Life Long Learning in Action

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Found this ironic...

Yesterday I was at the store and instead of seeing a traditional paper shredder I saw this instead...


Would this have caught your eye as well?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Shiny Eyes

The other day my wife, son, and I traveled upstate to spend some time with our family. Along the way we listened to a couple TED talks. These talks are free to download via the TED website or you can subscribe to a feed through iTunes. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design and their annual conference brings together some of the most interesting speakers from around the world. These individuals range from famous politicians to scientists doing some amazing work. They are given 18 minutes to give the "talk of their lives." Often I look for talks related to education or technology but somehow a talk on classical music slipped in.

We had finished listening to four other talks when I decided we should give the last one a listen.

We listened and we loved it.

The talk was given by Benjamin Zander and the most memorable part of the talk is when he speaks about "shiny eyes". He relates his experiences as a conductor and his personal realization that he wanted to consistently "awaken possibilities in other people." In order to assess how he was "awakening" these possibilities all he had to do was look at their eyes to see if they were "shining".

"Who am I being if my players eyes are not shining?"

For parents, relatives, and teachers...

"Who am I being that my children's eyes are not shining?"

As a parent and a teacher this caused me to pause and think about what I do daily to awaken possibilities in my son's life and the lives of my students. Often we can get caught up in the daily grind leading to the simple things and glorious opportunities passing us by.

Take a listen to the talk and enjoy. We loved it and I hope you do too!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

iTunes U for K-12

Pretty exciting news came my way via Kelly Dumont.

iTunes U, a wonderful free service full of rich content from universities and community colleges across the nation, is now spreading to K-12!

Kelly has a great post on his blog where he talks a little bit about the program.

"I believe this project will be somewhat of a game changer. Here K12 ed will have a central gathering place for resources, be they audio, video, text-based, etc." - Kelly Dumont

In order to check out some of the schools and state programs who were part of the the launch you can find the K-12 link within iTunes. After launching iTunes and the iTunes Store all you need to do is click on "iTunes U"

Then click on "K-12"...


After you have navigated your way through you can select one of the schools or organizations from the list. For right now the list is short but I am sure the list and interface will grow with time.

Here is a look at Michigan's MILearning page...


While you are checking out the K-12 content you should definitely take some time to explore the university content. Neat stuff!