Tim Stokes Sales and Marketing Director Play Station Division Sony/Gulf and Nitin Mathew Marketing Manager of Red Entertainment joined me to talk GAMES09.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Schools and their students need to know how to think
- Last Updated: September 21. 2009 8:46PM UAE / September 21. 2009 4:46PM GMT
A new school year begins in the UAE and so too does the latest effort to create world-class schools to produce graduates for a knowledge-based economy. For the country to continue to adapt, its educational system must be reformed.
But as in years past, the current efforts for reform appear to stress the accumulation of information and being able to apply it to practical use. There is much lip service about the idea of teaching pupils how to think but very little in practice. Mark Twain’s quip about the weather may describe the situation best: “Everybody talks about it but no one does anything about it.”
Most schools claim that they teach thinking, and most of them may actually think that they teach thinking. But the ability of schools to analyse what they are doing in the classroom is abysmal. My researchers and I have visited schools throughout this country, the region and throughout the world. We have visited very expensive schools that offer the International Baccalaureate curriculum and claim that they teach thinking. The basic result: they teach the content of the subject and hope that somehow students will learn how to think about it on their own.
And what are the majority of schools doing? Mostly teaching children to memorise a huge pile of information in the hope that somehow this will make them competent enough to compete in the modern world.
To a certain extent this is understandable: curriculums have mostly taught content for hundreds of years. The Latin root of the word curriculum means racecourse, emphasising that what a student learns is more important than how the student learns. How students use what they learn to confront the real world matters even less.
There is no doubt that learning starts with acquiring very large amounts of information about subjects such as maths, language, science, history and others. We acquire language skills at home. In school we attain a greater vocabulary and learn the rules, structure and syntax that govern language. We learn maths mostly in school. But the impeccable logic of maths students often get through osmosis or not at all.
Science teaching seems to be imbued with the primacy of experience over its inherent principles, which I find worrisome. If one learns any subject without learning its structure, one has only accumulated a lot of information, which probably will not be very useful. And that, unfortunately, is what happens in most public and private schools.
So how should students learn to think? It is possible to suggest a plan for learning that will truly help students to think in five parts.
First, the student should learn something – mostly languages, maths, natural science, history and related subjects. But instead of simply memorising information, the student should learn to use cognitive strategies to facilitate the learning of the subject matter – the verbal information, concepts, rules and principles that contribute to the logic and structure of a given discipline.
Second, and crucially, the student must develop certain attitudes about learning the subject, such as persistence, positiveness, mastery and self-efficacy.
Third, the student should learn a great deal about the mastery and analysis of information, such as the importance of clarity, objectivity and the subject’s greater significance. In my experience, this aspect of education is simply absent from most learning that occurs in schools.
Fourth, the student should learn to be aware of what and how he is learning: when and how to use certain strategies, when to review, rehearse and evaluate what is being learnt. Without understanding and applying an overall structure to what they are learning, students will have trouble applying their knowledge. This process is called meta-cognition: what you know about what you know.
Fifth, students must apply what they have learnt critically through retrospection, analysis, evaluation and synthesis to fully incorporate what they have learnt to resolve problems. Some people say that thinking is solving problems. Even if both processes are related, solving problems is different from thinking about ideas.
All five elements of learning that I describe must be interactive. One cannot think without content so learning new ideas is important. If a student does not have a positive attitude about thinking, he will not be a good thinker no matter how much content he has accumulated. And a good attitude and knowledge will not be enough if the student has not learnt the rules and intellectual standards of a given subject: what is and is not credible information and logically organised. Self-awareness and applying the right cognitive strategies are also required.
These five steps can be taught in schools but rarely are. That is a tragedy. It seems that such a clear idea about how to teach thinking should be easy for teachers to adopt and apply but this is not the case. Teachers focus too much on imparting information and have too much pressure placed upon them to cover an “official” curriculum. There are few incentives for them to do anything different.
Education systems in the UAE and many places throughout the world do not focus enough on how students learn to think. This is a systemic failure that impedes their improvement. Until schools in the UAE address their inability to teach thinking, the nation will not produce students and graduates for the knowledge economy it desires.
Dr Clifton Chadwick is a senior lecturer in the faculty of education at the British University in Dubai
Bob Urichuck is internationally recognized for his work in the areas of sales, motivation, leadership and team skills – specifically for his non-traditional sales process, The ABC, 123 Sales Results System and his 12 Disciplines to self-motivation and personal leadership
Monday, September 28, 2009
Ernesto Verdugo joined us for a conversation about the program he offers to get out of the rat race!
Ram Ganglani founder and chairman of the Right Choice Group also joined us for a conversation on the need to rethink training
www.amazinglyuseful.com for a handy ebook on how to make better use of the internet.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
She is the founder and director of Society for Cultural Exchange, a non-profit organization that, through interdisciplinary processes, is dedicated to the perpetuation of free-thought—a thinking for the self while considering the facts of the world as experienced by us each as individuals and shared by us all as a collective society. Society for Cultural Exchange has designed public new media projects, hosted artist residents, provided various workshops, curated art exhibitions, and has planted an urban orchard.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
We love comments and questions and we love it when they come to us via this medium.
BUT, if the comments you post are not relevant to the information being presented they will not find a home here.
If you are curious why we use BLOGGER or any of the other no cost social networking services we are always happy to entertain a discussion, email us!
The goal of this blog is 3 fold, to catalogue who we have spoken to, the topics and contact details of guest.
The secondary purpose of this blog is to provide an easy feedback mechanism outside of the calls and texts to the show.
Oh and one other thing, I blog using my name and my contact details. I am accountable for what I post here and in other cyber forums. If you want to see your comments on the Nightline blog then there needs to be a way to contact you, if I cannot contact you how is there any validity to your comments?
Thanks for following us and being a Nightliner!
New contact will be posted in 6 days time, happy Eid!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Listen to two of the most inspiring athletes I have spoken two talk about the love of the game and the role, they see, for basketball in the development of every child's life!
www.mpacsports.com for all the information!
Along the way Sarah is going to make a TV series, visit Aids Orphans and tell an amazing story!
Listen to her story and be inspired!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
- 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GB RAM, 160GB hard drive, 10.1-inch display (1024x600 pixels), 1.3-megapixel webcam, three USB ports, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3-in-1 memory card reader, etc.
- Great keyboard, almost "full size"
- 2.1 speakers, stereo on either side of the display, sub woofer underneath
- Windows XP home
- 6-8 hour battery life
- 2.7-inch display
- 24-120mm 5x zoom lens
- First digital still cameras that use back-illuminated 'Exmor R' CMOS image sensor, 200% increase in sensitivity
- Built in HDR (High Dynamic Range) functionality, takes six shots, Basically better pictures in less light
- Sweep panorama, up to 100 pictures in a 256 degree panorama, automatic stitching
- 720p video at 30fps (1280x720)
- US price $350
- Positioned as a simple entry-level DSLR
- 2.7 inch tilting LCD screen
- ISO range of 100-3200
- anti-shake that’s built into the body
- eye-start auto-focus
- Body small and light but feel plasticky, I'd be concerned with durability
- They've reduced external controls to make it easier to use but I don't think that's a good thing
- "Smart teleconverter" button which is just digital zoom
- Can shoot RAW
- Even in Live View it's as fast focusing and taking pictures because of as secondary sensor
- US Price about $600 with 18-55mm kit lens
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Monday, September 14, 2009
Mountain High was founded in November 2003 by Julie Lewis, a British Sports Science degree graduate, with an insatiable passion for people and wild places. After 20 years in the health, fitness and sports management industry , three of which were spent lecturing at a college of further education, Julie moved into adventure tourism as a means to develop people both mentally and physically using nature and the great outdoors as a backdrop.
Julie’s goal is to encourage, inspire and motivate as many people as possible to step out of their comfort zone, take charge of their health and well being, connect with different cultures and discover their true potential by connecting with nature through adventure travel and team building activities. Julie is passionate about helping people live their wildest adventure dreams.
Mountain High offers diverse trips that engage the mind body and spirit and are perfect for those who dare to let their imaginations run free in their desire to explore the wonderful world around them. Whether it’s a mountain trek, biking trip, dragon boat race or multi-activity challenge Mountain High trips offer a unique opportunity to both new and seasoned adventure seekers – a chance to leave the comfort zone and the confidence to change your life.
The initiative's first step will be gathering stories from the general public. Volvo has launched a site for this purpose: www.allthoseleftbehind.com. By sharing their stories, people will be empowered to promote responsible driving in their community, while cherishing the memory of a loved one. Moreover, the site will provide comfort to those who have experienced this kind of loss.
In October, 2009, these heartfelt stories will be published on a dedicated site, and will spread across all medium. The campaign will spread the message nation-wide: Drive Safely.
Volvo plans to reach out to drivers even further with a series of safety activities for the public with the help of partners such as EDI (Emirates Driving Institute) and MENARSP; the Middle East and North Africa Road Safety Partnership is a collaboration of governments, businesses, and civil society organizations that supports projects that reduce the burden of road traffic crashes.
Roula Beiruty, Marketing Manager for Volvo Cars Middle East said: “According to Abu Dhabi Police, in 2008, 2957 accidents took place in Abu Dhabi alone, resulting in 376 deaths and the injury of 4603 people. Thefore as one of the leaders in road safety, Volvo Cars Middle East has undertaken a major investment in this campaign in order to reach people's hearts and minds to achieve pro-active and positive change while creating safer roads.”
Beiruty adds, “This is not just another road safety campaign with facts and figures. This is as much an emotional initiative as it is rational and that reflects the strong family values of our community”.
With public concern growing daily about road safety, “All Those Left Behind” campaign comes at the perfect time.You can follow us on twitter @thoseleftbehind and facebook allthosleftbehind.
In Hour one I was joined in studio and on the phone by the 3 men who traveled, using kites, 4262 KM across Greenland!It was all about the environment!
Mission & Goals
Our mission is twofold:
- To complete an unsupported vertical crossing of the entire Greenland ice cap, from the Atlantic Ocean in the south to the Arctic Ocean in the north.
- To create a meaningful sustainability and climate change awareness project.
Adrian Hayes, British, is the UAE-based polar adventurer, mountaineer, corporate coach and speaker who holds the record for reaching the Earth's "3 Poles" (walking all the way to the North Pole, the South Pole and summiting Mt Everest) in the shortest period of time in history.
His achievement in reaching the Earth's three extremes in a total time of 19 months and 3 days has been recognised in the 2009 Guinness World Records. Adrian is one of only 15 people ever to achieve the feat,
A former Gurkha officer and Special Forces soldier in the British Army, Adrian has had a lifetime of adventures and extreme sports - leading or being a team member on climbing and other expeditions all over the World, adventure racing; triathlon, rock climbing; downhill skiing, diving, parachuting, and kayaking to name a few.
He is an experienced jungle and desert operator, having served in the jungles of Borneo and the deserts of Southern Oman during his Army career. He has also carried out underwater operations in the remote islands of the South Pacific and qualified as a Paramedic during his service.
He is dedicated to health, nutrition and fitness, and won the "UAE's Fittest Man" competition, the Fitness First X-Training Challenge, in both 1997 and 2008, beating the UK national champion on the latter event in October 2008.
A former Regional Sales Director for Airbus Middle East, Adrian is now one of the leading corporate leadership & team coaches and keynote speakers based in the Middle East. His programmes, for which he delivers worldwide, range from 3 day leadership / teamwork coaching workshops to motivational seminars to after dinner speeches. And, increasingly, seminars on the environment.
Adrian has lived and worked in 8 countries, visited over 100, and speaks three languages (Arabic, Nepalese and Malay) in addition to English.
Devon McDiarmid, Canadian, is an adventurer living in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. He is an experienced polar operator, having worked in the Antarctic for 5 seasons doing various jobs from base camp duties to lead guiding ski expeditions to the South Pole.
From Nov to Dec 2007, he led the successful unsupported and unassisted South Pole Quest expedition, in which Adrian was one of the team, from the Antarctic coastline to the South Pole, a distance of 1200 kms in 47 days.
Along with long ski trips Devon is an avid ski mountaineer, paddler, mountain biker, adventure racer, rock climber and bush guy.
Coming to the Yukon to look for gold at the young age of 17, he fell in love with the woods, mountains and remoteness of the Yukon. He has worked in jobs as diverse as deep water oyster farming, guiding, prospecting, managing a retail ski and bike shop, boat building and teaching in his time in the Yukon.
Presently managing a ski and cycle shop in Whitehorse, Devon has directed his free time to the building of a mountain bike skills park, building and running Whitehorse’s mountain bike club, and organizing races and clinics for youth and adults. Kiting is a new found love and has proven to be a perfect match for long expeditions.
Derek Crowe, Canadian, is a Yukon-based photographer who has chronicled life in Canada’s north since 2000, creating unique, distinctive images of its places and people.
Derek works with a wide range of media, government and corporate clients and his images have been featured in publications such as Outside, Canadian Geographic, Globe and Mail, Boston Herald, London Times, and Mountain Bike UK. He has also assisted on National Geographic feature stories.
In 2007, Derek won the prestigious Northern Lights Award in Travel Photography for his coverage of the Yukon Quest International Dog Sled Race - a 1600 km endurance event through the rugged wilderness of the Yukon and Alaska in which, for three years, Derek travelled the entire length of the trail by snow machine, bush plane and ski.
A former professional cyclist, Derek brings a lifetime of athletic dedication to the craft of photography, always going to extremes to “get the shot”. Derek’s passion for adventure extends to various other pursuits – most notably kiting, rock climbing, mountaineering, and backcountry skiing. He has travelled to the farthest corners of North America – from Chiapas to the high Arctic – in pursuit of adventure and images by bike, boat, kite and ski. He also traveled to Greenland in 2002 to chronicle the first ever Arctic Winter Games held in the country.
Derek is an active cycling and ski coach, and his love of mountain biking has moved him into new career direction - developing a world-class adventure park in the mountains surrounding the small community of Carcross, Yukon, in partnership with the local First Nation and aboriginal youth.
Our goals are:
- To reach the Arctic Ocean at JP Kocks Fjord, and subsequently Qaanaq in NW Greenland within our 65 day fuel/food deadline.
- To do this unsupported ie with no re-supplies.
- To raise awareness of the effects of global warming on the Greenland ice cap and its implications for the World.
- To carry out specific scientific monitoring tasks on behalf of our support team of science advisors and their studies.
- To raise awareness of sustainability and the link between the environment, the economy, and society.
- To forge a strong, supportive and selfless team ethic.
- To enjoy the expedition and have fun along the way.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Ronald Hawker expertly analyzes the change in Persian Gulf architecture within a larger framework of political, economic and social information. Provides an intelligent and accessible study of this region. Ronald Hawker should be commended for providing such a unique and in-depth study of this little known region. --Great New Books That Are A Must Read, December 2008
This volume fills a void in the study of traditional Arabian gulf architecture, will be a crucial reference for further study of particular buildings, regions and domestic or public structures. The breadth of the study will appeal to a wide audience interested in sociopolitical history, vernacular architecture, postcolonial history, and regional buildings practices. Essential. --Choice, Vol 46, No 7, March 2009
This book chronicles the florescence of architecture in the Arabian Gulf
after the expulsion of the Portuguese in the early 1600's. It demonstrates
how the power vacuum created by the collapse of Portuguese control over the
trade routes in the Indian Ocean encouraged a growth in fortified
architecture, especially in Oman, that radiated out to the surrounding
region and was then slowly replaced by new patterns in domestic and public
architecture and town planning throughout the Gulf as the trade lines were secured and the individual countries took the first steps towards the formation of today's modern nation-states.
The book documents the buildings and crafts of this era and analyses them
within the framework of the political, economic, and social information
available through primary sources from the period in a way that is both
intelligent and accessible. It considers the settlements as part of a
larger-connected network of cities, towns and villages and focuses both on how the buildings provided innovative solutions to the demanding climate and yet incorporated new decorative and functional ideas.
Topics are extensively and richly illustrated with colored photographs of
the buildings as they are now, black and white and color historic
photographs from archival and museum collections, line drawings, and
The book is therefore attractive to a number of audiences, including those
who live in or travel to the Gulf as well as people with an interest in Arab
and Islamic design, culture and society, vernacular architecture, and
post-colonial approaches to colonial history.
There are many free activities around and some great giveaways!
And Natasha joins us from the 1st metro ride!
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
If your children wear nappies then get re-usable ones!
The products and technology exist now to save our landfills and environment, are you doing your part?
Listen to this podcast and join the green nappie revolution!
Kristina might call it DISRUPTIVE PLAY!
We talked about KAUST University and what they are trying to do In Saudi Arabia to turn the tables on how we work, or do not work together, for results.
What Kristina talks about is how any organization could, very rapidly, change the way it does business.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
I was at the TED2009 conference and met many FELLOWS!
What a great opportunity!
Apply to become a TED Fellow @ TED2010!
Ever dreamed of attending a TED Conference...of being around some of the world's greatest minds and discussing the best technology, art, architecture, music, film, science, literature, etc? Are you innovative and want to meet with other people like you from around the world? Then apply to the TED Fellows program!
Apply online here: www.ted.com/fellows/apply.
Organizers of the TED Conference are searching for 25 promising Fellows from around the world to participate in TED2010. The TED Fellows program will accept applications for fellowships through September 25, 2009.
About the TED Fellows Program
The TED Fellows program is a new international fellowship program designed to nurture great ideas and help them spread around the world. This year, organizers will select 25 individuals from around the world to attend TED2010. At the end of the year, organizers will select 15 individuals from a pool of the TED and TEDGlobal Fellows to participate in an extended three-year Senior Fellowship, bringing them to six consecutive conferences. The principal goal of the program is to empower the Fellows to effectively communicate their work to the world.
Benefits of the Fellowship include conference admission, round-trip transportation, housing and all meals. Fellows will also participate in a pre-conference with the opportunity to present a short talk for consideration for TED.com, elite skills-building courses taught by world experts, social opportunities and surprise extras. This is not a monetary Fellowship; the benefits are in-kind only.
Who we are looking for:
The program seeks remarkable thinkers and doers who have shown unusual accomplishment, exceptional courage, moral imagination and the potential to increase positive change in their respective fields. The program focuses on innovators in technology, entertainment, design, science, film, art, music, entrepreneurship and the NGO community, among other pursuits. The program targets individuals from the Asia/Pacific region, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Middle east, though anyone from anywhere in the world is welcome to apply. Applicants are generally between 21-40 years of age, though anyone over 18 and over 40 may apply. They must also be fluent in English.
Application process and more information:
All applicants must apply online at http://www.ted.com/fellows/
Please email email@example.com if you have any questions, would like more information, if you'd like to nominate an extraordinary individual!
TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader to include science, business, the arts and the global issues facing our world. The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes). Attendees have called it "the ultimate brain spa" and "a four-day journey into the future." The diverse audience -- CEOs, scientists, creatives, and philanthropists -- is almost as extraordinary as the speakers, who have included Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Nandan Nilekani, Ashraf Ghani, Jane Goodall, Vilayanur Ramachandran, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sir Richard Branson, Stephen Hawking and Bono.
Of particular interest is their take on maths education and the difficulties being faced by students who are struggling to be inspired.
And there is also the age old question of the role of the parent.
If you are interested in what education reform is all about, both in the UAE and abroad, then this is a must listen show!
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Very interesting and long over due ideas that are anything but a transplant of another nations education.
IT IS FREE and it is a power house when we talk about inspirational speakers.
Contact Reg at firstname.lastname@example.org to get an invitation.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
The Dubai ladies Club has a full program!
And there is even a bowling camp!
Check out the podcast or easylivingdubai.
What can we do? WASH YOUR HANDS and sanitize them a lot!
And if you feel like you have the flue stay home and get well!
More than ever we need to listen to the experts when it comes to slowing the spread of infection!
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Mohammad Marria is no stranger to Nightline, he is our WILL expert.
The message delivered was we all need a will!
If you have children and no will, wow, the problems that could evolve.
Listen learn and speak to Mohammad if you have questions!
You can listen to the podcast and read the reviews of the gadgets.
As always there was a healthy dose of Mac information and more than enough to excite even this who are scared by the word tech!