Saturday, December 02, 2006

New cars, synchronicity and iPods

I've been a bit quiet recently. I'd like to say it's because I've been too busy, but while I have been busy, it's mostly my lack of organisation that has led to the lack of posts! (See the photograph of my desk for evidence of my lack of organisation.)

I've got loads of things to blog about and I'll try to get some of them out over the next few days. I thought I'd start with our new car (well, new to us... it's about 9 months old). We picked up our new car on Saturday 25th of November. As we were signing all the forms to transfer ownership of our old car (see picture!) and take possession of the new one, we had to say when we got the old car. To our surprise, we discovered that we got our old car on the 25th of November 1999 - exactly seven years earlier! {Do-do, do do! Do-do, do do! - insert Twilight Zone theme tune here!}

Apart from having a working clutch (which wasn't the case with our old car) the new one is notable for having an auxiliary audio input socket - in other words, I can play my iPod through the car stereo. Huzzah! As a result I caught up on a huge backlog of David Warlick's podcasts in the space of one day's school visits. Huzzah! As always, David's podcasts gave me loads to think about. Huzzah!

In particular, I liked the way one of the people he was chatting to described information. (Can't remember who said it, but I think it is in Episode #70 if you want to check it out for yourself.) The chap said something along the lines of... "Information today is like white noise. It's always there but usually we tune it out. However, when we need to find something, we can tune in and find out what we need." I liked that. I've talked before about how many of our pupils carry about with them mobile devices capable of tuning in to this white noise and extracting the important stuff... but I'm not convinced that as educators we've really worked out how to cope with this or what changes it will bring to our education system.

One other thing that stood out from a recent podcast was the report of a conversation. A teacher who was perhaps concerned about losing their status as sage on the stage, asked something like, "But what do you do if a pupil asks you something and you don't know the answer?" The reply made was something like: "The same as when I do know the answer - I say, 'That's a good question. How do you think we can find an answer?' "

All good stuff. The only problem I have with the listening in the car method is that there is no easy way to take notes. (Hence all the "something like" bits above!) I think I need another iPod so I can record my thoughts in a podcast as I listen to other people's podcasts. :-)

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