Questions and Curiosity

Questions and Curiosity

Recently I’ve become completely fascinated by the website tweetping.net. Tweetping shows realtime Twitter activity from around the world in a beautiful way – when a Tweet goes out a little light appears on the map locating the place where the Tweet came from. The tweet lights start appearing when go to the website and it’s beautifully displayed. Here is an example taken after 15 minutes at lunchtime GMT…

Tweetping Map Lunchtime UK

I think the reason it fascinates me so much is because it makes me ask so many questions. It gets me curious! For example, does everyone in Japan and South East Asia use Twitter?! why do the lights coming from the USA seem to stop half way along? is that bright light to the right of the middle coming from Istanbul? do people use something else in China? is that Pretoria in South Africa? why is it brighter than Cape Town? does the brightness on the map reflect population size? is that why there are fewer lights in Australia? but then what about India? does it reflect the wealth of an area? connectivity? 4G? what does it look like at different times of the day?

I can offer answers for some … Read more...

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...

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...