I just had to ask today...where are the rest of our community members? We miss learning from your posts, comments, and ideas. C'mon Babies...Learn!

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Here's my "Things I like to Do" project.

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My class has just started coding with Alex Mirkowski (IT Teacher, ICS). And I am learning with them. Maybe it should become a regular part of school curriculum? Any thoughts out there?

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I came, I saw, I Scratched...
The Wizard of learning strikes again:


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The Magic of the Darkroom

Dad was always behind his camera, a 1966 Pentax SLR, capturing the lives of my sister and myself on film. Slides were his film of choice, and for our entire childhood, slide shows in gloriously random order were a family-favourite form of entertainment. His mentor was a talented Italian priest, Fr Lino, who played a big role in my own developing passion – photography.

By the time my youngest brother was born, I had inherited Dad's solid Pentax and had become the family photographer. I clicked with carefree confidence, seeing my world anew through the lens of my camera. In the age of expensive colour printing, I preferred black and white film, and when I was 12, was introduced to the delights of the darkroom. Special were those evenings when Dad would take me to the home of a friend, to spend hour upon hour ensconced in the magic of the darkroom. I'd play with filters, exposures and timing, lost in a warm, dark, womb. lost in my own creative world. The smell of the chemicals on my hands and the feel of that glossy paper unwrapped from a black light-proof plastic wrapping just added to the pleasure of the creative process. Watching the dark images slowly emerge on the paper was nothing short of magic.

A few years later I was handed the keys to the darkroom in my high school and had the dubious honor of being the school 'photographer', charged with taking and printing all the photographs for school publications, newsletters, and year books – quite a responsibility, and one which had its downfalls. The lowlight was one time, when I faithfully recorded on film an entire sports tournament with a visiting international school team. On developing the films altogether, in one large canister, I was distraught to discover that the chemical solution was old and ruined all the films in one felt swoop! Nevertheless, my camera was a constant extension of myself, and taking photos was a means to an end – spending time in the darkroom.

I used that 1966 Pentax throughout my entire childhood and grew to know it as an extension of myself. I thought in light and shadow and had no need of the elaborate light-meter that came with the camera. I calculated ISO and ASA, exposure speeds and aperture sizes almost instinctively. But digital photography arrived, and my days in the darkroom were numbered. I enjoyed another photography class at an art education center, and once more thrilled to the smells, feels and creative reward of black & white photography. However, these days it is my husband, not I, who takes the family photographs. I appear in more of them than I take. I haven't successfully adapted to the digital medium, and recognize that it was the process, more than the product, which made me an avid photographer during my youth.

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Just found this while "foraging" on the Net. Could this be another reason for Learning Creative Learning?


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Ian posts a big question that is definitely relevant to us at ICS. Any ideas on how we can implement creative learning from within a standards-based curriculum? I think we definitely have an advantage over US public schools - we don't have high-stakes standardized testing, for one thing. What do you think?
The one BIG QUESTION that many seem to be asking is how can I implement these ideas and practices into my class? I have testing standards I have to follow. I have core standards that I must adhere to.
I think that we can't get away from standardized test curriculum, for now; it seems that every education system around the world is giving their teachers CORE STANDARDS that they must follow.
The best way to approach our classes is by taking what we are learning and discussing it here and applying it to the curriculum that our school wants us to teach. Find a general interest for that lesson for that class and hope that it will work that day. Use activities and discussion to make it relevant and easy to relate to. Always look at the curriculum and ask, how would I want to learn this? How can I KISS (Keep It Short and Simple)? How can I make this interesting and enjoyable?
The bureaucracy of education does not allow those in the classes everyday to influence change; there is a game that we must play, and only those who follow the “rules" will win. By trying to go against what the game-makers have created is not how they want us to play the game. Only the game-makers can change the game, and to become a game-maker you must follow the rules.
The best way for us as individuals to influence change and implement the things we are learning here would be through before and after school programs. This would allow us the autonomy to create an environment for students that would encourage and foster creativity. By offering something unique and (most importantly) free we are encouraging parents to sign their kids up. By allowing imagination and play we are encouraging students to invite their friends. This is how we can bring about the change we want. Students will show their parents how much they are enjoying learning. Parents in turn will want this style applied to all areas of their children's education and will let the game-makers know.
This is not something that will happen over night. It is going to take a lot of hard work, dedication and persistence. But we are taking the first step to change by discussing it here. We have a chance to change the world. Let's not strive to become game-makers, let's be game-changers!

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