Monday, 6 February 2012

Oh MetaMuse, Where are You?

museTook a shot of whiskey and a snort of cocaine
Opened up my head and stuck electrodes in my brain
Oh muse, where are you?

Muse Blues  -  Loudon Wainwright III  

Strange isn't it, I went to an excellent esafety conference in Ipswich last week.  Well-organised, interesting conversations, good speakers and workshops. In the back of my mind I’d thought I would blog about it after a day or so - once I’d digested the information and then . . .  nothing. Wondering about this I remembered Loudon Wainwright’s inspired song about lacking inspiration that I’ve quoted above. 

Things from the conference that stay in my mind are:
  1. What a great speaker Stephen Carrick Davies is – passionate and bursting with information
  2. That tomorrow (Tuesday 7th Feb) is Safer Internet Day – SID
  3. What an excellent scheme Chantry High’s Understanding Students is (an online peer mentoring scheme). .
  4. That the biggest problem with esafety information is that there is just too much. It seems to me that it would be really useful to have a one-stop portal that filtered the resources to reflect the user’s level of knowledge and need.
In no way do these points give a considered overview of the day, but I'm sure those last three items have stayed with me because I’ve given them some creative input:
  • I’m preparing an assembly for SID
  • I’ve discussed the idea of making a peer mentoring site template widely available with several people
  • I’ve tried to imagine the kinds of questions that might act as portal filters
I’m reminded that even exciting stimuli aren’t always enough to make us productive when the task is too wide. Our brains sometimes need to focus in on aspects of the information they have received.  How often do we give students an exciting stimulus and expect them to produce a response within a few minutes?  Remembering through creating seems to stand Bloom’s Taxonomy on its head – but only  if you use the taxonomy simplistically;  as prescription not description.
Co-incidentally (?) I chanced upon a concise summing up of the learning-through-doing approach I’d advocate while I was researching my SID assembly. Checking Stephen Carrick Davies’ ‘Nice Pics’ for suitable use in my assembly, I watched the video below too , where film-maker Julian Parmiter (2.24) and Stephen CD (3.15) point out that learners can learn best through making - and not just in the cognitive domain…