Sunday, December 13, 2009

registration reminder

You can register for live participation in my 10AM Eastern Dec 14, 2009 webinar anytime between now and the prompt 1500 GMT opening of the event. Give yourself a few extra minutes to log on. If you want to use your computer for sound, you should have a headset to avoid feedback from the built in computer microphone. There will be two moderators to relay your questions and coordinate the event.

The webinar presentation is entitled: "Purposeful Engagement of Children's Hands for More Effective Learning."

I am busy with lots of things today as I organize files and prepare for what I hope will be a coherent and informative event. It will also be archived for later download and viewing.

For parents and grandparents, there is a great editorial in this week's Time Magazine by columnist Nancy Gibbs. "The Power of Play-Doh!" She states in what I have come to recognize as her consistent voice of parental common sense:
Toys are a trapeze, swinging us from age to age. Those that leave nothing to the imagination never sweep us off our feet. So maybe it's good news that toys have turned out not to be recession-proof after all: analysts called last year's holiday sales the worst fourth quarter in decades — and it was the flashy, buzzy gizmos that fell fastest, while the classics held their own. Kids like the dough more than the cookies, the box just as much as what's inside. This is a rare case when the straps around your wallet serve the interests of your children, who might amaze you with what they can produce with a pile of construction paper, a box of crayons, some glue and a quiet afternoon in which to use them.
In the meantime, a milestone quietly passed yesterday. The blog now has over 2000 posts since it was started in September 2006. I have been ruminating on the history of the hands, and how they have, single handed, shaped our humanity. They literally shaped every aspect of human life, human culture, and now the machines that the hands have produced, extending the range of their power have become a threat, altering the balance of life on the planet. What if we were to become more conscious of our hands, more deliberate in their engagement? Would it make a difference? What if we were more creatively engaged in our own lives, making for ourselves the things we needed, and living more local, hands centered lives with each other? I am no Luddite. I feel competent and confident in my use of technology, but I do believe that being engaged in life through our hands, in direct exploration and creativity would answer a few problems.

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