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1/13/13

Sharing Our Techie Stories



So, I'm watching football and I notice a few commercials for the iPhone. One involves celebrity tennis players playing ping pong. It's an advertisement for sleep mode, which is apparently a really big innovation in technology. Another advertisement revolves around editing pictures with retina display. The message is clear: we make quality stuff. Just check out our features.

I contrast that to the two Google commercials I view. The first is a tear-jerker describing the way a daughter and a father stick together as she moves on to college. In thirty seconds, they create a story and a backstory of how technology can help us connect. The features are still there, embedded, not for quality, but for simplicity. The second commercial tells a blended story, a collective narrative, about how we can use technology to learn from one another.

I'm not sure either advertisement is entirely accurate. However, I know that the Google ads are memorable. They feel less like a glossy ad and more like an indie short film.The viewer makes an emotional connection with a vast, nameless corporation - one that often feels cold and distant to the public.

So, it has me thinking about technology integration and schools. What do we need to do in order to tell better stories? Are we sharing the connections, the relationships and the learning? Or are we talking to the public about prototypes and tools and the shiny hardware?
JOHN SPENCER
Professor. Author. Speaker. Maker.
I want to see kids embrace creativity. As a teacher, this has meant murals, documentaries, STEM camps, and coding projects. As a dad, this has meant quirky pillow forts and home-made pinball machines. This is why I co-wrote Wendell the World's Worst Wizard and co-founded Write About. I am convinced that design thinking can thrive in every content area, which is why I am launching the free design thinking course this summer.

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