Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rapid Fire Learning - April

There has never been a better time to be alive. The means to share, collaborate, learn and grow are at our finger tips with the click of a button. Learning is in our blood. We all carve and need growth--whether we've come to recognize it or not.
Tim Draayer kicks off Rapid Fire Learning this month at the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog. It has been a special month for learning. What are the five things I learned this month?

1 - Voice does make a difference. If you have not had a chance to experience VoiceThread, please click through to see the experiment Joanna Young fostered for us at JJL. Viva la difference!

2 - Daily writing brings unexpected pleasures. I started a series of sherku on the Franklin Line station stops. That got picked up on Universal Hub which turned from haiku/sherku into limericks from the community. I wrote about that on JJL and the limericks have some legs now. There will be more to come.

3 - Body balance is wonderful. The Day 1 GEL2008 morning session was Sphereplay. Rolling a sphere around your hand keeping in contact with it. This was not like playing catch or juggling. That requires coordination and separation of the sphere from the body. Sphereplay requires constant contact between the body and the sphere. We all have a strong hand or strong side, one of the positive developments is to spend time with the weak side. Bring the body more into balance. One major plus for me was after an hour of such sphereplay, I could not recall what my most recent work task was. Checking the Blackberry after the session brought it all back so nothing was lost. I did gain the capability to re-produce this sometime now with a sphere.

4 - Listening is an intense activity. In the Day 1 GEL2008 afternoon session, I did some improv exercises with Cathy Salit. The first was mirroring the movements of a partner. Every so often, a bell rang, and the leader switched between my partner and I. We needed to pay attention to the movement underway and then transition to a new leader/follower. The third step in this set was the leader started speaking a sentence. You need ed to speak real ly slowly... to allow the partner to follow you and when the bell rang and the leader switched, it was a real challenge.

5 - You don't have to spend a lot of money to learn. PodCamp New York, a free unconference re-enforced this again. One prime example was finding about the Free Reading.Net site from Anna Breed. Anna works for Wireless Generation. The Free Reading program has been certified by the Florida Department of Education for use in the state. The program is in pilot with three Boston elementary schools and expected to roll out to all of the Boston elementary schools this September. The cost avoidance of books with program is a clear benefit. It is focused on K-1 right now with grades 2-3 being added this summer. Maybe something for Franklin to consider?

There was more learning this month but this is the top five.

What did you learn in April?