Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Power of The Pen...

For those of you that know me, you are well aware that technology is just one of my many passions. I am a devoted dad, an dedicated director, an enthusiastic educator and an avid audiophile. I love many genres of music, and I try not to pass up too many opportunities to catch live shows by local and touring musical acts.

What does technology have to do with music, you might ask? Well, I've become increasingly aware of the power of the pen, and the growing ease of sharing our experiences with a wider audience. Many edubloggers have noted the recent rise in both the quantity and quality of citizenship journalism - ordinary people reporting on both ordinary and extraordinary topics. No longer do you require a degree to publish your work and share it with a wide audience. Everyone has the ability to cover any story that is important to them. We are all entitled to share our opinions and ideas with the world.

But technology doesn't just provide us with the ability to share our experiences using the written word. We can now use a wide variety of media to tell our stories and highlight our experiences.

Last night, I was fortunate to catch a great show by one of my personal hometown heroes, Luke Doucet. Luke is an extremely talented songwriter and a guitar virtuoso. His songs span many genres, making it difficult to label his music. He's worked closely with many artists over the last couple of decades, including touring regularly with Sarah McLachlan and Blue Rodeo. His most recent string of tour dates was spent opening for James Blunt (that's right, the 'You're Beautiful' guy). But, for me, watching Luke headline his own tour and showcase his own songs is the best way to see him up on a stage.

Although the show was sold out and many people were denied entrance due to a lack of space, the tool that I brought with me to the show last night has allowed me to share my experience with everyone who couldn't be in the room. I had my digital camera, which I used to snap over 300 pictures (many of them duds...) and capture video of a few songs. All of this with just a camera - something that many of our students carry in their pockets day in and day out.

Here are a few pictures that I took during Luke's sold-out performance last night at the Park Theatre in Winnipeg:

Also, a few of the songs that I captured throughout the evening have been posted to my YouTube channel. Here's Luke performing Broken One:

We can all tell our stories using a variety of media. I love seeing examples of stories that are told through the blogs that I read. I've gained so much knowledge from listening to stories told through podcasts. And I'm always looking for new ways to allow and encourage students of all ages to tell their stories.

Why must we always require our students to keep their tools in their pockets, rather than allowing them the freedom to tell their stories in different ways?

I wanna hear your story.

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