A Good Day in Tarrytown

Aside from traffic, I had a good day yesterday, working with superintendents and directors of technology from Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam Counties, New York. The group was very receptive with good questions peppered in. I had an hour and a half to deliver what is usually an hour long presentation. It’s amazing how a presentation seems to fill up what ever amount of time that you have to deliver it. It’s like furniture.

I worry, though, that what’s coming across are the stories that I tell during the presentation and not the larger picture — that we all need to be going out and telling stories. Many in the audience had already read The World is Flat, but there was interest in Richard Florida’s books and Got Game, by John Beck. Video gaming was a large part of the conversations after the session, and I think it is partly because these people have children at home who are playing video games (and IM’ing and have a presence on MySpace, etc.). People were especially intrigued by machinima.

I look forward to doing this session as a workshop, and having education leaders start sculpting their own stories that tie to the market place, deeply held values, and solutions we can point to.

2¢ Worth.

2 thoughts on “A Good Day in Tarrytown”

  1. David,
    I was at your session in Tarrytown and really enjoyed it. i am sorry if I challenged you about the gender issue. it’s a cause celeb for me and I am trying to figure out ways to change the scenery so that our female students will be interested in the engineering and technology fields and not be left behind. no child left behind? how about no female left behind?
    statistics show that fewer and fewer females are taking the AP exams in computer science and calculus. fewer females are majoring in science and technology unless they are focused on medicine or environmental sciences. Yes, these are great pursuits, but we also need our female students to enter schools of engineering. these are the jobs that shape our future.

    I was THRILLED, however, to hear you say that the creative jobs will be the ones with the largest gains in the next few years. I have a daughter who was a visual arts major at Brown and now makes custom handbags for $12/hour in Philly. she does, however, have art shows in various cities around the country. She needs this mindless job so she can “do her art.”

    Your blog does inspire me to think. thank you for that! I just picked up the newest Wired magazine at the airport today after reading that fantastic post of a few days ago.

    Linda Brandon

  2. I was not at the conference but I have a few words to say about learning and our children. I have read the books that are mentioned but I have just been reading a book called “everything bad is good for you.” It takes you through the world for our new gamers, internet, and television. Its main point is kids are smarter and smarter because of these facts of life. It explains how our children are becoming quick learners and that they can interpret and put together information much quicker than we were expected to. The requirements of these games are complex problem solving activities that delve into a persons ability to make connections constantly and seek out resources to solve complex problems. The book also says that violent games are not the big sellers but games like SIMS are. It continues to outline and web the plot lines and characters in more recent TV programs such as “24” vs programs we watched years ago. The web shows the complex relationships that are formed and that the answers and plot is not just given away but is up for interpretation. There is a requirement to put the pieces together and remember characters, plot lines and relationships.
    This all boils down to our students are living in an engaging environment. What does that say about our schools and their reluctance to change their teaching approaches and strategies. This isn’t providing our students with entertainment so they are engaged but to provide an environment where they are involved and an active part of learning. We, ourselve, are the digital divide not whether a student has a computer or not. It not about technology but the process of learning.

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