Just do it

octopus arm
This Thursday I had the privilege of hearing one of my dearest and friendliest, uber-connected locals Sue Waters giving a keynote on PLN at the EDNA workshop. Great stuff – she managed to bamboozle the audience and have them eating out of her hands at the same time! After her gig we shared a quiet half an hour and the word got onto people who just talk and ponder about change instead of getting their hands dirty. Right on!

Here is my “getting hands dirty” bit, the reason you hear about it is because I am asking for your help and your digital-to-flesh tentacles.

This term, my Year 10 Society & Environment class is looking at Vietnam War as a broad topic. After quite a bit of discussion, brainstorming and even arguments with and among the 22-strong, very ‘mixed ability’ (love a nasty euphemism, don’t you?) class, we thought it would be a good idea to do something that would actually matter beyond “a grade, a tick, and a move on”. So we got ourselves into the national ANZAC School Awards competition. Of course, it wouldn’t be Mr Lasic who planted the idea that we may want to gun for the ‘best use of technology’ category would it 🙂

The class lapped up the challenge. I have NEVER seen them this motivated, keen and engaged. As I write this, I have kids, some of whom who don’t have computers at home (that’s right, call them digital native hey?) going to public library or staying at home to fool around and research the background info CD I had provided. Curious about what we are doing? Here is the link, all explained there – http://weremember.wikispaces.com/

So what is it that we need help with? Put simply, we are creating a digital mash-up map in Google Earth with personal stories about the time of Vietnam War – a mix of primary and secondary source historical data.

If you remember the period and/or if you know someone who lived in that period (particularly in Australia or Vietnam) or know a ‘connector’ who knows others – we would love it if you could tell us one positive and one negative experience related about the (time of and after) Vietnam War.

How?

Go straight to the simple form (full link, you can copy if you like)

http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=cjVfSVJfOTQ2cnd0dGJCY1FEV0NBbEE6MA

OR email the class at weremember09@gmail.com

OR leave a comment below

Now here comes the tentacles part…!

Please pass the message/link to project on in a true Web 2.0 manner (but avoid spam of course) – blog, Twitter, wiki, email. Let’s not forget the old phone and face-to-face either here…

We have already had a few people responding – Roger Pryor (he has already blogged it!), “cpaterso” (a reciprocal Twitter follower and a generous teacher from Sydney whose full name I don’t even know yet (!) and he has already provided some hugely useful personal contacts and suggestions), to name just a couple… within the first ‘public’ day.

This isn’t the first time I am asking for such a thing I know (thank you Charlie Roy, you are a superstar!). Hopefully, I have or (will have) clocked up enough good karma to see the human web in action and show what people can do with technology these days so it matters. So…just do it!

A big please and an even bigger thank you all from me and my bunch of 14-year olds.

3 comments

  1. Sue Waters

    “Friendliest” don’t think sometimes my hubby would say those words. As always it was excellent catching up with you Tomaz and great to see your project developing. I’ve sent out a tweet to my network asking them to provide assistance. Hopefully that brings some help.

    In curious because I’m more familiar with Google Maps than Google Earth. Can you tell me how you will do this? And in the case of your wiki would it be worth embedding a Google Map so that people could see the information come in as grow live as it is happening?

    Hope your session went well and sorry I couldn’t hang around. It was a day of meet ups in different locations.

    @Sue Thank you Sue. Yes, will embed the map into the project wiki so people will be able to track it as it grows, bit embryonic at the moment but by the end of this week we should have a bit of population going.

    Google Earth? Kids love the globe thing + you can always see the map in Google Maps anyway & vice versa.

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