This morning I see the value of this blog and the whole bit about reflection being important---first I'll vent a second.
This was a marathon session for me. First I discovered there were things I hadn't done last session, and I had to get them in, which put me several days behind. Then I diivided up the work, what would I need to do each night, etc., only to get to the end and discover that once again, I had read wrong, and there was more to do. Ten portfolio entries--it seems to me that it would be this session where the most students would drop out, if you can make it through this one, you're probably going to survive. My wife hasn't seen a lot of me the past two weeks, but, I think I'm a surviver.
Now, as to the value of the blog, having completed the entries, I looked again at what this session was all about--oh yes, not just concept maps, but, creativity. In fact, it turns out I did take some notes on the Ken Robinson talk, etc. and I can reflect on some of the things they said.
Some things I've done right over the years--we homeschooled out kids. My wife was talking with my daughter Jill the other day--the least academically inclined of my daughters (the most creative and artsy). She shared about her own eduction, how she internallized the things that really caught her interest. She apparently amazed her husband recently with her knowledge of living conditions in Napal. She went on to say how her mother would sit down and read them from a book on Indians, and promise them that if they'd pay attention they could look at the book more when the lesson was over. When the lesson was over, she would pour over the book. When it was time to go outside, she and her sisters would play "Indians" under the tree in the front yard. She learned a lot about Indians.
Some things I've done wrong, and still have a big tendency to do wrong--give in to time pressure. Time restraints was the first thing mentioned in the 20 ways..." article. One of the first things in both this article and Ken R.'s talk was that the fear of being wrong kills creativity, I'm not sure Ken. R. mentioned time restraints directly, but, it sure seems like a killer to me. Another factor that made Castone the dominant force in my life the past two weeks, is that I was also teaching part of my project one unit while all this was going on. I had asked the teacher for four days of class time and increased that to five. Because of time restraints, we never sat down and discussed the lesson ahead of time as thoroughly as we should have. I felt like going over the five days would be an imposition, and besides, we need a little time pressure to get the kids to stay on task and produce somehting--right? Well, there may be some validity to all of that, however, I found that the kids reallydid stay on task in producing their videos, and another half hour or so to do it in probably really would have been beneficial. As it was, the ones that were done strictly in class were pretty short, and the story lines, also, might have been more varied from group to group, had the kids had more time to plan out (do a storyboard) what their videos would be about.
I've looked at their blogs for blog #2 and I find that, they are not what I want--way too brief. I think I'll email the teacher today and ask if I can stretch this out a bit more, have them revisit their blogs, and fill them out a bit more--they haven't thought as deeply on this subject as I want them too--nor as creatively.
I have a lot more to say about mind-mapping--however, due to time restraints, I need to get ready for the day and be off to work---I could be the best student in the class if I just had 28 hour days....
Let me quickly add that I watched another Ted Talk by the guy who listed dangerous things to let your kids do...I really enjoyed it, he mentioned things I did a whole lot of as a child...like carry a pocket knife, deconstruct old appliances, play with fire, --it looks like I should have done more spear throwing---he said that helps develop a the fontal lobe of your mind--and my mind could've used all the development it could get. I'm being somewhat serious here, as an adult I seem to have lost all accuracy with my throwing a baseball--although I've thrown a ball hundreds of times to my athletically inclined daughter, I'm embarassingly inaccurate--if I had a coach work with me on that, I wonder what other areas of my thinking it might improve....???