Looking into the eyes of our students

Friday was a half day at school. A little extended weekend for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Our High School took part in a couple different sessions. One of those sessions was by me giving a talk on “The Flat World”. I would have titled it “Your World” but the title doesn’t really matter. I had 20 minutes with every 9-12th grader at our school I started by saying, “You are very fortunate. You get to grow up in an amazing time in history.” I then played Karl Fisch’s Did You Know presentation with the follow slides added. There are 57 Million Blogs 100,000 new blogs created daily 1.3 million blog articles created daily That’s 54,000 articles being published every hour. Who’s verifying this information? Who’s telling the truth? Last year more students in China took the SAT in English than did so in the United States. The information comes from the latest report of the blogosphere from Technorati and from this update from Karl Fisch. After the PowerPoint was over we had a discussion about what all this information means. One student shouted “Shift Happens” the rest of the students laughed and I said “Exactly!” Another student spoke up and said “Everything we’re learning now doesn’t matter.” To which I said, “I know all your teachers standing around here are going to hate me, but you are absolutely right.” I then talked to them about the skills they need to learn while in high school starting with learning how to learn. We then talked about their generation. I asked the students “What’s the name of your generation?” a student spoke up and said “Millennials.” I then talked about the book Millennials Rising, and how in 1997 abcnews.com ran a poll on their website where this generation got to choose what to be called. They were proud of it, laughed, and thought it was cool. I asked them how many of them had a myspace.com account. To which over half raised their hands. I asked how many of them had a cell phone and a mp3 player. Every single student raised their hand. I asked how many had their own computer. All but a handful raised their hand, but when I asked who had access to the Internet in their house? Again it was 100%. I asked these questions for one reason and one reason only. I wanted the 20+ teachers...

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