I have been a fan of Jessie Brown and his podcasts (notably SearchEngine on CBC and now TVO). I’ve spent many a pleasant walk to work listening to Jessie on my iphone. Thus, I was pleased to be able to hear him speak F2F at Can. Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE) in Hamilton. He talked about his personal education as a 1977 vintage “net generation” boy in Canadian schools – more interested in comics and media than formal lessons.

I had no idea he was one of the co-founders of Bitstrips the toolset that lets ANYONE create, mix and remix cartoon characters and strips. He told of the over 1,000,000 published strips being done by school kids in Ontario schools (and no doubt after school) half of whom are being written by boys. One small, but important, step in battle for literacy amongst that threatened population of too many illiterates – young boys.

Jessie is an engaging speaker and of course embraces the learning that can and does embrace new and participatory media for learning. His answer to “Does the Net make you stupid” ended “it doesn’t matter and or who cares”  Ideas of stupidness and smartness do and have changed over time and the Net is embedded in 21st century life “The past and the future share the world” educators must embrace learning from  both. A bit technologial deterministic to my mind, but probably true

My favorite quote from the talk in regard to web 2.0 and social software like Facebook “If you don’t pay for the product, you are the product”

The talk reminded me that I haven’t shared my one and only cartoon – created a year ago, so here it is: http://bitstrips.com/

Lifelong Learning.