Tag Archives: education

Fun with Wordle

If you haven’t used wordle to play with text in a non linear kind of way, check out my doodle this morning. It can be addicitve.

Give it a try. Take your favorites saying or quote and play with it ad infinitum .

Cognitive Commuting: Trains, Brains, and Automobiles

Continuing education is a great industry for many universities, community colleges, and “Learning Annex” type concerns. The learner in a continuing education class is there for a very different reason than a traditional student. A continuing ed. student is there not for credit or a grade, but for actual knowledge and expertise in the subject. For enrichment. Being a continuing ed student is like being in the church choir; nobody does it for the wrong reasons. It is volunteer, self directed learning driven.

One of the advantages of the digital age is, with all the channels being cast into the digital ether, you can find an expert channeling their expertise on almost any subject. For Free. And if you are in it for the learning, and not a grade or a credit, it is a great time to be alive.

This past fall I chose to commute once a week for a bunch of weeks, to a far off college to develop a course in online content creation. I live in Connecticut, the school is in Pennsylvania. The one way trip was 2.5 hours. I choose to do this for two reasons. I like teaching every once in a while, so there was that. What I was most excited about was gaining expertise in a new facet of internet marketing I’ve been exploring, and this I was doing with an iPod filled with courses by some of the country’s smartest experts on the subject. I listened to panel discussions from conferences, ebooks, podcasts on branding, sales training, etc. I must have listened to 30-40- hours of instruction. I let it wash over me as I drove, grabbing a little here, and a little there. By the time the project at the University ended, I was expert in many things, by book learning standards, and I’ve been implementing ever since.

So try this. If you want to pick up some expertise in anything- Elizabethan poetry, internet marketing, quilting, etc. Get a podcast, a video feed into an ipod and listen to it on the train, in your car, or on the bus. Anytime you are waiting, pop in the headphones and learn. This is not new. We’ve listened to books on tape since the walkman came about, but now it is all free. Want to learn how to start a blog? You can pay 27.00 for an ebook OR you can do a little searching on iTunes’ podcast directory and find it for FREE. You can take a community college course in French, or you can download a complete set of audio lessons for FREE, complete with worksheets, from one of many language “casts”. So many people are freely giving away great expertise today, one wonders why spend the money for continuing education, when the expertise is online…FREE.

The main reason I’ll take a course is the human interaction. For a physical mentor. But, for pure learning, for the information, to get to the essence of a thing, I’ll take portable and free.


Is your child the next Oprah?

As you already know, your child has an opinion on the world around them and a thirst for knowledge that makes their world exciting and one worth exploring. Children also have a story to tell about their lives and the world around them. In fact they are all reporters in the making with the abilities to shares their views with the world by streaming their stories online in kid-generated informative audio. Their lives are important and so are the stories they need to express, by allowing them to hone this talent, you can foster their investigative abilities, allowing them to opportunity to develop well-rounded and informed ideas that they can communicate with kids their own age and the entire world through the use of kid-generated audio streaming websites.

With the myriad of subject that interest our children there will be no lack of material for them to explore, understand and relay to others in an informative and entertaining manner. Considering the statistics, children are fast becoming major Internet citizens; it therefore goes without saying that they have a world of information and a wide audience to appreciate their knowledge and ideas. Audio recording devices are cheap to buy and easy to use, giving your child the easy opportunity to develop their audio and reporting skills without hitting your pocketbook and giving you hundreds of pages of instructions to decipher.

A story can be as near as the kitchen and as relevant as any of today’s top news stories. Your child’s imagination is the only limit and we all know that a child’s imagination is boundless. They can either report on real life events of ideas important to them or create fun fictional plays that will entertainment the Internet through kid-generated streaming audio. There are many outlets for these endeavors beside the usual sites such as YouTube, Yahoo and Google. You’re child now has at their fingertips more accessible technology geared for their use, allowing them to create original web content and web design. There are also other avenues of online expression available to your child that are easy to access and provide support for their burgeoning investigative and creative talents.

For instance, there is an online organization called Radio Diaries. They offer a site section that is dedicated to the stories that your child has to offer. By allowing you child to collect audio, usually through the course of a year, they give your kid reporter the opportunity to monitor and record their daily life, and archive the issues that they encounter and the life experience that causes them to grow. Not only does this have a positive analytical effect for their mind, but it also allows them to express all that is important to them and gives them a venue to share that expression with kids there own age and the world in general, in a safe, informative and entertaining manner.

This site is only of many that help your child develop the skills that turn them from passive viewers of internet content to creators and developers of a positive and active world, allowing them to be socially aware and culturally active citizens of the world.