cmc11- creativity

To keep log of my opinion of creativity now prior to week 13 I choose to blog with the activity questions. In week 13 let’s see how my opinion will change.

  • What is your definition of creativity? My definition of creativity is the picture above. Creativity is out of the box, beyond the norm. However, the norm was created by someone prior so that is creativity in a sense of it’s own.
  • Are you a creative individual? I believe I am a creative individual. I enjoy thinking out of the box and I like to challenge my mind and do things differently.
  • Do you think creativity can be learned, or is it a trait we are born with? I believe creativity can be learned however, some have a predisposition of being more creative. I believe empowerment promotes creativity.
  • Do you know how to use deliberate creative problem solving as a process? I’m not sure. However, I do know how to problem solve and when I do I think creatively. I think most of society does because they have to figure out how to fix a problem.
  • Does creativity fit with connectivism, your personal learning environment and metaliteracy/transliteracy as a 21st century learning skill? Each of these aspects are within a structure that seems almost infinite. Creativity does fit into each of them. I feel one needs structure in order to evolve/ create. Without some sort of structure one does not grow, they dwindle. 
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CMC11 Creativity- Thinking above and beyond

Creativity- Thinking above and beyond

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CMC11 Transliteracy, education and technology is this the best??

In a recent assignment for a class I took on how the brain learns I wrote a paper discussing todays education system and how possibly the fact that everything is fast paced and at our finger tips creates a culture of individuals who are lacking drive and motivation. It also discussed how one learns through the learning cycle and how reflection is a necessity to retaining information. (please see bottom of blogfor complete paper.) I feel strongly that  technology has a lot of negatives however, the positives are huge as well. According to the activity posted questions I ask myself and answer briefly, though such a concept requires endless thought and study.

Does transliteracy transcend the digital divide? I think it does because it offers knowledge within literacy. It provides endless opportunity to understand and grow.

does it describe some of the thrust of open source thinking?  of open source
learning?  of education? Technology is an open source and because it is so available it promotes openness for thinking, learning and education. For example, it is the fundamental aspect of this course that promotes open thinking, learning and education.

What media, tools and delivery platforms do you use, and how long do they stick around and why?  I use email, comment blogs, text, phone and fax. To many this may seem simple, but, it works for me and I can get my message through.

Which have you already discarded and why? I do not discard delivery/contact tools because every situation is different and requires a different method. However, I know fax will probably become the thing of the past shortly.

Please see my article about my opinion of today’s society and how I question if  technology maybe the best for creating a motivated people.


Yakira Leah Dorfman


Module 4- The importance of complete learners

          With what seems to be becoming a generation of “finger exercisers” I’m starting to wonder whether or not the learning system in the states is effective and involving of the learning  cycle. However, prior to expressing my opinion and thoughts I must clarify what “Finger Exercisers” are. For starters we have the world at our finger tips, which has of course its pros and cons. We do not need to go far or do much to have complete connection to anything you wish. There is not much thought into that unless of course you are creating the devise. Hence, our fast food and fast paced life styles where everything is disposable. Unemployment rates are high, dropout rates are high, and to my naked eye it seems that we are producing a future of illiterates, who are waiting for handouts. I myself have a terrible time spelling because most of my work is done on the computer. However, I take much time to reflect and I seek knowledge and I am very hard worker. I believe in receiving what I work for – not for what I am given.

According to the Washington Post (By Lyndsey Layton,March 19, 2012) there is a positive turn around in the number of graduates in the states.  “The national graduation rate increased to 75.5 percent in 2009, up from 72 percent in 2001. And the number of “dropout factories” — high schools where at least 60 percent of students do not graduate on time — fell from 2,007 in 2002 to 1,550 in 2010.” However, after a discussion I had with a public school teacher about a year ago I’m concerned the system doesn’t meet our necessities of well rounded thinking futures of our nation. She stated that the principal said that “she was doing the best she could.. To try and get the information across.” Of course, with all fairness she was teaching a class of children who needed extra help, but, is the “best” really the best or are we educating to pass the state exams and to reach some general education requirements. Are we really educating so that one perceives and fully encompasses the information.

After reflecting on my learning in this course I am beginning to understand what may be an appropriate approach to education. Firstly, of course education requires self experience and not just textbook knowledge. I am aware that the modern text books show real life examples but, what about the student’s real life examples. I know math would have meant a whole lot more to me if I could apply it realistically. When it was, was when I really understood the content and retained it. There should also be a time for reflection. There is so much on an individual’s plate that I propose that maybe one should be taught to reflect. Having a Dad as a Psychiatrist reflection was always a big aspect of my life and of course as an Orthodox, Chassidic Jew this ideally is supposed to be a main focus of our daily routine. Judaism is about growth and one cannot grow unless they reflect and make meaning.

If the brain learns in the way of the cycle which is abstract hypothesis, active testing, concrete experience and reflective observation, I question if we are teaching in a way that meets these criteria. Are we reaching within and covering these areas? I am aware especially as a Judaic teacher that education should be taught within the Gardeners Seven Intelligences, but, are we still teaching an individual to just shoot from the hip as opposed to encompassing ones knowledge and constructively perceiving it.

I believe that if education is provided in such a manner that offers ones abilities to come through and involves the learning cycle then we will have more graduates, higher employment rates and more success. Individuals will be empowered and make more meaning in life. And, I know personally meaning alone can drive someone to succeed and continue to grow. Because, life is beyond the text book and requires lifelong growth and learning.

With the risk that I possibly have stretched the assigned topic farther than intended, I conclude with reflection of meaning and the understanding that learning is beyond the text but rather a lifelong process of intricate moments compiled together that create a whole person. All we need to do is stretch our fingers and reach for it.

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CMC11 Passion- living what you learn

To rise with the occasion is what  Sir Ken Robinson stated as he addressed the detrimental facets of today’s educational system in how it diminishes  ones capacity to develop passions and talents. Instead the system conforms an individual to learn, act and speak a certain way. Personally, I believe basic knowledge is so necessary and that education should not be completely free, but, at the same time there should be room for individuality and creativity.

Today, as it happens to be  I took a friends child out for a bite to eat. The child is a creative, intelligent beauty and is full of wonderful ideas. She attended a Montessori program where she used to live when she was in Pre-school and there she flourished. The open education system gave her room to develop and grow. Now however, she is attending a formal primary school and is not happy. Her complaints caused me to conclude that she felt stifled because now she had to conform. The school system is highly academic and rigid. I know myself because I went there myself.

Nothing in life is black and white – in fact, it most likely many times is gray. Children and adults alike like and grow from individuality. Establishing and recognizing ones talents and honoring them. And, of course helping them grow.

In today’s school system I feel knowledge is thrown down children’s throats in order to pass a state test. Instead knowledge should be lived and practically applied. In Orthodox Judaism, nothing is learned as sole text, but rather it is incorporated and created within life and action. I myself have developed a passion for my life through it, because of it’s practicalities, sensitivities and the manner it was taught.

For example, when teaching a Torah portion (Old Testament chapter) about how the sea of Reeds split, I dress my students in sackcloth and they walk between two large blue sheets. I blow bubbles whilst they go through. They live the lesson and apply the lessons into their daily lives. This of course, is transferred into adult learning/ education as well when Judaism is a way of life and encourages ones talents and passions.

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CMC11 – Thinking out of the frame to teach

George Lakoff the author of The Political Mind (2008) suggests that the entire world revolves and functions around “frames” established by humans – aka what is politically correct . A frame could be a title or as simple as the words I write in this blog. The word “frame” is established by a frame.

In connectivism one learns through connecting information of sources to further ones understanding. Understanding is again within a frame. However, the frame I can assume is more relative. For example, one who has  positive experiences as a child with a mother as she caresses him/her identifies the warm feeling of love and connection. Which according to George Lakoff in the video presentation comes from two different parts of the brain.

Of  course, within the “frame” of information provided I started to think about conditioning- and Pavlov’s work with his dog. The dog was conditioned by the sound of a bell that even when food was not placed before him the dog still salivated. His salvation was encouraged within the “frame” and connectivisim of the bell ringing and memory of receiving food.

So then what conditioning can be done to succeed as a teacher. Should it be a MOOC like experience of connectivism??

I believe thinking out of the frame is very important and it causes one to establish new ideas and abilities for each individual. This past week I was placed with the challenge of connecting Sushi with the idea in Hebrew “Tzniut” (modesty) and intertwining it with the Jewish holiday coming up Purim. It is customary to give food baskets and so my students shopped and created candy sushi. The sky was the limit with the ideas they thought of to make each aspect of the sushi platter unique and as well realistic. They really thought out of the box, and were incredibly creative. Spicy chips became the “dragon roll” and raspberry syrup was mixed with marshmallow fluff to make spicy mayo. Eal sauce was chocolate sauce. It was endless. However, as the teacher I was still faced with the challenge of connecting sushi to modesty…..

Until I analyzed the anatomy of a piece of sushi. Wrapped, covered and the delicious part in between. And, that exactly became my lesson. A baby is covered because it’s delicate…. An orange has a peel to protect the fruit….. A diamond is not stored out in the open…. All of these things have a cover just like a person who is so special and unique.

In Judaism one is challenged constantly  to think out of the box and connect mundane action and items to holiness. This inspires one to constantly think out of the “frame” and fulfill ones mission as per Jewish belief. For example, a cup is no longer a mundane cup if it is used at the Jewish Sabbath table and the candy for the candy sushi is not just candy anymore. It was and is used for a Mitzvah- commandment or good deed.

Though I thought out of the box with my ideas and thought beyond the obvious my ideas are still within a frame.

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In the article provided in the content of the MOOC “Multicultural experience Enhances Creativity” (By Angela Kayee- Leung, William W. Maddiux, Adam D, Galinsky and Chi-yue Chiu) Culture is defined as “a set of loosely organized ideas and practices produced and reproduced by a network of interconnected individuals.” -Exactly a MOOC. Through the many readings and ideas of the online mooc presented I have been  reminded about the greatness of diversity and it’s many facets. In fact, prior to this course the only MOOC sounding work I’ve ever heard was the “AMUKA” which is a burial grave of Yonathan Ben  a Uziel a holy Sage in the Jewish faith. People go there to pray for a marriage partner. As a Judaic teacher  I deal with the diversities of the individual children and families daily. However, the diversity is constricted considering the fact that the families are all of the Jewish faith. My degree is a Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies and Human Development, with an associates in Early Childhood education. Therefore, I wish to intertwine the content of multiculturalism and discuss the aspects of it in a classroom setting and in education. I would also like to learn more about different cultures on an academic level. No “A” is the same for any individual and as stated in the video clip “Think Differently” the ones who seek a different answer are the ones that “change the world”- or refereed to as the crazy ones.  My blog will continue along these lines and I’m looking forward to all your input and posting responses.  The grave sight of Rabbi Yonathon Ben Uziel

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Through the many readings and ideas of the online mooc presented I have been  reminded about the greatness of diversity and it’s many facets. From watching and reading I see how there are so many different ways that the world provides openings for creativity and diversity. In fact, no “A” is the same for any individual and as stated in the video clip “Think Differently” the ones who seek a different answer are the ones that “change the world”- or refereed to as the crazy ones. My degree is a Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies and Human Development, with an associates in Early Childhood education. Therefore, I wish to intertwine the content of multiculturalism and discuss the aspects of it in a classroom setting and in education. My blog will continue along these lines and I’m looking forward to all your input.

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