Saturday, April 07, 2007

I didn't know if I knew...

Yesterday, my dad and I were chatting on the phone and he asked me if I had checked my e-mail. I hadn't, but called it up while we talked. It seems he had sent me an e-mail with an interesting link. He often sends me e-mails, usually jokes or links to the latest news from my hometown, but yesterday's e-mail contained a video he had received from a friend, and he was passing it along to about a dozen of his regular e-mail cohorts. It took about 10 seconds to log in and call it up while we talked. This was no joke, he said, but something he thought I'd find quite interesting.

It was Karl Fisch's Did You Know? video.

The fact that it came from my dad, who just turned 70 and retired as a teacher in 1999, gave the video a different kind of impact. My dad was, in effect, asking me: Did I know? How great is that? Karl has blogged about the video and how it has become viral. This was a perfect example of that. And thanks to Karl's ubiquitous video, my dad and I had a nice conversation about the changing world we live in, one in which it is still possible to be shocked and surprised about where technology has taken us. [As an aside, the video was linked here, a place I am unfamiliar with.]

I told my dad that I had seen the video before, and I even gave him the background on how it came about, which is something I only know because I started regularly reading The Fischbowl along with about four dozen other edublogs in the last three months. He was interested.

During our talk, I also told him about my most recent posting on the English 10 homework blog, where I asked my students to view the video and reflect on it. So I sent him the link to that post and asked him to read what my 10th graders thought when I asked them, Did you know? I could feel myself getting excited as I recounted the story of the video and explained how I had begun experimenting and implementing many different web 2.0 tools. So he read their thoughts and sent me back an e-mail commenting on the perceptive insights he encountered. The only thing that would have made this flat world tale more tidy, would have been if he posted his comments on the blog, triggering a conversation with one of my students. Still, the entire episode is energizing and another example of the many different sides our flat world can have.

On a personal side, my first year of teaching started the September after he retired. Like me, he too switched careers and took up teaching around age 30. He's retained a strong interest in my career, but yesterday's exchange was the first time he and I have shared such a solid connection related to actually hands-on teaching. Chalk it up to another positive from our ever-growing technology.

I thought I knew before, but now I guess I know even better.

1 comment:

Karl Fisch said...

"The only thing that would have made this flat world tale more tidy, would have been if he posted his comments on the blog . . ."

Well, can't he still do that? Or can't you do it for him?

BTW, this is a great story. Thanks for sharing it.