- You may know that I do a lot of public speaking
- And some of you in the audience may have heard me speak before
- So I have been struggling to find something to talk about that you have probably not heard
And I have finally settled on three subjects
- To suggest some insights about our times, especially within the context of education
I want to tell three stories -- about
- The stock market
- The Middle Ages
- An Irritating Silence
- Graphic of "1984"
- Dr. Funderburks Prescriptive & Diagnostic Reading Class @ Wingate College
Funderburk meets us at the learning clinic he runs
We tour the clinic
- Various diagnostic Instruments
- Various Learning Programs
When he adjourns the tour I ask about the Radio Shack computer I see.
- Sits me down
- Starts up computer
- Loads Math Program
- I am aghast, a machine that you operate by communicating with it
At the beginning of the next year, my School gets 11 Radio Shack (TRS-80) model III computers
Not a single teacher wants one.
- I get all 11 of them
- We didn't understand computers
- No computer literacy
- I teach myself to program the computers
One of my first programs -- Stock Baron
- Description of Stock Baron
The Stock barons start making millions of dollars
- I don't know how
- They won't tell me
Finally one student explains it to me
- They found a bug
- They can sell more stock than they own
- I'm fairly sure none of them work for Goldman Sack
I re-write some of the code for Stock Baron over night
- Pearson Duvall Plays the game
- Pearson Duvall gets played
I learn that what's special about this computer
- Is not that they are machines you operate by communicating with them.
- But that they are machines through which we will communicate with each other in brand new and powerful ways
- Graphic "Connection"
- Graphic of "1990"
Working at the State Department of Education
- I get my first account on the Internet
Internet in 1990
- Not Graphical
- Like DOS
- Moving around from computer to computer access to files from all over
Mailing List Message
Learn about IRC (Internet Relay Chat)
- Compared it to CB Radio
I connect to the Internet that night and login to the IRC Server at NCSU
- NCSU is right up the road
- Top Computer Engineering school in the state
I Connect that night
- I see channels
- Today, they might be called Chat Rooms
I choose Channel D / 4 participants
- Participants are Computer Science Students
Talking about major exam
- Not being very polite about it
I break in after some time just lurking
- I introduce myself
- They fake an interest
- I ask,
- "What do you think 5th graders might do with this sort of access to the Internet?"
- followed by a Long Cyber Pause
- Then the juices start flowing
- They could go here and get the manifests of upcoming shuttle flights
- They could "finger" this server and get latest earthquakes
- They could go here and do this with it
- Starting get excited
- You can tell when nerds are getting excited...
- Someone suggests we get together and talk about it
I say sure, where?
- Pizza joint
- Graphic of Pizzeria
- I don't recognize it
- Gave me address
- I'm new, I don't recognize it (before Google Maps)
- Where are you guys anyway?
- We're in Reykjavik, Iceland
- Graphic of Iseland
- I'll have to take a rain check
Two weeks latter, I'm thinking about it
- What's important is not that I was talking to people a quarter of a planet away -- for free
- What's important is that talked with them for forty minutes before I knew that they were free.
- Graphic "Without Boundaries"
I'm a consultant for ThinkQuest
- Describe ThinkQuest
1997 ThinkQuest Event
- Washington DC
- Event Showcase
I learn about ICQ
- What IRC evolves into
- to become IM
End of the Showcase
- I see one boy at a booth
- I was a history teacher
- Going to show this kid something
He impresses me
- He blows me away...
- How old are you?
- Where did you learn this stuff?
- College Professors
- How old are you?
- How did you learn this from college professors?
- Here's How
- When we needed to learn something
- We found a college course that probably taught it
- Found the email address of the professor
- Emailed the professor with our question
- Never said we're 15
- Said we're Graduate Assistants
- Don't know what GAs are but it worked
- I walk away (crest-fallen)
Boy's teacher catches up with me
That boy you were talking to
- Is not a successful student
- Been at risk of failing
- He's blossomed as a result of this project
- He's showed us talents we didn't know he had
- creativity (resourcefulness)
- What he's learned here is probably as important, if not more important, than what his classmates are learning who are making good grades
He's learned to make himself an expert
- He's learned to resourcefully teach himself
- What he needs to know
- To do what he needs to do
- He'll carry that with him the rest of his life
- It's about the Learning
- Graphic of "2007"
I've been presenting at a state conference for school librarians
- The main topic is Web 2.0
- I librarian tells me about her daughter who's a senior
- She Choosing a university to attend next year
- She's going over the promotional materials provided by the schools
But also utilizing social content
- Finds Facebook group for the college
- Joins the group
- Reads comments posted by members
- Current Students
One School doesn't have a group
- She's interested in this liberal arts college
- But there's no conversation to learn from
- A huge gap in the information she is using to make a very important decision
- She creates a group for the college
- Goes away
- Three days later there are 120 members of the group
- Current students
- She poses questions about the school, which members of the group answer
The girl is playing a learning game
Not the game of..
- Paying attention
- Following directions
- Showing what you remember
But resourcefully (creatively) gaming...
- a new information environment
- and it's behaviors
- To learn what you need to know
- Graphic for "Control"
- I hope that these stories have been entertaining
- But more important than that, I want to double-click on my point in telling them
That today, entering the second decade of the 21st century -- we are...
in a new place
Learning is becoming a contact sport
- Between the learner & the world they're learning about
- Free from the boundaries that defined industrial education
- empowered by a newly manipulative medium
- The Conversations of the Planet