Last week we participated in the SKYPE-athon with @AnthonySalcito, the Microsoft VP of Education.
Here is an excerpt from their follow up email.
“Anthony called into 33 classrooms non-stop on December 3rd, starting at 4pm in Seattle with a call to Auckland, New Zealand, and finishing with a classroom in Microsoft’s backyard, Bellevue Washington. During the 24 hours he called into classrooms in New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Korea, Sri Lanka, Egypt, India, South Africa, Kenya, Macedonia, Norway, Austria, Russia, Ireland, UK, Finland, Canada, Argentina, Puerto Rico and the USA. “
We talked a bit about the Engineering Brightness. A couple of things were of particular note. Seth, the person who has a hard time answering any kind of question in class, comes alive and describes the project. He did mumble and stumble a bit, but all in all, he jumped in. I was pretty proud! That is the second time that he has come alive when talking about something he knows inside and out and to strangers.
Anthony particularly liked that we were using school to help someone, that we were inventing and innovating and he particularly remarked that he like the getting feedback and iteration part of our process. He wants us to send him one of the wearable lights that we make.
Kennedy and Sarah talked about the idea of using SKYPE and technologies to get other perspectives to solve real problems. “You cannot use the same thinking to solve a problem that was used to create it”. (Einstein?)
Kennedy talked about using today’s tech, we can gather many different perspectives and a set of fresh eyes could be all that is needed. Sarah asked, if that is true then how are we going to get the perspectives from an important part of the world who do not have access to tech? His answer was that it is an important problem that we need to address and he was impressed that we were worried about it. He wanted us to consider the “LEARNING EXPERIENCE” first and the tools second. It is not about the tech.
In our debrief afterwards, they were a bit star struck. He made a great impression on the students. They were impressed by the fact that he would take the time to do such a thing, AND the fact that he seemed more interested in the learning experience and then whatever tool might be needed to achieve the desired learning.