There’s a scene from my favorite movie, Liberal Arts, where the main character is trying to encourage a young genius but potential dropout why college is so important. “It’s one of the few places where you can read and write poetry, and no one will punch you in the face” (or something like that). I never really understood those that line, but what I think it means is that college is a place where one can experiment, try out new ideas and ways of living, say and do somewhat radical things, yet still be safe. Because their in college, and that’s where one is supposed to try and do new and somewhat radical things.
The same could also be, should also be, said about teacher conferences. At least, that’s my goal anyway, which is one of the main reasons I love presenting at them. And this latest conference, in Belgrade MT, was one of those moments.
I hosted a two-part presentation entitled, Social Media: The Library of our Time which was a fleshing out of a post I’d written about a year ago, Entertained to Death. The second part of the presentation was a hands-on workshop where we watched the following music video/short film:
For almost an hour, a room full of educators (English, history, math, music, art teachers and a few college students), we disected the hell out of this video, and it was truly awesome. Truly. And was a manifestation of all I had written about in Entertained to Death.
One of my takeaways, however, is this:
Student involvement: Because there isn’t much written about the videos/art, we the audience - the students - are responsible for the interpretations. We cannot rely upon another more “trusted” opinion on the matter. Our interpretation is the interpretation. We just need to defend it.
In the discussion, we had a great time coming up with possible interpretations and meanings, all of which were purposeful and deep - super deep, and a strong affirmation that this needs to make its way into our classrooms and cultures.
Goal: Get this into a short, more condensed written version for possible publication. Also, submit more workshops for next years MFPE Conference:
Autonomy with Standards
Social Media as Content: A Library of our Time (2 parts)
Prove You’re Alive (a sort of injection to inspire and encourage teachers)
Stories Matter: How stories can make us better people
PDP Notes: A possible note taking strategy
For more on . . .