The Thursday keynote address is given by David Kushner. David’s bio from the TCEA program:
Author and journalist David Kushner is the leading expert on the new i-Conomy of digital culture and industry. As a contributing editor of Wired and Rolling Stone and frequent guest on radio and TV from CNN to NPR, he reports on the key leaders and innovators of the information age from the baby billionaires of Silicon Valley (founders of Facebook to YouTube) to the Hollywood mavericks (creators of hit shows Heroes to Lost) and the biggest winners in the videogame business (Rock Band to Grand Theft Auto). He has unique access and insight on what makes this new generation of leaders tick — now and in the future.
I’m live blogging this session, so please excuse any mistakes!
This is an incredibly challenging time with a new generation growing up with such a different view of the world. The theme now is “empowerment.”
Using technology has always given its users a sense of empowerment. We were Generation Pong – even back then we felt empowered using technology. Kids today have access to ubiquitous technology. They have a different perception – all these new technologies are seen as toys. This is a fundamental shift in perspective.
Research done by the Kaiser Foundation shows that kids have 7.5 hours a day of screen time.
What is it about the screen that rivets them? These aren’t just screens, they are portals into another reality – a private digital clubhouse.
Who is building this new world? In discussions with today’s technology innovators, what they have built was a direct response to their lack of access to technology in schools.
There are three stages for new technologies:
It’s no longer about teaching “computers” anymore. The tools are there. It’s about something else.
All innovations come about due to a need the programmers have. YouTube was created because it’s inventors wanted to trade videos online.
Game based learning is gaining steam in some areas of the country. There is a school called Quest to Learn where s students are going online and doing role playing activities, working together on missions. Example: Little Big Planet for Playstation – students help creatures on a planet. The assessment comes from the game level that the students reach. In a geography class, students are location producers for a reality show and create a multimedia pitch for their site.
West Philadelphia public school is attempting to build the world’s “greenest” car in an after school program created by one teacher. He had no money, but started by finding some old parts and helped students build an electric go-cart. The program turned many kids around and gave them a sense of empowerment.
Ray Kurtzweil invented the scanner and text to speech software. He has an idea of “singularity.” Technology is increasing at an exponential rate. According to him, we will reach a point in 2039 when computer intelligence will exceed human intelligence and be able to upload ourselves into “the matrix.” This idea is being taken seriously by today’s innovators.
How do we teach/learn in this environment where there is something new everyday? We have to learn how to learn. It’s not about the tools – it’s learning how to teach kids to empower themselves.
We need to tap our kids knowledge. Make them partners in the educational process. Idea: designated tweeter who is responsible for reporting the activities of the class.
John Carmack (creator of Doom) quote: In the information age, barriers are self-imposed.