Adora Svitak

Uploaded by bigtentevents on 16.04.2012


ADORA SVITAK: Hi everybody.
So I'm really humbled to be here today.
I don't want you to feel humbled and ashamed.
But thank you very much for that thrilling introduction.
So today I'm going to be speaking about exploring the
new world-- youth and digital culture.
And that title really comes from American history, or
really world history I suppose.
As you can tell, I'm 14 years old and in 10th grade.
So I have a lot of material to base this on.
And probably most of you-- raise your hand if you've
heard this little rhyme before.
Most of us have heard, "In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean
blue." Maybe in that same unit with John
Smith and Pilgrim dioramas.
But what we don't hear in that pleasant little rhyme is
really what happened afterwards, because we're all
supposed to know.
Columbus discovers the New World, well, the Bahamas
And millions of American children can now be grateful
to Columbus for a day off of school.
But what you don't learn is that it wasn't all
as simple as that.
Because Native Americans died of the smallpox that Columbus'
men brought with them.
And the explorers could be criminal and murderous to the
local populations.
And in return, in a rather appropriately vengeful twist
of history-- this is what you learn in AP US History-- the
Europeans, most historians think, got syphilis to bring
back to Europe.
So not exactly the stuff of the optimism of elementary
school and dioramas.
Now what does this story of exploration have to do with
our story at all?
Well it's a metaphor.
I think that most people would agree that we're on the
frontiers of a New World of internet use and culture.
We've already sailed the ocean blue with our phones, and
clouds, and encyclopedias of knowledge in our hands.
But my talk today focuses on how my generation is exploring
this New World and asks the questions, will we play nice?
Will we explore wisely?
I recently taught a digital literacy class to a group of
students in Vermont via video conferencing.
And they were your typical, affluent
suburban group of students.
They all had smartphones.
They were all on Facebook.
And they knew a few basics about what not
to do on the internet--
post your name, post your address, right?
But when I asked if they'd ever posted something on a
social network, or sent a text that they would be embarrassed
by or humiliated to see now or 10 years, 20
years down the road--
everyone, including me, raised their hand.
And I think that this shows a bit of a disconnect between
what students are learning and what
students need to be learning.
Because it's one thing to use common sense and discretion
when it comes to safety online.
But it's equally important to take a long term approach and
consider the less easy to explain things like your
online reputation.
And these were topics I brought up with these high
school students, because there's no warning that pops
up and says, how would you feel if someone interviewing
you for a job 20 years down the road saw this?
Facebook doesn't give you a pop-up with, are you going to
regret this later before you post?
If any of you here are inventors, maybe you can come
up with a filter that, if somebody is in a picture doing
something that they are going to regret, it
will give that pop-up.
But for now, we really have to be our own privacy filters and
look at things and evaluate.
No one would call Columbus, who achieved the feat of
sailing across the Atlantic, a novice explorer.
Yet when he arrived on this Bahamas archipelago he thought
he'd ended up in the Indies, which is why we still call
Native Americans Indians.
And that sort of rendered a lot of his navigational
premise incorrect.
In much the same way, youth like me and my classmates are
pushing boundaries with our blogs and memes and videos.
But sometimes, like Columbus, we don't quite know where
we're going.
We can upload videos onto YouTube in a blink of an eye.
But they may be videos like those in the disturbing trend
of girls as young as 11 uploading videos of
themselves, going through pictures, asking viewers to
respond to the question, am I pretty or am I ugly?
And you can see that it has five million views and a
majority dislikes.
You can guess what the comments said.
We can fill a Tumblr with pages upon pages of content.
But that content may be questionable, like in the case
of prolific thinspiration blogs that exist to propagate
images that glorify dangerous, anorexic skinniness and talk
about having victories when you eat a zero calorie lunch
and work off most of what you eat.
What is happening in the online world is affecting
lives in the real world.
Yet often we don't think when we post, or upload, or
download, that we are co-creators of the world we
live in too and not just the one on the
screen in front of us.
But whether what we do online is good or bad, you can't
argue that it's not influential.
In many instances, youth are setting
cultural trends online.
Only in our time could a video of a teenage girl singing a
heavily Auto-Tuned song--
don't worry, I'm not going to play it-- get more views
online than the Super Bowl on television.
And after going online and receiving more than a million
views, my eight minute TED talk was really more
influential than most of my writing, teaching, and
speaking up to that point combined.
This is leveling the playing field for access, for
producing content, and for getting our messages out.
We don't necessarily have to wait to be
discovered by a TV show.
And most of the time, we don't have to wait to watch what we
want, to get what we want either.
In my own experience, I still love watching shows on TV. I
tune in to the nightly news religiously.
But I don't have to wait for them.
Whenever I feel the pressing need to indulge in the luxury
and drama of British noble life-- which, believe me, is a
need as pressing as food and water--
I can go to Netflix and stream Downton Abbey.
Any Downton Abbey fans here?
ADORA SVITAK: Now, I'm so sad because they only have the
first season.
But that is beyond the point.
If I'm interested in content of a more humorous sort, or if
I feel like procrastinating on my homework--
OK, it's really that--
I can watch YouTube videos with my sister.
Wong Fu Productions is our favorite-- of us and about
every other Asian person we know.
I literally only know one person who is not Asian who is
aware of the existence of this channel.
But you can see it's very popular.
Anyone here a fan of Wong Fu Productions?
I see some raised hands.
It's not all about getting laughs though, because when we
do finally get around to doing our homework, we go online.
And we're in good company.
Bill Gates said that his kids watch Khan Academy.
Some of you are probably familiar with that.
And when asked if he watched online videos, President Obama
said that, yes, his kids recommend
videos for him to watch.
So you see we're shaping what our parents are viewing.
As such huge consumers of content, young people like my
sister and I can have tremendous influence on the
cultural landscape.
You already know about Rebecca Black's Friday, but what about
other videos or other means of contributing content online?
Memes spread quickly on social networks, for instance.
When I log in anywhere this is inescapable.
It will be--
trollface is just pretty much a reaction to every single
post. And if I tell my parents about this, they don't quite
get why it's funny.
Or they don't really understand this world of
images with words on them.
My mom was like, a meme, what is a meme?
Which kind of proved my point.
And if I say something like, doing it for the lulz, ftw,
they'll be like, what?
And if I follow that with, just to troll, then again they
won't get it.
When my art history classmate posts a reaction to this
documentary about Caravaggio that we watched in class
entirely in these memes, then my mom
doesn't get why I'm laughing.
But see that meme down there comes from, I think, the
He was talking about Newton and he had this really funny
reaction to it.
You should look up the video yourself.
And so it's a cultural reference.
I really have to refer my parents to Urban Dictionary in
order for them to understand that video, that meme, that so
hardcore one.
It requires a lot of looking up.
Here are a few more memes that are pretty funny.
This one, the top, Boromir from Fellowship of the Ring
and he's like, "One does not simply walk into Mordor." And
it turned into, one does not simply do blank, blank.
in this case, this is a reference to the delicious
Indian dessert, gulab jamun.
So one does not simply eat one of those apparently.
Art history hedgehog.
I'm a huge art history fan, mostly because
I'm learning it.
So in these cases it's references to art.
And then at the bottom there, success kid--
met an auntie, didn't get cheeks pinched off, I think,
which I think applies to, really, a lot of different
families, not just Indian ones.
Although that's where I got the meme from.
So you see how these memes can just be created really easily.
And I see them all over on my social network.
It's memes like this that are instantly recognizable to a
lot of my Facebook friends.
Whether looking at, creating and sharing memes, watching
YouTube videos or making them, reading celebrities' Tumblrs
or becoming YouTube stars, we're no longer just sitting
back and waiting for grownups to tell us what to read,
watch, make, listen to, well, have we ever?
Time to do an audience poll about this though.
I want to see how you think of all this.
Do you feel that online social media has created more
distance between you and your kids?
Raise your hand if you feel that online social media has
created more distance between you and your kids.
If you don't have kids, think of your parents.
Has it created more distance between you and your kids or
you and your parents?
Either one.
OK, I see some raised hands.
More distance.
All right, raise your hand if you feel it's brought you
closer together.
I'm seeing a lot of raised hands.
Well, this is really what I think of as the future,
because a lot of times when people think of technology and
family, they think of people sitting in separate rooms
texting each other when they should be
talking face to face.
But I think from the example of how you guys feel about
your families that this doesn't have to be the image
of technology in families.
But it can really, actually, bring people closer together.
And my favorite comedy show, The Big Bang Theory on CBS,
has a character named Raj Koothrappali who's always
shown talking to his overbearing parents in India
via webcam.
I'm sure this is too stereotypical and everything,
but it's a really funny show.
Anyhow, I saw that and I thought, this is a great
example of how technology is bringing
people closer together.
And this is a pretty obvious one, but when I was traveling
with my mom and sister, because my dad is usually at
home working, then we would always call him.
And being able to show him the hotel room, moving around the
camera, or say, look at what we ate today, just updating
him on all the adventures that he'd missed out on.
But it's not simply about communicating while someone's
gone, which is sort of the most obvious example
you might jump to.
I think it really goes beyond that.
I'm happy that my mom and dad are on Facebook because it
means that they're part of a world my sister and I are
already in.
Sure, they might not get memes, but at least it gets
them a little bit closer to that.
And my mom and dad go about creating their social media
presence a little differently.
My mom is very active.
She watches what we do.
She logs in to Facebook every day.
She friends people.
Now, I was OK with that.
But my older sister Adrianna is a little more protective of
her privacy.
Why, she wondered, does my mom need to be friends with me and
my friends?
And my mom was enjoying her role as the secret police and
running background checks on my sister's friends.
Not quite but pretty close.
In her defense, my mom said that she had to get to know
people online because nobody ever came to
people's houses anymore.
And so the war went on.
My sister didn't like that my mom was seeing her wall posts
and relationship status, while my mom didn't like that my
sister was chatting online when she could have been
working on homework, et cetera, et cetera.
And finally, my sister pulled the last trigger.
ADORA SVITAK: She defriended my mom.
And this, obviously, was not acceptable to mom.
And again, as I said, we're the co-creators of the world
we live in too, not just the one on the
screen in front of us.
So the happenings of the online world-- this defriend--
had an impact on their interactions in real life.
It was, no, you're not going to that party until I'm back
on your friend list, which is a pretty good incentive.
So the two reached a conciliatory agreement and my
mom became my sister's friend once again.
In turn, my mom hasn't done quite as much investigative
work on every single new friend of my sister's.
And I think my sister has taken a little more caution
with what she posts, or at least she uses lists.
Now unlike my mom, my dad is a very, very, very late adopter
of social media of any kind--
adopter of any technology period.
He listens to records, the things that came before tapes,
that came became CDs, that came before iTunes.
And despite the fact that he worked at Windows
Mobile for a while--
I know I'm in enemy territory--
he actually resisted getting a cellphone for many years.
So he finally did get on Facebook two years ago.
Sorry for all the Facebook mentions, Google+ guys.
We're totally on it next.
And what's so nice about my dad being online is that it's
finally given my sister and I the opportunity
to teach him something.
Usually we're the ones asking questions.
So it's really empowering to, for once, have it the other
way around.
They say that old dogs can't learn new tricks.
But this has really been disproved in my family.
He's a quick learner.
So just as my mom is learning to, maybe, disconnect a little
bit from my sister and I online, my dad is beginning to
connect with us a little more online.
And we've even gotten him hooked on Angry Birds.
The funny thing is that my parents being active users of
technology might actually equal more in-person
Because suddenly we're able to talk about things that they
wouldn't really understand before.
We're talking, asking questions,
and explaining things.
At TED, I spoke about what adults can learn from kids.
And the internet really provides a prime example.
Technology provides a way for us to engage in conversation
and learn from each other.
You've probably seen Google's own Teach Parents Tech.
I love that as an example.
And the same is true for connections between
organizations, companies, communities, and young people.
The internet can empower us to do good by giving us effective
tools or by providing these connections to organizations
that we care about.
Now when you see chats like, omg, what's up, nothing much,
the idea of kids using technology for social change
may not be the first thing that comes to your mind.
But many youth that I know are using internet tools to help
them help the world.
I'm organizing the educational TEDxRedmond youth conference
for the third year in a row, 2012.
And it's an event organized entirely by youth, for youth,
with all youth speakers.
And our committee of 20 teenagers really uses
Facebook, Gmail, Google Docs, Google+,
Skype, wikis, YouTube.
It's crucial to how we find sponsorship, organize and
market the event, and distribute our talks.
The event like TEDxRedmond really shows that internet or
social technology plus kids doesn't always have to equal
inane abbreviations and distracting chatter.
It can equal good for the world.
As a case in point, I started my YouTube teaching channel
very soon-- actually right after I published my first
book and began teaching in schools.
And currently I've taught over 500 schools around the world
using video conferencing.
And I upload my recorded presentations onto YouTube, as
you can see kind of a little example there.
And today I have more than 600 teaching videos on my channel.
I see this as one of the best things about the ease of
content creation for people my age.
Because it can turn a 14-year-old like me into a
teacher with the world for my classroom.
Some of my writing videos have received tens of
thousands of views.
And while I know that that may not be quite at the level of
Rebecca Black's Friday, I personally think that one
comment saying, this was so helpful, beats a few million
dislikes any day.
I'm not the only one uploading teaching videos online.
Other students have also been teaching their peers as well.
I think that this is truly ideal.
Because you've all heard the teach a man to fish he is fed
for the rest of his life--
OK, I got that wrong.
But I think that the idea with kids teaching other kids
provides a more lasting form of learning and provides a
love of lifelong learning and the realization that everyone
is both a learner and a teacher.
Being able to create content that's actually meaningful and
helpful to a larger audience around the world versus
handing a paper in to a teacher where one person will
read it and you'll get a grade.
The trend of students making educational
videos is catching on.
The students making excellent math videos at Mathtrain.TV
are helping their math-challenged peers, myself
included, and getting valuable teaching
skills in the process.
And Cameron Manor teaches kids about germs in a
fun, engaging manner.
germs. Germs are not for sharing.
Did you know that one bacterium weighing one
trillionth of a gram can kill a blue whale weighing over 100
million grams?
Such is the power of germs. Now let's examine the science
behind germs. Before Antonie van Leeuwenhoek discovered his
wretched beasties, or germs, under his microscope in the
1600's, we assumed disease was caused by either evil spirit
or naughty parents.
You see, when King Tut died of tuberculosis at the ripe age
of 18, his people assumed it was because of
the sins of his father.
In other cultures where diseases were believed to be
caused by evil spirits, [UNINTELLIGIBLE] would dance
around the sick person and slather
animal poo on his body.
There are actually four kinds of germs--
bacteria, which cause sore throats, ear infections, and
cavities, viruses which cause chickenpox, measles, and the
flu, fungi which causes athlete's foot, and protozoa
which causes the runs.
Bacteria are one-celled creatures that get nutrients
from their environments to live.
ADORA SVITAK: So if you don't mind pausing it right here.
-They're not all [UNINTELLIGIBLE].
Some bacteria, like the kind you can find in yogurt, help
break down the food and absorb nutrients, which makes you
live longer.
So this is an example, Eva Ridenhour, and she is an
-You have to set a goal.

ADORA SVITAK: It seems to be frozen.
This is an example--
so what you just saw was Cameron Manor talking about
germs. And this is Eva Ridenhour, an
eight-year-old writer.
Probably reminds a lot of you of what you were doing when
you were eight years old, making teaching videos.
-To remind me where my story was going.
For example, my outline for chapter one in Birds on the
Run said something like this--
"Eva meets a hummingbird.
We meet the bullies." And, "Eva protects the hummingbird
from the bullies." When you're writing a book, you have to
think about three things-- setting, characters, and plot.
It's easy.
Setting means the time and the place the story happens.
Birds on the Run is set in modern times.
It takes place in both North Dakota and South Carolina.
ADORA SVITAK: So, I personally think that--
-Characters are people, animals, monsters, whoever.
ADORA SVITAK: --This example, or the examples of these two
videos, of the kids at Mathtrain.TV, all the kids
making teaching videos, that this is really--
next slide please-- that this is really way better than a
viral video like "David After the Dentist." All that kid did
was get high off of Novocaine.
And look at these kids who are actually teaching, who are
really putting effort into making something that, again,
people around the world can benefit from.
And beyond sharing knowledge and skills online, I truly
believe that students have the insights to have meaningful
opinions on education policy and reform.
In the talk about new education models, you've
probably heard from a lot of adults-- community members,
politicians, teachers, administrators--
but nothing from the students who are sitting in the
classroom chairs.
And I think that this is a fundamental flaw if we're ever
going to have a really good discussion about
what to do in education.
So, do you mind moving it to the next slide?
The clicker is malfunctioning a little bit.

And next slide.

OK, he's adorable.
I'll give you that.
This is ups/thestudentunion, again,
Google+ will be next.
This is an example of one of the
discussions that we've started.
And I think that one of the reasons that the student union
is a really great group is because it's authentic student
voices on education.
We have adults who are on the group but their role is to
listen and to really look at what students are saying about
our educational experience.
So in this example I'm asking the question about what do you
think is being done right in education?
We'd had a lot of discussions about what has been done
wrong, of course.
And I'm seeing some really insightful answers-- students
talking about how they really appreciate their vocational
technology programs in their schools, or how they
appreciate the wide range of opportunities
for studying abroad.
There's a lot of different ideas as to what is being done
well, what can be done better, what we
would like to see changed.
This is another great example of a dialogue.
What is a teacher?
And my friend Hannah put, "This is how I
like to think of it.
A teacher is somebody who is walking on a path seeking
A student comes along and asks which way to go.
The teacher points down the path and they walk together.
A lot of people assume the teachers are already at the
end of the road.
But I like to think that the road doesn't end."
I think that is an incredibly poetic and lovely way to put
the role of the teacher, to explain
the role of the teacher.
And yet, if you ask the teacher, what do you think a
teacher does, I don't know if you would get the same answer.
So I really like being able to see a student
perspective in this.
This is an example of a discussion--
I know this is tiny and impossible to see.
This is a discussion around science.
And you can see from the length of what students are
writing with capitalized letters, with long sentences,
there's no LOL, OMG, IKR here.
These are important ideas, important discussions being
started around things that directly affect us.
So this is a discussion around science.
This is a discussion around history, how we need to have
textbooks that actually show where the United States has
messed up, which I think is important as well.
And really teaching history interactively as the human
story, as opposed to a list of dates and facts to memorize.
And I really appreciate that we can do this because of
Because some of the people weighing in, they don't live
next door to me.
They don't even live in the same city.
They may be in India.
They may be in Dubai.
They may be across the nation.
And this is amazing, that we can have a big collaborative
group like this.
And I know that there are others getting started.
And you might think, well, this is all very well because
it's students working together.
But I think that the same methods can work really well
for adults reaching out to youth.
As many parents or educators who deal with young people
could tell you, we teenagers are notorious for how hard it
can be to reach us, especially when we're sitting and looking
indifferent with eye rolls.
But this is really sort of a wrong image.
Because with the right tools and methods, you can reach us
very effectively.
If you just think about the recent phenomenon of Kony
2012, the possibility of mobilizing youth involvement
in huge social change and important causes online is
something that organizations large and small are
taking notice of.
I'm an ambassador for the World Food Program's
I've talked to students about this.
And it's charitable, it's free, and it's easy to help
solve a big problem with world hunger by answering questions.
Sponsors donate the rice.
And many students have used this tool to great benefit to
help the world.
Anything that is fairly easy to use, that we can distribute
and share with our friends, that's good for everyone.
And you heard about the Invisible Children's Kony
2012, the somewhat controversial nonprofit
But you can't argue that their methods were effective.
I remember looking at my news feed as post after post poured
in and my classmates, my friends, people I'd thought
maybe would never be interested in current events
or charitable work, were posting this video.
And it got millions of views.
Again, a great example of an organization realizing the
power of youth and how to connect with us.
Yet despite this great possibility for what we can do
when organizations, when adults reach out to people
online, when I walk into school, everything turns off.
Many schools take a highly restrictive approach to
internet use.
In my school district, you can't access Gmail, blogs,
personal websites, anything like that.
And in some districts, you can't access anything that's
not on an approved websites list. Not even Google.
To me, this approach is an extremely short term one.
I prefer the touch the stove approach.
I remember when I was little, I was a pesky child.
I always wanted to touch the stove.
My mom couldn't discourage me.
So finally she turned up the heat a little bit, raised my
chubby little hand to the burner, and I did not touch
the stove again.
I will say that.
But the point is that I didn't get really badly burned by
touching it later.
And I think that this is the same kind of approach that we
need to use with the internet.
Or another analogy is the crossing the street one.
Never teach a child to cross the street and they won't know
how to when they reach adulthood.
So what we need to do, I feel, is to really emphasize
education, long term solutions.
And if we really move ahead in taking this long term approach
where schools aren't just blocking everything but rather
teaching students how to evaluate, then we can solve a
lot of the problems where students are posting
inappropriate content or getting in trouble in school
for things that they're doing out of school.
And in the same way with the touch the stove approach, my
parents were fine with my sister and me being on the
internet at a young age and even with us
making ridiculous videos.
Here's an example.
ADORA SVITAK: OK that's definitely enough.
ADORA SVITAK: Now, we have hundreds of videos like this.
The reason that that is the only one that you'll be able
to find-- do not dare google them--
is because we had to change many, many videos privacy
settings to private.
Was that an embarrassing, humiliating, horrible
Heck, yes.
Will it stop us from doing worse things in front of a
camera during spring break in college?
I want to apologize in advance to anyone from YouTube for
wasting your server space and also to my sister, Adrianna,
who will kill me because of that brief
appearance in that video.
But the point is that we made these videos, we had the bad
experience of having to take them down because now that
we're teenagers we're super embarrassed by what we did.
And you can see from this example that we had really
negligent parents.
But I actually am glad, with hindsight, that we were
allowed to do that.
Because I think that it's the touch the
stove approach again.
We're wiser now, and we won't do worse things later.
-Oh, OK.
Instant capture.
Hello, everyone.
My name's Adora Svitak And--
-What are we going to do?
Can we like sing a song or something?
How about we do--
-Let's sing the Cheerios song.
-Oh this is on your account.
-I was going to say, if this is on my account, I'm going to
do a promo of my book, otherwise--
ADORA SVITAK: OK, that makes me sound like a bratty, really
self-absorbed child who is obsessed with selling my book.
That is not true.
That is also from when I was 10, 11, something like that.
And I still had my pudding bowl haircut.
Yeah, I think I've hopefully advanced a little bit.
The point of that video is-- well, it's one of our most
meta videos ever, for one thing.
We're talking about what to do on our YouTube video while in
a YouTube video.
And later we watch a YouTube video.
So it's kind of weird.
But the point again with these videos-- we made these
videos-- and we had the experience of thinking, OK,
we're not going to do that again.
We're really going to not waste the time of people who
are viewing our content.
And the internet was also crucial to my learning in
early childhood.
My parents, because of their approach of, again, letting us
touch the stove, were really fine with us being on the
internet and showed us where to get good content, where to
get good information--
BBC Schools, PBS Kids.
We sent emails.
I was five years old when I started my own email account.
I know that that probably violates some law.
But the point is that I actually learned good grammar,
good writing, because my mom emphasized, again, even though
you're online, you really have to make sure you're respecting
your readers' time and using correct grammar and language.
And as youth, we have this increasing power to really
chart the course for where we want to go next as explorers
of this new world of digital frontiers.
With a webcam and a click of a button, as you saw my sister
and I do, we can make a video viewable to
anyone around the world.
But as I mentioned at the beginning of my talk, that
power does indeed have a flip side.
By putting yourself out there, you also make yourself
One of my worst experiences with the mean side of the
digital playground came from one of the best experiences in
my life, my TED talk.
But I guess when you get over one million views that there's
bound to be some amount of vocal criticism.
And that really hurt me, as a 12-year-old, when I was
scrolling through the comments and I saw things that were
unfair or unjustified.
I was hurt.
But I think that the point of what I did at TED was really
that I looked at these comments and I
had a support system.
My parents were there.
My sister was there.
And I didn't let it get to me.
But I realized--
imagine other kids like that 11-year-old girl that I showed
the snapshot of asking viewers, am I
pretty or am I ugly?
The attackers there might not necessarily be just bored
internet browsers 1,000 miles away.
They could be the girl next door or a bully at school.
And that's really what I hope to show other kids, that what
you do online effects what happens here.
When you join in with our generation to create rules
that make sense, you create rule-followers and enforcers
because we like what we see and what we're doing.
We understand and support the rules and why they're there.
Families can connect on another level with us using
online tools.
And companies, communities, and organizations can reach
out to youth where we are.
The ultimate goal isn't just to provide us with the most
awesome new game or to get the most youth online, it's to
help us help others, to really help humanity.
That sounds like a big goal, but I truly
think that it's possible.
By providing the tools we need and the education of digital
decision making, adults can help us be wiser explorers in
this 21st century New World.
Adults used to be the only one at the helm.
I don't think this is true anymore.
We as young people have considerable power now that
we're onboard.
It may not be the 1400's anymore, but I believe that
the beauty of this New World of online connections must be
tempered by the realization that there are dangers, seen
and unseen, as well as tremendous potential for good.
It's people like me and my peers who are exploring now
with our creation and consumption at home, at
school, at work with things like TEDxRedmond.
And it's up to your generation and mine to work together to
ensure that we all explore wisely.
Working with decision makers in education and communities,
we can envision a better, more ideal New
World of internet use.
In other words, with clearer maps, better navigators, and
wiser explorers, we may end up doing a little better than
Columbus did all those years ago.
Thank you.