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On beasts, teachers and classics (or the aftermath of a course)

herculesThis small article comes many months since the last one in this blog. I have thus not obeyed the basic advice for a good blog: publish regularly. Despite that fact, I will post today (and try to continue in the future) because a course that I shared with a group of classics teachers last week gave me much food for thought. And here we go!

I recall the advertisement of an energy drink, some years ago, which used the slogan “bring out the beast”. What a saying! What a declaration! Maybe, the ultimate expression of the philosophy of a whole era. Maybe the notion of the purpose of the modern civilization that pushes us to become superhumans before becoming humans.

Superman is not merely a comic hero; it is what you are called to become, in order to run faster and to achieve more. And if you cannot become that (and clearly you cannot as you do not have the physical force, the natural capacity to fulfill that) don’t worry. Drink the magical drink and you will fly. The superdrink will release in you your superpowers (and not necessarily the good ones), it will help you “bring out the beast”.

Modern marketing, as the real child of our epoch, is in a hurry. It wants to sell here and now and to achieve that it pushes people too much. And it forgets that humanity and civilization have struggled during thousands of years to bring the beast back, to put it in the cage at least, to control it that is.

Humans do have inner power; many powers. But if these powers are not controlled they will be used for destruction. Our modern civilization, supported by the accelerated technology and globalization, has deified money as the final idol. Profit (in cash) is the ideal for anyone now: individuals, nations, countries. And the system is in desperate need of consumers. This is why it pushes people to look down, to look to the earth, to the soil and mud rather than up, to the spiritual, to the heaven. It underlines the passions and their satisfaction rather than your ability to learn, to criticize, to think, to love.

To teachers: do not expect a system that worships material life to give nice advice to students. It only wants to produce practically dead, in mind and spirit, consumers not thinking, live, responsible citizens. Use technology at school but also draw on the wealth of the classic past. Teach with technology but be also inspirational to your students and teach them urgently beauty, poetry, philosophy, creativity for a better future locally and globally.

Seven Complex Lessons in Education for the Future

morin_edgarThese days, being on holidays, I have started to study the book of Edgar Morin “Seven Complex Lessons in Education for the Future”. I consider Edgar Morin one of the biggest thinkers of our time and one of those few people who have understood the essence of the modern world and help with their theories to set new foundations for the future. Reading Morin during holidays is essential as one needs this calm hours that only on holidays we have, to reflect on his great thoughts on the new.

We live in an era of high speed and if there is one problem with this situation it is the fact that we no longer reflect on how we live and work or we just do it very quickly. Thinkers like Morin can, in my opinion, help any teacher understand his role in the modern world. Edgar Morin proposes this model of complexity where you have to examine everything under the light of context, globality and complexity. Very interesting indeed and in every page I find new ways to understand especially my job.

But in any case I am on holidays, so more details in the near future. Have a nice summer rest everyone…

The next Rembrandt project

“The next Rembrandt” is a very interesting case of Artificial Intelligence (AI) experimental use. Scientists had an AI program analyze the style and the totality of the work of the great master and then had the program decide on what could be a “new” painting that Rembrandt would have made. The result is really impressive if we consider all the technologies used until the end of the project: After deciding and creating, the computer could print its new painting on a 3D printer actually recreating even the style of Rembrandt’s brush. You can find all the relevant details in the video below.

Now the questions remain open and the answers controversial of course: what is it that we have exactly created as humans? A new way to analyze the work of an artist? A new way to see and understand art? A new way of creating? Is it creation? Are we at a stage where creation of the new will be done by the cooperation of humans and machines? And moreover, do all these applications of AI have a place at school? You, as a teacher, decide!

Εξερεύνηση: A process to find the knowledge

A few words on the name of this blog. Exerevnisi is the Greek word for exploration. Exploration in older times was synonymous to sailing to unknown places; today it remains so, only it is done through navigation from our office; hence the title and the image. In all cases, exploration is the main process for encountering the knowledge. Enjoy!


Welcome to my blog!

This blog is created as a personal space to express my thoughts on all things technology but especially on the subject of ICT in education. The blog will, in a second role, be a kind of support for the courses that I provide to teachers under the ERASMUS+ program.

Being an ICT educator for 25 years, the everyday contact with the problems of technology regarding its use by adults has given me many opportunities to reflect; reflect on what is our purpose after all when we say that we use ICT. Too much food for thought actually as technology is a very vivid phenomenon; it is changing all the time; it is running fast; it is in fact accelerating! OK, so let’s try to follow the hard rhythms but differently: not by running but rather by thinking. This is actually my suggestion to you as a modern teacher: Stop running; Start thinking!

Welcome on board!