Participating virtually at a sold-out show

This is a great example of how we can learn anywhere any time.

Dr. Paul Farmer just finished speaking (on Saturday) to a sold-out auditorium at Duke. His topic was Haiti After The Earthquake, which is also the title of his new book. The tickets sold out in less than two hours. He’s an inspiring person, and I have read a lot about his work in Haiti. I was disappointed that the tickets were sold out.

But thanks to this thing called the internet (perhaps you’ve heard of it), I’m watching and listening online right now.

How did I learn that it was online?  Well, I happened to see this tweet from Duke:

So I checked it out.

Now, watching and listening to a sold-out show is pretty amazing all by itself. But here’s where it gets really cool — Duke’s provost explained, when he introduced Dr. Farmer, that instead of having people line up to ask questions after Dr. Farmer’s initial remarks, they would be asking folks to tweet or text their questions to a professor/moderator using the hashtag #DukeLive.

So I did just that… and it was very fun to see my question show up on the Duke website:

But I figured there was no way I’d get my question asked.

However, about five minutes after I posted my question, Dr. Deborah Jenson (who’s moderating tweets on stage) asked Dr. Farmer my question about educational conditions in Haiti.

It’s an interesting image to see her up on stage looking at her laptop…

I happen to live just a mile or so from Duke, but we live in a world where geography does not matter when it comes to learning and participating in intellectual events. I could have been in Cairo.

Let’s reconfigure school so that students have more opportunities to engage with the world. All you need is a good question and an internet connection.


About Steve Goldberg

I teach students at Research Triangle High School (RTHS) about US History. RTHS is a public charter school in Durham, NC, whose mission is to incubate, prove and scale innovative models of teaching and learning. The blog posts here reflect my own personal views and not those of my employer.
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2 Responses to Participating virtually at a sold-out show

  1. Pingback: Tweet and retweet | What I Learned Today

  2. lisamnoble says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this.What a great story, and a terrific example of how learning can happen anytime, anyplace. You could have been on the dock at the lake, as long as you had an Internet connection. So glad you managed to catch that tweet from Duke. I need to check more often to see if events I’m interested in are streaming live. Love your last line!

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