Last weekend, Doug Belshaw’s “Things I learned this week #17” mentioned this blog (although with some fake reluctance), and the post that contained the What’s new in PowerPoint 2010 for teachers video. I often read Doug’s blog, as well as listening to the EdTechRoundUp podcast, which Doug takes part in weekly. The thought hit me (belatedly!) that “Things I learned this week” is an excellent way to share some of the snippets of news that aren’t quite important enough to make a blog post all of their own, but lumped together they may make interesting reading.

So, thanks to Doug’s idea, here’s my first “Things I learned this week” list:

Things I learned this week

  • I have known for some time about the Microsoft Education Competencies, which was designed by teachers, and is used in a number of countries for professional development and career planning by teachers.
    What I learned this week is that one of the 39 competencies is Humour, and just like every other competency, there are a series of level statements that can be used to describe progression:
    Microsoft Competencies > Humour

Level 1: Basic Level 2: Intermediate Level 3: Advanced Level 4: Expert

Generally uses humour in a positive way

Uses humour to bring people together

Knows exactly when and where a joke or story will be effective

Can see humour in almost everything

Is conscientious about timing and setting for humour

Uses humour to boost morale or decrease tension

Has a great sense of timing

Sought out by others for guidance in this area

Tries to diffuse tense situations with appropriate humour

Uses humour to make for a more relaxed and productive atmosphere

Realises when and where humour will backfire, and withholds

Uses humour as a uniting dynamic across a range of situations

Can laugh at self and others

Allows others to be funny

Understands that laughter makes a more comfortable meeting, classroom, etc

Recognizing and appreciates a great sense of humour in others

And like all of the other competencies, there are sections on improving proficiency, interview questions, learning opportunities and even a recommended reading list.
(Honestly, it took me half an hour to satisfy myself that this wasn’t some kind of April Fool’s Spoof)

Thanks for the inspiration Doug