Friday, October 26

Travis Allen: The 21st Century Student

I was fortunate to have been able to attend the MassCue Technology Conference at Gillette Stadium earlier this week.  While I didn't experience any "Tom Brady sightings", it was a memorable conference nonetheless. I have pages of notes (digital of course) that I need to review and organize to share with you in a future post. For now, I’d like to rave about one of the keynote speakers that addressed the crowd of 1,800 captivated educators. Rarely have I ever been impressed by a keynote speaker but this college student (yes, he is quite young) was amazingly blunt, enthusiastic, creative, smart, etc.; I want to adopt him.

Travis Allen is currently a junior at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.  Frustrated by the disconnect between students and schools (fueled when his teacher told him that his smart phone was not an educational device), he started his own company, The iSchool Initiative, while still in high school. According to Allen, social media has given him and his generation "a voice." He went on to say that they are digital learners, and that schools, often working on an outdated-antiquated model, are killing their students’ creativity.  He emphasized that for technology integration to be successful in schools, three things must be in place; mindset, infrastructure and of course, funding.  Allen questions why schools spend money on books explaining that he has used eBooks throughout his college career. What I really liked about Allen was that he isn’t just complaining; he's proactive in his passion to eliminate the disconnect between students and schools.

I encourage you to read more on Travis Allen and his initiatives afterall, he speaks for the generation of students that sit in our classrooms; our digital natives.

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