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And? Thoughts on a Keynote I am presenting

On Wednesday, I am presenting the keynote to the 13th annual Regional Career and Technology Conference in El Paso. THe theme of the conference is “Tomorrow’s Workforce Today.” 

When searching my mind for my own theme to choose for my keynote, I came across a commericail for Coke Zero. The commercial shows a kid going through life asking “AND?” in various situations, when most people would have stopped. For instance, when he gets a job, he asks the guy hiring him “AND?” THe man looks back at him and says “Stock Options.” 

Here is the commercial: 

I liked the commercial, and decided to make the keynote about “What is your AND?”

What is the student’s “AND?”

For the students, I explain that their AND? in education is technolgoy, that they are using technology to teach themselves. I use the famous example of the young man who posted his video on youtube asking for help about his Bow Drill Set fire starter that he could not get to work and ended up with thousands of views and help form all over the world.

(Here is the link in case you have never seen it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuFsDN8dsJU) 

The idea of course is that kids are using social media and technology to do things we never were able to do, and the impliction is that we as educators need to jump into that space as well.

The second portion of the keynote is asking the teachers what their “AND?” is when it comes to teaching. What do they do to go above the norm, to become rock and roll stars? 

I then discuss the need to become connected educators, what that means, and that working alone is not the way to teach anymore. There are no professions that work in isolation anymore.  

My extreme example is of a scientist, Ted Scambos in the Antartic that blogs (On Thin Ice) and is in what we would think would be the most extreme place on earth, but is in fact a pretty rich colony called McMurdo Station. Even extreme professions connect. 

I end up showing what the difference between being alone and being connected is, using T-mobile’s Trafalger Square commercial which shows 13,000 people all singing Hey Jude. By themselves, they are pretty bad, but together they make beautiful music. 

So, that is basically my keynote. I will post the slides later today.