Kung Fu

(gong fu) – Work Skill. A high level of skill developed through long hard practice.
www.clearstaichi.com/tai-chi-chuan/tai-chi-glossary-584

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.

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