What a week! Between eldest daughter of elderly parents duties, a full-time job which includes teaching a class at night and one on Saturday, and my graduate class, I think my mind is a little fried.
But there has been melding of some of my different worlds…
I started watching TED videos and was amazed at the wealth of knowledge available to me — and it’s all free. I don’t have to sign up or pay for classes, I don’t have to have a certain educational degree, no prerequisite courses — I just have to have curiousity about something, type in the keywords, and then select from a vast array of results!
This past weekend, I heard Thomas Friedman explain how the world is flat and then listened to some of his critics discuss how Thomas Friedman is full of it. I also watched videos on examples of B.F. Skinner’s behaviorist theories and learned more about constructivism. It is so cool being able to see examples of different theories in practice — it truly makes a lesson come alive and a theory more approachable.
After watching several video clips, I showed my 83-year-old father how to access the different video websites on his computer; I figured it was better for him than to play mindless online computer games all day. My dad has always had an unquenchable curiousity about the world and how it works, and he instilled his passion for learning in me. I was happy to repay him for the favor.
After we checked out a few sites, my father really enjoyed having his world of information expanded beyond the daily newspaper and weekly Time magazine. For him, it was better than getting information from TV because, if he missed a word or didn’t understand something, he could replay the clip; and it was better than his print media because he didn’t have to worry about recycling anything.
So I got to share what I’m learning in class with my dad, and he’s still able to learn about and experience the evolving world. As for my mom, she’s still happy just playing online solitaire.