Progression: Life – Learning – Life

3242519210_8fcaecd9ec_b_wonderlane

A Progression:

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Life: Survival

Learning: Library/Internet

Life: Thriving

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Pause…

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You know what “they” say: “Necessity is the mother of invention.” People whose lives have been shattered either by natural or human events can find hope and help through their own quest for learning. They rebuild, one grain of learning at a time, into new patterns of living.

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Watch this TED talk by William Kamkwamba who (at age 14), with info from a library (yet he could only read the diagrams at first) built a windmill for electricity and irrigation during the South African famine in Malawi.

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http://www.ted.com/talks/william_kamkwamba_how_i_harnessed_the_wind.html

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A blogger started the progression of events that led to a global involvement:

http://www.ted.com/speakers/william_kamkwamba.html

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William’s own blog (with mentor)

http://williamkamkwamba.typepad.com/

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And now a global presence:

http://movingwindmills.org/

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This shows how important access to the Internet is. ??Another story that reveals the life-saving power of learning if one has access to the Internet:

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From maize to sunflowers to successful community in Macha, Zambia:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/appeals/indy-appeal/independent-appeal-connecting-the-middle-of-nowhere-1859017.html

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Necessity is the mother of learning…

Where there is access, a network of learning developed.

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These are stories of learning that saved lives, and the quest for learning continued to offer more than just subsistence living.

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Richard Opie, with the Global Education Conference Group (http://www.globaleducationconference.com/index.html) asks, “Why do so many of our young people disengage from school?”??

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Perhaps school is no longer part of their answers; schools are not part of what adds to the patterns in their lives. How do we change that? This global conference has the power to stimulate the creation of projects that connect and support solutions to community needs.

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Play…

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Although not a “global” player yet, I think that sharing this information with my class will help us think about our own community needs, and perhaps begin our own quest for solutions and a real reason to learn.

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Things will start small for simple needs. For instance, a student wrote an open essay directed at his need: he had driven his dirt bike across the highway to the trails, but since neither he nor his cycle were licensed, he received a ticket. His essay attempted to persuade the officials to allow crossing the highway at those points the kids needed to. ??It’s simple. It’s personal. It’s a start. The thing is, he wouldn’t have written an essay if he hadn’t needed to. ??That’s the dilemma education is in.

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“Why do so many of our young people disengage from school?” It’s not meaningful. It’s not relevant. We may not be starving in our communities (or some students may be), but we need to allow the student’s world into our classrooms in order to connect them to learning. Our schools need to add to the pattern they are building for themselves. And perhaps, the simple things in the student’s world will allow them to expand to help their community, and perhaps support students in the communities around the world. And the pattern grows… one bit of learning at a time…

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Possibilities:

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Join the ??Global Education Conference Group (http://www.globaleducationconference.com/index.html)

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Learn about ActionAid to eliminate poverty: http://www.actionaid.org.uk/100002/about_us.html

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Get ActionAid’s kit for schools — Global Citizenship: http://www.actionaid.org.uk/schoolsandyouth/getglobal/ ??Includes a step-by-step process of thinking through problems through activities and games with action and reflection.

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Learn about Computer Aid International http://www.computeraid.org/about-us.asp

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Learn about Peace Direct http://www.peacedirect.org/stop-conflict/ ?? ??and ?? http://www.insightonconflict.org/about/

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Photo Credit: Flickr CC by ??Wonderlane

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