Jul 07 2010

ISTE 2010: Connecting the Dots

The Buzz Blog talks to Peter H. Reynolds at ISTE 2010.

I had the rare opportunity to interview a personal "hero" in the world of education and creativity. It was 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 30 – the last day of ISTE 2010 – and exhibitors had begun tearing down their booths. In the crowd I saw a member of my Personal Learning Network talking to the one and only Peter H. Reynolds, education advocate, artist, author, founder of FableVision Learning, the list goes on.

I had already broken down the lights in the room where I was filming, but I just had to ask him: Would you have time to go on camera?

Reynolds was hesitant, not wanting to abandon his crew as they were busily tearing down his booth. He mentioned the rush to the airport, so I said I could have the room ready in 30 minutes, giving him a bit more time to break down and pack up. We exchanged numbers, as he said he'd try to accommodate my request.

I rushed back to my room, set up the lights again, got the camera ready and sketched out a few questions about education, creativity and learning. It was 3:00, and I had my fingers crossed. I waited patiently, but soon I couldn't stand to sit anymore. Maybe he couldn't find the room. But if I go out and look for him, and he comes from the other direction and sees the room empty, he'll leave.

Moments later, I spotted Reynolds on his cell phone, coming toward me. He came!

I thanked him, and as we walked into my filming room, I briefed him on my line of questions. We sat down to a very special 12-minute interview that was, at its core, the story of a boy who loved to draw. All but one of his teachers told him to pay attention – no drawing allowed in school. But his seventh-grade math teacher challenged him to use his drawing to do something important.

Peter's vision for education stems from that one moment in his life. It's inspiring, current and relevant to what teachers are (and should be) doing today.

Then he signed and gave me a copy of his new book, The Dot. The inscription says, "Buzz, keep making your mark." We shook hands, and he was off.

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