Sunday, August 28, 2011

Subject Matter Experts

Our students have a good many technological tools: iPod Touch or iPhone and Macbook in class every day. They have a reliable network and online tools like Studywiz. The tools are great but what we do with the tools is more important.

This past Friday, we had a special visitor on our campus. Ed Leonard, Chief Technology Officer at Dreamworks, visited and spoke to our Senior High kids. I was fortunate to hear him speak to two groups: the entire SH student body at chapel and the kids in the video broadcasting class. I'm not sure what I expected but as a person who works on billion dollar projects I felt like he should be somewhat "unusual" or at least out of the ordinary. What struck me was that he came across as a real person who might be considered ordinary in many ways that has done extraordinary things with his life. Many of the things he mentioned to the kids - how important a script is to a feature length film, for example - sounds like something I've said to my students many times. The difference is that the kids will remember what he says much more than what I say. He is the subject matter expert out there doing extraordinary things in the field.

This just confirmed for me what I've known for some time. We need to really work and leverage the technology we have to provide more opportunities for our kids to be in contact with Subject Matter Experts. The walls of the classroom can no longer be used as an excuse to not bring the "real world" into contact with our students in meaningful ways.

So . . . I'm looking for subject matter experts to connect with my students: authors, editors, playwrights, etc. Any ideas for me???

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