Changing Education Paradigms

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.

In this talk from RSA Animate, Sir Ken Robinson lays out the link between 3 troubling trends: rising drop-out rates, schools’ dwindling stake in the arts, and ADHD. An important, timely talk for parents and teachers. Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.

Grab a coffee, sit and relax for 10 minutes by watching a creative approach by RSA Animate as they present Ken Robinson’s message: Changing education paradigms http://on.ted.com/C6Fx #TED

Parent Technology & Literacy Coffee Morning: Summer Fun with Technology

This morning was our last official Parent Technology & Literacy Coffee Morning of the year. Thanks to our dedicated group of core parents who braved the rainy weather today to discuss ideas for summer fun with technology!

As we’re getting ready to think about summer break, there are tons of fun ways to help your child use his/her laptop creatively this summer (i.e.: not just for social networking). To get us started thinking, we watched this episode in the PBS series “Off Book“:

Although this might not be considered “art” in the traditional sense, technology has enabled the development of a huge variety of new and constantly growing and changing mediums. The skills demonstrated in this video are the kinds that we’re working towards here at YIS: innovation, creativity, communication, expression, collaboration and influence. Watching this video, it’s exciting to think about the innovative and creative ways that people all around the world are using technology to create art – and then to share it with a global audience.

Here are a few ways you can encourage your child to create, connect and share this summer too:

Regular blogging

All students in middle and high school have their own blog on The Learning Hub. We are encouraging students to use this space as their own personal learning environment, to publish posts about topics that are interesting to them, to write their own stories, to share ideas and resources they find interesting. The posts on their blog do not need to be exclusively posts written for school (although, of course, they should all be posts that are appropriate to be read/watched/listened to in school).

So, students can use their blogs this summer to:

  • Share stories of their travels
  • Upload a picture a week, and share a story that relates to that picture
  • Free write their own story, or collaborate with a friend to write an interconnected story using links
  • Embed videos they create or videos of places they’ve been
  • Read other student blogs (or other blogs that are interesting to them) and leave comments
  • Write posts related to the comments they’ve made on other blogs, or inspired by comments on their blog

Basically, any time they spend blogging is time reading, writing, thinking, and connecting.

Create a family vacation VoiceThread

VoiceThread is a fantastic tool for sharing images (or video, presentation slides, or .pdf documents) and recording several voices talking about each image. Here’s a great introduction to VoiceThread to see what it’s all about:

All students at YIS should already have a VoiceThread account, but if, for some reason your child can not access their own, you can create an account for free. Once you have an account you can:

  • Create a VoiceThread about a summer trip with everyone in the family collaborating to choose the photos and record their thoughts.
  • Create a VoiceThread about what you did and where you went here in Yokohama.
  • Make a book or movie trailer.
  • Create a project idea, like: finding math in everyday life, or teaching how to do something that you’re passionate about.

Basically, you can create a VoiceThread about anything, and the exciting part is that other people can watch and add their comments too! VoiceThread is great for starting conversations.

Use GarageBand or iMovie to Create a Vodcast or Video

All of the YIS students have created a podcast or video at some point at YIS, it would be fun to use some familiar tools to make something creative and fun, like this fantastic video created by our PE Department this week:

Creating a multimedia project with a theme is a great way to keep a project going for the whole summer. Here’s a great example of a “regular guy” named Matt, who made dancing around the world his job:

As you can see, there are tons of ways to be creative and use your laptop for fun, engaging and entertaining ways this summer! Creating something unique uses tons of essential skills like critical thinking, project-planning, innovation, and collaboration.

Have fun! And don’t forget to spend some time outside, talking, reading, running and playing too!

Thanks so much to our amazing parent community for attending these sessions so frequently, just wanted to share one bit of feedback that arrived in my inbox today from one of our regulars (a special thank you for this!):

Thank you so much for hosting parent tech coffee mornings every month!  I had so much to learn this year. These coffee morning kept me up to date in tech skills with my son.  I look forward to attending more Tech Coffee mornings to learn something new next year!

Our Parent Technology and Literacy Coffee Mornings will start up again next September, watch this space for our schedule for the year.