Monday, August 13, 2007

Paper Clips

A couple weeks ago, my wife and I watched a movie entitled "Paper Clips" To me, this movie embodies what technology integration is all about. The movie is a documentary about a rural Tennessee school that starts to collect paper clips to represent the 6,000,000 Jews who were killed in the Holocaust. Now the premise of the project has nothing to do with technology. However, it is technology that connects this community with the world and creates a learning experience that will affect these students forever. By posting information about the project to the web, they attract the attention of some people around the world. Many famous people began donating paper clips. Holocaust survivors from New York came to visit them and share their experiences. German journalists get involved and help ship an authentic World War II German rail car used for shipping people to concentration camps. The rail car now houses a museum at the school that documents the project.

Now this would have been a powerful learning experience without the use of technology. The visual of 6,000,000 paper clips would certainly demonstrate the huge impact of the Holocaust. However, through the power of technology, this lesson transcended the walls of the school to include many people around the world. Some shared their experiences, others listened.

Can you imagine how your lessons could be transformed simply by inviting the public into them?

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