A Shorter TED™ Style Presentation

PerformingI am often asked to deliver shorter presentations to audiences for banquets or conference closings.

It is not enough time to talk about contemporary literacy, retooling education culture, or decoding our children’s information experience.  However, it is just enough time to tell some stories.

This short presentation features three stories, each dramatizing a point of extreme revelation in my career as an educator. The stories are true, they are funny, the will take the audience back in time — and forward in our understanding the impact of contemporary technology on twenty-first century learning.

  • The Problem
    1. Computers have been present in classrooms since the early 1980s, with a few fortunate schools delving even earlier.
    2. The question that continues to haunt and fascinate us… “How should these technologies be used in classrooms.” “Should they be used to automate teaching? …Or do they suggest something different and wonderful?”
  • Story 1 – 1981 & 1982
    1. My first experience with a personal computer (TRaSh-80).
    2. “Egads!” A machine that you operate by communicating with it.
    3. Pierson Duvall and the magic dust from being a programmer.
  • Story 2 – 1990
    1. Surfing the Internet & the mysterious incantations of the digital ethers.
    2. First time ever – I’m chatting on the Internet & patting myself on the back.
    3. Rain checks & …what happened to geography?
  • Story 3 – 1997
    1. ThinkQuest – Kids teach us to learn on the Web.
    2. Aiming to impress a fifteen year old.
    3. The fifteen year old is a graduate assistant?
    4. The fifteen year old is learning something he’ll carry the rest of his life.
  • Closing
    1. For the first time in history, we are preparing our children for a future we can not clearly describe.
    2. Perhaps the most important question in education that we face today is, “What do our children need to be learning, to be ready for an unpredictable future?”
    3. Finally — We are not afraid…