I’m sharing the commencement address for graduating seniors in Howe, Oklahoma, this evening starting at 7:00 pm US central time. Connectivity permitting, I’ll webcast my presentation live on Ustream. I haven’t seen the program yet, but I’m guessing I’ll start around 7:15… I’ll post an update to twitter when I have a better idea of the actual start time of the address.

I’m utilizing some of the slides from Jeff Brenman’s outstanding remix of Karl Fisch’s well known “Did You Know/Shift Happens presentation.” (Thanks to Karl for his post last May about this “stylized version.”)

My presentation slides are available as a PDF. I’m hoping to utilize polleverywhere to conduct an impromptu SMS message survey during the address to get audience input about social networking. I’m just supposed to talk for 20 minutes, and this is my first commencement address to share. It should be fun! 🙂

My top 10 list of “advice for seniors” includes:

  1. only 1 chance for a 1st impression
  2. don’t be afraid to fail
  3. seek out yodas
  4. be a critical thinker
  5. be an entrepreneur
  6. seek innovation
  7. change the world 1 conversation at a time
  8. talk with pictures
  9. private profiles (make your social networking profiles private)
  10. dream big dreams

Anything else you would add or substitute in this list?

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3 Responses to Advice for graduating seniors

  1. Arthus Erea says:

    I don’t agree with the private profiles advice. Make them public, but don’t share anything you wouldn’t want your grand mother to see.

  2. Shelley says:

    Have fun tonight.

    I would maybe swap “follow the trail of that which excites you” in for #9.

    Or, if keeping 9, change it to a more general note on being aware of/ managing one’s digital footprint.

    In any case, though, you’ll be great!

  3. Wesley Fryer says:

    Arthus: I used your “don’t share anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see” in my speech, thanks for your comment. I agree with that part of your statement, but still think when students are in school they should keep their social networking profiles private. I do think students should publish work they consider exemplary on the open web and thereby create a “googleable” digital portfolio of themselves– one they can be proud of. I think people of all ages should be able to confidently say, “just Google me,” and potential employers or others can find out what they need to know about that person’s past accomplishments, interests, and work.

    Shelley: I like your phrase “digital footprint,” and I’ll use that in the future. Unfortunately I didn’t see your comment till after my preso so I couldn’t incorporate it.

    In terms of the streamed video, our Ustream.tv connection did work video-wise, but unfortunately not audio-wise! Sorry about that. I did record audio with my iRiver, however, and have downloaded the FLV from Ustream and converted it to QuickTime using TubeTV. This weekend (hopefully) I’ll merge the video file from Ustream with my iRiver mp3 audio and publish the combined video (hopefully synced well!) on YouTube. I think I will title it “Howe Seniors 2008: The Last Lecture.” Certainly my thoughts are not on a level with Randy Pauch, but in a very real way this WAS the “last lecture” for these students. They were a captive audience, sweating in their graduation gowns literally until I finished speaking and they could receive their diplomas. 🙂

    Everyone in Howe was very gracious and this was a real honor, as well as a lot of fun. Many thanks to superintendent Scott Parks as well as technology director Lance Ford for extending this invitation to me and including me in this momentous day in the lives of 38 high school graduates and the approximately 640 family and friends who were gathered in the Howe PS gymnasium.

    As the theme for “Meet the Robinsons” says, “The Future Has Arrived.” Let’s seize the day and keep moving forward. Let’s write the future. We have the tools. It’s time to turn the page.

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