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Webspiration Wednesday

I’ll be honest, today’s Webspiration Wednesday was a flop.  I wanted to introduce teachers to Daniel Pink’s a Whole New Mind and did a quick video search to see what I could find.  I came up with an interview that Oprah did with Daniel Pink about his book.  It would have been great if Oprah wouldn’t have opened her mouth.  I think she mentioned that she donated 4,500 books to Stanford grads no less than 50 times.  The interview wasn’t great, Oprah didn’t focus enough on the book, she was leading the questions to get the answers that she wanted. A flop.  On the upside, teachers got enough of a glimpse into the book that they were left wanting to read it.  So even though the video was a flop, the inspiration was still there.  Our local library offers digital downloads and A Whole New Mind is one of the audio books available for download.  My hope is that the staff will listen to it and think about how it relates to our classrooms and education.  Daniel Pink has a discussion guide for educators that is free to download on his website.    In the next few weeks, I hope to show Daniel Pink’s TED Talk on his newest book Drive (also excellent). In A Whole New Mind, Pink asks us to consider the world that we are living in. He calls the age we find ourselves in the Conceptual age.  In this age, many left brain jobs are disappearing.  If a computer can do it faster, someone overseas can do it cheaper, or what you are offering isn’t in demand in this age of abundance, the job will become obsolete.   So then, creativity becomes the competitive difference that can differentiate commodities. Pink outlines six essential senses that need to be developed: Design – Moving beyond function to engage the senses. Story – Narrative added to products and services. Symphony – Adding invention and big picture thinking (not just detail focus). Empathy – Going beyond logic and engaging emotion and intuition. Play – Bringing humor and lightheartedness to business and products. Meaning – the purpose is the journey, give meaning to life from inside yourself. As an educator, I am interested in how we can help our students develop these senses so that they can be prepared for the world ahead of them.  Here is a clue: it has nothing to do with standardized testing! Have you read A Whole New Mind?  What take aways do you have for us? If you haven’t read A Whole New Mind, I highly recommend it.

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Picturing the Thirties

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, History, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 11-10-2009

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What it is: Picturing the Thirties is another great virtual web activity from the Smithsonian.  This virtual museum exhibit teaches students about the 1930’s through eight exhibitions.  Students will learn about the Great Depression, The New Deal, The Country, Industry, Labor, The City, Leisure, and American People in the 1930’s.  Art from the Smithsonian American Art Museum are supplemented with other primary sources such as photographs, newsreels, and artist memorabilia.  Students can explore the virtual exhibits complete with museum guides that explain each exhibit to students.  The feature presentation of the museum is a series of interviews of abstract artists describing the 1930’s.  User created documentaries can be viewed from the theater’s balcony.  Students can visit the theater’s projection booth where they can find primary access and a movie making tutorial.

How to integrate Picturing the Thirties into the classroom: I am always amazed by the virtual content that the Smithsonian has produced.  Picturing the Thirties is an incredible virtual field trip to museum exhibits that will put your students face to face with primary resources that will help them understand the events and culture of the 1930’s.  This is SO much better than learning from a textbook!  This interactive site is a great way for students to explore the 1930’s and learn at their own pace.  This site is perfect for the computer lab environment where every student has access to a computer.  You could also take a class virtual field trip to the museum using an interactive whiteboard or a projector.

Tips: Make sure that students have headphones or speakers for this website, there is quite a bit of audio content.

Related Resources: Smithsonian Virtual Museum, UPM Virtual Forest, efield Trips

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Picturing the Thirties in your classroom.

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