Saturday, 1 October 2011

Street Art vs Tagging

I am amazed and in awe of the fabulous new street Art in Wellington seeWgnt Wall Street Blog
The city is alive with painting, stencils, paste-ups and street posters. I have collected together some of the images I have seen over the last few days on my picasa site Tony Cairns Public Picasa Albums. What doesnt thrill me is the tagging and graffitti over around and in spite of the Street Art in Island Bay and elsewhere.
I find it most annoying when it crawls off the walls and into my lab and infects my students work. So I am trying this week a public education campaigh to highlight the best of Wellingtons Street Art  rather than the worst of our tagging. I will be offering external motivators (pizza and chocolate) to the best street art produced by my Year 9 Kelly Students on their folders. The theme will be Light for the start of Term 4 and the Night Sky for the last 4 weeks of 2011. I am hoping we can move our students away from tagging and into vibrant exciting Street Art (with the best of Science themes running through it.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Friday, 15 April 2011

Yippee Schools finished for Term 1

At 8.30 I finally left the building - actually I left at 5 - but returned for more marking at 8 but whatever - its officially holiday time - ah the joy of true bliss - the long sleep ins - well to 8 when Lucy’s scramble for soccer begins - the leisurely lunches - well Liz does have Gym then - the dance class, swimming, tennis - sigh how I long for school. No way  - we have 14 blissful days to plan for term 2, mark the oodles of test papers teachers inflict on students in the dying hours of the term forgetting the karmic double whammy of marking and then resubbing in Term 2. And the joys of Easter made even more fleeting by the 125th reunion of WHS – a brilliant chance to meet all the teachers and students gone before – catch up with old friends and make new ones. Can’t wait but alas this blog will as Liz is clamouring for stories and Lucy is eager to feed the fish – on loan from school for 2 weeks R&R at chez fortunatus.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

New Technology

I love Tech, I long for it, I latch on like a lamprey and razor cut my way into new knowledge, skills and data dumps. I eat chips for brekkie, nibble bytes at break and swizzle memory sticks through the cocktail spirits of my lab. I want faster, finer, fuller downloads and i need uploads to match and merge and mix my memories. All the objects are alive, chatting, relaying and riposting and post Turing test we are all virtually alive. We upload our memories, minds and meaning and replace the intacranial synapses and facial sensors with metal and machines (tho truth be told it too will be organic soon). I think gaming for gain where the meaning is mediated by many and the learning is in the journey will soon replace didactic diatribes. Hope so and so to bed...

Classrooms 3.0

My class is seamless, borderless and bold. Its walls and ceilings shimmer with images from a million points of light. All the chairs and desks and books ripple with translucense. The whole room is live, its a holodeck, a Frizellian Magic Bus (More Miss than Dick). Its like dreaming but connected to times and space and memories. Dream time meets Inner Space mediated by Potters Pensiev. Its an imaginary space actualized by virtual technology a 3D Third or Fourth Life a sims meets Spore in a Big Little World. Its a Jorvik Cart Ride meets Space Mountain Meets HD Imax mashup. Its a brave bnew world where Vogon poetry of yore (aka teacher talk) is banished by an improbability drive a heart of gold and a potted petunia (pace blue whale and Douglas Adams) More Solvent that Solution. Less Evolution than devolution (of knowledge) Equal parts dream and design. My class is people all ages, groups and places. But I digress,,,

Genetics and Genealogy

These are my two twin passions - apart from Pam and the kids - tho one may have lead to another I guess. My aim is to have all the antipodeans connected to a giant tree of life through the partners, descendants and ancestors they link to. I would like to connect that tree of life to the tree of knowledge - hanging all the fruit, leaves and branches of science, history and art from its golden boughs. Then I would like to frost that forest with a pinch of fairy dust (aka DNA) to find the missing links, long lost cousins and survivors of serendipity. Oh and I would like all the dead or non living or historical; records to be universally available 24/7 for free on the Net Necropolis. This may sound like Gataca or a brave new world but to me its the inevitable confluence of memory, passion and power in the post paper paradigm. This other virtual world I see as layers of meaning alternating in real time with real and virtual people their avatars and bots. I hope to replace this uni directional time and limited dimensioned space with a far more complex universe nesting in other dimensions, places and times linked by imaginary thinking and a virtualization of "reality". This above I would like yesterday but now its time for tea and hutch time for weary Guinea Pigs.

This time Maths

Glow and Grow

Liz and Glowing Orb
Why does it Glow?
Glowing Orb

Learning Conversations

Every Student in Junior School at Wellington High School (WHS - I teach Science, Biology and Digital Media there) has a blog, a site, a digital portfolio of their work. Early on in the year we discuss with them and their caregivers what goals they would set themselves to achieve in the term and Year. Each student sets up to three manageable, measureable and meabingful goals. We help them track and revirew their progress to achieving those goals on a weekly basis. We record with them how they are going and what they need to do to reach their goals. All data, reflections and results are available to share with their teacher, peers, parents or caregivers. All students at Junior School have theri own netbooks and laptops and work on them every day, every class and every evening. All data is stored on google docs and is available 24/7 worldwide (and on the space station should their parent be an astronaut - not likely yet tho) Tommorrow is our big day to set with caregiversnad students the years goals. Students websites are replete with images, work and reflections, They have half an hour each to present ther work, hopes and goals to parents and staff.  Let the goodtimes roll. Time to prise the laptpop off the 11 year old (Lucy) disengage the skype, inter the mobile and find the hidden nintendo while leaving enough books to keep and almost tweenager awake till late.

Read Me a Story and Why does it glow?

Web 3.0 and me

I am setting up virtual online spaces for students to work and research their inquiry topics. I would like these spaces to augment reality. I would like them to merge seemlessly with what they see and experience in a safe and entertaining and educational way. I would like the things they see and the sounds they hear and the places they go to trigger memories and reflections of others thoughts, actions and memories. I would like it to be activated by contiguity with others in the same space but in different times. I would like all the research and records in all the repositories to be available to them. A bit like ghosts - see through experiences - like movies in your mind.
Thats just for starters - i need to read the baby (she's 5 and a half but to me shes always"pumpkin") the lorax.