I could not be more thrilled or more impressed. Now You See It has been chosen as the “all-city read” for Vancouver, Washington, and I will be traveling there to give two talks on May 9 and to meet Dene Grigar and all the other wonderful faculty, students, and Vancouver, WA, citizens who are part of this #NextChapter program. It is the single best “town/gown” digital literacy event I’ve heard of. Students at Washington State University Vancouver help lead discussion groups in the town’s libraries and schools. There are movie screenings, book groups, and dozens of activities all spring. Here’s the website: #NextChapter
And here are the abstracts of the two talks I will be giving in Vancouver, WA, on May 9:
(1) Lunch: Columbia River Economic Development Council (250 people)
Learning to Make Better Lives: How We Can Change Higher Education for the World We Live In Now
By Cathy N. Davidson
A passionate manifesto from one of the nation’s leading educational innovators, this talk is a real-world critique of current educational practices and an optimistic argumentthat we can redesign learning in school for the skills students are already developing out of school – collaborative, interest driven, connected to technology, but also deep in global understanding, diversity, and equity. “Learning to Make Better Lives” is the story of educational change—how the system we have inherited was made by real individuals, preserved by real institutions, in reaction to real technological and economic circumstances. We are a tipping point where, now, we can remake the systems we have inherited for the contemporary, global, connected world. To make change happen we have to be able to think in several directions at once. The good news is that this process is beginning everywhere worldwide—including at WSUV. This talk offers powerful, inspiring stories of people who have already made change happen and realistically addresses the opportunities, challenges, and possibilities for changing our educational institutions for the world we live in now.
(2) Evening Talk: Students, Faculty, Parents, Families
Now You See It: Learning to Pay Attention from Brain Science, Gorillas, Geeks, and Basketball Refs
by Cathy N. Davidson
Although we’ve all welcomed digital technology into our lives, many of us are still skeptical of its effects on our minds. We worry that the content overload and multitasking are dumbing us down. We look back with nostalgia and regret at the days people could just sit down, do one thing at a time, and do it well. In this talk, Cathy Davidson shows us that this old-fashioned model of attention is just one of many possible ways for the mind to work. She traces “the myth of monotasking” to the specialized, task-based, assembly-line model of work and education that grew out of the Industrial Revolution. Things have changed, and it’s only right for our brains to change with them. By combining the best new research in brain science with practical models and methods for changing our habits, Davidson doesn’t just diagnose the problem of living in the 21st century. She helps us to address those challenges in ways that help us thrive.