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...

Our FamilyDojo

A selection of our family Dojo
A selection of our family Dojo

9 year old came home from school last week very excited because her teacher was using ClassDojo. Excited to share what she’d seen, she set about creating a ‘FamilyDojo’ using the ClassDojo App. Everyone had a lot of fun seeing who got paired with which character and choosing what behaviours we could earn, or not earn, points for.

Great motivator for positive behaviour from parents as well as kids!… Read more...

My First MOOC Activity

Alongwith my first MOOC experience with Model Thinking (see post about that here) I signed up for a short course on Web Science with the University of Southampton thanks to a chance hearing of Dame Wendy Hall on Radio 4 who got me hooked with her enthusiasm and a tweet from @srjf. My first activity is to “create your own timeline of key factors leading to the development of the Web, such that you could explain it to general audience.” A quick google for ‘how to create a timeline online’ led me to timetoast.com and I managed to pretty quickly create the timeline that should be embedded below (if you can see Flash things. If you can’t see it below you could try here. I wish I’d realised it was Flash based before I started…). There’s a bit of a gap between 1910 and 1964 and after about 2008 but if I spend a bit more time on that we could fill them up.

Read more...

On play, learning and technology

Last night I read a wonderful article. I found the article because Cris Guenter shared it on Twitter via Roxana Marachi and I’d searched on Twitter for ‘curiosity + pedagogy’. Just that search alone popped up a bunch of educators I wanted to follow. Twitter is just amazing for professional development. Anyway, the article was called “The Pedagogy of Play and the Role of Technology in Learning” by Aran Levasseur and you can read it here.

I’ve been thinking about the article all day and feel compelled to share it’s findings and add a few thoughts of my own.

1) “One doesn’t read “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” to develop strategy before playing the game [Civilisation]. One starts by playing. This is true for all videogames.” Agree.

Our first video game console. I remember the wood effect.
Our first video games console. I remember the wood effect.

2) “You start by exploring the world with curiosity and begin to develop a hypothesis of what you’re supposed to do. Through trial, error, pattern recognition, logic and chance you continually reformulate your trajectory.” Agree. These two sentences, for me, encompass the development of a child. Technology-wise, as part of the generation brought up on the Atari (hardly any … 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...