HundrED.org 2020 Global Showcase: Changing the conversation from negative to positive, "yes" instead of "no", emphasis on solutions over problems
This past week, I had the honor of representing my students' work at the 2019 HundrED summit in Helsinki, Finland. 24 students from New Technology High School in Napa, CA, created the Global Create-a-thon, with the help of mentors from Adobe, The Projection Studio and the Napa Parks and Recreation.
In it's second year of creation, the students have created an initiative that allows students from across the globe to submit artwork which will then be curated and displayed at the 3rd annual Napa Lighted Art Festival, Jan. 11-18, 2020. Work will be projected on the side of a building in downtown Napa as a part of an collection of projected artwork from international artists, as a way to light up the darkest part of the season in the Napa Valley.
Last year students created a school-wide design day, where all New Tech High students explored their creativity while learning digital tools for creativity made by Adobe. The resulting artwork was included in last year's show. This year the students have expanded their Create-a-thon to include artwork from any students from any part of the world. So far, we have partners who will be sending in artwork from New Orleans, Ohio, Los Angeles, Texas, New York, Maine, Alberta Canada, Switzerland, Finland, Brazil, and Nairobi Kenya. We hope to receive artwork from many more countries after I had the chance to promote the showcase in Helsinki this week.
In Helsinki, it was a whirlwind tour and I had the chance to speak with educators and participate in so many ways. I was included in a powerful panelist discussion about the state of assessment in Finland and the U.S. I had the chance to showcase what we are doing with the Global Create-a-thon during Helsinki Education Week, as well as get feedback from fellow innovators about the project and where to go next. I tried my hand at leading a panel on Digital Wellbeing, and had the chance to meet with the STEAM committee of Finnish Educators to learn about where they see taking their pathway into the future for Helsinki schools, while sharing our innovation with them.
Major personal take-aways
1) There are many people who are devoting their lives to making the world better through education. These people have tremendous heart, but more importantly, a drive to dream big, take risks, and harness the power of collaborators to make real, lasting and big change in the world.
2) When we get together and share our resources, thoughts, energy and excitement, we are empowered to further our causes. We find ways to collaborate, help each other and to grow alongside one another.
3) There is no hierarchy of people in the HundrED organization as we are all leaders, in our own right.
4) Students must become more a part of the conversation and process and the Youth Ambassador program is a great start to making that happen. We all have wisdom and expertise to give, no matter what age. Students, the greatest stakeholders in the conversation, must become more front and center. The Global Create-a-thon is an important piece to that puzzle.
5) Funders are wanting to collaborate. Innovators must be able to make the leap from prototyping to scalable, sustainable models. Funders are there to help us get there, with not only money, but technical help as well. At New Tech, we have work to do as the creators of the Global Create-a-thon, to develop our model and tighten up our message and approach so that we can better serve students and educators from around the global.
6) There are solutions and people who are poised to help. We need only convince those around us to play big, and come along for the ride. We must not get complacent or stuck in the way things are, but we willing to move toward positive future outcomes.
7) I pushed myself in ways I never had before and it was daunting, but totally worth it. Trusting that I can rise to the challenge, as a public speaker and experienced teacher, has lead to some incredible opportunities. I hope I get to do more things like this. It's energizing, empowering and very exciting!
8) I am humbled by the innovators who are working to solve problems that seem so big and so impossible. Issues that innovators seek to address include: poverty, refugees, environmental crises, political unrest, war, hunger, sexual exploitation, lack of access to education, and so much more. And here we are, in our little town of Napa, CA, working on supporting creativity in education. It seems so insignificant compared to what other innovators are working on. And although I know our work at New Tech High is important, I wonder how we can partner with others to expand my students' world views and understand our place in the broader picture of education around the world.
I know more is yet to come and I plan to stretch and grow along with my students. I take great pleasure in the unfolding.
Interested in having your students submit to the Global Showcase?
Lisa Gottfried is a CTE teacher with 20 years experience as CEO of her own Video and Motion Graphics Production house. She currently teaches Intro to Digital Media, Video Production and Game/3D Design. She loves her job and her students!