#InspirationFriday: Unique teaching

This Inspiration Friday branches off from three previous posts (Engagement, Have Fun, and Create Usefulness/Uselessness) but I didn’t want to mash it into other posts because I think it definitely warrants it’s own Inspiration Friday praise.

A project by Josh Worth it is called, “If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel – A Tediously Accurate Map of Our Solar System” and I have to say, it is simply one of the most beautiful and well designed projects I have ever seen.

One of the greatest challenges growing up as a kid (and even as an adult) is comprehending how big something is. We understand that the sun is gigantic, and that the earth is huge, and the moon is big but when you look at these items in the sky you simply forget. And seeing them in books doesn’t really give the space credit between the planets or the moons.

But I’m not denying that creating such factual literacy is easy or should be discounted as useful. I’m simply saying this is one of the best, if not the best, representations I have ever seen.

I like how it is interactive, as well as a little tongue in cheek with some of the messages about the distance (or the inclusion of Pluto). Which reminds me of The Simpsons episode about Lisa’s Substitute teacher who makes class enjoyable while still educational.

What I like best about this project though is the fact you can visually see the comparisons of planet to planet, moon to moon, start to finish. You no longer have to be bound by an A4 piece of paper to accurately scale the items. Furthering this, it also plays on the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality which should probably be changed to “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, unless you can improve it”. Because that’s the goal here in the world where thousands of start ups are dominating the market.

It’s no longer a race to be first, but who can make it the first to be widely accessible.

I’d take us back to the first pure touch phone, the original iPhone. At the time a company that was dominating the music player scene, now was showing us how our mobiles would be finger intuitive. Not only has this sparked a great snowball effect, but really how touch devices were shaped. Yet it doesn’t stop there, many of the Android devices had features that Apple users did not have – like a flashlight. Though simple, but highly necessary Android paved the way for necessary applications or shortcuts, that Apple didn’t have.

And this is the essence of the theme of the week being Unique Teaching. I’m not saying you have to be the first at everything, but if you can make that process the way that everything else has adapt to then you’re on the right creative track. But it’s not necessary, in that you don’t have to be doing this, but the aim of Inspiration Fridays is, apart from being inspirational creative works, is to give you another view point in your work.

I know in the many times I’ve tried to explain something to someone that I’ve had to take a step back, tell them to give me five minutes, and I’ll return with a diagram.

It’s sometimes as simple as that which deserves merit on a unique teaching pathway, and not necessarily a fully fleshed out solar system website. Apply your new knowledge to everyday, it’s the only way you will be able to problem solve effectively and efficiently.