Did you know 4.0 – Convergence

The latest update,  in the tradition of Did You Know, from Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod, XPLANE, The Economist and Laura Bestler. This video takes things one step further, looking at our changing reading habits and the shift occuring with advertising and where we go to find information. It was created to support The Media Convergence Forum in New York City in October. Somebody buy me a ticket and send me there!!

If you haven’t read Karl Fisch’s post detailing the origins of Did You Know, then you must. You can find an explanation on a wiki devoted to Shift Happens here.   Then you need to send it to your staff and direct them to this video.

In his recent post about this new video, Karl harks back to the original powerpoint presentation he created, and makes some important points we in education all need to consider;  

I think the fact that a simple little PowerPoint (some folks would say simplistic and they would be right – it was meant to be the start of a conversation, not the entire conversation) can be viewed by so many folks and start so many conversations means that we live in a fundamentally different world than the one I (and most of you reading this) grew up in.

I know some folks would dispute that, and that’s an interesting conversation in and of itself, but if you buy that – if you buy that on so many levels the world is a fundamentally different place – then it just begs us to ask the question of whether schools have similarly transformed from when we grew up. If your answer to that question is no, as I think it probably is for a large majority of you, and if you see a problem with that, then what should we do? What is my responsibility, and your responsibility, for making the changes we believe are necessary? What are you willing to step up and do?

Questions we all need to consider. We owe it to our students.

YouTube and copyright – the dilemma for educators

I love YouTube. I love the way it enables the everyman to generate content and connect with an audience. Just look at the remarkable things that can happen when a YouTube video goes viral. ‘Did you know?’ is a classic example. There’s unassuming Karl Fisch creating a PowerPoint presentation for a staff meeting and what happens – his slides are uploaded to YouTube in a video with music and are watched approx. 4 million times or so. Amazing.  

My students know the power of YouTube. Last year we set our Yr 8 students the task of creating a trailer (like something you’d see at the movies) for a novel they’d read as a literature circle study. One group read ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe’ and created a great video that they uploaded to YouTube. They’ve had 347 views and love checking their stats. YouTube gives our students an authentic audience – they’re looking to attract an audience rather than just present work for the one person -the teacher. That’s pretty empowering stuff.

The students I teach love it when we begin a class with a video from YouTube. I love the ‘hook’ effect they have; because a large number of them are less than five minutes they are the great way to begin a lesson. Students are focused and they often prompt wonderful class discussion. Yesterday I visited Coburg Senior Secondary College to look at their learning spaces and curriculum offerings. A Year 10 class I observed watched this video to evoke some reaction to the issue of climate change;

They were hooked watching this – no doubt – and it prompted interesting discussion. There weren’t any bandwith problems at Coburg so the streaming from YouTube was pretty much instantaneous. Not so where I teach. It’s a 1:1 wireless environment but streaming from YouTube is a drawn out process. If you want to watch a YouTube video you need to load it prior to the class and have it ready to replay. One option is to use a a video conversion site like Keepvid to cache the video from YouTube for use in class. This way you have guaranteed success with one catch- it goes against the copyright laws of this country. 

I’m wondering about the future of copyright and what may happen now that user generated content is really taking off. Will we see a backlash against copyright regulations? Will we see users post their content and stipulate that it can be used and reformatted so that educators can employ it in classrooms to convey important messages? Will more people use creative commons licences to allow their work to be used easily in educational settings? Will the copyright council be able to stem the flow of infringements to the law as more and more educators realise the potential benefits of YouTube to provide useful content for classroom instruction?    

 

Did you ever wonder? Did you know with an environmental edge.

Thanks to Clay Burrell at Beyond School for the alert to this video. Just as Did you know?’  became a viral video with an enormous viewing audience, the hope is that ‘Did you ever wonder?’ will reach similar viral proportions. The video was created by Bill Warren from ed4wb.org (education for well-being). On his about page Bill says, “Education For Well-being was started as a response to what is happening (and not happening) in schools today. There needs to be a rethinking of the purpose of education–one that moves away from students as support systems for economies–to one that moves toward education as an instrument of well-being…………Ed4Wb seeks to foster, through the collaborative nature of the Web, the notion that education should help improve our ability to live well, not degrade it.”

The video highlights the notion that we need to be conscious of our responsibility to educate our students that the focus shouldn’t be on economic growth to the detriment of sustainability of earth’s resources; resources being people and the environment. It’s a good message and one that would compliment studies of Globalisation and Global Warming in our schools today.

Thanks Bill for creating another useful tool that can be used as the springboard for lively discussions in our classrooms.

Mr. Fisch, I salute you!

In my last post I made reference to the Fischbowl, a blog site written by Karl Fisch. I first heard reference to this site last year when I attended a conference at which Chris Poole was a keynote speaker. He began his speech by showing us ‘Did you know?’, a thought provoking video that had us all hooked. I remember seeing the end credits and seeing the word Fischbowl. I thought this must represent some ‘think tank’ operating out of the U.S. As I started reading more in later months I discovered that Karl Fisch is not some ‘suit’ heading up a ‘think tank’, he’s a teacher at Arapahoe High School in Colorado.  Here’s a bit of what he says on the ‘About this blog’ page;  

The Fischbowl was then conceived as a blog to support our staff development effort. I am the principal “author” of the blog. I’m the Director of Technology at Arapahoe High School(fancy title, but basically means I’m the technology coordinator for the building). In the beginning, the blog was simply a place to “continue the conversations” we had in staff development every two to three weeks, to extend the discussions beyond the time we had face to face. As the year progressed, I started to post more to the blog about relevant educational issues, new technologies, and whatever else I thought might be related and thought-provoking for our teachers, even if it didn’t directly relate to what we had just talked about in staff development.

I’m in awe of what Karl Fisch has managed to achieve and would recommend that you check out The Fischbowl. Karl’s ‘Did you know’ video has been widely circulated and has become what is referred to as a ‘viral video’ because of it’s spread. Below is an updated version of the video that was inspired by Karl’s initial powerpoint video he created for a staff professional development session at the start of the school year.

Another great video to watch that Karl has developed is ‘2020 Vision’. In this video his slides reflect on the graduating class of the year 2020 and how they have been affected by changes in technology.  Obviously it’s a lot of prediction, but I couldn’t stop but think, ‘Yeah, that just might be possible.’ It’s reasonably long (16 mins or so) but definitely worth watching.

  Once again Mr. Fisch, I salute you!