Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gaining perspective: The children not in our classroom

Today, I was feeling rotten about many things. It is the busiest time of year and many other things are going on at and outside of school. I was tired and generally miserable. The thought that dominated all others was: I am being unfair to my own children. 

When I came home, two things happened that helped me put things into perspective and feel grateful again.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

What have you created at school today?

The schooling I received as a child was truly remarkable considering I grew up in a time of civil war. I finished school reasonably fluent in three languages and with enough Maths and Physics behind me to apply for Science and Engineering degrees. One thing I don't remember doing at school was create things.  My art teacher tried but all I could do was reproduce basic drawings or water colours that earned the grades F (Faible - Weak) and AB (Assez Bien - Good Enough!).


This year I experimented with Scratch, an MIT Media Labs environment for building interactive animations and games. Scratch allows students to create, regardless of their level of artistic talent. Given how little time they spent with tutorials and the fact that they only had about 4x60 minutes of class time, a week apart, to create their final product, the results were outstanding.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

What do you think Apple stands for?

In a really good TED Talk, Simon Sinek tell us to "start with why". In a nutshell, he says that successful companies like Apple sell their products by selling us what they stand for: "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." For the life of me, I cannot think of any slogan associated with Apple and what I thought they stood for was very different from what Sinek states in the video.

So here's my question: What do you think Apple stands for? Please leave me an answer in the comments.