My TEDX Talk Video
I hope you enjoy my TEDx Talk on how Science Fiction can help us imagine, understand and potentially even solve problems like climate change. Please keep an eye on the "NEWS & ARTICLES" section for a much longer write-up on the whole event!!!
Recently at SWA we had MYP Interdisciplinary Units, or IDUs. For grade 6, we integrated English Language & Literature, English Language Acquisition, and Individuals & Societies. Using the theme "Utopias", students have been exploring the origin of the word “utopia” and delving into the context of Sir Thomas More, who coined the word in his 1516 story to satirise Renaissance era England. Students read sections of this famous work, and learned that fictional “utopias” are highly desirable, idealistic, nearly perfect societies that are actually impossible to recreate in reality. Usually, when people attempt to create some form of utopia, it inevitably becomes it opposite, dystopia. Students then explored the concepts of utopia and dystopia in several other works of fiction, such as Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron, Carl Weber’s Big Urban, and Cat Rambo’s Big Rural. Learning about utopian and dystopian elements of fictional places allows for transdisciplinary grounding of concepts, as students are able to connect these elements to the real word, and ask questions about how we could change society to make it better, and avoid making it worse.
With a firm transdisciplinary grounding of utopia and dystopia across language, literature & the humanities, students were able to create their own fictional society featuring utopian and dystopian elements, and then use that as a setting to design characters and a plot to create their own utopian or dystopian Science Fiction story.
Hello all! I just recorded a very short video tutorial on how to tweak Flipgrid to allow formative feedback using MYP - or any other - programme criteria, standards, or objectives. Enjoy!!!
Out now - a very cool edition of the Guernica Magazine on Climate Fiction featuring 4 short #CliFi stories. I'll be definitely giving this a read tonight
"We've known for years about climate change, but only 54% of Americans think it's a "serious issue." That's why, says guest fiction editor Amy Brady, we need to read climate fiction."
By Amy Brady
Teachers ahoy - have you ever used Flipgrid? I can scarcely think of an app that has so thoroughly transformed and augmented my teaching practice. One of my concerns in education is that English teachers become so focused on their reading & writing standards that, often, the art of good speaking is forgotten, and falls by the wayside. I love to include deep discussion & conversation in my classroom, but the nature of oral communication means that it can be very hard to keep a record of what was said, and by whom. Traditionally, I've taught a lot according to the Harkness method, and kept a Harkness table, but, naturally, these can only record so much. Flipgrid has been like a godsend for me. Using this app, I can maintain an extremely conversational class, and have students summarise their thoughts and contributions afterwards, and not only keep the conversation going after class, but also deepen it with further research as well. Flipgrid = best app ever. Keep an eye out for a full write-up on Flipgrid and how I use it in the next week or two! In the meantime, check out the official Flipgrid tutorial below, courtesy of the legends over at Flipgrid:
My TEDx Talk: How Science Fiction Helps Readers Imagine, Understand, and Potentially even SOLVE Climate Change
There is a much longer article on the way which I will hopefully publish in the "News & Articles" section next week, however, I just thought I'd post some pics and a short note on the awesome TEDx event recently hosted by our school, Sinarmas World Academy. I delivered a talk closely related to my MA dissertation, on how Science Fiction helps us imagine, understand, and potentially even SOLVE the climate change problem. Enjoy, and keep your eyes peeled for my article and accompanying videos next week!
Hello all! Today, I'm honoured to be featured as a guest blogger for the @mrkempNZ blog. Check out the awesome article here:
How Minecraft is Changing Education and the World
Minecraft Certified Educator, Microsoft Showcase School, & some published Minecraft lessons!!!
Apologies for being a blousy logger, or even a lousy blogger, but I'm back with a few little updates. Naturally, the South Africa event was AMAZING, and since then I've accomplished a few more things. Minecraft Education Edition is now officially DEPLOYED on every device at NIS, and students are doing so many amazing things on it, I don't know how I can even begin to blog about it. I'll put something together soon, but in the meantime, please check out my awesome lessons that have now been published:
Build the Eiffel Tower!!!
Build & 3D Print Useful Stuff!!!
More lessons are on the way!!!
Some other interesting things that have happened are that I got my Minecraft Certified Educator and MIE badges (finally!), and Microsoft saw fit to award our school the title of "Microsoft Showcase School", which is amazing!!!! Well done NIS! Check out the badges below:
Speaking in Africa!!!
Just a quick post to say that I have been selected to speak at an event in Johannesburg, South Africa!!! Please follow the event here:
More to come soon!!!
All about me!
My name is Ben Parsons, and I currently live in the Philippines where I work as the IB Diploma Programme Coordinator at Noblesse International School. That's me above wearing the Boba Fett hat. My lovely wife Grace is Princess Leia, R2D2 is my 6-year old daughter Aurelia, and the little guy in the Yoda suit is my 2-year old, Max.
My passion in education is the principled integration of technology. I believe that my students should learn real-world, 21st century skills and understand real-world, 21st century issues. I think one of the most dangerous phrases in education is "we've always done it this way," and both students and teachers need to be risk-takers, continually innovating and pushing the limits of what is possible with today's technology.
In addition to running the IB programmes at my school, I am the G Suite administrator and Edtech coach. I frequently attend and speak at international EdTech conferences run by Google Apps Events, Microsoft, and other tech giants. I have presented at conferences in Manila, Vietnam and Singapore on topics such as Google Apps, using technology to improve assessment and feedback practices at schools.
My current focus is the integration of Minecraft, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), and 3D Printing, and I have presented my ideas on this to teachers from all over the world. If you are unsure what these exciting technologies are, or how they can be integrated, watch the very short video below, and ask any questions in the comments section. If you would like to start using Minecraft, CAD and 3D Printing at your school today, please click the button below:
My name is Ben Parsons, and I am the author of this website and blog! Check my Bio, my public profiles below, and catch me on Twitter!