Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Thinking Stick

The Thinking Stick is an edu-tech blog by Jeff Utecht, the HS Technology and Learning Coordinator at the boys' school. I came across his very popular blog even before my first visit to ISB.

It was towards the end of a fantastic first meeting (when we were visiting schools) with the ISB MS School Counselor (who left such a great impression on us) that I happened to mention to her that I had read the blog of the school's 'IT-guy', this blog called The Thinking Stick, her eyes opened wide and she said that's her husband! Which made her The Thinking Chick! She's a lot more shy than her husband so I'm not gonna link to her blog :)

I sound like such a stalker here and probably scared The Thinking Chick into not blogging anymore haha but this couple are just amazing people and I think the school is very lucky to have them. They are into their 2nd year at ISB, having come from Shanghai American School, and from Jeff's twitter, I now know they're staying on in Bangkok for the next two years, yayyy! And the thing is, I don't know that many teachers/personnel in this school, but the few whom I've had contact with, are truly amazing. I'll talk about that another time. But I have been very, very impressed with the passion shown by the educators here.

Today, Jeff sent me an email with just a link to his latest blogpost and a smiley at the end. He hadn't needed to cos just minutes earlier, I had seen this link appear on my wall from the Jeff Utecht Facebook page, yes, I am a fan :P In his post, he reflected on Dan Pink's book Drive and concluded that the key to motivating students to produce good work is by giving them a meaningful purpose bigger than a grade.

He goes on to cite the Operation Smile video on Brian's student blog as an example of this. Brian doesn't get many comments on his blog, so if anyone visits, do say hello, it'll make his day :) And don't expect too much from the blog, it's not a personal blog, more of a place to submit some of his homework. But he's thrilled to be getting visitors from all over, all thanks to The Thinking Stick :) I'm hoping this will make him more aware about the digital footprint he's leaving around and put in more effort in every piece of homework he uploads :P


Anonymous said...

If Brian and Sean have a personal blog, I will be a reader. I may start my child on her own blogging too, just for fun.


Lilian said...

haha, definitely not Brian...I tried for years getting him to write in a journal, to no avail. Sean, on the other hand, loves writing about anything, so maybe in future, who knows.

monlim said...

Absolutely fabulous! And I never knew Brian had a blog...

Lilian said...

Every kid in school does :) It's more for hw submission though not all teachers use that mode. Even Sean has one haha, but it's quite new and I think for them, the posts are controlled by the teacher, I'm not really sure.

Jeff Utecht said...

Thanks for the mention and thanks for being a fan......I'm a fan of you and your family as well. :)

What we're hoping is the blogs become more than a place for school work and homework. I hope (and I'm the reason every student has one) that they become a place for the kids to talk about life, reflect on their schooling, and like Brian, find a way to communicate what they are thinking to the world, allowing them to see the power of publication, the power of the Internet in connecting people and ideas.

We start building the skills young like with Sean and hopefully by the time they are Brian's age and into high school we're seeing them become the young people they are and contributing to the world in meaningful ways through the power of the Internet.

That's my dream anyway....

Lilian said...

Hey Jeff :) Thanks, you're very sweet.

I think what you're doing in school is very cool, getting kids to embrace technology instead of creating more walls and controls. It's also pretty cool that Brian knows how to use wordpress better than I do (I think it's a better platform but my brain's still stuck with blogspot) and Sean can handle stuff like Prezi that Brian and I find pretty confusing :)

And from all the good ideas you're sharing and great work you're doing for both kids and other educators, I expect to see a Tedtalk from you very soon!

So thrilled that you and Daneah are staying on in ISB!