Art with Seniors

These past few days have been a rather exciting time for talking more about the art residency from the end of last year. Being part of the Arts in Eldercare seminar this year with a display as well as as a panellist was indeed my honour.

Quite unexpectedly, there were some media coverage which included the press and on radio. On Friday, I was on 938Now’s Night Chat with Susan Ng. Being able to chat with Susan Ng, a well-respected presenter, was in itself a thrill. A relief that I was calm and collected enough to make sense as I spoke.

There was also the Silver Arts Festival and the residency was also featured at a display at Kampong Admiralty.

An advance copy of the toolkit that came from the residency was also launched and here is the link. https://artsforall.sg/resources/toolkit/sparks-art-for-wellness-toolkit.aspx I like how beautiful it is.

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Book Launch – Learn by Creating

It was fun putting together a simple launch for the new ebook Learn by Creating with TinyTap, and also the new website Pauseability Press.

I tried out a short FB Live for the first time.

https://pauseability.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/10157111265555769-record.mov

This is an edited version because for the first few minutes when I was waiting, nothing happened. Curious about the “studio setup” in my humble kitchen?

Simple enough. Here’s the invitation which was sent out.

Thanks for dropping by. Hope you will find the book and website inspiring.

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Super Silver

Over the weekend, I was at the Silver IT Roadshow at Toa Payoh HDB Hub at the Silver Digital Creators Preview booth as well as sharing on the main stage.

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The preview ran throughout the whole day at 45-minute intervals. It was wondeful to see the senior trainers in action and I took some of the slots too.

 

Over at the main stage, I had an opportunity each day to share about coding, accessibility and finally the creation of digital books.

This last one was one of the most fun as I gave myself the challenge of collaboratively creating a multimedia ebook within 15 minutes with the audience. At first there was the concern that they would be shy but I had not only 3 brave participants to come on stage but even had the rest of the audience participating to pose for a photo and then to add a nice hearty yam-seng to the book.

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You can download the book, in EPUB format, here: https://payhip.com/b/MIWq

Seniors today are certainly more savvy and so the time is ripe for them to explore and use the many ways that technology helps us to create. As I told them, they have the experience, knowledge, imagination and creativity to create some truly wonderful books.

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Joyful Cool Cats

It finally happened – a series of workshops based on Creative Cool Cat – TIM-BUG-Tool. It was a four one-and-a-half-hour sessions with the staff of Yishun Student Care.

What’s inside? Getting Them Curious.

They were such a delightful group to walk through the three TIM-BUG-Tool stages with and finally talking through lessons they have designed using this Tool. I had demonstrated the Tool along the way and I believe it made the learning more creative and fun. From going crazy over bananas to singing and composing poems, they were game enough and gave such delightful responses.

Literally Singing in Their Own Key

LOVE their Acrostic Poem

I could also tell that for the teaching topic they have chosen, they have first used the Tool for their own learning as much as they grapple with how to use it to design a lesson. Their excitement about the creative learning they experienced was palpable.

Engagement

As learning is also very much a social process, this was a wonderful community who is supportive and encouraging with each other.  I am much inspired by them.

Here are what had impressed them about these sessions:

S – lesser info downloading and more kids involvement and exploration.  When they reach their interest climax, try not to stretch further, instead leave room for the excitement to linger on with them.

G – Facilitate the discovery, always get the children involved.   Activities should be tactile.

S – Lesson plan should have a smooth flow; starting with an exciting bait and lead on to the essence before tailing off with the taboo.

L – Engage children to think n ask questions rather than teachers feeding them the info.

SK – Let the kids talk instead of we do the talking, do something different e.g Creativity like super power (magic) to arouse curiosity and provide more experiential learning opportunities.

S – Engage the children/let them take ownership & think. Have Fun!!

E- I learned that we should not steal that joy of learning by just downloading them with information but giving them freedom to ask & experiment & explore taboo questions and end the lesson when they are still in anticipation .. not till they are “jelak”.

G – Discover a journey to understand creativity that is in the children’s mind. Create and unpack their inspiration into spirit of playfulness and delight

ST – Activities should be funhave Tactile experience; getting them to be exploratory and zoom in to the topic

A  – Add zest to the lesson plan by using TIM-BUG-Tool

I am very grateful. Thank you everyone, you are all such Creative Cool Cats!

Oops, was I talking too much?

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The More We Get Together

What madness made me take on such a voluntary community project?

It did seem like a very brilliant idea at the start and it remains so because it is about many things which are close to my heart. Time for relating, adventures in creating, good use of technology, among others.

The thing that warmed my heart and fueled my motor was the many kind gestures of support I received along the way. Even though the prep time was very short, I managed to gather a wonderful team of volunteers. They were people I met in a diverse range of situations and all were very positive and really believed in the project.

There were those who helped me make many important connections which were vital in getting things like my generous community partner Toa Payoh Central CC which allowed us to use their huge tent. It could not have been better.

The vibe on the morning itself was beautiful. Everyone was bright, giving and open. Taking initiative and offering kindness to everyone. There were so many different types of teams. One that stood out for me met for the first time at the event. Aunty Ngoo who is in her eighties came thinking she had bought a ticket for the event which was already over. She was game enough to give it a try. Yvonne, a tourist from Malaysia stepped forward to speak in her Penang Hokkien when she heard Aunty Ngoo saying that she speaks Hokkien. And together with Clara, our volunteer, they formed a wonderful team walking and reminiscing with  Aunty Ngoo.

In another team, the Yaos, their youngest team member was all geared. Having planned a route, listened careful to his grandfather tell him the history of each spot and repeating it in his narration for his book, and even bringing his set of Lego figurines. Their ebook is really outstanding.

All the other ebooks, a total of 14 of them, were also unique and it is amazing what can be done in under 3 hours. Creating many memories for a lifetime.

The event will always have a place in my heart and hopefully for everyone else, it will also have A Place in Our Hearts.

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How Many?

One of the powerful uses of TinyTap is for the learners to create a game as part of their learning process. One of my first few ideas which was tried with a class of preschooler has been made into this sample game.

http://www.tinytap.it/activities/g2v7g/play/how-many

Each learner or pair of learners is given a pair of plates and some counters. They are then assigned a number say X which they have learned. They have to place the correct number of counters in one plate and incorrect number for the other. Then take a photo and Ask a Question “Which plate has X?”

The process of putting the counters onto the plate will mean having to understand exactly what a number means and also what it does not (which can be any other configuration). This is a powerful learning experience isn’t it?

 

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Community Art

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Spent the evening at a casual, intimate and very stimulating conversation about the practice of community art facilitated by Janet Pillai and Jeffrey Tan. The group comprised artists as well as art administrators from NAC.

After listing the problems faced as a community artist, we built our conversation using two specific community art projects which are in progress as points of reference and springboards to further tease out the issues from the list and more broadly, to develop our collective understanding of community art.

We finally arrived at a representation of the practice of community art showing the relationship between the artist and the community using circles. From the artist working independently without the involvement of the community, to that of artist and community co-creating together.

When the question arose as to whether one of these represented the “ideal or definitive” community art (CA) project, it was most interesting to consider the idea that the entire spectrum of this could be CA. The crux resting on what the issue in the community is which the project is responding to in order to inform which type of CA is most appropriate.

In contrast, there might be many projects in which the specific issues within the community are entirely overlooked, and in some cases, it is the artist’s or the funding agency’s or governing authority’s imposing their artistic intention onto the community. An example might be the creating of a wall mural in a community which does not consider what that community needs or appreciates at all.

There is clearly nothing definitive about this discussion but it has certainly given rich food for thought and presented potentially useful and powerful frameworks for developing CA and for addressing the problems and challenges faced by community artists.

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