Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

OLPC 2012 Tablet Video and more from San Antonio this week

Yesterday I shared a presentation with administrators in San Antonio, Texas, and was delighted to meet Honor Moorman in person at the event. Honor is a teacher at the International School of the Americas, and students in her 21st Century Global Leadership class last Spring created some fantastic videos as culminating class projects. Pre-service teachers in my undergraduate “Technology 4 Teachers” class at the University of Central Oklahoma studied digital storytelling the third week of the spring semester, and were required to:

Choose a video published as an independent learning project by students (at the International School of the Americas in San Antonio), link to it in a blog post, embed it in your blog post, and leave some constructive feedback for the author following our constructive feedback rubric.

It was wonderful to be able to share this story and highlight the outstanding project-based work of Honor and her students in front of an audience of 300 campus administrators in Northeast ISD!

Honor took very thorough notes of my almost three hour session yesterday, and posted those to her blog. At the conclusion of my presentation, I mentioned and showed a picture of the OLPC 2012 tablet prototype which Nicholas Negraponte says will sell for $75. Honor found and included the following video in her post, which gives even more background about this exciting project.

If this video does not inspire you with hope for the digital possibilities for learning in the future, I’m not sure what can. Of course learning is about FAR more than “just” hardware devices, but the devices ARE critical! As Alan Kay says, “The predominant technology in the classroom defines the predominant learning tasks.” That’s why we’re still using paper and pencil to complete most of our assignments in schools today: Pencils predominate. This must change!

Amboy Pharmacy, Pencils 1
Creative Commons License photo credit: 2KoP

I love my iPad and am a vocal advocate for it (I shared several iOS apps in San Antonio during my preso including Evernote) but I’m also eagerly looking forward to the commoditization of touch-tablet technologies. ALL students need and deserve access to these technologies and the capacity to CREATE as well as consume content on them. OLPC continues to blaze vitally important trails for digital learning when it comes to issues of accessibility and COST.

Honor’s post is the most thorough set of notes I think anyone’s ever taken and posted from one of my presentations. Northeast ISD, San Antonio, and her students specifically are SO LUCKY to have such a connected and digitally literate teacher in their midst! 🙂

After my presentation, it was fun to join NE ISD educators Jim Baldoni and Misty Belmontez for lunch with Miguel Guhlin. Misty coined a great title for Miguel which I think we all should use from now on: “Sensei of South Texas!” (If it wasn’t for my kids playing Club Penguin, I don’t think I’d have recognized “sensei” as a Japanese word for teacher or mentor.) Miguel continues to be one of my primary “educational yodas” (borrowing that term from Marco Torres) and it’s always a joy to get to spend time with him in person.

Wesley Fryer and Miguel Guhlin

After I posted my session slides to Slideshare yesterday, I was delighted to learn Slideshare supports viewing presentations in a non-flash format on an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

Slideshare on an iPhone

I’m delighted to see SlideShare providing this type of iOS compatibility.

In addition to these slides, I published an audio recording of the first half of the morning as a podcast, and also have a wiki page of session links / resources.

One of the most important pieces of advice I shared with San Antonio principals yesterday was the following list of “The Three Hows.” These are questions I recommend principals ask teachers before, during and after classroom instructional observations:

  1. How will you let your students create?
  2. How will you give students choices?
  3. How will your students teach the curriculum?

Without creation, there can be no creativity! Hopefully administrators in San Antonio will be encouraging their teachers and students to do MORE digital creating next year!

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2 responses to “OLPC 2012 Tablet Video and more from San Antonio this week”

  1. Honor Moorman Avatar

    Hi, Wes
    Thanks so much for sharing some of my work as part of your “Leading Schools with Digital Vision” presentation and as part of this blog post. I was very grateful for your efforts in connecting your T4T class to my 21c GL students this past January, and it was great of you to highlight that as an example of your 21c Creating, Communicating, and Collaborating theme. If you’re going to be teaching T4T in the fall, maybe we could connect our students again, this time in a more planned & intentional way. Last time, I waited until the students had finished their projects before I tweeted out the request for audience feedback. Unfortunately, that meant the semester was almost over and some of my students may not have seen all the comments on their work. Next time, I’d like to get the communication and collaboration going earlier in the process so there can be more conversation and opportunity for revision. Let me know what you think . . .
    Take care,

  2. Ms Balconi Avatar
    Ms Balconi

    Hello, I am new to blogging, and wanted to say I really appreciate this post. It gives me hope that in our near future we will be able to really integrate these technologies into our schools. I teach in a low income area, so most of our students don’t have access to computers or the internet, except when they are on campus. If I do not provide them the time to do the work online, they will probably not complete the tasks. This is something I struggle with, and I think the innovation of the touch screen lap top will help.

    I have not considered purchasing something like a kindle or a nook, until I read your posts. This is what we are encountering with technology now, and it is consistently growing. I will subscribe, and keep up with your blog. Thank you for the updates.