Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Solstice!

So it's Solstice (give or take a few days). What a day!

I admit to being horribly anxious about the day. There was the thought that the saddest thing would have been finding no orphans for my normal orphan's Christmas. I'd just about completely given up on it when I got an instant message asking if something was happening. Then last night, an email, asking much the same thing.

And so it got to the point that we only just had enough seating. And, surprisingly, the TV went off. It was fantastic! Normally the "tradition" has been, sit around, watch movies, fall asleep on the couch. But with the TV off, it was soooo much better. People sitting around talking, joking and basically, solving the world's problems.

Prior to this, there was a Christmas do - the only one for the year that I attended (I was invited to another though unfortunately, due to health reasons, I was unable to attend) - at one of the school's of the Manaiakalani cluster. The bit that struck me as interesting was that the bits that I realised I had been taking for granted (by, as I admitted to one teacher, "teaching around"), the computer skills and behaviour due to a consistent message, aren't taken for granted.

An amazing combination of people, the support (though people are so much more amazing given the right support) and the facilities to accomplish a common goal leads to all sorts of really cool results. And while I'm here patting those people on the back, it's worthwhile pointing out that amazingly people are only amazing when they're not feeling de-spirited.

While we're on the subject, I was reading a post on the possible use of instruction videos for education. Not in watching them but more in producing such videos. The post then went on to go on about integrating it into a school curriculum and assessment model. That has the sound of support to me. Teaching methods shouldn't be dismissed because assessment may be hard. Instead, knowing that one of THE most effective ways of learning is to teach, then do the teaching as a method to reinforce a lesson rather than for assessment needs. I argue that it's the learning that's important, not the assessment.

While we're heading towards new years, I have to wonder what next year is going to bring. While it was supposedly the end of the world on the 21'st, I have to comment on just how unremarkable the day was. So next year, I'm looking at just how awesome I can possibly be.

I have a few different projects on the run. The new image for Manaiakalani which leads into Tartare Source. I'm convinced I'm going to get "Trading Post" up and running. I've got an interesting prospect ahead of me though I'm not entirely convinced I'm the right person for that particular job. A project of my own for use by school's (I'm not really ready to announce what that project might be at this stage). And finally, lesson plans around electronics and arduinos (to do the heavy lifting).

Of course, these things always take more time than you anticipate. So I guess if I'm able to accomplish half of these things next year, I'll be pretty pleased with myself.

But, the main point of this post....

Happy Solstice one and all. May your new year bring less doom days.

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