We Have to Know

In August 2006, Clarence Fischer of Arapahoe High School in Colorado made a presentation to his staff. His PowerPoint presentation was on his blog that week and I found it really compelling. His purpose was to get his teachers to really think about what students need in their learning environment to be prepared and successful in the 21st century. The message of the presentation is that we need to pay attention to factors such as the growing importance of India and China and globalization that has made our world “flat”. This shift should not be looked at negatively, but instead we need to recognize that this shift provides tremendous opportunities for our children. We need to reflect on our own teaching practices and attitudes in response to this change.

During the next several months, the Shift Happens presentation was seen all over the edu-blogosphere. They call that “going viral”. In the past year or so, estimates of over 10 million people viewed various versions of the presentation. What would that be like for Clarence, I wonder. How could a simple staff presentation become so powerful that millions of people have seen it, quoted it, wrote about it, and let the story move them? See the shifthappens wiki created by Clarence and Dr. Scott Mcleod for information about the presentation.

Although the presentation is essentially over a year old, it’s been reworked a couple of times to keep in fresh and clarify its message. His recent keynote at the K 12 Online Conference is worth a look. Anne Davis does a good job of summarizing his address. Here is Anne’s description of Clarence Fischer’s keynote at the K12 Online Conference.

Here is the video of the most recent version:

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