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Tell us a bit about yourself and your path to software development and social entrepreneurship.
My own path to technology was one that I think informs my desire to help younger technologists. I grew up with a passion for computers, but very little in my surroundings reinforced that passion. I didn’t have mentors or role-models in technology to look to, and it never really even occurred to me that computer science was a career choice until much later in life.
So I was self-taught and eager to learn, but blissfully unaware of the opportunity in the space. I moved to Uganda in 2008, where…
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In 2006, filmmaker Jehane Noujaim made her TED Prize wish: that for one day, the world would band together for the shared experience of watching film. “As the world is getting smaller,” she said onstage, “it becomes more and more important that we learn each other’s dance moves, that we meet each other, that we get to know each other, that we are able to figure out a way to cross borders, to understand each other.”
Now, Noujaim’s newest film, Solar Mamas, follows Rafea, a Jordanian woman who attends the revolutionary Barefoot College in India.
As the school’s founder, Bunker Roy, explained in his 2011 TEDTalk, “Learning from a barefoot movement,” the college teaches rural women and men — many of them illiterate — to become engineers, artisans and doctors. There are only two rules for enrollment — you must be poor to attend and you must take your learnings home to your village. Rafea is chosen, along with 26 other mothers and grandmothers, to get a…
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I am a specialist teacher in mid-Powys, currently doing the Level 7 diploma in assessing and teaching learners with a specific learning difficulty/dyslexia, and, in parallel, an on-line pilot course in Inclusive Technologies for Reading.
It’s a great joy, being absorbed in teaching and learning that all pivots around sharing access to reading: enabling children and young people to become skilful cracking the code and to develop as independent readers, whilst sharing and discovering for themselves the joy of reading books and listening to audio books.
E-reading opens a new and parallel medium of language communication that is transforming all our lives at a dizzying speed and on a universal scale. The world’s storehouse of printed language is becoming rapidly accessible, at a touch, in multiple formats. Devices and screens are vital channels of learning and communication. Institutions, let down your walls! The future of communication and learning is already held in the hands of our children, eager and curious – in a village in Ethiopia, in our classroom, in the streets of Southwark, in mega-cities in Asia. Explorative, collaborative, spontaneous, connective, we are all now part of a virtual, global, interconnected community as never before.
Whether it is through spoken language, on printed paper, or on-line, we still reach out to each other. We shape thoughts and feelings into words in our mother tongue or in the languages of others: we listen, we read – with our eyes, our ears, our voices, our finger-tips, our minds, our hearts. In text, in song, in our bodies and in our spirit, past lives live on in us, and we are guardian of their messages.
Let us learn from each other, past and present, let us be guardians as best we can. Let us share with each other, with the children whose lives touch ours, near and far, and with all those in the future.
“What you do for yourself – any gesture of kindness, any gesture of gentleness, any gesture of honesty and clear seeing toward yourself – will affect how you experience your world. In fact, it will transform how you experience the world. What you do for yourself, you’re doing for others, and what you do for others, you’re doing for yourself.” Pema Chodron
Buddhist Offerings 365 Days Thames and Hudson, a collection of messages form the masters of Tibetan Buddhism, shared by Danielle and Olivier Follmi
This is their sharing for today.
It is kin to the spirit of the #ITR12 Inclusive Technologies for Reading Course – really fun and a revelation of collaboration and friendliness. Learning in new ways – people excited and baffled and distracted and pleased. So it goes: exploring, making a step forward, time slips by, and knobbly perplexities arise – like now: Where might I find two umlauts for Pema Chodron? – to show respect, she should have them! Yet I will let it go for now, and learn that another day, via help or tweet!!
Kahlil Gibran’s “work is love made manifest” evokes that same experience. Being with a student as their learning unfurls, a sense of wonder, and sweet contentment, shared… as happened today.
“And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,
And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.”
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
I shall lose my high school job at Christmas, and that is a very strange thought. All those hours of nurturing that experience in that place, that thread of life, the sweetness of it. The offering and receiving of a service. Those students who have chosen to come. I shall miss all our shared hours of teaching and learning, weaving through the days and weeks, terms and for some, years. Watching their skills grow. Them growing taller and wiser and me smaller! LOL.
So this is my first blog.
This day day dawes, this gentle day daws, and I must home go.