Tagged: Kids

IT Conversations – Games in education

GameThis is my first mini review of a talk from IT conversations, it is an interview by Moira Gunn with Dr. Henry Jenkins and explains how he thinks video games will revolutionise education. Dr. Jenkins is the director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the co-editor of Rethinking Media Change: The Aesthetics of Transition (Media in Transition).   The talk is truly fascinating, and pretty scary when you think about the dramatic affects it will have on the capability and outlook that the kids of the future.  Surprisingly this talk and others point out that the gamer generation will have different attitudes to work and will need to be managed differently, this talk by John Beck, a Senior Research Fellow at USC’s Annenberg Center of the Digital Future, is on that topic.

I particularly liked the description of the teacher, as more of a coach and leader, and the emphasis on experience as a tool for learning.  In the games that bring history to life it is interesting how it will be possible to provide a real insight into what life was actually like for those experiencing key events from different …

Bank holiday weekend

Picture045_02May05It’s been a few months since I have been well enough to taking the kids out playing on the beach, so this bank holiday weekend has been pretty special.  We have played ball games every day on our local beach and today we went into Blackpool early (never go into Blackpool late on a bank holiday unless you like the “party atmosphere” – ie drunken louts!).  Anyway early on a sunny day is great fun.  The girls spent an hour in the amusements and we had a good root round the shops and good fun on the beach.

Sharing and giving

StawberriesOn Saturday I started to pull up all of the strawberry plants that had rooted from runners last year.  I ended up with several hundred plants in a big heap.  I decided that it would be a good idea to give them away, but my wife thought no one would be interested.  I took this as a bit of a challenge,  I am one of those people who likes to think the best of others (which is an extension of having a positive outlook) my wife in contrast always expects things to go wrong and tends to distrust those she doesn’t know.  Anyway I bagged the plants up – 15 plants to a bag – and to make the challenge more interesting decided to give the plants away but allow for donations.

My eldest daughter, Stephie, made a lovely sign and we put the 15 bags of plants in a big plastic container on the path outside the house.  The sign read – Free Strawberries – and was nicely illustrated.  Next to the container was a small wooden bowl which I put a little loose change in; to get things going.  After three days all 15 bags have gone, we …

Looking Back

I thought I would take the opportunity to look back on my year (and a funny old year it’s been) before looking forward to the new year in a few days.  It’s nice and quiet in the house and after such a lovely time (Christmas Morning) it’s left me in an appropriately reflective mood, so here goes:



What a year it’s been, around the middle of January 2004 I started with another flare of Adult Onset Still’s Disease, which had been in remission for about 8 months.  This time no remission has occurred and one year on I am still suffering. However I have come to terms with it well and am approaching the point after many experiments (often painful) and lots of record keeping, research and analysis I think I am on the brink of getting things under control. …


It’s Christmas day today and the girls have had a fantastic time opening and enjoying their presents.  It started like this:


  1. On Christmas Eve the girls were allowed to choose one present to open, inevitably they chose ones that looked most like clothes so that they could where them on Christmas morning!
  2. They all went to bed nice and early without a peep (very unusual) as they all understand that Father Christmas misses any houses where children are awake J
  3. Debbie and I acting as Father Christmas’ helpers then packed up 4 gift bags that Father Christmas was to deliver that night to their bedrooms, one of the nice touches is that during holidays the Twins sleep in bunk beds with their older sisters instead of together.
  4. On Christmas morning we let the kids open their presents from Santa at 7:00AM (and the rest after breakfast) although they often hold one or two back to open on boxing day; which is my Birthday.
  5. This morning Debbie crept into their rooms just after 6:00AM and found them sitting on their beds surrounded by unopened gifts patiently waiting for 7:00 to arrive (bless) I think she let them sneak a …

If you only read one blog, make it this one …

I continue to be amazed by Dave Pollard and how he manages to provide us with such thought provoking insights into How To Save The World on a daily basis.  To give you a glimpse of his motivation look at the following snip, and then read his bio.

Five years ago, at the age of 48, I decided it was time to stop complaining and being depressed about the state of the world, and start doing something about it. I began to read voraciously, an average of two books a week, and gradually put together a picture in my own mind of the current state of the world, how we got here, and what we needed to do about it. In February of last year I started a weblog, in part because I wanted to share what I had learned, and in part to discuss it with others and find out if they felt the same way that I did


A story about thinking

This charming story is based on the ‘Six Thinking Hats’ by Edward de Bono. The story shows the individual use of the hats and their effects as types of thinking. Perhaps this is just the beginning and readers will add further chapters to this story or write similar stories embodying other thinking tools and frameworks. It is my wish that we can gather a large number of stories that are suitable as ‘bed time stories’ which people can then download from the site and read to their children. Any volunteers to create some illustrations? Please send your contributions to me at edwdebono@msn.com.

Peter de Bono

The Magic Hats
By Lorna Santín

A long time ago, in a beautiful village with small straw houses, something happened which I’ll tell you about.

About a hundred people lived in that place . There was a bread maker, a locksmith, several miners, a teacher and many more men with different jobs. Each of them lived with his family – his wife, his children … There were younger, middle aged and older children.

Some of these children liked playing near a waterfall just outside the village. Of course their parents didn’t like the idea at …

Six Thinking Hats

I have just started to think through some of the processes, I take for granted.  One of these is “researching and descision making”.  One of the first approaches I cam across was the “Six Thinking Hats”; approach it stunned me that a process I am so familliar with could be so dramatically improved through applying more structure.  What particularly appealed was how the approach works within teams to avoid conflict.  Here’s a summary of the approach:

  • White Hat:
    With this thinking hat you focus on the data available. Look at the information you have, and see what you can learn from it. Look for gaps in your knowledge, and either try to fill them or take account of them.

    This is where you analyze past trends, and try to extrapolate from historical data.

  • Red Hat:
    ‘Wearing’ the red hat, you look at problems using intuition, gut reaction, and emotion. Also try to think how other people will react emotionally. Try to understand the responses of people who do not fully know your reasoning.

  • Black Hat:
    Using black hat thinking, look at all the bad points of the decision. Look at it cautiously and defensively. Try to see why it might not …


Just recently I have been reading about luck and whether there is such a thing a lucky person.  It’s a big subject, but two ideas stuck with me:


  1. People interact with so many people and things in so many different way these days that statistically “miracles” happen.  If you define miracles as events that have less than a 1 in a million chance of occurring then I read somewhere that most people will hear of one about once a month.  That means that people are going to come across someone being very lucky/unlucky , (perhaps 1 in 10,000 chance events),  pretty much every day just based on chance.

  2. The second idea is much more interesting.  It seems that people who describe themselves as lucky seem to know more people than those that describe themselves as unlucky.  Not surprisingly the more people you know the better the chance that one of those people will be able to help you out in some way, or will know someone who knows someone ….This networking theory although obvious once it’s explained is pretty powerful.

Happiness and the Olympics

It seems that in an analysis of the expressions on Olympic medal winners faces on the podium the happiest people won gold, then bronze then silver. It seems that the people who won bronze were thinking “I nearly didn’t get a medal at all”, whereas the silver winners were thinking “if only I had tried that bit harder I would have got gold”.  I then got to thinking about how I think in these terms and it goes something like this:


  1. I always think about the worst that could happen.  I think through the worst scenario but while I am doing so I look for something good that could come out of it.

  2. I don’t dwell on this worst scenario though, I am quite a positive person so I quickly accept it as a possibility, and then assure myself that its fairly unlikely and move on.

  3. If it’s a repeat of some event that happened in the past I try and remember something good about that event as well.  

  4. Any outcome from that point onwards is then better than the worst scenario that I have already accepted as a possibility, but then set aside and not …