Thursday’s Keynote Speaker is Peter Reynolds (he’s Canadian, Janine), author and entrepreneur…he used to be with Tom Snyder Productions, but is currently the CEO of Fablevision, a “media company dedicated to helping ALL learners discover their true potential. The keynote is entitled “Make a Mark and See Where It Takes You.” My comments are in italics.
One of his opening comments talked about how the Internet is a wonderful zigzag world…for creative and non-linear thinkers. It’s not a Point A to Point B sort of place. A challenge I’ll throw out is to take advantage of that, because it’s one of the strengths of our connected world. Students need choices…some control over what they’re learning. Where will they go?
Peter has challenged us to walk out of his session less of a grown-up adult and more of a grown-up kid.
In order to take care of the “lost” children, we have to think creatively. Technology is a creativity machine-in-a-box. Unfortunately, it’s not being creatively all the time, but for assessment and and drill and kill. When you go to the vendor area, find the booths where their presentation screens are blank. That’s a good place to start…to fill that screen takes quite a bit thinking. Run and get yourself a graphics tablet, like Wacom makes, it’s the “one idea” that you should take away from the conference.
It’s awesome to watch as Peter uses the tablet to draw a cartoon boy in Flash…he makes it seem effortless. He shows how to animate his drawing with three frames…very cool.
If there’s any opportunity you have to allow kids to create things…take it. Ask them what their “mission” is. “What’s the mission of your project?”
Peter reads his book, The Dot, while he shows us a Flash animation of the story…I can’t tell you the story, but it’s about making your mark, a Dot in this case, that took over the imagination of a young student who “couldn’t draw.”
Peter was inspired by his 7th grade math teacher who challenged him to use his gifts to teach other students a math concept. He did something powerful…he noticed him. There are countless students “out there” waiting to be noticed. We need the time, creativity, and resources in order to take care of them.
I don’t believe you can’t draw…shock your class by drawing a picture, make your mark, and put it in a gold swirly frame and hang it in your classroom. Tell your kids that your favorite book is “the blank book.” It’s a blank tablet. Kids will fill those pages with their story if you allow them to. My wish is for everyone to have a more creative life. Be active in making the world a better place.
Great session, very inspiring! So, everyone, are you a more of a grown-up adult or a grown-up child?