Saturday, January 16, 2010

Stop now! Watch this!

First of all, I was directed to this video by Ann Johnston, Program Specialist in Instructional Technology at the Lincoln Intermediate unit (IU12), and author of the Whirlwind of a Week blog. She had posted this link to her Diigo account and shared it with a group that we both belong to. I mention that for those who are blocked from using Diigo so you don't give up your fight to get access to it at school.

This video was written by a 7th grader and produced with the help of her teacher. Maybe because I'm very tired right now from cutting firewood all day today, but I got emotional watching this video. Why? Several reasons. First, this is just SO well done that I almost immediately forgot that I was listening to a 7th grader. The production is outstanding. Even the sound is perfect.

Second, I want you to take notice of all the different tools this girl uses. She bookmarks sites in her social bookmarking site (Delicious, in this case, but she could just as easily have been using Diigo). BLOCKED in many schools. Her science teacher posts assignments, etc on a blog. BLOCKED in many schools. She blogs about what she's learning (her "reflections", she calls them) in her Blogger blog. BLOCKED in many schools. She uses Symbaloo to organize her sites. BLOCKED in many schools. She contacted a scientist to ask for some feedback about her report. She created a report on her Google Docs account and she made it public so she could share it. BLOCKED in many schools. She appears to be a master user of Evernote for collecting her resources, too. BLOCKED in many schools. She embeds YouTube videos into her presentations. BLOCKED in many schools - even for TEACHERS! She created a Glogster poster for her project. BLOCKED in many schools. She emailed a scientist in Australia, and another in the United States to ask them to review her report (because her teacher told her it was important to have your work peer reviewed). EMAIL? BLOCKED in many schools. (However, I don't know for certain that she used a school-provided email account) They use Skype to talk with scientists. BLOCKED in many schools. "Because there is so much freedom you have the inclination to be responsible." HER quote.

The third reason why this video got such a response from me is that, while this girl is DOING all those amazing things - and they ARE INDEED amazing - many of you will have to wait to get home from your public school in order to watch it. She DOES it; some of you can't even LEARN about it in school. As I mentioned the other day, some of you can't even see wikisppaces or even receive email attachments, for crying out loud! She is a walking definition of a "21st Century Learner", yet your school (probably) prohibits you from a) learning about it, and b) DOING it.

Watch this. Are you shaking your head in amazement? Can you hear me screaming?
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