Thursday, June 14, 2007

An interesting lesson...

This post and comments on David Warlick's blog don't quite make my head hurt, but come close. I do believe the nature of information is changing, but more obviously the delivery of that information has changed as well.
I was teaching a Jr. Achievement lesson in my son's class today. It was basically about information and how delivery has changed. For part of the lesson the students were to copy the text of a paragraph much like a scribe previous to the invention of a press would. They were to copy it exactly as it appeared in their books and the passage was done in a pretty crazy font. I had them work on it for about 10 minutes and most only got the 1st line done and their hands were pretty cramped.
I want then to show how today we could make contact and get information directly and nearly instantaneously. I had fired up iChat earlier hoping someone in my buddy list from outside of Utah might be available for a video chat. There wasn't so next I Twittered a request and got a couple of responses, but no one was available at the time I needed or had the necessary equipment available. I was resigned to using someone in the district. However, as I fired up iChat while the students were scribing, David Warlick himself appeared as available and I imposed upon his time. I really appreciate the 10 minutes David spent with us.
It was pretty cool for the kids to go from feeling what a scribe might have went through to get one single copy of information ready to being able video chat. Keeping in mind that this was a video chat from Riverton, UT to a distinguish North Carolinian who happened to be in Toronto, Canada today. The funnest part for the kids was that they found out their teacher was also from North Carolina. So we had to North Carolinians talking to each other, one in Utah the other in Toronto.
David made a point during our chat that left an immpresson on the kids. He talked about how when he was their age, his world was his town basically. He knew few people outside of his world. They didn't even make long distance phone calls because of the cost. Yet today these kids talked to that same person via video conference without (directly) paying anything.
Thanks again David, it made for very interesting lesson!
See You in a Few!

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