Showing posts from October, 2016

A great new book about the Brain

12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School My Summary: I recently read a fantastic book that I am going to refer back to as I design my future learning engagements. It  was well researched and easy to read. And  it does a great job of highlighting how much the structural elements of the brain are always at play when learning is happening. The 11 brain rules mentioned can be summarized into the following subsections: Exercise Survival Wiring Attention Memory Sleep Exploration Gender Sense Stress Vision If you are involved in learning or education then this book really is a must read!

Google Professional Development Options for Schools (2016)

                     Download Link Why it’s useful All schools need to be thinking constantly about professional development for their entire staff. The Google offerings are extensive, free and have an active community of  teachers / educators/ administrators behind them. This is an ideal resource for anyone who wants to get their school moving in the direction of effective professional development. From personal experience I can highly recommend the materials that have been put together. They are all based on current educational research and have been put together with the spirit of fun and inquiry that Google seems to approach all its work with.

Shooting & Editing Video on only an iPhone (2016)

As a recent holiday challenge I decided to investigate the possibility of shooting and editing a short movie using only my phone (iPhone 5S) , no laptops/desktops allowed! I knew that a couple of years ago Apple released an Imovie App for phones and based on how fantastic iMovie is on a Mac , I decided to start there. A friend of mine has just got a Drone and so I decided to follow him around for a bit with my phone. In the end it was surprisingly easy to edit on the phone. The most difficult part was figuring out when to swipe up or down to make different menu’s appear. But your Iphone is definitely a perfectly capable device for editing video on. And since most of us carry around our phones all the time, it’s probably the easiest way to do it too. I’ll try and have another crack at making a longer more advanced movie before the year is out. Just to see how advanced it really can get if you are only shooting and editing on your phone.

Maths Workshop with a Master Teacher

Introduction: Recently I had the opportunity to attend a Maths workshop presented by Mark Philips and the Mind Action Series Textbook publishers. I signed up on a whim because of the topic, which was Euclidean Geometry. In my experience it’s one of the most poorly understand topics by learners.  I hoped to learn some new approaches that would make the time I spend on this section more productive and ultimately improve the learning outcomes. Key Ideas: Focus on the Process In Geometry, do exercises first & then theorems. (Build’s awareness before complexity) Allow learners to do well in early tests to build confidence Build confidence through slow ascent in difficulty Don’t be so preoccupied with Time Spend 80% of the Time on Basics and 20% on the Harder Questions for most classes Encourage learners to move around and do physical stuff – Eg Circle Dance Use narratives and stories in your teaching – especially those involving relationships Make Learners Feel a

A Fynbos Experience with a Passionate Teacher (2016)

Introduction Towards the end of 2016 I attended the Mountain Club of Cape Town’s Leaders training weekend at Du Toitskloof Hut for their Outreach Program. The weekend was a lot of fun and I learnt a great deal. But one session in particular stood out for me – the one on Fynbos with  Wendy Hitchcock  . I decided to record what stood out for me in the  session in the hopes that I could  reuse some of the techniques myself in future. Below is a description of the session as best I could remember it. Session with  Wendy Hitchcock  on Fynbos When we arrived for the session Wendy started by introducing herself and then asking us to sit quietly for a few moments and take note of the sounds and smells around us in Nature. She also had a collection of plants she had picked from the nearby bushes,  together with large sheets of paper with labels like Big Leaves , Small Leaves , Waxy Leaves etc. Our first task as a group was to sort through the collection of plants and put them o