Cheryl Steele Oakes
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## Think of One Thing that you Googled in the Past Three Months or the Past Three Days?

October 26, 2011 By: Cheryl Steele Oakes

Can you think of one thing that you googled in the past three months or the past three days?  As I sat with a friend at the Harbor we were talking and  looking at low tide and  discussing what happens to the sand during the tidal pull. She said,  “that can be explained by fractal geometry -those little ripples, as she pointed  to the sculptured sand. The tides pull the water, the ripples in the sand are evidence of the water ripples which are evidence of fractal geometry.”   I thought about that for a bit. I  really didn’t know what fractal geometry was, but I did know it sounded like the Fibonacci in nature  where everything is systematic using the 1,3,5,8,13,21,.....  Now when I look at sand ripples I will think of fractals. “Approximate fractals are easily found in nature. These objects display self-similar structure over an extended, but finite, scale range. Examples include clouds, river networks, fault lines, mountain ranges, craters,[8] snow flakes,[9] crystals,[10] lightning, cauliflower or broccoli, and systems of blood vessels and pulmonary vessels, and ocean waves.[11] DNA and heartbeat[12] can be analyzed as fractals. Even coastlines may be loosely considered fractal in nature.” Wikipedia

This is an example where STEM really needs to be part of education for all of us.

There are some conversations that naturally lend themselves to what we call reciprocal conversations where I say one thing, you make a comment, it reminds me of something which I say,  and you make a comment about that and then it goes back and forth. The reciprocal manner is where  people have a conversation that you can predict the conversation is full of ebb and flow.  However, with my friend at the Harbor looking at low tide there was absolutely no way I could predict where the conversation was going to end up, nor could I predict  how those subjects were going to be woven into those conversations.  That's really amazing to me because we’re in an exciting time and we're having  conversations where making connections that normally wouldn't have been made BI, before internet.

So, I'll ask again,  when was the last time you looked up something totally unfamiliar to you?  When was the last time you had a conversation with someone that was not scripted? But  rather, it was really reciprocal  with give-and-take and you were sharing in the teaching and learning.  How can we make this happen more often?Let’s  think about that! Let’s think about ways to provide an avenue for that to happen in our classes!  Let your students be  teachers and let your teachers be the learners!

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