As they say, the future is now. At WOMAD Festival (Adelaide) a robust discussion about batteries and alternate energy systems took place. Listen to the audio via the link below to hear what I think is an interesting discussion on energy and the way it will be managed in the future.
What I like about the discussion is the recognition it is legislation and bureaucracy that is getting in the way of each home becoming a power station and able to on sell its excess of electricity to other households or electricity companies ~ perhaps their will be shift when the latter twigs that it doesn't pay for or maintain expensive infrastructure (of its own or the solar panels of those who sell their excess of generate power) in order to on sell power to the average consumer.
The advent of cheaper and more efficient batteries allows for the time shift of energy creation to the hours of demand and not just the optimum generation periods.
Radio National captured the event. Click the link to hear the discussion.
One can never have too many elements... especially when it comes to the Periodic Table... From IUPAC... what that... who? The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry apparently have the gig to approve the name of new arrivals...
From the IUPAC website...
IUPAC is naming the four new elements: nihonium, moscovium, tennessine, and oganessonFollowing earlier reports that the claims for discovery of these elements have been fulfilled [1, 2], the discoverers have been invited to propose names and the following are now disclosed for public review:
The IUPAC Inorganic Chemistry Division has reviewed and considered these proposals and recommends these for acceptance. A five-month public review is now set, expiring 8 November 2016, prior to the formal approval by the IUPAC Council.
The guidelines for the naming the elements were recently revised  and shared with the discoverers to assist in their proposals. Keeping with tradition, newly discovered elements can be named after:
(a) a mythological concept or character (including an astronomical object),
(b) a mineral or similar substance,
(c) a place, or geographical region,
(d) a property of the element, or
(e) a scientist.
The names of all new elements in general would have an ending that reflects and maintains historical and chemical consistency. This would be in general “-ium” for elements belonging to groups 1-16, “-ine” for elements of group 17 and “-on” for elements of group 18. Finally, the names for new chemical elements in English should allow proper translation into other major languages.
For more than the excerpt above, head to the IUPAC website...
So today Dive Instructor Leonie Hanson didn't make it back from the water. Nor did her student. This is a tragedy of immense proportions. Nonetheless so than for the families of Leonie and her student.
It is a salient reminder of the dangers we face doing what we love to do. When bad decisions are made or multiple things go wrong, tragedy can be a breath away.
Too many things must have gone wrong. Task loading from multiple events is dangerous and known as a potential killer situation.
May the waters be warm and the bubbles never ending Leonie.
David Hawley expresses it well in his blogpost on Edutopia. Hit the link for the complete post. An excerpt below.
"Humanity cannot wait for students to graduate -- whether or not they are in IB schools -- and get started on doing things that contribute to a better world. We need to give students in every school, at every age, real agency and authentic opportunities to make a difference in this volatile, unpredictable, complex, and ambiguous world. With this in mind, we cannot be satisfied only with students learning about the world and developing deep conceptual understanding of multiple disciplines. We need young people building an ever-expanding portfolio of skills and experiences of things that they have done, created, and contributed to -- things that matter to them, to others, and to the world we share.
How might we help to make that happen? I propose three things that teachers need to stop doing, three things to start doing, and three things to continue doing. And I invite your ideas on expanding this list.
What Should We Stop Doing?Stop teaching as if we have the answers.Nothing could more powerfully demonstrate an inquiry-based approach to learning, becoming, and doing than to design ways of engaging students with questions to which we ourselves do not know the answers. In this way, students may contribute to both their own understanding and also to ours.
Stop rushing.We need to slow down the race to cover content. We need to get more creative about ways to focus on key conceptual understandings, and about designing ways to demonstrate evidence of applying these conceptual understandings. Deep learning takes time.
Stop talking.Even with the most experiential, project-based approach, it would be good to figure out how much time any one person spends talking compared to listening. How much silence is there after any member of a group of learners poses a question? In a classroom setting, what would happen if we reduced teacher talk by 50 percent and increased the pause time between question and response by 50 percent?"
Why do I like this? 'Cause I have been saying the same sort of things for the last 8 years in presentations to my staff, subject associations ,state and national conferences and international events. David B Hawley, couldn't agree more with you!
Full blog post
Wanting to try something different with your peeps (colleagues, students, friends or family) when needing to find ways to generate ideas or solve a problem. Using hexagonal shapes allows people to generate ideas, thoughts and solutions in different ways promoting the concept of metacognition.
Sammyjkneal has a great post that describes the idea and process behind hex thinking when used with her literature class. The images above are from her class topic of "Why do humans perpetuate social injustice upon others?" It began with a single hexagonal shape with the essential question. Students were asked to colour code their hexagonal shapes with a colour attributed to each of the six novels being read across the cohort and comment on the themes, character behaviour and conclusions that each student drew from the text
See Sammy J's blog post with all the details of the experience. She is clearly a talented and innovative teacher who has student learning at the centre of her thinking.
Tracey Clark summed it up. Her blog post provides these 10 reasons...
1. IT IS SIMPLE.Hexagonal Thinking is simple yet powerful. Students can make their thinking visible by writing ideas on a hexagon and forming connections.
2. IT ENABLES EMPATHY.As groups rearrange the hexagons in a variety of ways, they begin to see how others view the world–the very definition of empathy.
3. IT BRINGS NEW IDEAS TO LIGHT.I wasn’t convinced of this until I tried it, but the shape of the hexagon itself allows for more creative connections due to the number of sides and the way your eyes and brain search over the whole thinking map to seek connections. When you make a list or work in boxes, the linear thinking that follows can be quite effective and speedy, but for creativity–hexagons win.
4. IT STIMULATES RICH DISCUSSION.Communication skills are strengthened since the thought experiment ideally requires collaboration. Students must communicate and petition one another while they reposition ideas and ultimately come to a consensus.
5. IT MAKES BIG PROBLEMS DIGESTIBLE. The original context for hexagonal thinking as far as I can tell was actually in the corporate world. Author, Arie de Geus wrote about using the problem solving strategy in his book, The Living Company. Bite-size pieces not only help solve corporate headaches, but also give students structure and space to make sense of big concepts.
6. IT GETS STUDENTS MOVING.Discussions can get pretty lively as students reposition different hexagons to represent new connections.
7. IT GIVES EVERYONE A VOICE.Students who may not feel comfortable responding to a question in front of the whole group are able to contribute and discuss connections in smaller groups as the map unfolds. English language learners and students with exceptionalities can participate at their level of comfort too.
8. IT IS NOT RESERVED FOR A SPECIFIC CONTENT AREA OR AGE GROUP.The driving question could be related to any topic for any grade level. Just be sure to have a question or problem with enough meat to stimulate a variety of perspectives and solutions.
9. IT CAN BECOME A VISUAL SUPPORT FOR FUTURE LEARNING.Students can refer back to the thinking map either as a visual on the classroom walls, or as a digital artifact. This can help bring back mental models around the concept or inspire new connections, continuing learning on topics far beyond their scheduled coverage time.
10. IT MAKES METACOGNITION TANGIBLEThe physical act of writing down an idea and placing it into the connected thoughts of peers is powerful and supports not only individual metacognition, but also nurtures a collaborative culture of thinking.
#hexagonalthinking on Twitter will also provide more ideas and examples.
Template with colour tags to facilitate connections to ideas... yellow for creative idea, red for roadblock, green for solution.
Another example that has some simple directions...
ACTIVITY: HEXAGONAL THINKING
This image from the Visible Thinking pages of the TCEA 2015 conference gathers important elements together. Challenging students to come up with new gfx could be interesting.. or swapping in and out different language. What is missing...?
Ron Rishart put together this. Worthy of a look:
I also like this... from the website of George Courous
Hexagonal Generator from Classtools,net creates 'em in both word and HTML5. Create labels, titles as you like. Print...then hit the scissors.
hyphen31 (Don Collins) has been playing with technology since the days of the Apple+. On the web well before www, he continues to savour the richness of the webiverse in small bytes. He finally leapt from the couch and created this own domain & website forsaking all earlier incarnations...