“University of Calgary’s One Button Virtual Reality Room”

Some universities are using virtual reality for educational purposes. University of Calgary for instance has created a One Button Studio virtual reality room: ” Imagine snorkeling and floating in the ocean with whales … right in the middle of the library. The new virtual reality room on the third floor of the Taylor Family Digital Library (T.F.D.L) at the University of Calgary makes this possible. While the technology certainly has entertainment value, its applications for teaching, learning and research seem endless.” I just might have to attend some classes to adapt this technology in my industrial maintenance lessons.

The Matter of Mindful Thinking

There I was reading through my blog, thinking that I need something interesting other than a long winded study. I was stuck on the internet searching back and forth, trying to find a non-repetitive Inspirational thought. Then this photo of a young student and a quote caught my eye, and I finally found an article on The Matter on Mindful Thinking.

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom” — Isaac Asimov

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Teaching Leadership

Do you think that this person was a leader?

“He was described by a Homestead classmate as kind of a brain and kind of a hippie … but he never fit into either group. He was smart enough to be a nerd, but wasn’t nerdy. And he was too intellectual for the hippies, who just wanted to get wasted all the time. He was kind of an outsider. In high school, everything revolved around what group you were in. and if you weren’t in a carefully defined group, you weren’t anybody. He was an individual, in a world where individuality was suspect.”

In every student we teach, there could be a leader. There could be many in our classrooms, and as educators we need to encourage their individuality and leadership qualities. Should we teach leadership? Is it important to include this subject in all our lessons? Should a teacher be a leader?

I would always encourage my students to be helpful and show respect to all the participants. This will help to form relationships and to learn leadership skills when I give them a task, such as, to organize a group of three and use heavy lifting devices to lift and install heavy equipment.  I feel it is important to implement leadership and build their confidence.



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An Easy Way to Increase Creativity

I have never thought that so-called “psychological distance” can affect our creative thinking. The most recent studies on creativity suggest that creativity is not just a personality trait, but “may also change depending on the situation and context.” The psychological distance is one of those situations, which encourage creativity. According to Shapira and Liberman’s (2009) article Why thinking about distant things can make us more creative, anything that we do not experience as occurring now, here, and to ourselves falls into the “psychologically distant” category. It’s also possible to induce a state of “psychological distance” simply by changing the way we think about a particular problem, such as attempting to take another person’s perspective, or by thinking of the question as if it were unreal and unlikely.” The authors suggest that if we are “stuck on a problem that seems impossible” instead of giving up we “gain a little psychological distance, and pretend the problem came from somewhere very far away.” I believe in a classroom setting, we should encourage our students to pretend and imagine such a distance in space and time and enjoy the process of creative thinking.

Shapira, O. & Liberman, N. (2009). Why thinking about distant things can make us more creative. Creativity. Scientific American.

Retrieved from: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/an-easy-way-to-increase-c/