edu180atl: holly chesser 5.25.12
In a commencement address at Boston University last week, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt offered graduates a challenge to put down their phones and close their laptops for an hour a day: “Take your eyes off that screen and look into the eyes of the person you love. Have a conversation, a real conversation.”
The suggestion to unplug once in a while seems ironic from the man who ran the search engine giant for a decade, yet irony defines the juncture at which we find ourselves: we have accessibility at our fingertips – knowledge, commerce, a diverse society – but this all-connectedness is a poor substitute for intimacy. The graduates responded to Schmidt’s plea with rapturous applause, then began tweeting his words. This brave new world of innovation both attracts and repels us, kindling a reminder that what we really want is to hear and to be heard, to understand and to be understood, to value and to be valued. We’re still learning, even in the 21st century, what it means to be human.
This desire to find our commonalities and to appreciate our uniqueness lies at the heart of edu180atl’s mission: “to nurture and encourage the spirits of those who love to learn,” “to connect learners,” and “to deepen the national conversation about education.”
Today marks the sunset of this school year: post # 180. Time to seek relaxation and renewal. But like any good teacher, I’m thinking back over all the posts I’ve read and wondered, “”What’s the take away? What did I learn?” In re-reading many posts this week, I discovered a harmonious refrain – a gratitude for those who care, a discovery of something hidden within, and a wish for what could be. As I tell my students, there’s only one story – the human story – and we each keeping telling it with infinite variation.
We end this year with thankfulness for all who have shared and to all who have read. Please join us again August 1st and let the storytelling begin anew.
About the author: Holly Chesser is excited about taking over the reins of the edu180atl project for 2012-2013 and can’t wait to read what YOU have learned in the coming school year. She blogs here: Shed Some Light.
Photo image: My daughter Kate holding the sun in just one hand.