Empathy and Meaning

Once again I’ve had a wonderful time participating in live blogging A Whole New Mind with students from Arapahoe High School. I wish I had time to do more – it’s an amazing experience.

This year I joined up for two classes, discussing chapters in the book by Daniel Pink. Using MeBeam, we could hear the students adding depth to their personal ideas, and challenging each other to think more deeply about the implications of each of the chapters for their schooling, their lives and society.

Karl Fisch set this up again this year at  the A Whole New Mind 09 wiki. It’s the beginning of the year for me, so it’s not easy to help out much – this year two sessions had to be my limit. But the last class on the ‘roster’ happens to be at 6:15 am, so I can make it and still get to school. You can read more about the fishbowl discussion technique.  Drop over to the CoverItLite replay of the blogging discussions.

My chapters for involvement this time were Empathy (where I caught up with Julie Lindsay, wonderful aussie who is head of Information Technology at Qatar Academy in Doha.) and Meaning.

I loved saying hi! to the students. Their efforts were very impressive – wonderful thoughtful discussions. Likewise, the students blogging, who were also listening to the conversation, were extending their thinking in a number of ways, responding to our feedback, throwing out questions to us, and holding their own once again in terms of highly valuable and reflective discussion.

It at wonderful way for me to start the year. It reminds me of the goals we are working towards at our school – embracing technology in immersive and interactive ways to promote 21st century learning of the best kind.

Karl is an inspiration to us downunder, providing concrete evidence of success in changing the way we manage our learning environment. Karl’s work helps me keep my focus.

Special thanks to the students who shared their thoughts with their external visitors.  Next year when the call for people to be involved goes out I highly recommend that you consider joining in. It’s easy, and a great way to see 21st century learning in action.

A Whole New Mind – Pink style

6.00 am on Saturday morning, and at last it was my turn to join one of the classes for live blogging A Whole New Mind with students from Arapahoe High School.

Some weeks ago Karl Fisch (you’ll remember his Did You Know 2.0? video) put out a call for people to participate in ‘live blogging’ over a series of weeks, and you can see the timetable of these events at AWNMLiveBlogging. Luckily for me I could make the Period 6 timeslot on a few of the dates.

I’ve just completed my first session with these fabulous students. The record of just this one class group is at Smith 9H07-08.

What I can’t capture here was the opportunity to hear the fishbowl discussion technique in action. Using MeBeam, a web-based video chat tool, I heard every fabulous word of discussion, along with my fellow bloggers Christian Long and Gary Stager.

Yet another wonderful way to add flexibility and creativity to learning as a multimodal conversation.

Photo: 油姬