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.

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 buttons, wood effect, joysticks, that’s all I remember), Sinclair ZX … 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...

Keeping it simple – technology and learning

Keeping it simple – technology and learning

I can understand why a lot of people shy away from ‘technology’. Instead of being introduced to technology naturally, like using a device to play a game or perform a task that you know it will help with (and I mean any device, Spectrum ZX, Sega, washing machine) the first experience of computer technology for many people was because they were told to use it. Pre-iPad, the first computer experience was probably some sort of desktop computer. Their experience was of words, buttons, icons, abbreviations, menus, and all else that didn’t make immediate sense. One ‘wrong’ click was often a disaster, and for a lot of people it put them off for life. These experiences lower your self-esteem and dampen our natural curiosity – you become afraid to try anything new or push a button for fear of breaking the whole thing.

For me, the iPad changes everything. I’ve worked with a load of different technologies, and still do, but the technology that has had the greatest, most excited, most positively transformational response so far has been the iPad. Since the iPad came along I have had the joyous experience of introducing educators to ways in which this device can … Read more...

Surprised by a Sum

Surprised by a Sum

A young girl I know has been working on chimney sums. (They are called chimney sums because the numbers are stacked vertically.) I was always curious about the strategies she was learning and how her mind was working. One day I offered her the iPad with the Explain Everything App open, explained that I didn’t really know what a chimney sum was and asked her to explain to me what she was doing as she worked it out. She was excited to teach me and got to work immediately.

Using Explain Everything she explained the chimney sum in great detail. She told me about each number, whether they were units, tens or hundreds, and how we were going to add them together. The result really made me smile. Not only was her explanation really clear, but  one particular bit of what she did really took me by surprise. She demonstrated a different way of working things out that I thought was really cool. You can see this bit in the video below…

It’s amazing to actually hear a thought process. I was able to experience a young learner’s mind actually thinking and working things out in real time. I love … Read more...