Educational Technology,  Instructional / Course Design

Making History With Technology in the Classroom

[social-bio] Last December someone pointed me towards an article about John Boyer, a professor at Virginia Tech, and his intriguing uses of technology in his World Regions class. By the time the column about Boyer was published, he had already “used his viral YouTube tactics to lure actors Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez to present their film, ‘The Way’.” He had also had his students create clearly fake Twitter accounts to pose as current world leaders in government and business to respond to current world issues.

The most amazing part of the story, however, was what was yet to come in Boyer’s class of 3000 students. He and his students created a YouTube video in which they requested an interview with Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who had recently been released from house arrest. The video invitation somehow made it to Suu Kyi, who accepted the invitation. Boyer arranged for a live interview between Suu Kyi and his class via Skype, which occurred and was recorded after the column was published.

The initial video invitation is below, followed by the video recording of the Skype conversation with Suu Kyi (34 minutes long). My question to you is, what are you doing with technology to connect your students to the world?

One Comment

  • Karen Wightman

    John Boyer’s use of technology to connect a class of 3000 learners with active, current world leaders is amazing. What a fantastic experience for the participants. The use of Skype makes the global issues so present in “real time”.