When I was in school we often had to do reports on one thing or another. Book reports were easy, you only needed the book. Others were more involved, requiring visits to the library, encyclopedias and other books on the given topic. One year I had to do a report on a state, I chose North Carolina. I remember having to call and request from the chamber of something or another and get information sent to me so that I could get the information needed for my report. It was a big deal, and once I received the information I remember pouring through looking for the things that were required for my report.
I’ve often thought how much easier it would be today. Today you just hop on your computer, type in a few keywords and poof! you have your report information. Since I started doing the around the world blog, I am finding that this is not really the case. It really is not all that easy because when you type in your keywords there is no telling how many pages are going to come up that are irrelevant to what you are looking for. In fact you receive so much more information, some of it false, than you could find in two or three local libraries. But still somewhere in all the links what you need does eventually show itself.
So I have decided that what I think is this, the internet is overwhelmingly helpful. It has what we need, we just have to learn to weed out the false and irrelevant and have a lot of patience. Not much different from my library days.
I was on the way home from the doctor’s office today and caught most of the second half of The Diane Rehm Show on NPR and I am so glad I did! As her guest she had Salman Khan who is the man behind The Khan Academy. I had never heard of it until today but by the time I got home I couldn’t wait to get home and visit it. Basically the Academy, found at khanacademy.org, is a free educational site crammed pack full of short lectures in a variety of subjects. There seems to be no limit to the people who may find this site of use. Subjects of learning include math, computer science, history, art history, finance and economics and they hope to continue to expand. So I visited the site and decided I would watch one video just to get an idea and share it here. I watched a short video, in this case more of a slide show with voice overs discussing why look at art. After watching the video I found questions submitted by people who had viewed the “lecture” followed by room to comment yourself. Also you can ask a question for discussion if you chose. In just a few minutes, probably less than 15, I had an opportunity to think about and join in on a discussion of the value of art. I loved it! Next I want to work on my math skills…and science…ooh and more art…and history! If you’d like to listen to the interview of the founder, which I found fascinating, you can find it here: http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2012-10-03/salman-khan-one-world-schoolhouse-education-reimagined . Anyhow, that’s what I think for today!