got on a train, and once it gets going we’re not stopping until we reach the end of the journey. We’re a unit, yet we’re still individuals. When we’re in that moment, we’re creating something that is so much bigger than the group. So what is that thing that makes 2+2=5? Where does the extra 1 come from?

For years now I’ve imagined that my (completely imaginary) PhD thesis would been on the phenomenon that is stadium singing. As I’ve carried this idea around with me for so long I knew it would have already been done, and a friend told me yesterday of a Coursera class in Model Thinking where these sorts of things are touched upon. (The next class starts on October 7th if you’re curious about using models to make sense of the world around us. I’ve just signed up – thanks AN, and thank you technology!) I can understand when a group of 10 or 100 people making music together … Read more...