Interconnect ED

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Category: Quest Atlantis (page 1 of 2)

‘You Can Be a Hero’

 “Play of the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.’
~ Joseph Chilton Pearce

 
Over the past five years, Quest Atlantis has become a significant part of the learning pathway of our Middle School students at MLC School. For some students it is a social network to make and hang out with friends, for others a rich investigation of subject matter that intrigues them. Some students are driven to compete against their own limitations or against the strengths of others. Some pursue the creative opportunities to build in virtual spaces whilst some discover in it a way to find their voice.

Above the authentic learning experiences and immersive worlds rich with curriculum is the potential QA has to inform character and to construct identities. These three short videos, generated over the past two years with one cohort of Middle School students, shows how Quest Atlantis experiences can be an opportunity to shape yourself and the world.

PART 1 

PART 2

PART 3

 

Fear Itself – a Churchill Chat

This is a Vimeo video of the recent Churchill Chat for the NSW Fellows.

Fear Itself – a Churchill Chat from Steven Caldwell on Vimeo.

iCare: summary of Churchill Fellowship final report

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
Winston Churchill


It’s been a while since my last blog post: it being a lengthy, reflective and sentimental walk-through my Churchill Fellowship. In essence, I learned a lot about the effect of fear and negative mind sets around the use of technology by young people. The most inspiring people were those educators who embraced the possibilities rather than the problems that present themselves in todays tech rich environments. You can read more about my encounters with Knowclue and Peggy Sheehy and Barbara Stripling and the amazing Quest Atlantis team in my full report set out below.

You can access the full report, some of which is based on previous blog posts though most is original, in the embedded ISSUU below. For those who may not recall the purpose of the Fellowship, you can read my proposal here. To save you time, dear reader (should you like so many of us living in the ‘Pace Age’ and have only a nanosecond of personal time) I have placed the recommendations from the report in the following screencapture.

Screenshot of recommendations

Screenshot of recommendations

For those of you with more time, I invite you to read my full report below. I welcome your feedback and comments.

iKnow vs iCare

“Interpretations, criticisms, diagnoses and judgments of others are actually alienated expressions of our unmet needs.”

Dr Marshall Rosenberg


The strangest insights arise in the most unlikely of places. Last Thursday I bounded into a regular meeting of staff with my latest tech toy – a Livescribe pen. For those unfamiliar with its function, reading below will illuminate you. Of late, I have been a loud proponent of this device leading some to suspect that I am on commission. Anyway, what follows is a recollection, if not an accurate recount, of the interaction between myself and another teacher whose name has been removed for obvious reasons. Let’s call her, as elections are in the blogosphere, Julia.

Steven: Hi, Julia

Julia: Hi, Steve

Steven: Steven, actually.

Julia: Steve, right…

Steven: *bouncing like a puppy* Look at my new toy! *brandishes 4GB Livescribe Echo pen*

Julia: Oh, one of those. I know what they are.

Steven: Yeah, it ‘s a pen that-

Julia: – I know, it writes on a tablet and converts to text.

Steven: *mildly confused* Actually, no. It records audio and-

Julia: Oh, I know. It records a meeting and then you can play it back.

Steven: *pulls quizzical face* Um, well, yes it does that, however it does more than that. It also copies what you write and allows you to-

Julia: *briskly* I know, it allows you to read it on your laptop. You can download a file from the pen.

Steven: *irritated* Actually, more than that. *feeling alienated* It records audio and links it to the text for playback at any time with a touch of the pen on the paper.

Julia: Oh. *avoids eye contact* Really.

Steven: *Silence*

Julia: *Silence*

So, what was the result of this interaction? I felt alienated and unheard and she, to all intents and purposes, felt proven wrong. This was certainly not my intention; I was hoping to share my enthusiasm. Over the years I have learned; sorry, no, am learning to temper this enthusiasm with a more circumspect attitude. The last thing I wanted to do was make her feel ignorant and for our meeting to end up being more like a parting.

I reflected on this exchange and realised how much I do this with my own students. How often am I rehearsing, ‘knowing’, exactly what they are about to say and not actually listen as they are saying it. Moreover, how often to ‘iKnow’ the learning they are capable of and limit their achievement to the confines of my expectations? Rubrics are a fine example of this. Yes, they provide support and guidance to allow students to achieve but they can also bind creativity and narrow opportunities. That’s why I try to put extra criteria that is non-criteria into rubrics where possible – “Something beyond the expected” is one heading I like to use.

What is my need in practising ‘IKnow’? What does needing to predict another person’s response meet in me? Familiarity? Comfort? Meeting curriculum outcome/task descriptors as set out by documents? I’ll let you know when I fathom it out.

‘iKnow’ is now the opposite of what I want to be as a teacher. Rather than knowing the other in my mind on my terms, I want to be able to see others separate from my expectations. To do that, to fully see another is to begin to care.

Why should ‘iCare’?

‘Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.‘  ~Seneca

 

Below you will read the research abstract/overview of my Churchill Fellowship project.

I would be most grateful for any of your thoughts, suggestions, answers, questions etc.

If you’ve experienced ways of addressing these concerns, I would love to read them.

 

iCare: Supporting young Australians to develop positive values  in online communities.

Do Australian teens exhibit positive values when they are online? Can they recognisethe value of compassion as citizens of online spaces and equate that to citizenship in their world context?

This project will consolidate the author’s knowledge of Non-Violent Communication and transfer it to virtual spaces occupied by students in Australia and abroad. The author will construct learning sequences which model and affirm positive, compassionate interactions. By creating engaging ‘playable fictions’, students will be exposed to the value of reflection, empathy and consideration of others’ needs. Students will also confront the consequences of inappropriate or non-empathic interactions in a safe context.

The Fellowship will allow the author to work as leader of the team of programmers, curriculum experts and researchers to expedite the development of the project’s activities.

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