When Text is More Than Letters on Paper

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I just found this wonderful video by Michael Wesch of Kansas State University. Dr. Wesch is creating a Digital Ethnography working group at Kansas State University "to examine the impacts of digital technology on human interaction." The video is a fascinating look at what happens when text moves from paper to computer and when tags and tools make it so much more than just words on a page.

We hardly make full use of this power in the computer industry and I don't think we have even begun to scratch the surface of what this means in education. I wonder though if today's generation, growing up in a multi-media, computer generated social environment will make more of it. Or will they find themselves closed in by "we've always done it this way" when they try to become educators themselves. I can hope for different. But how do we tilt the odds in favor of change?

Can tools like Scratch and Alice take story telling to new more interactive heights? Can we go beyond PowerPoint the way PowerPoint goes beyond plastic transparencies and white boards? Can we start teaching kids now to use computational thinking to change the way they teach their peers? There is a lot of potential to take things from the computer lab and place them into daily life and perhaps more importantly into the way we teach everything else. Who is leading the way towards doing that?



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