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Posts Tagged ‘ideas’

Be sure of your dreams!

May 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
“Pooh,” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw,
“I just wanted to be sure of you.”

NOTE: This was originally posted at the new TEDxKids@BC blog. I invite my readers to check the blog out as we’re trying to bring various authors to share their stories and ideas around empowering kids, nurturing passion, fostering creativity, supporting authentic learning! 

There were many times in my life when I would dream, often with my eyes open, but it wasn’t until sometime last year that some of those dreams popped out of my head and started running in front of me. It wasn’t something I did that brought them to life. Nor could I control them once they were on their own either. All I could do was to touch them to be sure of them. Read more…

Want a chimp for a pet? 10 years old Brandon says you better make one smile!

January 19, 2011 2 comments

Brandon Wood and Dr. Goodall ~ Copyright ©JGI 2010

We are so pleased to introduce 10 years old Brandon Wood — another greatly inspiring kid in our interview series!

As most 10 years old boys, Brandon has a great love for animals, but not in the way you would expect. He is passionate about saving his favorites — our closest cousins among the Great Apes — from captivity!

Back in 2009, Brandon decided he wanted a chimp as a pet. Being curios if that is possible, he decided to research and learn more about these amazing animals, but what he found out caused a change of heart — instead of getting one as a pet, he decided he wanted to help save those held in captivity!

Since then, Brandon has been successfully raising awareness about the bad conditions in which chimps held in captivity for biomedical and other research live. He continually raises money to organize adoptions and transfer for such chimps to the Save the Chimps Sanctuary using his Make a Chimp Smile blog.

Brandon recently spoke at the TEDxYouth@TampaBay conference organized on Universal Children’s Day on November 20, 2010 (see video below) and is actively engaged with people and organizations that are interested in helping these endangered species!
Read more…

What do 1940’s girls do today? — ask 13 year old designer Asya Gonzalez to find out!

January 10, 2011 2 comments

Asya Gonzalez, age 13, entrepreneur & designer, creator of Stinky Feet Gurlz

It has been a while, but now that World4Children is officially registered as a non-profit society with a goal to engage and empower kids, we’d like to restart the idea of regular interviews with inspiring kids and today we’d like to introduce you to Asya Gonzalez.

Asya is a 13 year old designer, who in 2010 launched her own fashion line, inspired by a doodle in her mom’s childhood journal. Armed with her passion for drawing and design and with her mom’s help, Asya successfully launched her own business — Stinky Feet Gurlz, producing and selling apparel and accessory items styled with one of 14 girl characters, inspired by 1940’s era.

Despite being busy with her business as well as school — she is a dedicated student who receives honors from her school — Asya feels socially responsible and recently decided to dedicate part of her time to help prevent Child Sex Trafficking and Slavery! With her foundation — She Is Worth It! — she is trying to help bring awareness and action to put an end to one of the worst possible crimes against children!
Read more…

Sir Ken Robinson and healthy food

December 18, 2010 1 comment

“Had I the heavens embroidered cloths, Enwrought with gold and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths of night and light and the half-light, I would spread the cloths under your feet; But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” ~ W.B. Yeats

“And every day, everywhere, our children spread their dreams beneath our feet. And we should tread softly.” ~ Sir Ken Robinson

Image credit: Jamie Oliver (TED 2010)

Recently, I ran into a blog post from a middle school teacher who asked his students to explain how would they reform school. A noble idea to be commended! — you might say. That’s what I thought too, but then I saw the answers, including:

  • Better cafeteria food with real ingredients
  • A monthly educational field trip
  • iPads, netbooks or laptops in classes
  • More freedom in terms of leaving to use the restroom, eating a snack or getting a drink of water, etc.

Something feels wrong! Of course, there were some great ideas in the complete list — like more electives, feedback instead of marks, and community service once a week — but somehow the list suggested that all of the problems with the current education system can be resolved if we buy few iPads, stop making kids suffer with a full bladder till the end of the lesson and throw in a field trip or two?!

Looking at the list made me remember a lesson I learned in my career in software development — and somehow always forget and need to re-learn: Users (don’t!) always know what is best for them! Sometimes it takes someone from outside to notice what they’re doing wrong and show them alternative ways.
Read more…

Superman got it wrong – public schools matter!

December 13, 2010 8 comments

Image Credit: Hip Slope Mama

With all due respect to Davis Guggenheim I think he got it wrong in Waiting For Superman! Public schools have something to offer no other educational institution, be that charter schools, private schools, boarding schools, even the various forms of homeschooling can.

If you read my previous posts where I question the value of formalized education as we know it, you must be thinking I went crazy or got change of heart. Please be patient and let me walk you trough this post by telling you few stories first. We’ll talk again at the end of the post if you have any questions! 😉

The first story is personal, involving my family and few friends with school age kids.

Ever since my older daughter reached school age (currently in grade 1) the question which school to choose loomed large on our lives. At the time my perspective on formalized education hasn’t shifted too much from the traditional view that you need to get educated and get good grades to be successful, even though I already had a chance to listen to Sir Ken Robinson by then.
Read more…

Attention please! I just stopped paying attention – to you!

December 7, 2010 38 comments

Image credit: Gary Olsen (Dubuque Community Schools)

No, you’re not annoying, just boring! Attention is the new currency in our world and you need to offer something in exchange if you want me to listen to you. Telling me what to do, how to do it, when to do it doesn’t cut it anymore. Teaching me old solutions for old problems doesn’t inspire me anymore. I get what I need to learn to cope in this world from other places!

Yes, I learn from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, blogs… I learn from my neighbor who is obsessed with vintage cars and spends all his free time with oil on his hands. I learn from William half across the world who harnessed the wind to save his family from starving. I learn from Mark up in Maine pondering the question of mind while wondering if his bees have lessons for human communities.

I learn by exploring, digging, experimenting, opening, tinkering, building, hacking and playing with toys, plants, animals, rocks, wood, and all kinds of stuff — yes, even power tools!
Read more…

Going back to color in our social lives

November 26, 2010 6 comments

Photo credit: Rinasaur! (Flickr)

Once upon a time, there was no Facebook. There were no Twitter and MySpace, there were no emails … stop! … scratch that! I don’t want to write a romantic story about the past times when we all happily enjoyed our fulfilling social lives, visited regularly our relatives, had fun going out with our friends and took the time to give a call or even write a letter to those far to our eyes, but still close to our heart — because we didn’t! No offense to those few who tried hard in doing so, but you made the rest of us feel bad!

Fortunately, for those of us too lazy to give a call to our grandma — who couldn’t visit us any more because she had a gangrene and couldn’t even get our of her house let alone endure the two hours bus ride to our town — or scribble a letter to our best friend from elementary school — who moved away across the world leaving his old parents behind to send his regards every time we meet them on the street — someone invented Facebook!

Now we can simply “like” the photos showing our best friend’s kids playing with their dog or upload a video of our baby saying the first “googoo” so our grandma could watch it when the neighbor kid volunteering to help senior citizens visits and helps her turn on the computer and log her on to the world of social networks.
Read more…

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