Aha moment – ever had one of those?

Ever had an ‘aha’ moment? An experience where revelation comes to you suddenly. I had one of those when I started writing this blog. Writing my first post and waking up the next morning to see a comment posted was a real ‘aha’ moment for me. Everything I had been reading about in terms of connections and the ability of the web to bring us together seemed to coalesce in that moment.

I really like ahamoment.com, a site dedicated to sharing the aha moments of the people who chose to share their stories. Thanks go to Tony Hollingsworth who alerted me to its presence on the Web via a tweet. I like how they describe an aha moment;

Aha moments come in all shapes and sizes. We know from the real people featured on this site and with those to whom we continue to speak, that aha moments are personal. They have been described as, “magic,” “enlightenment,” and, “that moment of clarity when all the pieces fall into place.” They’ve told us that having an aha moment is like, “getting hit by a bus,” and that it just “hits you.”

I’m intrigued by the research they say has been conducted into aha moments and what happens physiologically before they happen;

“In 2004, researchers at Northwestern University wanted to discover the physiological responses that lead to the breakthrough moments known as aha moments. What they discovered was that a split — second before having an aha moment, we experience a burst of electrical brain activity… kind of like a big light bulb going off in your brain.

Another study in 2006 by the same research team found that aha moments tend to occur more often in the “prepared mind.” In short, if we’re open to change and maybe even looking for some kind of change — an aha moment is more likely to happen.”

A part of me believes very strongly in the 2006 study. I do believe we create our own situations to some extent. I think you have to work it, but if you visualise where it is you want to be in life you can find yourself there.

I could see this site being useful in school settings. People sharing insights into what has sparked a new direction for them could help inspire our students and could be the basis for writing or digital media tasks. Perhaps our students could upload their own stories to the site. 

My only concern is that the site is run by the Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company. I’m wondering what their motivation is for running a site like this? It looks like a clever marketing ploy to me; run a site that’s interesting and plug a few products like life insurance, retirement solutions etc. This could be another interesting educational exercise- part of the digital literacy learning our kids should be aware of. Get your students to visit the site and find out who is running it by having them scroll down to the bottom of the page and check out the detail that you find in the links there.

Interesting from many angles. Exploring the site was a bit of an ‘aha’ moment in itself!

 

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