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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Technology and Silence





I suppose there is something to be said for the computer in education. 

The kiddiewinks are now all in front of their machines and tapping away with two, or sometimes daringly more fingers getting their thoughts down on paper.  I am not sure that there is any planning about what they are doing but they are relatively quiet and that, considering that we live in an imperfect world, is all that matters.  Especially on an overcast day when there is no gleam of healing sunshine to make things look positive.

The rain has now set in and Barcelona has disappeared under a soft white gauze of wetness.  The soft slap of water spilling from clogged pipes is surrounded by the pizzicato of falling raindrops splashing onto the tiled terrace – and I’m pissed off with it all!  We have had too much of this (perfectly seasonal) rain and I want it to stop and I want summer here now.  If not sooner.

How can I salvage something out of the wreckage of my Essay if I am constantly staring morosely out of the window and not seeing sun?  And the days are ticking down to the cut off time.  Still a week left, and I can concentrate a little more now that the sets of examination marking are out of the way.

The rain has continued relentlessly all day and we have been accompanied by gurgles and tricklings and splashes wherever we have gone.  Traipsing from building to building has been a very unpleasant experience hopping inexpertly from puddle to puddle and hoping that my recent assiduous polishing of my shoes has made them truly waterproof.

Today was the day of the start of the Credit of Synthesis in which various connected projects are loosed on the kids and they work in groups to get their various tasks done.  I was hurriedly drafted in to take the first lesson for one group mainly because they were using material that I had written last year.  This was from a unit of work on the concept of the Hero.

I have to say that I rather enjoyed the lesson and found revisiting the old stuff stimulating.  The kids had to research a list of names and then give them a mark for how heroic they thought they were – and most importantly be able to justify their judgements.

There were a few glitches.  Typing the name Jason into the computers did not lead with information about the Classical Jason, he of the Golden Fleece, but rather the Jason from a slasher horror movie!  Similarly Jesse James appears to be some sort of sports star rather than the infamous Western outlaw!

The project based learning will go on for the rest of the week and next and will end up with the kids giving presentations in their groups of what they have learned during the week.  All good clean fun which should take us up to the end of term and the start of the Easter holidays and a long awaited rest! 

January, when I came back after Christmas seems an awfully long way back in distant history and June seems equally distant in terms of the future!  But it will come round soon enough and I will be truly retired at last!  Hooray!

Meanwhile, I will do the referencing work on The Essay this evening and attempt some restructuring.

And try not to think about the rain.

At all.



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