Orwell’s influence … prose like a windowpane

So Orwell did it. And I wanna give it a go. At the outset I know I’ll fail, for clear reasons known to me and those who know me.

I want to write a little something everyday, reflecting on what my mind was doing and where it went.

A talk by philosopher David Chalmers on consciousness, artificial intelligence and technology really got me thinking about how damn crazy amazing our brains are. I mean, it’s not like I haven’t thought about it before – but his very brief discussion of the brain’s structure and how ours are so uniquely designed (and I use that verb VERY loosely)  as to enable consciousness (not just intelligence) REALLY got me thinking about the need for us to take full advantage of its possibilities. I was fascinated by Chalmers’ suggestion that some day we might be reconstructing the minds of people based on the words, images and recording left behind. Orwell left an extensive legacy or words, a handful of images and absolutely no sound recordings at all. Imagine a reconstructed Orwell? Orwell wrote a diary everyday – something which has become the basis of a pretty neat project to share his mind musings with the world online – check out Orwell’s blog here.

Well as I’m currently not doing Orwell or Chalmers any justice, I will just start with my first attempt at recording my mind for today. Like I said at the outset, I will most likely fail at my goal to be like Orwell and in the (very) vain hopes of transposing my mind to print. Life intervenes.  I don’t envision sharing personal thoughts about personal experiences although these will inevitably creep through like ants into the picnic food.


Waking early today I found myself checking my phone before I had even checked the weather. Is this normal? Most likely not. I checked a range of small coloured icons, discovered a trickle of new information related solely to me and then attempted to return to sleep. A futile task, I found myself boiling the kettle and contemplating blogging about my school’s Maths faculty. So I will.

Our Maths faculty has been (I think) the last faculty to embrace technology for student-centred learning (I specify here because they do have IWBs and projectors in classrooms). It’s probably the same in many schools, and might have been the same in some universities too. I wonder why though, at my school, when the faculty is lead by a devoted, passionate and engaging teacher. The practicality of the day-to-day as well as issues relating to teacher-control essentially formed a ‘fog of impossible’ that lay over the faculty. Yet on Friday the Maths-teacher’s smile in my direction told me that the fog had lifted a little. She came and told me about an execl spreadhseet task that had been set for all of Year 10. It was to be turned in via edmodo! Haha! A win for the kids … Will this task instantly engage each student and help them to succeed in Maths for the rest of their life? No! But what it has done, it has shifted the way of thinking slightly from traditional to the alternative. I sit in awe that this change has occurred and am reminded that I was told two and a half years ago to be patient.

Change will happen.

It just takes time.



4 thoughts on “Orwell’s influence … prose like a windowpane

  1. The Marhs Faculty at my school would also reflect the situation you describe here except for the amazing @SimonBorgert, of course who does podcasts, records lessons and uploads to YouTube etc. But through modeling and support, there is movement occurring.

    When I think back to where we were two and a half years ago the changes have been quite amazing. The school has embraced Moodle, IWBs are beginning yo be used for what they were designed for and kids are creating products with technology.

    Change does happen, we just have to be patient, and keep modeling and smiling through the setbacks.

  2. That is great to read .. And well-done for the baby steps changes in that most oft reluctant group to change ( shhh don’t tell anyone like JanG) the Maths Dept. Does seem like your personal journey is moving along with your professional one.. Great news! 🙂 Denyse
    BTW I now have a website if you ever get a minute to get a look!

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