Rethinking Learning
conversations about the future of teaching and learning
Barbara Bray
be creative, innovate, take risks, unlearn to learn
Oakland, CA

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Invented Math Strategies with Abbott and Costello

By Barbara Bray      September 26, 2009 -- 02:52 PM
Math is beautiful and everywhere, but it isnít always easy for everyone. Creative teachers can open exciting doors for students with invented strategies for whole number computation. There are multiple ways to solve any one question. Check out some interesting and funny examples from some segments from Abbott and Costello. I used to watch these and never knew I was learning new ways to add or subtract.

13 x 7 = 28

Numbers Game

How about showing these to your students and have them come up with their own math skits?

Comments: 2   Last Comment By small Barbara Bray  September 26, 2009 -- 04:22 PM

Reflections on Teams, Learning, and your Digital Footprint

By Barbara Bray      September 23, 2009 -- 12:18 PM
I always tell myself to stop, think, reflect on your day. I haven't done that as much reflecting as I would like. Today, I decided to share my reflections on what I think about school today and what learning means to me.

I work at home. All of our eCoaches either work at home or after their regular jobs. That's what's so cool about working online. You can do this anywhere at anytime. Schools are still designed around the agricultural model and we seem to be stuck with it just like we're stuck with the QWERTY keyboard. I type fast. I'm used to this keyboard but it was created in the late 1800s to ...   more...
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The Web as Acts of Kindness

By Barbara Bray      September 21, 2009 -- 08:28 AM
Jonathan Zittrain suggests the Internet is made up of millions of disinterested acts of kindness, curiosity and trust.

People like to solve problems. Wikipedia is just 45 minutes away from destruction. The readers care about it to create a counter-vandalism unit. I am finding this same thing happen with My eCoach. People are checking links, submitting websites and images, and coming up with new ideas all the time for My eCoach because they care about the community. They are also supporting each other on their teams.

We started My eCoach with the idea we would help eCoaches support their communities. A little different than wikis and blogs. What I am seeing is that more members are contributing, learning from each other, and wanting to support what others are doing. Zittrain's speech gives us hope for the Internet but how can we use this to stop cyberbullying, stalking, and concerns about predatory acts. Rekindling acts of kindness where each of us fight for each other and stop viral acts that harm anyone. Right now, we created My eCoach with the idea of an eCoach supporting, protecting, and facilitating the work of their members; pointing to other members' work and connecting people with similar interests.

The power of many of the social networking tools is how they connect people. The viral manner of the Internet is that if something harmful is posted about you on the Internet, your friends and colleagues will be there to support you. This means that there has to be a feeling of trust that you won't be similarly attacked. I found that to build trust on Facebook or Twitter is not that easy. You probably have people following you that you don't know. You can block them, but if you have alot of people, how do you know what the connections are, what they are saying, unless it comes back to you?

We also are identified by the people we are associated with. If you are part of a larger community and some of the people (you don't know) have completely different interests (be they political or religious), will you be branded one way or another? Are you a lurker and uncomfortable about standing up for your rights? Will you defend someone else and use your name or post anonymously?
Comments: 1   Last Comment By small Cheryl Vitali  September 21, 2009 -- 06:17 PM

Visualizing Hallucinations

By Barbara Bray      September 17, 2009 -- 09:23 AM
Neurologist and author Oliver Sacks brings our attention to Charles Bonnett syndrome -- when visually impaired people experience lucid hallucinations. He describes the experiences of his patients in heartwarming detail and walks us through the biology of this under-reported phenomenon.

How does this only happen with visually impaired people? He mentioned that the hearing impaired have hallucinations including music. I find this very interesting and wonder what these hallucinations mean. If you lose one of your senses, then it becomes more heightened and sensitive. Does this happen with people born blind or deaf? As a physician, Dr. Sacks mentioned that 10% of visually impaired see these hallucinations but only 1% acknowledge them because they don't want to appear mad.

Have you had a dream or nightmare that wakes you up? Temporal lobe dreams are more what most of us have that might include people we know.

More on the Charles Bonnett syndrome, Wikipedia reference, and a biography.

Comments: 1   Last Comment By small Valerie Bebee  September 20, 2009 -- 02:57 PM

Finding and Living your Passion

By Barbara Bray      September 6, 2009 -- 09:04 PM
What if you have a passion that is bigger than your life? Have you ever known a student who liked to doodle or hum but couldn't follow most directions in class?

I saw 60 minutes tonight about Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless man with paranoid schizophenia who is a gifted musician. Steve Lopez, a reporter from LA Times, wrote a series of stories about Nathaniel that was turned into a movie. Then I watched the movie tonight. Read Nathaniel's story.

This made me think about all the people who live on the street. What a waste to have so many people thrown away. I can't imagine what it is like to be lost, ...   more...
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