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Planning document and script for "Strive to Engage Not Enthrall"

 

I created this digital story on August 5, 2007, in advance of an intro to digital storytelling workshop in Irving, Texas. This digital story is available as an audio-only podcast, as a video podcast, on TeacherTube and on YouTube

 

Thoughts on School 2.0: Strive to Engage NOT Enthrall

by Wesley Fryer

www.speedofcreativity.org

 

Ideas:

 

Intro: name and website, adding to the discussions on “school 2.0”

Story of yesterday's discussion at Chisholm Trail Museum

What enthralls you?

Definition of “enthrall” from Michael Goldhaber “The Attention Economy” 1997

difficult to enthrall for long periods of time

schools and teachers have been attempting the impossible for over 100 years

need to change the focus

need to change the task

story of the museum curator, lamenting the students who already knew too much before they came to the museum

problem wasn't their background knowledge or motivation, the problem was the educational focus and the TASK presented to students

focus on engagement rather than enthralling

ask students to create specific knowledge products about your content, and then safely / appropriately share those ideas with the world

blog, wiki, digital story, linked Google Earth KML file – different forms of expression

provide learners with a menu of expressive options

we need to differentiate assessment for all learners

by providing REAL choices to

a worksheet can never be a form of differentiated expression or assessment

stop trying to do the impossible: enthrall your kids all the time

no matter how good you are, you won't be able to meet this goal

set high but achievable goals

maybe entrall some of the time

but strive to engage ALL the time!

How do you know your students are engaged?

*

conversations

*

questions they ask each other and ask you

*

the quality of the knowledge products they create

*

the degree to which their knowledge products reflect higher order thinking

specifically invite students to engage in in-depth inquiry through questions that are worth answering, rather than simply basic “facts” anyone with Internet access can quickly look up on WikiPedia (as long as WikiPedia isn't blocked, of course: That is many a problem in some school districts and in the nation of China, which btw has a totalitarian communist government, not a democratic republic which values free expression and access to information)

 

Script:

 

Hello! This is Wesley Fryer, with “Moving at the Speed of Creativity,” and I'd like to share a few ideas this morning with you about “school 2.0” and some of the ways we need to change what we do and how we learn in schools in the 21st century.

 

What really ENTHRALLS you? I'm not asking what interests you, or what you find mildly appealing, but instead what ENTRALLS you.?

 

According to dictionary.com, the word “enthrall has two basic meanings. First, entrall can mean “to captivate or charm: a performer whose grace, skill, and virtuosity enthrall her audiences.” Second, enthrall can mean :to put or hold in slavery; subjugate: to be enthralled by illusions and superstitions.”

 

I recently read an article Michael Goldhaber wrote in 1997 titled “The Attention Economy and the Net.” In the article, Goldhaber points out that a “thrall” is basically a slave. When someone has our complete attention, and we are entralled as we listen and watch them, Goldhaber says we have voluntarily given our minds over to that individual to direct and literally control our thoughts and our minds. The ability to enthrall an audience is challenging and difficult, but success brings great power to the performer.

 

Yesterday my family and I had the pleasure to tour the Chisholm Trail Museum in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. Kingfisher is located about an hour west of where we live now in Edmond, Oklahoma, just north of Oklahoma City. While at the musuem, I had an interesting discussion with the museum curator. She lamented how sometimes, when school children came to tour the museum, some of them were bored because their teacher had already told them quite a bit about the Chisholm Trail and the history that is related through the artifacts, photographs, and maps of the museum. This upset the curator, because those students would then be bored and not pay attention during her presentations at the museum.

 

The problem with the students in the educational setting the curator was describing was NOT the fact that the students had too much background knowledge, or “schema,” about the subject they were studying. The problem was rooted in the pedagogical goal, or instructional purpose, of the curator's educational interaction with the students. Like many teachers in our classrooms today, and for over 100 years, this teacher was trying her best to ENTHRALL her students. She wanted their full and undivided attention, and did want to tolerate any wandering minds or bored dispositions in her classroom.

 

For over 100 years, since public education was first started in the late 1800s, our educational system has been putting students in small desks in straight rows and trying to force them to remain enthralled for hours on end. As Seymour Papert notes in his excellent 1993 book, “The Children's Machine: Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer,” these activities of formal SCHOOL are NOT natural. Watch a three year old interact with her environment and other people to see what “natural learning” looks like. Go into most classrooms where students are seated silently in orderly rows, listening to a teacher or professor lecture from the front of the room, and you will see what SCHOOL looks like, not LEARNING.

 

Lecture based learning has a time and a place, but in our 21st century schools, it is ridiculous and counter-productive to make teacher-directed instruction the centerpiece of the learning experience for students. It is IMPOSSIBLE to ENTRALL all your learners, all the time. If you are one of the teachers who has been trying to enthrall your students constantly, and have been frustrated by this experience, today is the day to STOP pursuing that educational goal all the time. Stop trying to ENTRALL your students, and instead strive to ENGAGE them!

 

This image of an old schoolhouse paddle represents the worst side of our coercive school cultures. At the extreme, this is the message our students receive when they come into many of our classrooms. Hello, welcome to class, I don't really care what your name is. Sit down, shut up, get out your textbook, your paper and pencil, and start writing down as many notes as you can about the entralling words I'm about to start telling you. If at some point, your mind wanders or you actionally ACT in a way I, the teacher, perceive is “off task,” I will invite you to the front of the classroom where I will publically humiliate you and physically hurt you by paddling your delinquent behind. No one except the teacher is allowed to talk in this classroom, because no one else is an expert on the subjects we are going to discuss. No one is going to ask any questions, because your job is not to think, it is to memorize and absorb material. If you have a basic human need, like a desire to get a drink of water or go to the bathroom, you will have to raise your hand and get permission, because my primary function in addition to dispensing knowledge in this classroom is completely controlling your behavior and your thinking. I will direct your learning, I am the teacher. You will sit quietly, shut up, and do as you are told, because you are here to be ENTRALLED. You are my SLAVE in this classroom, and that means I expect and demand your full attention. Anything less than 100% cooperation will result in your immediate physical abuse at my hand, or your expulsion from this classroom forever. WELCOME TO SCHOOL. I'M SO GLAD YOU'VE COME TO JOIN US.

 

Now, that image may sound a little extreme for the school where you currently work or where your own children or grandchildren attend school, but philosophically, in many classrooms teachers have not moved very far from that philosophic and pedagogic approach. Many teachers are still striving to ENTRALL their students each day, and force them to comply with that instructional expectation. This situation MUST CHANGE. One way you and I, as teachers and learners in the 21st century, can change our classrooms to better meet the needs of learners in the 21st century, is by striving to ENGAGE students rather than ENTRALL them.

 

How do we engage students? There is not a single answer to this question, because our learners are all unique and different individuals. Two of the keys elements to engagement in learning are CHOICE and DIFFERENTIATION. When I give you real choices about the learning tasks you are going to work on during class, chances are much higher you will have more interest as well as background knowledge, or schema, to make those OPPORTUNITIES for learning meaningful and valuable to you personally. As a teacher, I cannot make you learn. If I entrall you, perhaps I can direct your attention in meaningful ways for a short time, but even if I am a great performer there are limits as to how long I can really hold your attention. Watch a brief clip on the cartoon network, or even a short bit of a documentary on the Discovery Channel, to see how often professional television producers have to change the images, the music, the narration, and the entire multimedia experience of an engaging program to maintain the attention of the audience. As a classroom teacher, you likely don't have the budget, the time, or the expertise to match the multimedia experiences of the cartoon network or the Discovery Channel.

 

So stop trying. Stop trying to ENTRALL your students all the time. Differentiate learning choices and assessment options for your students. Seymour Papert notes that most Schools are solely interested in helping students develop LETTRACY rather than LITERACY. When a child enters school, she is often told to stop asking questions and stop directing her own learning: Now that they have started school, they will be READING about the world instead of EXPERIENCING the world in ways that are personally meaningful. Change this pattern by giving your students choices about the ways they learn material. Rather than asking them to simply learn facts, ask them to apply those facts by tackling complex questions that are worth answering.

 

Invite students to collaborate with each other to create authentic knowledge products which reflect their true understanding, perceptions, and mastery of the subject being studied. Devise assessments, and have students help devise assessments for themselves, which cannot be “faked.” A worksheet or a study guide will not suffice. Invite students to conduct interviews and put together a short video documentary. Invite students to create an animation which illustrates a concept visually as well as auditorially. Invite students to collaboratively create and author a wiki-based document with other students in a classroom across the continent or across the world, about a topic in which they are interested and want to explore further. Not sure what a wiki-document is? Ask and find out! Invite your students to help!

 

Marc Prensky wrote a rather famous essay in 2001 titled, “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.” In the article he observes that many of the students in our classrooms today are “native” with technology, while most of the teachers are “immigrants.” I've noted before that some teachers are not even willing immigrants when it comes to the use of digital technologies for learning, but instead are “digital refugees.” Our age and our past experiences do not define our capacities to learn and effectively use new digital technologies, however. We ALL have the capacity to be LEARNERS. That is a choice we make.

 

Give your students more choices. Provide differentiated opportunities for them to learn, express, create and share their ideas. Stop trying to ENTHRALL your students, and instead strive to ENGAGE them. I think you'll find that process much more rewarding and attainable than the ridiculous educational goal of trying to entrall students all day long!

 

51 minutes to this point

 

Script: (revised to shorten paragraphs)

 

Hello! This is Wesley Fryer, with “Moving at the Speed of Creativity,” and I'd like to share a few ideas this morning with you about “school 2.0” and some of the ways we need to change what we do and how we learn in schools in the 21st century.

 

What really ENTHRALLS you? I'm not asking what interests you, or what you find mildly appealing, but instead what ENTRALLS you.?

 

According to dictionary.com, the word “enthrall has two basic meanings. First, entrall can mean “to captivate or charm: a performer whose grace, skill, and virtuosity enthrall her audiences.” Second, enthrall can mean :to put or hold in slavery; subjugate: to be enthralled by illusions and superstitions.”

 

Michael Goldhaber noted in his 1997 article “The Attention Economy and the Net” that a “thrall” is basically a slave. When someone has our complete attention, and we are entralled as we listen and watch them, Goldhaber says we have voluntarily given our minds over to that individual to direct and literally control our thoughts and our minds. The ability to enthrall an audience is challenging and difficult, but success brings great power to the performer.

 

Yesterday my family and I had the pleasure to tour the Chisholm Trail Museum in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. While at the museum, I had an interesting discussion with the curator. She lamented how sometimes, when school children come for a tour, some of them are bored because their teacher has already told them quite a bit about the Chisholm Trail and its history related through the artifacts, photographs, and maps of the museum. This upset the curator, because those students are then bored and do not pay attention during her presentations at the museum.

 

The problem with the students in the educational setting the curator was describing was NOT the fact that students had too much background knowledge, or “schema,” about the subject they were studying. The problem was rooted in the pedagogical goal, or instructional purpose, of the curator's educational interaction with the students. Like many teachers in our classrooms today, and for over 100 years, this teacher was trying her best to ENTHRALL her students. She wanted their full and undivided attention, and did tolerate any wandering minds or bored dispositions in her classroom.

 

For over 100 years our educational system has been putting students in small desks in straight rows and trying to force them to remain “enthralled” for hours on end. As Seymour Papert notes in his excellent 1993 book, “The Children's Machine: Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer,” these activities of formal SCHOOL are NOT natural. Watch a three year old interact with her environment and other people to see what “natural learning” looks like. Go into most classrooms where students are seated silently in orderly rows, listening to a teacher or professor lecture from the front of the room, and you will see what SCHOOL looks like, not LEARNING.

 

Lecture based learning has a time and a place, but in our 21st century schools, it is ridiculous and counter-productive to make teacher-directed instruction the centerpiece of the learning experience for students. It is IMPOSSIBLE to ENTRALL all your learners, all the time. If you are one of the teachers who has been trying to enthrall your students constantly, and have been frustrated by this experience, today is the day to STOP pursuing that educational goal all the time. Stop trying to ENTRALL your students, and instead strive to ENGAGE them!

 

This image of an old schoolhouse paddle represents the worst side of the common, coercive school culture. At the extreme, this is the message our students receive when they come into many of our classrooms. Hello, welcome to class, I don't really care what your name is. Sit down, shut up, get out your textbook, your paper and pencil, and start writing down as many notes as you can about the entralling words I'm about to start telling you. If at some point, your mind wanders or you dare to ACT in a way I, the teacher, perceive is “off task,” I will invite you to the front of the classroom where I will publicly humiliate you and physically hurt you by paddling your delinquent behind. No one except the teacher is allowed to talk in this classroom, because no one else is an expert on the subjects we are going to discuss.

 

No one is going to ask any questions, because your job is not to think, it is to memorize and absorb material. If you have a basic human need, like a desire to get a drink of water or go to the bathroom, you will have to raise your hand and get permission, because my primary function in addition to dispensing knowledge in this classroom is to completely control your behavior and your thinking. I will direct your learning, I am the teacher. You will sit quietly, shut up, and do as you are told, because you are here to be ENTRALLED. You are my SLAVE in this classroom, and that means I expect and demand your full attention. Anything less than 100% cooperation will result in your immediate physical abuse at my hand (and paddle) or your expulsion from this classroom forever. WELCOME TO SCHOOL. I'M SO GLAD YOU'VE COME TO JOIN US.

 

Now, that image may sound a little extreme for the school where you currently work or where your own children or grandchildren attend school, but philosophically, in many classrooms ,teachers have not moved very far from that approach. Many teachers are still striving to ENTRALL their students each day, and force them to comply with their orders. This situation MUST CHANGE. One way you and I, as teachers in the 21st century, can change our classrooms to better meet the needs of learners in the 21st century, is by striving to ENGAGE rather than ENTRALL them.

 

How do we engage students? There is not a single answer to this question, because our learners are all unique and different individuals. Two of the keys elements to engagement in learning are CHOICE and DIFFERENTIATION. When I give you real choices about the learning tasks you are going to work on during class, chances are much higher you will have more interest as well as background knowledge, or schema, to make those OPPORTUNITIES for learning meaningful and valuable to you personally. As a teacher, I cannot make you learn. If I entrall you, perhaps I can direct your attention in meaningful ways for short periods of time, but even if I am a great performer there are limits as to how long I can really hold your attention. Your attention may even be wandering now, watching and listening to this video! It is natural for this to happen, because we all have highly complex brains. Rather than fight against our inclination toward natural learning, as teachers we need to understand it and then modify our lessons to accommodate this reality.

 

Watch a brief clip on the cartoon network, or even a short bit of a documentary on the Discovery Channel, to see how often professional television producers have to change the images, the music, the narration, and the entire multimedia experience of an engaging program to maintain the attention of the audience. As a classroom teacher, you likely don't have the budget, the time, or the expertise to match the multimedia experiences of the cartoon network or the Discovery Channel! So why are you trying to enthrall your students for 50 minutes at a time?!

 

Stop trying to ENTRALL your students all the time. Differentiate learning choices and assessment options for your students. Seymour Papert notes that most Schools are solely interested in helping students develop LETTRACY rather than LITERACY. When a child enters school, she is often told to stop asking questions and stop directing her own learning: Now that they have started school, they will be READING about the world instead of EXPERIENCING the world in ways that are personally meaningful. Change this pattern by giving your students choices about the ways they learn material. Rather than asking them to simply learn facts, ask them to APPLY those facts by tackling complex questions that are worth answering.

 

Invite students to collaborate with each other to create authentic knowledge products which reflect their true understanding, perceptions, and mastery of the subject being studied. Devise assessments, and have students help devise assessments for themselves, which cannot be “faked.” A worksheet or a study guide will NOT suffice.

 

Invite students to conduct interviews and put together a short video documentary. Invite students to create an animation which illustrates a concept visually as well as auditorially. Invite students to collaboratively author a wiki-based document with other students in a classroom across the continent or across the world, about a topic in which they are interested and want to explore further.

 

Not sure what a wiki-document is? Ask and find out! Invite your students to help! Focus on inviting students to create and share their knowledge with each other, using digital tools when it is appropriate. Measure the “success” of your lesson based on the conversations students have spontaneously inside and outside of class about their project, the numbers of QUESTIONS students ask and strive to answer, and the amount of higher level thinking reflected in the knowledge products they make together.

 

Marc Prensky wrote a rather famous essay in 2001 titled, “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.” In the article he observed that many of the students in our classrooms today are “native” with technology, while most of the teachers are “immigrants.”

 

I've noted before that some teachers are not even willing immigrants when it comes to the use of digital technologies for learning, but instead are “digital refugees.” Our age and our past experiences do not define our capacities to learn and effectively use new digital technologies, however. We ALL have the capacity to be LEARNERS, with analog or with digital tools. This is a choice we can make every day.

 

Give your students more choices. Provide differentiated opportunities for them to learn, express, create and share their ideas. Stop trying to ENTHRALL your students, and instead strive to ENGAGE them. I think you'll find that process much more rewarding and attainable than the ridiculous educational goal of trying to entrall your students all day long!

 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License by Wesley Fryer. Additional attribution guidance is available online. Learn more at “Moving at the Speed of Creativity” on www.speedofcreativity.org.

 

20 minutes to this point

 

Images with pictures

 

Revised Script with Images:

 

#

Hello! This is Wesley Fryer, with “Moving at the Speed of Creativity,” and I'd like to share a few ideas this morning with you about “school 2.0” and some of the ways we need to change what we do and how we learn in schools in the 21st century. http://www.wesfryer.com/images/wesley/fryer-600-840-72dpi.jpg

#

What really ENTHRALLS you? I'm not asking what interests you, or what you find mildly appealing, but instead what ENTRALLS you.? http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1014524882/

#

According to dictionary.com, the word “enthrall has two basic meanings. First, entrall can mean “to captivate or charm: a performer whose grace, skill, and virtuosity enthrall her audiences.” Second, enthrall can mean :to put or hold in slavery; subjugate: to be enthralled by illusions and superstitions.” http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=enthrall&x=0&y=0

#

Michael Goldhaber noted in his 1997 article “The Attention Economy and the Net” that a “thrall” is basically a slave. When someone has our complete attention, and we are entralled as we listen and watch them, Goldhaber says we have voluntarily given our minds over to that individual to direct and literally control our thoughts and our minds. The ability to enthrall an audience is challenging and difficult, but success brings great power to the performer. http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue2_4/goldhaber/

#

Yesterday my family and I had the pleasure to tour the Chisholm Trail Museum in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. While at the museum, I had an interesting discussion with the curator. She lamented how sometimes, when school children come for a tour, some of them are bored because their teacher has already told them quite a bit about the Chisholm Trail and its history related through the artifacts, photographs, and maps of the museum. This upset the curator, because those students are then bored and do not pay attention during her presentations at the museum. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1013622565

#

The problem with the students in the educational setting the curator was describing was NOT the fact that students had too much background knowledge, or “schema,” about the subject they were studying. The problem was rooted in the pedagogical goal, or instructional purpose, of the curator's educational interaction with the students. Like many teachers in our classrooms today, and for over 100 years, this teacher was trying her best to ENTHRALL her students. She wanted their full and undivided attention, and did tolerate any wandering minds or bored dispositions in her classroom.http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1013633841

#

For over 100 years our educational system has been putting students in small desks in straight rows and trying to force them to remain “enthralled” for hours on end. As Seymour Papert notes in his excellent 1993 book, “The Children's Machine: Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer,” these activities of formal SCHOOL are NOT natural. Watch a three year old interact with her environment and other people to see what “natural learning” looks like. Go into most classrooms where students are seated silently in orderly rows, listening to a teacher or professor lecture from the front of the room, and you will see what SCHOOL looks like, not LEARNING. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1013633563

#

Lecture based learning has a time and a place, but in our 21st century schools, it is ridiculous and counter-productive to make teacher-directed instruction the centerpiece of the learning experience for students. It is IMPOSSIBLE to ENTRALL all your learners, all the time. If you are one of the teachers who has been trying to enthrall your students constantly, and have been frustrated by this experience, today is the day to STOP pursuing that educational goal all the time. Stop trying to ENTRALL your students, and instead strive to ENGAGE them!http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1014497666

#

This image of an old schoolhouse paddle represents the worst side of the common, coercive school culture. At the extreme, this is the message our students receive when they come into many of our classrooms. Hello, welcome to class, I don't really care what your name is. Sit down, shut up, get out your textbook, your paper and pencil, and start writing down as many notes as you can about the entralling words I'm about to start telling you. If at some point, your mind wanders or you dare to ACT in a way I, the teacher, perceive is “off task,” I will invite you to the front of the classroom where I will publicly humiliate you and physically hurt you by paddling your delinquent behind. No one except the teacher is allowed to talk in this classroom, because no one else is an expert on the subjects we are going to discuss. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1014497362

#

No one is going to ask any questions, because your job is not to think, it is to memorize and absorb material. If you have a basic human need, like a desire to get a drink of water or go to the bathroom, you will have to raise your hand and get permission, because my primary function in addition to dispensing knowledge in this classroom is to completely control your behavior and your thinking. I will direct your learning, I am the teacher. You will sit quietly, shut up, and do as you are told, because you are here to be ENTRALLED. You are my SLAVE in this classroom, and that means I expect and demand your full attention. Anything less than 100% cooperation will result in your immediate physical abuse at my hand (and paddle) or your expulsion from this classroom forever. WELCOME TO SCHOOL. I'M SO GLAD YOU'VE COME TO JOIN US. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1014504710

#

Now, that image may sound a little extreme for the school where you currently work or where your own children or grandchildren attend school, but philosophically, in many classrooms ,teachers have not moved very far from that approach. Many teachers are still striving to ENTRALL their students each day, and force them to comply with their orders. This situation MUST CHANGE. One way you and I, as teachers in the 21st century, can change our classrooms to better meet the needs of learners in the 21st century, is by striving to ENGAGE rather than ENTRALL them. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1014497100

#

How do we engage students? There is not a single answer to this question, because our learners are all unique and different individuals. Two of the keys elements to engagement in learning are CHOICE and DIFFERENTIATION. When I give you real choices about the learning tasks you are going to work on during class, chances are much higher you will have more interest as well as background knowledge, or schema, to make those OPPORTUNITIES for learning meaningful and valuable to you personally. As a teacher, I cannot make you learn. If I entrall you, perhaps I can direct your attention in meaningful ways for short periods of time, but even if I am a great performer there are limits as to how long I can really hold your attention. Your attention may even be wandering now, watching and listening to this video! It is natural for this to happen, because we all have highly complex brains. Rather than fight against our inclination toward natural learning, as teachers we need to understand it and then modify our lessons to accommodate this reality. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1013652859

#

Watch a brief clip on the cartoon network, or even a short bit of a documentary on the Discovery Channel, to see how often professional television producers have to change the images, the music, the narration, and the entire multimedia experience of an engaging program to maintain the attention of the audience. As a classroom teacher, you likely don't have the budget, the time, or the expertise to match the multimedia experiences of the cartoon network or the Discovery Channel! So why are you trying to enthrall your students for 50 minutes at a time?! http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/flight/flight.html

#

Stop trying to ENTRALL your students all the time. Differentiate learning choices and assessment options for your students. Seymour Papert notes that most Schools are solely interested in helping students develop LETTRACY rather than LITERACY. When a child enters school, she is often told to stop asking questions and stop directing her own learning: Now that they have started school, they will be READING about the world instead of EXPERIENCING the world in ways that are personally meaningful. Change this pattern by giving your students choices about the ways they learn material. Rather than asking them to simply learn facts, ask them to APPLY those facts by tackling complex questions that are worth answering. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1014498270

#

Invite students to collaborate with each other to create authentic knowledge products which reflect their true understanding, perceptions, and mastery of the subject being studied. Devise assessments, and have students help devise assessments for themselves, which cannot be “faked.” A worksheet or a study guide will NOT suffice. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1013636031

#

Invite students to conduct interviews and put together a short video documentary. Invite students to create an animation which illustrates a concept visually as well as auditorially. Invite students to collaboratively author a wiki-based document with other students in a classroom across the continent or across the world, about a topic in which they are interested and want to explore further. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1014482642

#

Not sure what a wiki-document is? Ask and find out! Invite your students to help! Focus on inviting students to create and share their knowledge with each other, using digital tools when it is appropriate. Measure the “success” of your lesson based on the conversations students have spontaneously inside and outside of class about their project, the numbers of QUESTIONS students ask and strive to answer, and the amount of higher level thinking reflected in the knowledge products they make together. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1013619089

#

Marc Prensky wrote a rather famous essay in 2001 titled, “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.” In the article he observed that many of the students in our classrooms today are “native” with technology, while most of the teachers are “immigrants.” http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&hs=BIh&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=digital+natives+prensky&spell=1

#

I've noted before that some teachers are not even willing immigrants when it comes to the use of digital technologies for learning, but instead are “digital refugees.” Our age and our past experiences do not define our capacities to learn and effectively use new digital technologies, however. We ALL have the capacity to be LEARNERS, with analog or with digital tools. This is a choice we can make every day. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/453063981/

#

Give your students more choices. Provide differentiated opportunities for them to learn, express, create and share their ideas. Stop trying to ENTHRALL your students, and instead strive to ENGAGE them. I think you'll find that process much more rewarding and attainable than the ridiculous educational goal of trying to entrall your students all day long! http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1013650253

#

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License by Wesley Fryer. Additional attribution guidance is available online. This project was created using free software tools on Windows XP. These included OpenOffice, Audacity, Jing, Flickr, and PhotoStory 3. Learn more about digital storytelling and 21st century teaching and learning on “Moving at the Speed of Creativity” at www.speedofcreativity.org.

 

So I need 21 images...

 

This time included downloading and installing “Jing” (http://www.jingproject.com/) to create screenshots

 

47 minutes to this point

 

118 minutes of planning (2 hours)

 

PRODUCE:

 

13 minutes to record the first draft (it was 11 minutes long.)

 

CHOP

 

decided to cut slides 16, 18 and 19 out entirely, along with 21 (copyright and credits)

 

Revised Script with Images:

 

Revised Script with Images:

 

1.Hello! This is Wesley Fryer, with “Moving at the Speed of Creativity,” and I'd like to share a few ideas this morning with you about “school 2.0” and some of the ways we need to change what we do and how we learn in schools in the 21st century. http://www.wesfryer.com/images/wesley/fryer-600-840-72dpi.jpg – 15 sec

 

2.What really ENTHRALLS you? I'm not asking what interests you, or what you find mildly appealing, but instead what ENTRALLS you.? http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1014524882/ - 11 sec

 

3.According to dictionary.com, the word “enthrall has two basic meanings. First, entrall can mean “to captivate or charm: a performer whose grace, skill, and virtuosity enthrall her audiences.” Second, enthrall can mean :to put or hold in slavery; subjugate: to be enthralled by illusions and superstitions.” http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=enthrall&x=0&y=0 – 26 sec

 

4. Michael Goldhaber noted in his 1997 article “The Attention Economy and the Net” that a “thrall” is basically a slave. When someone has our complete attention, and we are entralled as we listen and watch them, Goldhaber says we have voluntarily given our minds over to that individual to direct and literally control our thoughts and our minds. The ability to enthrall an audience is challenging and difficult, but success brings great power to the performer. http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue2_4/goldhaber/

 

5.Yesterday my family and I had the pleasure to tour the Chisholm Trail Museum in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. While at the museum, I had an interesting discussion with the curator. She lamented how sometimes, when school children come for a tour, some of them are bored because their teacher has already told them quite a bit about the Chisholm Trail and its history related through the artifacts, photographs, and maps of the museum. This upset the curator, because those students are then bored and do not pay attention during her presentations at the museum. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1013622565

 

6.The problem with the students in the educational setting the curator was describing was NOT the fact that students had too much background knowledge, or “schema,” about the subject they were studying. The problem was rooted in the pedagogical goal, or instructional purpose, of the curator's educational interaction with the students. Like many teachers in our classrooms today, and for over 100 years, this teacher was trying her best to ENTHRALL her students. She wanted their full and undivided attention, and did tolerate any wandering minds or bored dispositions in her classroom.http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1013633841

 

7.For over 100 years our educational system has been putting students in small desks in straight rows and trying to force them to remain “enthralled” for hours on end. As Seymour Papert notes in his excellent 1993 book, “The Children's Machine: Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer,” these activities of formal SCHOOL are NOT natural. Watch a three year old interact with her environment and other people to see what “natural learning” looks like. Go into most classrooms where students are seated silently in orderly rows, listening to a teacher or professor lecture from the front of the room, and you will see what SCHOOL looks like, not LEARNING. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1013633563

 

8.Lecture based learning has a time and a place, but in our 21st century schools, it is ridiculous and counter-productive to make teacher-directed instruction the centerpiece of the learning experience for students. It is IMPOSSIBLE to ENTRALL all your learners, all the time. If you are one of the teachers who has been trying to enthrall your students constantly, and have been frustrated by this experience, today is the day to STOP pursuing that educational goal all the time. Stop trying to ENTRALL your students, and instead strive to ENGAGE them!http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1014497666

 

9.This image of an old schoolhouse paddle represents the worst side of the common, coercive school culture. At the extreme, this is the message our students receive when they come into many of our classrooms. Hello, welcome to class, I don't really care what your name is. Sit down, shut up, get out your textbook, your paper and pencil, and start writing down as many notes as you can about the entralling words I'm about to start telling you. If at some point, your mind wanders or you dare to ACT in a way I, the teacher, perceive is “off task,” I will invite you to the front of the classroom where I will publicly humiliate you and physically hurt you by paddling your delinquent behind. No one except the teacher is allowed to talk in this classroom, because no one else is an expert on the subjects we are going to discuss. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1014497362

 

10.No one is going to ask any questions, because your job is not to think, it is to memorize and absorb material. If you have a basic human need, like a desire to get a drink of water or go to the bathroom, you will have to raise your hand and get permission, because my primary function in addition to dispensing knowledge in this classroom is to completely control your behavior and your thinking. I will direct your learning, I am the teacher. You will sit quietly, shut up, and do as you are told, because you are here to be ENTRALLED. You are my SLAVE in this classroom, and that means I expect and demand your full attention. Anything less than 100% cooperation will result in your immediate physical abuse at my hand (and paddle) or your expulsion from this classroom forever. WELCOME TO SCHOOL. I'M SO GLAD YOU'VE COME TO JOIN US. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1014504710

 

11.Now, that image may sound a little extreme for the school where you currently work or where your own children or grandchildren attend school, but philosophically, in many classrooms ,teachers have not moved very far from that approach. Many teachers are still striving to ENTRALL their students each day, and force them to comply with their orders. This situation MUST CHANGE. One way you and I, as teachers in the 21st century, can change our classrooms to better meet the needs of learners in the 21st century, is by striving to ENGAGE rather than ENTRALL them. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1014497100

 

12.How do we engage students? There is not a single answer to this question, because our learners are all unique and different individuals. Two of the keys elements to engagement in learning are CHOICE and DIFFERENTIATION. When I give you real choices about the learning tasks you are going to work on during class, chances are much higher you will have more interest as well as background knowledge, or schema, to make those OPPORTUNITIES for learning meaningful and valuable to you personally. As a teacher, I cannot make you learn. If I entrall you, perhaps I can direct your attention in meaningful ways for short periods of time, but even if I am a great performer there are limits as to how long I can really hold your attention. Your attention may even be wandering now, watching and listening to this video! It is natural for this to happen, because we all have highly complex brains. Rather than fight against our inclination toward natural learning, as teachers we need to understand it and then modify our lessons to accommodate this reality. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1013652859

 

13.Watch a brief clip on the cartoon network, or even a short bit of a documentary on the Discovery Channel, to see how often professional television producers have to change the images, the music, the narration, and the entire multimedia experience of an engaging program to maintain the attention of the audience. As a classroom teacher, you likely don't have the budget, the time, or the expertise to match the multimedia experiences of the cartoon network or the Discovery Channel! So why are you trying to enthrall your students for 50 minutes at a time?! http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/flight/flight.html

 

14.Stop trying to ENTRALL your students all the time. Differentiate learning choices and assessment options for your students. Seymour Papert notes that most Schools are solely interested in helping students develop LETTRACY rather than LITERACY. When a child enters school, she is often told to stop asking questions and stop directing her own learning: Now that they have started school, they will be READING about the world instead of EXPERIENCING the world in ways that are personally meaningful. Change this pattern by giving your students choices about the ways they learn material. Rather than asking them to simply learn facts, ask them to APPLY those facts by tackling complex questions that are worth answering. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1014498270

 

15.Invite students to collaborate with each other to create authentic knowledge products which reflect their true understanding, perceptions, and mastery of the subject being studied. Devise assessments, and have students help devise assessments for themselves, which cannot be “faked.” A worksheet or a study guide will NOT suffice. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1013636031

 

16.Focus on inviting students to create and share their knowledge with each other, using digital tools when it is appropriate. Measure the “success” of your lesson based on the conversations students have spontaneously inside and outside of class about their project, the numbers of QUESTIONS students ask and strive to answer, and the amount of higher level thinking reflected in the knowledge products they make together. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1013619089

 

16.Give your students more choices. Provide differentiated opportunities for them to learn, express, create and share their ideas. Stop trying to ENTHRALL your students, and instead strive to ENGAGE them. I think you'll find that process much more rewarding and attainable than the ridiculous educational goal of trying to entrall your students all day long! http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1013650253

 

8 min: cutting down to just under 10 minutes long (9 min, 50 sec)

 

30 sec: exporting audacity project to mp3

 

Had to look at Audacity project and number of seconds to display each image

 

70 minutes to CHOP

 

60 minutes to publish to YouTube and my blog/podcast.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtqAaOpiYuw

 

I changed three of the images to Creative Commons licensed images by Marco Torres, which I think fit better than the original images I was going to use. Those URLs are:

 

http://flickr.com/photos/torres21/132740405/

 

http://flickr.com/photos/torres21/132740398

 

http://flickr.com/photos/torres21/132740379/

 

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