I should have waited a bit before blogging my earlier entry, until I’d seen this TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson (a fellow Brit I’d never heard of). Makes a similar point to Michael Rosen but with a lot more power and in less than half the time (20 minutes). (See Ken’s Wikipedia entry and his official website.)
I saw Karl Fisch’s fascinating presentation a while back, but was amazed to see its slick new look. I discovered this thanks to John Farr’s excellent blog. Karl’s presentation and Scott McCleod’s movie have really gone viral, because John Farr is not an edtech blogger and lives far from the madding crowd in beautiful New Mexico.
Here’s a comment I posted to John’s blog entry:
FYI, the movie in its final form was edited and posted by Scott McLeod, and the original was created by educator Karl Fisch at Arapoahoe High School (wherever that is) as a presentation for his school’s start-of-the-year faculty meeting. History and background are at Karl’s blog The Fischbowl here and here.
The music apparently comes from the movie Last of the Mohicans (starring one of my favourite actors, who has an equally interesting father). The content comes from a number of educators and writers who write about this shrinking world and the role the Internet is playing in that.
The movie is well made and thought-provoking, but it rings a little US-based nationalistic to me. Unlike much of the (US) edtech blogosphere, I’m not a Friedman fan. I am excited about the possibility of a world grass-roots community linked by optic fibre, getting themselves informed and making their voices heard, because global warming and peace are global issues and it’s been blindingly obvious for the past 10 years that our leaders are both unwilling and incapable of leading us where we humans on this beautiful blue planet urgently need to go. (A panel of top scientists were on TV recently debating Prof Lovelock’s Gaia theory on which there were many differing views. On one issue only were these scientists unanimously agreed: governments and political leaders will not make the right decisions in time to save the planet.)
I think we will survive as a species, but that it will be touch and go right up to the last minute. And that minute may come sooner than we think.
I have yet to see An Inconvenient Truth, but I’m already one of the converted (have been since I was about 16 when I did my own research after reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring), and I strongly agree with Gore:
“The climate crisis will only be stopped by an unprecedented and sustained global movement”, Gore said
and the Internet is one way this global movement can happen at the speed it needs to happen and reaching the critical mass of people it needs to reach.
I didn’t get much of an impression of Gore while he was Vice-President, but I recently saw him on Japanese TV, interviewed by a gaijin TV “talento” who revealed in the interview that he was a graduate of Al Gore’s alma mater. Al Gore had obviously done his homework on the program that was interviewing him; not only that but he also talked about the Japanese kanji for “crisis” and how it includes a character that means opportunity （the second of the compound character “kiki” meaning crisis – 危機）, whereas the English word “crisis” only suggests something negative. A smart guy. I was impressed. Check out the video.