Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Building 21st Century Learners by Kevin Honeycutt

These are my notes from Kevin Honeycutt’s presentation at KSDE2007. Kevin is one of the most creative, enthusiastic, dynamic and inspirational educators I have ever met. I’m recording his presentation for subsequent publication here as a podcast. Check out his website on

If you are looking for a dynamite conference presenter that has more potential than anyone else (at least that I know personally) two of your best possible choices would be Kevin Honeycut and Marco Torres. (It’s amazing to get to hang out and learn from people like Kevin and Marco. The are two of my “yodas.”)

ToySight is one of Kevin’s favorite programs to use with kids and iSight cameras.

I realized it wasn’t my job to teach technology, it was my job to teach art
– relax, get out of the way
– and learn along with the kids

My fear is there are too many parents who say about technology, “I can’t help them, that’s not my thing”
– we have got to play where kids play, even if we are not entirely comfortable there

Clint Eastwood moment with my 13 year old

People who can’t use digital technologies ubiquitously in the future will be the new illiterate
– whatever it takes, we need to help the kids
– I can’t take the laptop away from my kid because I know

– age 4: not peeing in your pants
– age 12: having friends
– age: 17: having a driver’s license
– age 35: having money
– age 50….

What does learning really look like in a brain

Jeff Hawkins’ book on the brain and learning:
“On Intelligence” (Jeff Hawkins, Sandra Blakeslee)

How do I teach a brain, what does it look like?
– that has been my quest for the last 3 years

Smart lightning: neurons holding hands
– starting to cross correlate, build neural connections

Einstein and Da Vinci
– Da Vinci was a free associater
– I think those brains that can connect learning to learning

Great book: “Discover Your Genius: How to Think Like History’s Ten Most Revolutionary Minds” (Michael J. Gelb)

Home movie of Brain remodeling itself
– if we are just teaching kids thing, I’m afraid we’ve just got middle management (if kids are waiting for instruction to do the right thing)

If all we are doing is helping kids is pre

Young minds need rich experiences…

Madden Football and the Tree-House

Today’s kids have no fear
– look at their games
– our game cartridges looked like the games today, but we really had just a dot to move on the screen

Kids an make fast decisions. How many do they make in classrooms?

The military loves these kids, they are flying the predator drone
Robert Ballard

Kids are wired by their future because
– they have no fear
– they are wired for speed

Our kids snack on learning
– we’ve got to stand by them on the buffet and help them eat what they need, because they will just browse

Story of real/virtual theft in Webkins

In classrooms kids get asked a question on average once every nine hours
– in a video game kids make a decision every 1.5 seconds (from Marc Prensky)

Why they still need us
– they have to develop the filter between their ears
– The quest for executive function

Are kids touching the computer? Then start talking to them about Internet safety
– online neighborhood watches: this needs to happen on MySpace
– we can look out for each other’s kids

Do you ever wonder why your teenager makes the decision they made?
– they say “I don’t know”
– research from Harvard points to executive function
– lives in the frontal lobe: the air traffic controller of the brain

If kids get hurt when they are playing alone on the playground

Girls develop frontal lobe around age 16, and men marry one

We can’t make all learning into a first-person video game
– but how can we steal some of their magic?
– building a guantlet of experiences that kids are going to run through and trip over the curriculum

This was an adventure, a story that kids remember!

It’s a worldwide workforce!
– kids need seamless technology and collaboration skills to compete
“The World Is Flat [Updated and Expanded]: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century” (Thomas L. Friedman)

I’m afraid kids don’t see this coming
– outsourcing and the death of location
– fungible and non-fungible careers: if they can outsource the drive through

You play video games, can you make one? You listen to music, can you make some?
– “good enough” is no longer “good enough”
– great thing about the Internet: you can work from anywhere and do anything

Example: Jet Blue

I think this potential can save our small towns


Next lesson: Emotions cement learning, passion makes permanent
– Model-T Product
– all about measurement, collaboration, and comunication
– 3 classrooms: 3 different roles

Learning In Context

Temporal learning: learning over time: how we naturally learn
– this is why project-based, story-based and real life learning methods are so effective
– because things get written into your brain over time

That is the way the brain wants to learn

How do we blend technology into that experience in appropriate ways
– we used to think we’d become cyborgs: 6 Million Dollar Man
– Here’s what has happened instead: it has become part of our centralized nervous system, like a limb

But what do we do in school?
– we take off / cut off our limbs

Story of Nathalee, friend who has arguments with Kevin about

Learning is now more of a partnership between brain and machine

Story of the Hunley
– I get to decide how I learn, while some people are being forced to learn through a keyhole
– kids can configure their learning if we let them do that

If what you are doing extends the experience we are working on together, you can do it

Use Google Alerts
– put your kids’ name

I put the word “arborization” into Google Alerts

I tell kids, never do anything that would embarrass yourself it came back to get you
– that will stop some of your cyberbullying

I don’t blame the kids, they are “out there” alone

Go to my website and grab some of these ideas for collaborative projects with kids, and do them!

– we teach brains
– use technology to grow dense forests in kids’ minds
– they will make bad decisions and they need us!
– operationalize learning (otherwise it is just stuff you were told, it doesn’t have a context to stick in the brain)
– we must allow kids to problem solve and collaborate using technology

Lots of tools on my website

Story about SecondLife
– video of a kid who made a guitar in SL
– a kid who made a laser pistol and paid for his college with the money he made

The new assembly line is going to be your couch
– what happens when you are disabled and don’t have hands, but you can create in this environment

My brother is a preacher and preaches at a church in SL
– the new version of SL is out and you talk into it, intereact with others via your voice

Kevin has bought some land in SL, and invites others to join them

New website:
– lots like second life

balance between analog and real world

my question: do you know who you are talking to online?
– I don’t want my kid to get groomed by a predator
– like The Sims but everyone is online at the same time

I won’t pretend that I know what all this means, but I do think that if we are not there

Kevin has a danceclub in SL and there are a lot of teachers there

Even good people do dumb things when they think no one is looking

Our kids need us NOW!
– story of Kevin using tweezers as a toddler

Books recommended:
– Intelligence Jeff Hawkins
– A Mind at a Time: Mel Levine
– The World is Flat
– Discover Your Genius
– Brain-based learning
– Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

If you enjoyed this post and found it useful, subscribe to Wes’ free newsletter. Check out Wes’ video tutorial library, “Playing with Media.” Information about more ways to learn with Dr. Wesley Fryer are available on

On this day..