Education as an Abstraction: Teaching with Real Things

When teaching becomes an abstraction and not something real, the learning doesn’t stick in the student very well.  Imagination must first be grounded in a hard reality.

As we move closer into living in a 24/7 virtual world, it is important for all of us to keep in mind that learning is best fostered using real things, in real-time, in the same, real, room with each other getting real.  That is important in all human interactions, not just the classroom.  We’re always trying to learn from each other and doing it with real objects is a powerful experience that binds.

When you’re teaching about a flower — is it better to show a computer image of a flower, or hand out a flower printed on a piece of paper, or is it best to share a real flower plucked from a garden in your alive hand?

A real flower authentically engages every bodily sense and creates a sensation in the mind.

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Big Brother 13 Live on iOS

One of my Summer rituals is watching Big Brother online and this year’s iteration started last night.  I enjoy studying the live interaction of the houseguests.  This year, Big Brother 13, is unique because the Real SuperPass is finally now viewable on iOS devices — for an extra $10.00USD fee, of course — but that extra money to watch the feeds on your iPhone and iPad is worth every cent.  One of the twists this year is the return of “power couples” including Brendan and Rachel, Jeff and Jordan and Evel Dick and his Daughter Danielle.

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Acting in Everyday Life

Many non-theatre students who take an acting class think two things:  It will be an easy class and acting is pretending to be something you are not.  They are always fearful to learn how  wrong they are on both counts.  The good students overcome their overweening to discover new niches of existence and broader planes of self discovery.

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The Equalization Effect of Digital Publishing

Established mainstream authors like John Updike are furious with Google for scanning books into the public domain and they’re angry with publishers that choose to sell electronic editions of books — any book.  We argue authors like Updike are angry because their specialness in publication is being ravaged by the equanimity and the equality of the digital publishing, print-on-demand, business model creeping into the book world.

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