(gong fu) – Work Skill. A high level of skill developed through long hard practice.
I get to teach some of my open-source/free software kung fu to a friend soon. What more could I want? I don’t actually have much occasion to use a lot of the software that I love so much, as it plays relatively little importance in my work and personal life. Thus an opportunity to teach it is just what I need to justify my passion.
I’m slowly developing study kung fu after 18 years or so of formal education. I never enjoyed it while I was actually going through it, perhaps because I didn’t know HOW to make it enjoyable. Now that I know about all the amazing educational software out there I almost wish I could go back through school again and do it right this time. I say this, but I have to admit I was a strong student, I had an A average in grade school and a fairly high GPA over 3.0 in undergrad. Regardless, there’s a lot I missed out on. I also didn’t realize how much I really love learning.
I recently watched a Ted Talk on the Khan Academy. Since then I signed up, gave it a shot, and practiced my mental math skills for arithmetic. If I need to study for the GRE I will definitely be making use of that.
For my own Japanese study I make prodigious use of Anki. It’s an incredibly smart technology that when combined with a bit of self discipline produces solid results.
Today I used Google Maps with its terrain and satellite imagery features to very handily teach a co-worker about my hometown compared to where I live now in Japan. This is the kind of resource that I want to use to encourage my students to learn about the world and foster a positive learning relationship with technology.