Showing posts from February, 2012

Ken Robinson on why education has to change

Thanks so much to Joe at The ApexFlow Blog for suggesting I have a look at Ken Robinson's talks on education - extremely interesting, especially from the person-centred approach. In the first video ("Changing Education Paradigms"), he shows - beautifully and of course creatively with stunning animation, doubly making the point - that the compartmentalised education system that grew from industrialisation is clearly now insufficient to its task...

This next one ("Do Schools Kill Creativity?") is a little bit of a stand-up performance at the Ted Talks, but get past that and you can see the seriousness of the point and get more of an idea of where he's coming from - that we human beings are so much more than the narrow range of 'intelligence' as defined by the outmoded and now inflated academic model...

So, in the last video, Ken Robinson calls for a new conception of human ecology - one in which "we start to reconstitute our conception of the ric…

Pasting unformatted text in Word

A small gripe, but a gripe all the same - I don't know how much time I spend stripping web text of its formatting in Notepad before pasting in Word, so I just thought I'd have a quick look around for better solutions and the best I found was Copy Without Formatting, which is an extension in Google Chrome Browser - you just select the text and a little button appears, which you click and it's ready for pasting - unformatted!

Some other solutions you might try.

Waldorf Steiner Schools

One of my BAPCA friends pointed me to this blog post about the Humanistic Movement in Education, in which the blogger speaks very warmly about their schooling in a Waldorf school from ages 6-11. New to me, Waldorf education is also known as Steiner education and is based on the educational philosophy of an Austrian philosopher, Rudolf Steiner. Steiner founded an entire (slightly inelegantly named) philosophy, anthroposophy, which considers spirituality and freedom and the nature of what it is to be human. Clearly, the philosophical basis of Steiner/Waldorf schools needs further exploration (I have real trouble with any imagined 'spirit' element in our lives, for example), however, the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship website says that:
The priority of the Steiner ethos is to provide an unhurried and creative learning environment where children can find the joy in learning and experience the richness of childhood rather than early specialisation or academic hot-housing. The c…

Scheduled Emails

I'm just trying Boomerang out - it's a plug-in for Gmail that allows scheduling of emails. This means that instead of adding an email to my task list on another day, I can deal with it here and now and let it fly at the appropriate moment - if it doesn't crash the whole system, then I love it!

(btw I also tried to schedule this post in blogger thinking 'that's why put off till tomorrow' - but for some reason it didn't post! So this post is hand-crafted just for you...)

Entrepreneurial Online Learning

Some pretty amazing developments of late (reported here by the excellent Audrey Watters) in Higher Education course provision. Massive open online courses (or MooC) have been around for at least a couple of years, I don't think they've had the kind of cache that is now apparent - a Stanford Professor has left Standford to pursue online learning and... AND! and Stanford are apparently supportive of the move. Okay, so an especially entrepreneurial individual academic prefers to innovate solo - it's great, but perhaps not all that world-changing - however: a top-ranking world-class University is backing the project: THAT is significant!

Anyway, I've signed up for two of the courses, so I'll report on my progress and how I like (or not) the course experience. Why not have a look and see if there's something for you and let me know how it's going for you? The courses are available through Professor Sebastian Thrun's new online learning company, Coursera: ta…