This didn't really belong to the discussion. On "sleep-inducing otherwise (very very tedious interface)". I have had to use a few VLE to support my teaching. Well, systematically, I choose to write my own webpages rather than use them ;-).
I don't know to what extent you are familiar with learning technologies. But most of the VLE are designed from a behaviorist approach to learning (more info in this student final paper. Behaviorism was born from a recognition of the need to introduce scientific practices into fields of social and psychological sciences. But let's face it, it has met success about exclusively in the context of animal studies. Skinner, the founder of behaviorism, was famous for training pigeons to learn specific behaviors through heavy repetition ;).
Moodle was a superb effort to implement the much more interesting constructivist approach to learning. It however remains a bit too difficult to use for the techno-phobic teachers. Hopefully, with the rapid technical progresses, we will soon see appear some learning environments that are both death easy to use and encourage engaging learning practices.
In the meantime, widgets offer a way to offer a bit more engagement within the current VLE systems ;).
I love the "etymology of curiosity" comment you sent, showing how curiosity is related to care and concern, and how there's both a negative and positive side to these can be "lived out." Yes, indeed! Keep your insights coming--and thanks!
Thanks for leaving a message on my blog. You asked about curiosity--what a great disposition to explore. Let's "ponder about it" together this year!
My gut level about curiosity is that it's the natural human state; if it's not there, something has blocked it. We need to work on removal of the blocks. (This sometimes may be beyond us, as basic needs have to be attended to first; hunger, poverty, and anxiety get in the way of being naturally curious. Curiosity could be conceived of as a rather high level, say, on something like Maslow's hierarchy of needs. What do you think?)
Thanks so much for your comments. Let's join thoughts and forces and be inquirers together.
Hi Laura, so pleased that you found the link useful. There is so much out there and more coming along everyday that it is hard for any of us to keep up - makes it all the more exciting though - The never ending web learning story that often sets the adrenalin in motion.
I agree with you on the layout of the information - nice and easy, taking you quickly to those areas you select for further investigation. It is nice to find the simple amongst the complex.
Looking at your work it is amazing and such passion behind it. Congratulations and thanks for sharing your learning with me.
Thanks for your comment to my blog. I like the point about using the same tools, just in a different way (for different reasons.) Web 2.0 helps me, and probably a lot of other people, learn. For kids, Web 2.0 helps them do what comes naturally, express themselves and communicate with their peers. I think some of us might hold it against others if they don't get involved, but the fact of the mater is....we don't use tools when we don't see the value. Sometimes we don't see the value until we start to use them. We're a little more of a risk-taking group. I might give twitter a shot.....although I'm not sure who would want to keep track of me. (Maybe my husband....he thinks I lay around and do nothing all summer....he's only partially right.)
Like most places, CA has it's good and bad. Growing up here, it is hard to leave (all except for the housing prices). I've only been to NC once, but liked it. I've known many people who have considered moving there.