New media and technology present us with an overwhelming bounty of tools for connection, creativity, collaboration, and knowledge creation - a true "Age of Whatever" where anything seems possible. But any enthusiasm about these remarkable possibilities is immediately tempered by that other "Age of Whatever" - an age in which people feel increasingly disconnected, disempowered, tuned out, and alienated. Such problems are especially prevalent in education, where the Internet often enters our classrooms as a distraction device rather than a tool for learning.
What is needed more than ever is to inspire our students to wonder, to nurture their appetite for curiosity, exploration, and contemplation. It is our responsibility to help them attain an insatiable appetite and pursue big, authentic, and relevant questions so that they can harness and leverage the bounty of possibility, rediscover the "end" or purpose of wonder, and stave off the historical end of wonder.
J.R.R. Tolkien, wildly popular for his authorship of the fantasy trilogy, "The Lord of the Rings", was actually by profession an unprepossessing Medievalist and historical linguist. His extensive knowledge of world languages both ancient and modern lent itself to his creation of the artificial languages that add so much realistic depth to his fictional writing. This presentation describes the languages Tolkien created for his Middle Earth by revealing their connection with the actual spoken languages he studied during his academic career. Explore the ingenious sound symbolism and etymological connotations employed by this master storyteller - and learn a great many things about the real languages of Eurasia along