30 Days of Learning-Day 1: Google Translate and A Lesson from my Dad

20140523-063252-23572393.jpg Today, as promised, I embarked on my journey of learning something new daily. I will admit to being unsure of where to start today. I even began a lesson on Lynda.com, about storytelling. Although I did learn a thing or two, I decided against making that moment my learning moment.

Then, I was tagged on Google+ by Boris Berljin, an educator from the Netherlands, telling me how he wrote a blog post about presenting on social media at a conference and referenced one of my postings from Instagram. This excited me because the post was in dutch and that gave me a reason to crank out Google translate.

My Google Translate “Aha” Moment

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I was so excited that once I translated Boris’ article, I learned a new thing about Google translate in blogger or probably any platform by google…I presume. We all know that google translate isn’t always as accurate as we like which meant that some sentences didn’t exactly make sense in English. Did you know that when you highlight text, you can actually “contribute” to the correct translation? What’s cool is that it doesn’t just change on screen. Boris now gets to approve my translation which set off a gazillion instructional idea alarms in my head.

I thought of language classes where teachers and students post in one language, translate and use the “suggest” feature to submit corrections. I’ve never seen this so I was super excited. I even grabbed a screen shot because…hello…I planned to share this as my learning moment.

Then…I made it back to my hometown. I saw my “edtech dad” sporting his Sophia shirt and I took one look at him and knew what I needed to say. I said…

“Dad, is there anything that you can teach me?”

After explaining my challenge and turning down his first offer of mowing the lawn, I fully accepted his brilliant offer to teach me some basics about my car.

Today’s lesson was about changing the oil which I needed to learn. As independent as I am, I rely on the “experts” at the body shop to do this for me. Why do we do that? I found that my dad was eager to teach me something as this is a rare occurrence. It also gave us much needed time to bond.

I watched my father come alive in a way that I had not seen. It reminded me of students and giving them a platform to teach as well. We could stand to do that a bit more I think.

I will say that teaching me pumped him up so much that I captured about 7 minutes of conversation that I condensed down to 1:30. My dad is a passionate teacher. Maybe I got a little bit of that bug from him too.

By the time that I “conclude” this journey, maybe…just maybe…I may even become a much better digital storyteller.

Right now, I’m just happy to know how to check my car and also where to put the oil.

What did you learn today? Where can I learn it?

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