Not The End

I have just submitted my last two assignments for my PID course 3250.  One of the assignment was to critique this, my, blog.  What I don’t want to do is to finish this blog.  I would like to keep it going to reflect my continued learning to obtain my PID.  So in saying that you will see a change.   I will now insert more photos and be more personal but professional in recapping my thoughts about my learning and the learning process.  


Better Late Than Never


I just thought that since I was on a roll I would add a couple of images that I had previously downloaded that really should have gone with a couple of my posts but better late than never.  

Since I have to write an assessment of my blog I will try to catch up a little over the next couple of days. 

The Pen Is Mightier Thank the Laptop?


OK, I’m getting the hang of this.  If you have been following my blog you would have read an article that I particularly like that speaks about the fact that students retain more information if they take notes by long hand.  Well I tried and tried and couldn’t get the image of the fountain pen above to be included with my post but voila I just did it.  So better late than never.  

Why Now??

Today I have been able to publish a photo on my blog.  I have tried many times to upload photos to accompany my various writings but it have never worked but today it did.  I almost gave up publishing photos but I thought to myself I’ll try one more time.  So I guess perseverance does eventually pay off.  Well I call it that but really I’m just stubborn and tied in with this is if I’m unable to post a photo then I must keep trying until I learn.  I can’t say I really leaned how to do it any different from any other time but something worked and so I won’t complain.  I chose the beautiful photo I took this week at a park close to me here in Nanaimo.  This probably is not the best photo but when looking at this sky in person it was as it somewhere above the clouds there was a glow that symbolized a God, being, heaven? I don’t really know but what it made me feel was gladness that I have the ability to keep learning until my last breath.  I can chose to learn about anything I want to and that is truly a gift from a higher being.  Having the freedom to chose to learn is definitely a sign of the times.  One if the discussions facilitated by our PID course was looking at how education has changed over the centuries.  Formal education started during the Industrialization period and has morphed greatly toward our technology period we have now.  Not only is this shown by students now being able to use cell phones and tablets in class i.e. BYOD (bring your own device) but also that we have TED talks and many wonderful PBS programs on TV.  I like that the PBS station in BC is called Knowledge Network.  It makes me feel that I am learning something useful.  Well may be I can go back and add the other photos now that I seem to have perfected the technique. 

Do Schools Kill Creativity?



A TED talk given by Sir. Ken Robinson, a world renowned education and creativity expert, on the subject of “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” gives us a profound insight into how our education system possibly is not giving enough credence to creativity in the school system.  According to Sir Ken there is a vested interest in what education subjects are taught in our schools that has in the past been based on money and religion.  This is because none of us can predict the future and so educating our children in math, sciences and literature is one of the ways we can make sure our future as humans is safe.  Learning these subjects has in the past given us status.

All children will take risks if allowed to.  They are not frightened of being wrong and being creative means you have to not have any fear of being wrong as there is no “wrong” or “right”.  As children grow into adulthood they lose the capacity and freedom to be wrong.  As adults we are not “allowed” to make mistakes; making mistakes is something that education knocks out of us.  According to Picasso, a great artist and having a creative mind, “all children are born artists” and according to Sir Ken our education system suppresses this artistry.

In our past and current education system there is a hierarchy of the subjects being taught.  At the top of the heap are math and languages, then the humanities and down near the bottom are the arts.  Even within the arts there seems to be a pecking order in that art and music are much more revered than drama and dance.  What is stated is that education is stripping our minds of having imagination or having original ideas that have value.


Why then are we only educating our children from the waist up?  How is this really making students more complete within the education system?  Can we give education in the sciences as well as the arts?  My personal reaction to this topic and this TED talk was profound as all creativity for the first 40 yrs. of my life was literally repressed.  First I was born left handed which according to science means my right brain, my creative side, was dominant; however the norm in the days of my early childhood was to make children write only with the right hand.  I lived in a right-handed society and had to conform to it.  This meant that I had to close down my creative right brain and open up my linear / logistic left brain.  While this is doable (I did get good marks in school) there has always been that light in my right brain that wanted to shine brighter.  There has always been a passion in me to “feed my spirit”.  I was told I couldn’t be a musician as there was no money in that and so I became a nurse.  Yes, I am a good nurse but it is still not my passion.  Now that I am an adult and have had many years of reflection and learning I have been able to stoke the fire of my passion and I draw, paint, play the piano, sing etc, etc and let my creative side take over when it wants to.  I also have my own business in legal nursing and eldercare and can be comfortable with finances, research and social studies.  Perhaps forcing me to damper my creativity was not completely a negative process after all but I do still feel that I need to play catch up with my creativity.  I often think that if I had been allowed to be more creative when a child and young student I could have done great things with my creativity.  I certainly would have been happier.  One thing I do allow myself these days is to write with my left hand.  Thank goodness I can still do that.

 I was fortunate to graduate from high school with a diploma in the arts and sciences and I was taught calligraphy and that our school did have a drama program. 


As females we are very good at multitasking while males usually can only do one thing at a time.  Is this a myth or a fact?  Well the jury really is still out on this but because I believe everything has individuality I think it really matters on who the person is.  One can probably learn to multitask or not depending on their situation.  However if we don’t allow our children to maintain their creativity and even nurture their creativity we will definitely end up with a society or race that will have no more Shakespeare, Picasso or Rubenstein.  Is that what we want?  Is that what we need?  When we look into the future to robots and technology these days all I see is cold steel, glass, wires, buttons and I don’t want to think that my grandchildren’s future will only consist of that.  I have to believe that all of these mechanical technological scientific “things” was made by creative, innovative and valuable passionate minds.  For me the value of allowing our children to be creative is paramount to having a future based on innovation and ingenuity. 


So let’s make sure that our children are schooled in movement and dance every day because that is where we will get our laser digital special effects from in the future.  I want to make sure that our students know that you can get a good job in the arts.  I want to let my grandchildren know that intelligence is dynamic and interactive and not just math and spelling.  I am happy that as well as academic learning we are now as a society putting a lot of effort into sports and the arts.  I want our future society to be well-rounded in their education and that they are not stuck back in the industrial 19C just focusing on sciences.

The only thing that interferes with my learning is education – Albert Einstein



After a busy week!

I have had the busiest week this past week and as a result I have not be able to ‘blog” as I would have hoped.  It’s not that I haven’t been learning anything or being involved in learning but sitting down at the end of a long day having travelled back from Vancouver by ferry just is not conducive to my writing interesting and informative words on my blog.  I am so glad that week is over.  I was in Vancouver to substitute teach a nursing class in mental health concerns.  One thing about substitute teaching is that you get to teach whatever subject matter the class is learning and often you don’t have a chance to “bone up” or research the subject.  I have not taught or been involved in mental health issues such as bi-polar and schizophrenia forever and it was as much my learning of the subject as the students whom I was teaching.  So because of this I had to improvise.  I asked the students to tell me what they knew and then I could supplement their knowledge with anecdotes from my nursing practice and also ask them questions to stimulate further thinking.  I believe this worked well.  It was also interesting for me to be able to teach this class after learning a lot of new information in taking my PID on-line course.  This really does open your methods and thinking to new ideas and gives confidence in trying something new.  I am going to use this week to fill in the blanks in my blog and capture some of the other learning that I have been doing both with my PID course and in other areas.  

I just submitted my Journal assignment #4 for this week and because I was acutely interested in the topic and it was very close to my heart and emotions I am going to re-post it in my blog.  I have also included some very interesting links. 

What else I have learned this week?  I have learned that Facebook as a social media network is not so scary.  I posted a photo of a recent painting that I did and sold it.  I was astounded at this.  I have also learned that LinkedIn is a way to reach more people that you know and is a useful tool for me to use for my newly started business.  

Life is not linear but organic! 

The Power of Longhand

In reading my current Nursing Journal I came across this small but interesting article talking about the power of writing out information we wish to remember by using longhand.  

The link to this article is:

Students who write notes by hand learn more from their lectures than students who type notes on a laptop, new research indicates. In a study published in Psychological Science, 65 college students were given either a laptop or a notebook to take notes while watching a TED talk on an interesting, but unfamiliar, subject. Participants were tested 30 minutes later and then a week later. Note-takers who used paper recalled the concepts from the lecture better than the laptop note-takers. Writing by hand may involve processing the information more deeply, the researchers speculated.

Also there was a related article which I have also chosen to copy to my blog here.  

The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking

Taking notes on laptops rather than in longhand is increasingly common. Many researchers have suggested that laptop note taking is less effective than longhand note taking for learning. Prior studies have primarily focused on students’ capacity for multitasking and distraction when using laptops. The present research suggests that even when laptops are used solely to take notes, they may still be impairing learning because their use results in shallower processing. In three studies, we found that students who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than students who took notes longhand. We show that whereas taking more notes can be beneficial, laptop note takers’ tendency to transcribe lectures verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning.

This type of article interests me greatly as I had to learn calligraphy in school.  I say had to but really I didn’t mind as I have always felt at home writing with good penmanship.  I still say that when I write information down that I wish to remember it will stay with me longer that if I put it in my  Iphone or on Google Calendar. 


Motivation to Learn

This week’s study has included many discussions and information concerning motivation of students and motivation of educators.  Very useful and wise information has been passed around with the upshot being that “a person will be motivated to accomplish something when there is a personal purpose or emotion attached”.  This of course makes sense and really does make us think on the strategies of using other goals as motivators i.e. getting good marks etc.  It has become apparent over the last generation or so that students need more that just the economic and cultural desire to succeed.  Education long ago was driven by these mores but with the advancement of technology and psychology we now know that to be motivated has to come from within not projected on a student extrinsically.  There is a difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation and our society is now more balanced toward the intrinsic weight.

This web-site is very useful in explaining motivation and also how it is possible to be over-motivated in today’s world.  

Another question we explored is can motivation be achieved if basic needs are not being met and can a person stay motivated if they overuse technology or deny themselves “unplugging”? Both very timely and topics that also branch into the realm of medicine.  

I found a great article on advances that is being made in neuroscience today and the research into the hormone Leptin and how it works within the brain to que motivation.