“Did you know?”

November 25, 2009 at 3:59 am Leave a comment

“The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010. . . [will not have existed] in 2004. . . We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist. . . using technologies that haven’t been invented. . . in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.”

In 2006, high school math teacher and technology coordinator Karl Fisch made a slideshow for his fellow teachers and administrators inspired by the disruptive effect of technology—”cell phones, video games, social networking sites, the Wikipediazation of information, the reach of YouTube and Skype”—on education. The slideshow was called, “Did you know?” and featured provocative statistics, observations, and predictions about future demographics, jobs, and education opportunities. From a great HuffPo article that explains the “anatomy (and meaning) of the ‘Did you know?’ video series“:

New technologies have ushered a seismic shift in education: how our kids learn, how our teachers teach, how curriculum is shaped and presented, how individual students, powered by technology, process and experience what they’re learning.

After having shared the slideshow on his personal blog, Fisch was contacted by a university instructor named Scott McLeod. Together, they turned the slideshow into a short video, which McLeod then posted on his own blog. Someone at the design company XPLANE came across the “Did you know?” video and contacted the two educators, offering to produce a free animated version of their presentation. Within a year, it had been viewed more than 5 million times.

That was version 2.0 of the series, produced in 2006. Version 3.0 is here and 4.0 below.

Says McLeod, a former 8th grade teacher:

“When you show some version of the video to corporate people, like the folks at Sony, they nod their heads and say, ‘yeah, this is the challenge we’re dealing with.’ When you show it to kids, to students, they nod their nods and say, ‘yeah, we’ve been waiting for you to catch up, we’ve been living through all of this.’ When you show it to educators, as often as not, the predominant reaction is withdrawal. They retreat like a turtle to its shell. Not all of them. But a lot of them. It’s too much. It’s too overwhelming. They don’t know what to do with it. This is our challenge.”

HuffPo journalist Jose Antonio Vargas concludes his article on “Did you know?” with “a call to action”:

This is a time for innovation in education, and technology in general and the Internet in particular are central to that. As President Obama and Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education, continue to plan the future of our schools, Fisch and McLeod’s videos serve as resources—and, altogether, a call to action. Shift happens. It’s here. Lead.

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WatchKnow.org — “YouTube meets Wikipedia” Is stretching necessary?

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Jason R. Atwood

I'm an avid trail runner and doctoral student at U.C. Berkeley who studies motivation and the relationship between the mind and body. This blog is a forum to share research, news, and musings about these topics of interest. More

Play is the beginning of knowledge.

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