Igniting potential in families, learning, and creativity with technology

Posts tagged ‘social’

Feather Tread (not bed!)

Last night, as I was wrapping up a family birthday dinner I began my journey into a new semiotic domain!! (How’s that for a big confusing term? I am currently reading a fascinating book by James Paul Gee on what video games can teach us about learning. He uses this term often.)

A simple question sparked it all. My brother asked me what year my Camry was. I said it was a 2006 but also mentioned that the noise in the cabin had become so loud that it was almost unbearable to drive on the freeway. He immediately looked at the front passenger tire, rubbed his hand over it, and instantly told me what my problem was. My tires were slightly angled and were wearing unevenly. I wanted to understand what he knew and so I had him point out to me how he could identify the uneven wear on the tires.

He mentioned a term I was not familiar with (at least in this context), feathering. Rubbing the tire one way was smooth but reversing the direction produced a rough, segmented feel. It took a few tries and some specific pointers before I really clued in to what he labeled the feathering of the tread. I was grateful he took the time to answer my follow up questions.

There was a progression to the level of proficiency I gained. I started with the mainfestation of the problem, the feathering of the tread on the front tires, and moved to the conclusion that my alignment was off and causing the feathering. Had I learned this information outside of this context I doubt I would have paid much attention. I now had embodied, actionable experience and knowledge. I believe I reached the active learning level but had not breached the critical learning level.


iPad Impressions

I think I am the perfect candidate for a mobile device like this. Two hour round trip commute on the bus (with free wifi), a little child at home, The iPad saved my wife and me a few maddening moments around dinner time. I downloaded several Sesame Street podcasts and slapped one on when we were about to eat dinner. The iPad was my son’s personal HDTV and he loved all the colors, motion and sound. He wanted more kinesthetic feedback or response from the iPad (granted he is on 8 months old).

I found the battery life to be outstanding! I was very pleased. Flipboard kept me up to date with all my social streams on my way home from work. It was tricky trying to type on while riding the bus without a case to position it well.I also noticed that the iPad was shared and passed around in social settings. During a surprise birthday party, I was able to pull out the iPad and have a friend show me the paintings he was trying to describe to me and then pass it around the room for others to see.

Overall, it was a great experience. I’m not convinced that it is fully capable of all the activities I would want to replace a laptop but a very convenient and intuitive device nonetheless.

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