It’s April, it’s spring, and it’s National Poetry Month in the U.S. This is a good occasion to scan the web for poetry. We found some gems to brighten up our lifes, hypnotize our minds and remind us of our forgetfulness.
Animated poetry can be a mesmerizing way to rediscover and enjoy poems. One of our favourites is Julian Grey’s animation of Billy Collins’ poem “Forgetfulness”. The animation underlines the intelligent humor and insight, Billy Collins’ poems are loved for.
The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,
as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.
Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,
something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.
Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.
It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.
No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.
Spoken Word Poetry @TED
Sarah Kay is one of the founders of Project V.O.I.C.E, a lovely project that aims to use poetry as a way to entertain and educate. Sarah’s TED Talk “If I should have a daughter, instead of Mom, she’s gonna call me Point B … “ recently inspired standing ovations. Enjoy!
PDF Poetry For The Busy
The Academy of American Poets, spin doctor of the National Poetry Month, aims to bring poetry to everyday life. The Academy wants to get even the busiest people involved. Take for example these pocket-sized poem PDFs. You can click a pocket and share the attached poems with others. Download, print, and enjoy!
The App Store wouldn’t be the App Store if there wasn’t a handy app that brings poetry to our touchscreens. “Poem Flow” delivers a new poem each day in order to create an invisible community of simultaneous readers. Join the flow!
By the way, which poems do you (still) know by heart?
This is a must see video on the future of education and it will definitely put a smile on your face. The Khan Academy is known for the comprehensive video library that its founder Salman Khan started creating during his hedge fund days to help out his younger cousins with algebra.
Thanks to recent funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Google, the Khan Academy now builds software and tools for teachers and students in the classroom, too. Khan’s aim is to humanize the classroom trough technology in order to enable self paced learning.
What started out as a few algebra videos has grown to over 2,100 videos and 100 self-paced exercises ranging from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history. Just give it a try!
Skype in the classroom is a new product inspired by the growing community of teachers that use Skype and video chat to help their students learn. It’s easy to see why: video chat can help students discover new cultures, languages and ideas, all without even leaving the classroom. Schools use it to bring speakers, experts and guest instructors into the classroom.
Skype in the classroom, a directory of like-minded educators, can help those teachers prepare and manage the new learning experiences more efficiently:
- Cultural exchange: Introduce students to new ways of seeing the world with a cultural exchange between their class and another classroom anywhere in the world.
- Language skills: Enable real-life conversations where students can practice a new language with a class of native speakers, or help English learners practice their skills.
- Discovery: Try mystery Skype calls, where classes connect online and give clues to help each guess the other’s location. Or introduce your students to a classroom in the location of a book they’re reading or a subject they’re studying.
Although Skype has supported several educational initiatives before, e.g. Peace One Day, which uses video chat to produce intercultural cooperation lessons, Skype in the classroom brings the whole learning and teaching experience to a new level.
Skype in the classroom (beta) is still under development and for the moment basically a growing directory of educators. But Skype says it plans to widen the network and to support connecting classes with speakers and experts who are willing to Skype in to a class. Just imagine an astronaut skyping in from the international space station.
- Related story: Sugata Mitra’s Granny Cloud helps children in India with their education, based on the grandmother method via Skype.
“You can have places where you can’t build a school. And even more commonly you can have places where you have schools but good teachers don’t want to or can not go there. What do you do about that? Because there are children everywhere. And that’s what I’m trying to address.”
After his groundbreaking Hole in the Wall Project, Sugata Mitra, came up with another great idea providing education to those who used to be excluded or could be reached only with great difficulties. He uses Skype video chat and has recruited hundreds of grannies in Newcastle — the UK Granny Cloud — to go online and help children in India with their education, based on the grandmother method – stand behind, admire, act fascinated and praise.
This a great example of how to bring together aging societies in developed countries with children in the devoloping world in need for quality education. A technology enabled win-win-situation. As Val Almond, a volunteer teacher in the project, puts it: “So many children in the world don’t have access to education. But through technology you can get through to the poorest of children.”