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Posts Tagged ‘persistence

The video embedded in the tweet below went viral recently.


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Educators would readily repeat the message of grit or persistence or resilience.

I was about to add to the chant by pointing out that the life lesson was not foreseen, planned, or scaffolded. This does not help teachers who operate by standards, curriculum, or otherwise being told what to do.

As I hesitated on clicking the publish button in WordPress, this Atlantic news article provided insights on why the mother bear and her cub made such a desperate dash. They were startled by an aerial drone that sought to capture footage.

The lesson about struggling and failing to learn about grit and persistence is important, but it is the obvious and low-hanging fruit. The bears would have been put in that danger had the documentarians operated more ethically. Therein lies an equally important but less obvious lesson.


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Last Monday I provided a sneak preview of my short video series on informal and emergent learning with Minecraft. I called that part 1.

This is the actual part 1.

In this part, my son and I explore the use of coordinates for path-finding. We also talk about importance of being persistent whether in a game or in life.

I have already been asked if I script videos with my son. I do not.

I might have an idea of concepts I might want to bring up or things I hope to discuss. But I leave it to the rather messy process of emerging dialogue and the time-consuming process of video editing to present something coherent.

An adult worries about time-on-task, objectives, and measuring impact. A child just gets on with the learning, finds ways to enjoy the process, and shows off occasionally.

It is a very humbling and valuable experience to co-learn with my son and I enjoy every minute of it!


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I subscribe to MysteryGuitarMan’s YouTube channel and I love his latest video.

He tells a story on how he moved from Brazil to Boston, learnt English, went to medical school, opted to follow his passion for making videos, lived a dirt poor life, and is finally enjoying the fruits of his labour.

His is a great example of following your passion, being persistent, and learning from failure.

Never heard of Panyee Football Club? After watching this video, you will.


Video source

Here is the blurb from the YouTube page:

In 1986 a football team that lived on a little island in the south of Thailand called “Koh Panyee”. It’s a floating village in the middle of the sea that has not an inch of soil. The kids here loved to watch football but had nowhere to play or practice. But they didn’t let that stop them. They challenged the norm and have become a great inspiration for new generations on the island.

It’s about pulling together to overcome the odds and making a difference. The difference may not be much (spoiler: they did not win their first tournament), but they saw an opportunity and took it. They did not change the world; they just changed theirs. Inspiring!

Last week, one of my colleagues thanked me for being a “squeaky wheel”. What was the context for this? I had persisted with an issue that had dogged Mac users at my workplace for about a month.

Our workplace upgraded its Exchange system toward the end of 2009. While the change went smoothly for PC users, it was a return to the “We do not support Mac users” days of olde. My argument was that the techies were supposed to support users of the Exchange system regardless of the client and OS they were using, e.g., Outlook on PCs, Entourage or Mail on Macs, mail clients on mobile phones, etc.

Before the upgrade, Mac users like me had figured out how to change our Entourage settings to get to the Exchange system so that we were on more or less equal footing with our PC counterparts. With the Exchange upgrade, we had no access to it at all. As a consolation, we had access to a crippled Web version which would time out frequently.

One techie revealed a temporary workaround to me that required Mac users to access a different server via the work LAN. That meant no wireless or off campus access. In effect, we had to be tethered to our desks to do something as basic as email. And only email as far as I know.

Then I had lunch with another techie and took the opportunity to pester him. He and his colleague eventually found a solution: All we needed was an update from Entourage 2008 to Entourage 2008 Web Services Edition. No fiddling with settings!

The same colleague (and fellow Mac user) who thanked me for being a squeaky wheel had previously given me unsolicited advice when I first joined my workplace: Don’t ask why, just get on with the job. If I had followed that advice, I would have accepted the situation instead of trying to find a better way of doing things. But I ignored that advice and stuck by my principles to find a solution. As a result, all Mac users at my workplace can be on equal footing as our PC colleagues.

Now I just have to ensure that the news gets disseminated. To do this, I have shared a Google Doc with the instructions on how to solve the problem of not being able to connect to the Exchange system at my workplace.

Does this sound like shameless self-promotion? It’s not meant to be. Instead, it’s a reminder to myself to keep doing what I do. If I think something is worth doing, I’ll be persistent until stakeholders benefit from the results of the noise.

BTW, many thanks to the hardworking folk at computer support at NIE. I appreciate your professional service and ability to add lubricant to the wheel!


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