First off, I want to publicly thank Grant Lichtman for the subconscious inspiration for this talk. In reading The Falconer, something inspired this concept and I submitted the proposal below.
Packing for the Age of Digital Exploration - The 10 Essentials
Most expeditions begin with an end in mind. Odysseus sought to get home. Columbus set sail for a new world. Edmund Hillary eyed the Summit of Everest. However, what turns does a journey take when the destination has not yet come into existence? How do you pack? What skills do you need when the end is undefined? We are all on this journey right now – as students, as parents, as mentors, and as educators. Unlike the explorers before us, we didn’t get to choose this quest. Tim Berners Lee, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Jimmy Wales and other innovators have foisted this on us. Much like the Kings and Queens who sent mariners out to discover what lay beyond the dragons, we need to envision a society that has not yet been conceived.
In the 1930′s a Seattle group called The Mountaineers compiled a list of 10 Essentials for venturing into the wilderness: navigation, sun protection, insulation, illumination, first-aid, fire, repairs, nutrition, shelter, and food. What should we pack for our collective adventure into an era of ubiquitous computing and mobile devices? What tools and skills will we need in order to survive? To prepare for the age of digital exploration, we need to acquire a different set of 10 Essentials: communication, collaboration, citizenship, inquiry, mobility, fluency, questioning, curation, connection, and creation.
That idea turned into this talk.
Thank you TEDxMosesBrown!
A major thank you goes out to all of the fantastic volunteers at Moses Brown for putting on a tremendous event – especially Matt Glendinning, Erik Wilker, Elizabeth Grumbach, and Thomas Chestna.
Strange things keep me awake sometimes, and last night it was Tellagami. Some of my EdTechTeacher colleagues love Tellagami. Sure, I can create a talking avatar. It can speak with my own voice if I record audio or via text-to-speech. However, I just found it sort of flat. I get that I could use it for App Smashing and have a mini-virtual me travel in and out of screencasts. In fact, Greg Kulowiec (@GregKulowiec) wrote an amazing post this week about Green Screen App Smashing with it. But honestly, until about 4am, I just didn’t get it.
I get it!
When teaching, one of my favorite web tools was the CAST Book Builder. Teachers could create their own custom content and then employ animated coaches to ask thought provoking questions, support prediction making, and scaffold concepts. What if I could do the same thing by combining Tellagami and Book Creator?!
Imagine writing a story and then using Tellagami to ask thought provoking questions to guide students through comprehension, or creating an interactive math book that includes characters to remind students of steps and processes. What if social studies teachers included characters with digital artifacts to read excerpts of speeches or documents that may be above reading level. Science teachers could have Tellagami coaches ask questions about the content to encourage students to make hypotheses. Foreign Language teachers may provide translation support or additional information about cultural references.
While voice-over narration is possible – and could be another way to provide differentiated content – incorporating these talking avatars could be more for learning support as well as enrichment.
Ok, I get it now…..