XPLANE’s goal was to make it more visually appealing than text on a PowerPoint background, thinking that by adding some graphics and animation that it could convey the message to more folks (particularly folks whose first language is not English).
I (and Scott) had two main goals. First, I wanted to make it less us (as in U.S.) versus them. That wasn’t my intent in the original, but it certainly could be interpreted that way. It still includes some of the U.S./China/India statistics, because we felt those were indicative of the "shifts" that are occurring, but it avoids words like "we" and "they." But we want all kids to be successful, whether they are in the U.S., India, China or somewhere else. We believe these ideas and conversations should be occurring globally, and we hope this helps contribute to that conversation.
Second, one of the (many) weaknesses of the original is that it didn’t ask anything of the viewers, or direct them to any resources. (In my own defense, that’s because it was just for my staff and I was doing the follow-up. As I’ve talked about previously, I had no idea that it would spread like it did . . .). This new version asks some questions at the end and directs folks to a wiki with some additional information (the wiki is still a work in progress, but we'll get there eventually). The wiki is not intended as a "one-stop" resource, just a fairly simple jumping off point for folks that would like more information. Hopefully they will be drawn into the conversations that we all have been a part of over the last few years. (I wanted to ask even more questions – I may blog those eventually – but it would’ve made the presentation way too long – at over 8 minutes, it’s already pushing it).
If you find it useful, please use it however you’d like (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike license). The YouTube version is embedded below, there's a Google Video version, and you can download a high-quality version in several different formats (just enter your name at the prompt) as well.
Thank you to XPLANE for some truly excellent visuals and animations, and to Scott McLeod for all his work and support. Frankly, I’m a little tired of the presentation, but I still passionately believe that we need to reexamine formal education as it’s currently being experienced by our students and that we owe it to our children to do everything we can to improve. If the presentation draws even a few folks into asking questions and getting involved in the conversations either locally or globally, then I’ll consider it a success.