Doug Johnson @ TEDxASB

How did I miss these TEDx Talks? Guess I had my head down “in the trenches” when they were posted, but I truthfully don’t even remember reading about them!

In March of last year, several of my favorite thinkers spoke at the American School of Bombay, and the resulting videos are posted at the bottom of this page as reference. The theme of TEDxASB was Identity, and (one of my professional heroes) Doug Johnson‘s 18 minutes are embedded below–he muses about how our “digital natives'” identity must change what we do as educators.

The part that resonates with me is near the end of Doug’s presentation, when he recounts Clay Shirky’s story about bringing home a huge new LCD TV for his family. His young daughter, rather than being impressed, immediately asked, “Where’s the mouse?”

Engagement rather than entertainment is what our students demand from schools. Johnson’s challenge to us is that we all create a environments in our classrooms, libraries, schools that foster engagement–active interest. Our kids deserve that.

I wonder if my library program is engaging to all my students. I don’t really think it is. I know for certain that it isn’t for some students–especially those who are so thoroughly unengaged in the entire school experience.

What does that look like in an elementary library with a fixed schedule? I’d love to hear from others what they think!

Here are the other great TEDxASB presentations. They are all very much worth your time and thought! These are some amazing people! Engaging and entertaining! 🙂

Digital Citizenship

Thinking about our internet safety curriculum…like so many others, I don’t like the emphasis on “safety” that this title entails. To me, “internet safety” implies that the internet is so frought with dangers that we must go to great lengths to innoculate our kids! As I believe Nancy Willard’s work suggests, our students don’t set out to do dangerous things on the internet, and child predators are not victimizing huge masses of children engaged in everyday activities. As mentioned on EdTech Weekly this week (was it John Schinker who said it?) bad stuff happens on the internet to people who engage in dumb (or risky) behavior.

I think our focus needs to be on giving students the tools to act responsibly when they’re using any technology. Prevention, training and making wise choices should be at the root of our message. “Internet safety” leaves out the most vital concept of the curriculum: citizenship!

So, in that mindset, I’ve decided to minimize my use of the term as I work with my students. I’m going to emphasize citizenship. Great message on this historical election day, eh?

Here’s a wordle I came up with to use:

Pay Attention: Digital Learners

An interesting video that might get some conversation going about how our students learn and why. This is a conversation that we need to have on an ongoing basis in our schools, because I’m not sure some educators (in my world, anyway) really “get” it.

There’s an old saying that if you keep doing what you’ve always done, then you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. I’m not sure that’s true with our students anymore. I believe that if we keep teaching in the same way we’ve taught in the past, we will end up with disengaged young people who are not prepared for their life in the 21st century–in the flat world.

Here’s the video by Darren Draper at T-4 Jordan School District (Utah). His list of resources is a great supplement to the video as well–the video is posted on that page as well.

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