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Showing posts from April, 2012

The Future of Reality

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Reality.  It is something we all encounter, every day.  “In philosophy, reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined” (Wikipedia Apr. 28, 2012).  I wonder what our definition of reality will be in the future.  I just read an article “the Future of Food” (The Futurist May-June 2012, p.24-28) that talks about the efforts to genetically engineer / modify organisms.  There are scientists experimenting with creating transgenic crops (eg, a potato with a chicken gene), referred to as Frankenfood, interestingly.  They are creating rice with vitamin enhancements, hardy corn crops to grow under harsh conditions, etc.  Some geneticists claim that one day we will select flavors, textures, and colors for our tomatoes with the a few clicks of a mouse.  In the future will our food be real, as we know it? Another article in the same issue of The Futurist, “Unlimiting Energy’s Growth” (p.29-31) describes work to create superlight smart mat…

Share the Learning

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Sharing with others what we’ve learned is rewarding.  Others are able to benefit from what we’ve discovered and we feel good about helping others with their learning.  The saying “it is better to give than to receive” really is true isn’t it.  I think the “movement” to document student learning provides a powerful way to share and reflect on learning.  In my work in my District I have the privilege of visiting classrooms and documenting and sharing the learning teachers and their students are experiencing.  Visiting classrooms regularly is one of my personal goals.  One such recent visit was to a Kindergarten class to talk with the teacher and one of her students.  The teacher had documented a young learner who became a “Mathematician at Work” one morning.  Jennifer Lawson Come along with me and enjoy Keira’s learning journey…Our District created a focus group this past school year.  About 20 K-3 and literacy support teachers are researching and learning how to capture and share studen…

Learning, Just in Time

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I remember the good old days when I used to have ample time to learn something new.  Back in the late 80’s I was working for the Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans Canada as a Systems Analyst in the data centre of a fishery research facility.  I remember being given a project to plan for and execute, wait for it… upgrading the Fortran programming language on the mainframe.  Wow, how exciting is that.  I took a couple of months to learn about, research, and plan for this change.  Learning and change back then was glacial compared to now.  I remember worrying about a lot of details I didn’t completely understand and made sure to learn everything possible before acting.  Things have certainly changed…  Those of us engaged in the digital world are having to adapt, learn, unlearn, relearn constantly.  Essentially, I now subscribe to the “fearless learner” philosophy.A few weeks ago I was asked by the professional development rep for one of our secondary schools if I would lead a workshop for th…

Technological Progress to What End?

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I received an email from a teacher friend yesterday referring to an article in the Vancouver Sun with the title “Pope: Technology without God is dangerous”.  In this article the Pope said: “technological progress, in the absence of awareness of God and moral values, posed a threat to the world”My friend asked “what happens if we have technological progress WITH moral values, BUT in the absence of an awareness of God; how will the world fair then?”  I think this is a great question.  With full disclosure that I am a believing Christian (not Catholic), I’ll try to answer this question as it fits my blogs purpose to write about about the future and technology.  I should be clear about my understanding of what morality is and where it comes from.  This Wikipedia article sums it up:“Morality (from the Latinmoralitas ‘manner, character, proper behavior’) is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and those that are bad (or wrong)…  Th…