Learning from the legends

The year's end is a time for reflection. For me, it is a good time to reflect on what I have learnt and achieved during the year. This year I spent some time with a few unique, generous and very talented people. It's amazing what you can learn from others if you ask the right questions and listen to their replies. It was a great privilege to work alongside them and to learn from their experience, passion and knowledge, and not a single minute of the time I spent with them will go to waste. It is all stored up, and will be used, repurposed and shared in the coming years. Here's the first part of the story:

Nic Negroponte and me in London
In January, I was delighted to be invited to speak at the Learning Technologies event in London. This event is a two day conference and exhibition for Learning and Development professionals at Olympia each year. Unfortunately I was only able to spend the first day at Learning Technologies because the following day I was scheduled to give two keynotes at the BETT Show, across town. Event Chair Don Taylor invited me to dinner with several other invited speakers the evening prior to Learning Technologies. It was a great honour for me to sit next to Nicholas Negroponte, a man considered by many to be one of the living legends of learning technology. Nic was responsible for establishing the MIT Media Lab and was a founding editor of Wired Magazine. He has also broken new ground through his innovative One Laptop per Child Project. Nic's work has had global impact, and continues to positively influence the lives of learners worldwide. I spend a couple of blissful hours in conversation with him as he regaled me and my fellow dinner guests with tales of the early days of educational computing, and he even signed my 1995 first edition copy of Being Digital!

In February, I was in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as an invited speaker at the Ministry of Higher Education ELI Conference.  Several other speakers from across the globe had also been invited to take part and I spend some quality time with author and speaker Richard Gerver, who impressed me with his passion for education and great evangelistic fervour to provide creative learning environments for kids. Richard and I also spent part of a day together with a film crew making a short documentary on learning and creativity for the Saudi Ministry.

Steve W meets Steve W. Wozniak and Wheeler in Riyadh
On the morning of my own speech at ELI, I wandered into the sumptuous speaker lounge the conference organisers had provided, and found myself face to face with a living legend - Steve Wozniak. Steve is co-founder (with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne) of Apple Corporation, and was the force behind the development of the Apple Mac personal computer and many subsequent household products. He is now one of the most sought after keynote speakers on the learning technology circuit. I spend 20 minutes alone with him discussing education, technology and the way forward. He spoke of his own school experience, the creative processes involved with developing Apple technology, and his relationship with Steve Jobs. It was a fascinating, unforgettable time, and I'm so pleased I was able to spend a little time with someone who has literally changed the world. I just wish I'd been able to record the conversation.

Tomorrow: Standing on the shoulders of giants - interviewing Sugata Mitra and Sir Ken Robinson.

Photographs by Steve Wheeler

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Learning from the legends by Steve Wheeler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


techacad said…
Amazing that you had the chance to meet two legends in one year, I am very jealous!
Steve Wheeler said…
Prepare to be more jealous :) Read this next: http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/standing-on-shoulders-of-giants.html
Very nice information to read. Always I like and visit your blog for learn information articles.

thanks for sharing..
Liza Loop said…
Would love to hear what you learned as well as that you met.

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