Welcome back to Star Wars Thursday, a celebration of the wonderful and often wacky world of a galaxy far, far away.
It’s been a little while since Lego Leia accompanied me on a major expedition. She hung out on my family camping trip this summer, but has spent the time between then and now in a state of mild boredom. When she heard I would be heading to a conference to learn from and share with people in the gifted education field, she insisted that I take her along. I’ll turn over the typewriter to my diminutive hero and let her tell the tale.
Travel on this planet seems incredibly inefficient. While there were huge stretches of driving where we were able to manage reasonable speeds, there were also many times when a line of slow cars loomed before us, hampering our progress. Very few people have vehicles that leave the surface, or so Maria says.
When we arrived, she received a bag and a label to identify her as a participant in this conference. They certainly place a lot of information onto flimsy sheets of what is called “paper”!
Thursday’s learning revolved around using technology for creating and sharing with the world. Maria participated in a panel about blogging, both with children and as professionals in the field of education. I was intrigued by this concept. Perhaps our younglings will be more inclined to think deeply about their learning if they are allowed to have such a forum. On the other hand, I can see the dangers of Rebels putting too much information out there and risking our lives. When I mentioned this to Maria, she told me that this is also a concern in her world, even though there are no Imperial forces.
We then learned about ways to have children learn to program their own computers and devices. They call it “coding”, and it is all the rage! Maybe if they can get their children interested early enough, they can improve their technology level a bit over the next few generations. It’s sometimes a little embarrassing. I mean, really… they only live on one planet?
On Friday, Maria forgot to take any photos of me during our sessions. I was fascinated to get more information about gifted children, though. If we survive this Rebellion and are able to remake our world, we will need to teach and guide all of our little ones to reach their full potential. I was especially intrigued by the concept of ADHD. These children with high levels of energy and creativity sound like exactly the sort of people who can help me lead and create and explore. We rounded out the day with an excellent meal, though Maria prefers slightly bland fare. She wouldn’t even put these tasty flecks on her pizza.
Here’s another fabulous idea! Our final session on Friday evening was a thing called “speed geeking”. Almost 15 people got up and presented quick, five minute sessions to share great tools they have used. I don’t know if we need to share tech tips, but I really love this format. I wonder if I can fit this into an upcoming leadership meeting…
Clearly I haven’t been offering enough sweets to those around me. While I got a lot of out each learning session on Saturday, Maria felt the need to snap my photo with these little morsels instead. I know my life is one long stretch of dire circumstances at the moment, but there is something to be said for the thrill of savoring a delicious treat. I wonder if I can convince Han to smuggle in some of these goodies?
Another thing that really struck me was the degree to which everyone around me, Maria included, seemed to rely on a bitter beverage called coffee to get them going in the morning. I’m trying to decide if I should bring this stimulant to the Rebellion, or if we should continue to hope that the adrenaline rush caused by running for our lives from the Empire will be enough to jolt us awake every morning.
This group just can’t stop learning. When we arrived at our conference celebration event, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that we were at a science museum. The Maryland Science Center was packed with hands on displays designed to entertain younglings. The fact that all of the attendees were more than a few years past the target age didn’t stop anyone from poking, prodding, and fiddling with every exhibit. I wonder if I can recruit some of the people I’ve met to join the Rebel Alliance…
Thanks for all of your insights, Lego Leia! If you are in the field of education and DO want to join the rebel forces, check out Star Wars in the Classroom . They have a ton of resources, and a group called the Rogues to celebrate educators who use Star Wars to help motivate and build connections for learners. I’m Rogue 14 !
Until next week – may the Force be with you.