Friday, January 25, 2008

AWNM: Story Period 5

January 25th Live Blogging Participants
11:33-12:20 pm* MST
*assembly schedule

Jim Gates:
Former music teacher turned computer teacher in 1983. My blog, Gates' Tipline, won the 2007 Edublogs award for Best Resource Sharing Blog.

Christian Long:
Christian is a high school English teacher and coach working at a college-prep, preK-12, independent school in Ft. Worth, TX. In addition to working in schools as a teacher and coach for over ten years (prior to his return in the fall of 07), he spent several years working with architects/planners, educational and technology leaders, policy makers, and communities to design and build schools from pre-K through the university level. This work took place throughout the United States and around the world.

Dan Maas:
Dan is the Chief Information Officer for Littleton Public Schools as well as a parent of a LPS student.





179 comments:

Christian Long said...

With an eye on Friday's "Story" focused conversations (2 days from now), I wanted to take a few minutes to see what has been happening so far.

Just spent quite a bit of time looing at the "Design" comment thread. Fascinating to see the quality of thinking shared between students/visitors. To the students: your parents (and other teachers) would be proud to see the caliber of conversation you're sparking.

I'm even more anxious to join in later this week now that I see how the classes are actually exploring Dan's work. See you then.

Cheers,
Christian Long

Dan Maas said...

I share Mr. Long's excitement with the work of these classes so far. It is always great when an author spends time with students, but that is something not uncommon. What you are doing here is not only learning from Dan pink, but learning with Dan Pink. Amazing how different that really is. You are living up to Alan November's challenge of not just using the Internet as an information source but an avenue for you to find your voices in the world. I can't wait for class tomorrow!
-D

Jim Gates said...

Greetings from central PA. I, too, am anxious to participate in this event today. I'm going to be watching it to see if I can get MY teachers to give this a try.

Hi Anne! I'm excited to be a part of this. I especially liked this Story chapter of his book.

Christian Long said...

4 pieces from Dan's chapter on "Story" that I'd like to throw into the conversation right away. Consider them what-do-you-think? prompts:

1. "An organization's knowledge, he realized, is contained in its stories." (105) -- Same for schools? In real time or in hopeful thinking?

2. Really intrigued by the shift of importance on 'facts' now that they are available without limit. Does storytelling really begin to reign supreme in our collective academic work in the years ahead? (100-101)

3. "...we're all just cavemen with briefcases, hungry for a wise person to tell us stories" (107) Love this quotation on multiple levels. Is Dan (and Alan Kay who said it) right in adding this to the mix? Is there a difference between teachers/classrooms that are centered on 'stories' as gateways to learning/thinking vs. those focused on facts, facts, facts? Or do we run the risk of trying to replicate "Dead Poets Society" and teachers like the Robin Williams character who seeks to be a 'performer' rather than a learning guide? Same? Different?

4. Anyone familiar with the hero's journey, a la Joseph Campbell? (102) My 10th graders spent a little time with him this fall as we began to look at how all storis are genetically similar. Hoping to do more of it next year. Any students with familiarity think the Campbell mythological link is valuable to understanding literature on universal level?

Thanks in advance. Anxious to follow (and add to) the conversation today.

Cheers,
Christian

Tylerg! said...

I thought this chapter gave good insight into everday life, what do you think of the idea of everything having a story?

Christian Long said...

On an abstract level, everything has a story -- in a zen sort of way. On a more practical, everyday level, everything has a story by virtue of its relevance to our lives, our culture, our experiences.

mattw said...

I think everybody wants to tell a story, whether it's because they want to make you laugh, feel sorry for them, or to persuade you of something.

Dan Maas said...

Story is important but it makes it personal.

Christian Long said...

Or, are WE the STORY...and we use the details/things around us to 'tell' us?

Jim Gates said...

My favorite story of History was the diary entry for King George III on july 4, 1776. anyone know it?

Tylerg! said...

Dan,by personal do you mean like a secret story that follos everything or by something life span and its story?

maddieh said...

Christian- In response to your fourth question, I think that everyone should know about the hero's journey theory because it is really true to every story ever told. Some bits and peices may be a bit of a stretch to connect to the hero's journey, all the major parts are there. Everyone can relate to the "good guy" or the challenges he faces. No matter what part of the world a story is being told in, those personal connections make it memorable and the hero's journey is a huge part of it.

morganw said...

Christian - In response to your first question, I do think that a school's knowledge is contained in its stories. Think back to the day you first learned to add, read, or spell. There will be a story there. Whether it’s a memory of a conversation with your teacher, parents, or fellow students, or whether it's a memory of a time when you had difficulty or when you succeeded; learning leaves stories. Just as when we look into the past we remember events, people, places, conversations, and interactions, not just straight facts. So yes, I think that a school's knowledge is contained in real-time stories and that this is happening and has happened for a while now.

ZachH said...

Mr. Long-

in answer to your second question, I believe that storytelling is going to take the place of fact. Anyone can memorize details and facts, but each person has their own stories and examples. In order to secure a sound future (in a world of Abundance, Asia, and Automation)i think it is more important to be able to tell a story than to recite facts.

mitchl. said...

tyler, I thought that this idea of everything having a story was really interesting, but in a way that really makes sense because so many things happen from just one little incident.

beckyg said...

Christian Long-
I definately agree that everything has a story. I think in stories and whenever people tell me to do something, it is much easier to accept if they tell a story as to why rather than just a quick "do this."

alexf said...

Christian~
I do believe that there is a difference between classrooms that are focused on only facts as compared to classrooms focused on stories. I do believe that there is, however, a time for each teaching method. Stories can always be incorporated into class, but at certain points facts just need to be told because they are necessary. An example that could be proved for this is, say, math. I’m sure anyone could make up a story to remember an equation, but sometimes it’s just a ton easier to just memorize the equation.

mattw said...

dan - that's funny because I sometimes narrorate my own life in my thoughts. It's kind of hard for me to imagine how somebody elses life may be 24/7. I personally like MY story.

morgant said...

Mr. Long,
To your question (#3)I think that teachers who tell a story or begin class with telling a story really helps the students and the learning environment. On the other hand, when you come into class and all you hear is you need to remember this date and this person in history, you don't really want to. Your attitude changes when someone starts out with a story. I know that I rememer history (or whatever class) better when a story is told because I can remember. I am very left brained, so I also remember some facts, but I also enjoy stories. So, to sum it up, I really do think that telling stories in class really helps the learning environment quite a bit along with the students' attitude.

Dan Maas said...

@Tylerg!
Personal means that you make a connection in your own experience or world view. Rather than just knowing something, you know something about it. To know something about it, you have to care about it.

maddieh said...

Dan- I agree. To me, a story is nothing if I can't relate to anyone or anything in the story. I believe that what makes a good story is the personal connection you make with the story.

Jim Gates said...

I like this comment from the book, "when facts become so widely available and instantly accessible, each one becomes less valuable.

Do you agree with that? Cite an example?

Tylerg! said...

Dan, That makes sense, but can something be personal to a group or just personal to a person as a single?

Selenam said...

Ancient cultures often passed down information from generation to generation with stories of how the earth came to be, how they came to be, etc. What I find interesting is that not just one culture did it, but thousands of cultures across the globe told stories as a way of teaching. Does this mean that storytelling would help students learn better?

alexf said...

Mr. Long~
Your quote, “Or, are WE the STORY...and we use the details/things around us to 'tell' us?” is amazing. Wow! I totally think that we are the story because we are always describing something that happened in someone’s life. Now, not everything is about us as the story, but I definitely think that we are the story! Amazing insight!

Ryad said...

Mr. Long- In response to your Hero's journey question I worked a lot on the hero's journey a lot in 7th grade. One thing my class realized was that the hero's journey is basically how a person grows up. When you think about the basic steps (the call, the refusal, the acceptance) you realize that you know you have to grow and change to achieve your dreams but some of us refuse to believe that we must grow up. Through various events we eventually come to accept it.

mattw said...

jim - I do, because I know that a long time ago in the middle ages I think, scholars were very respected, or at least they were important.

morgant said...

Dan- I definitely agree with your comment about what personal means. If you are learning something that you care about, you will want to learn it in the best way and you stay interested in it. If you don't like it, well, you may not care and may not do as well in a particular subject.

ParkerH said...

Christian, on the "are we the story" question, I think that is really interesting. I think we are definetely the story, and I've heard that how you're dressed for the day changes how you go about that day, and other such things. To some extent, we are definetely the story, and we do use the things around us to tell our stories.

Christian Long said...

@zachh: Love your focus on the individual factor/power of storytelling (over facts -- more general in nature).

@morganw: Agree with you re: going back to our own stories 'in school'. So often people criticize schools, teachers, education systems in general based the 'stories' we recall in our own lives. I have a sneaky suspicion that 99.9% of all teachers made that professional choice either to a) prove that it could be better than what they experienced ("take it to the man", so to speak) or b) to replicate the wonderful experience they had as a kid ("rose colored glasses", so to speak).

@maddieh: So agree with you that we can identify with all stories -- regardless of culture/age -- because of the imbedded hero's journey inside it. Lots more for me to learn about J. Campbell's work, but I dig the theory.

Jim Gates said...

so, nobody knows/remembers the story from King George III on July 4, 1776? someone look it up! a gREAT story

Karl Fisch said...

morganw - let Christian, Jim and Dan know where you are at right now.

Dan Maas said...

I think a story can be very personal. I have stories I'll tell to no-one... but these stories are as telling about me and my growth as a person as anything else. When we think of great figures in history, we want to know their human story. Ghandi is more interesting if you know his story

maddieh said...

Jim- I think that is very true. Some facts are used to make oneself sound more intellectual and interesting but if everyone knows that particular fact, it's basically a waste.
For example, when people gossip, it is usually to show how popular and important they are but if they have no one to tell their story to, they aren't. It's like the idea that if everyone is special, no one is.

macm said...

Mr Gates-
I do agree that rarity increases the value of items. It's the basic theory of supply and demand. But with ideas and facts the case could be different. Perhaps having a bunch of facts that coincide are more valuable and certifiable than a single fact on a subject. I think that when you put them together they increase each other's value.

Tylerg! said...

Guys what do you think of the quote lesliel said of life is a journey not a destination, is the journey the story and the story defines our destination?

Christian Long said...

@selenam: Love that you brought up ancient cultures who depended on passing stories. This is part of becoming an 'adult' in any culture, at least until more modern times when we -- possibly -- began to depend on the written word, the fact, and the expert in ways that history never previously demanded.

alexf said...

Selenam~
That’s a great example. It’s ironic that almost every culture told stories without communicating with the other cultures. I think that stories do help us learn because, whether it’s something funny that we remember, scary, appaling etc. I think that it triggers something in our brain to help us remember what we were told.

Dan Maas said...

How can story help the common person in life?

mitchl. said...

selena, that was a really interesting point if we would learn better if stories were still passed down from generation to generation, and I think that it would help us learn better because we'd be learning about our own history so we would have more insights to our past.

mitchl. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ZachH said...

I wanted to bring up a question I had trouble understanding in the book.

When Pink quotes Joesph Campbell as saying, "there are no knew stories, just the same one retold." Do you think this is true? If so, then why do somestories grab our attention more than others do?

morgant said...

Mr. Gates- I definitely like that quote. It jumped out at me when I was reading. It is very true. I don't know if I can cite an example, but I can try to bring real life into it. If someone finds out a fact, say about a celebrity, and nobody else knows about it, then that is a valuable fact. But, if someone knows a fact about a celebrity, and everyone knows it, that's old news. Everybody knows about it, so it is not as valuable.

Am I making sense?

Tylerg! said...

That's so true Dan, if you are in history and you are learning about someone important, but you have no idea of their background it seems boring, so it makes sense that everyone has interests if they know their story and can share their interests with someone else.

melissaz said...

Wow, Mr. Long, those are some very deep and interesting questions. Question #3 really interested me because I do think there is a true difference between classrooms centered on the story aspect as to the actual facts. Stories, I feel, make information so much easier to understand and remember. When I read through my Science book, it almost seems like a new language, I can't get the big picture. But in English or reading through my History book, I remeber and understand much better. Also, there adds a personal connection with stories. Facts seem too cold and harsh, stories add more emmotion and many people seem to connect to that aspect somewhat batter than the plain facts.

kristinah said...

Tylerg- That is a great question. I agree that the journey or story leads to a destination but we can influence where our story takes us.

Jim Gates said...

@macm - but the point is, everyone has access to the facts, so the person who stands out will the one who can put it together, right?
-

maddisonm said...

Christian Long- I do believe there is a difference between teachers/ classrooms that are centered on stories as a “gateway to learning,” as you said. I think when a story is incorporated with the learning process it helps students remember things so much better. I know I can remember stories so much better then reciting facts because stories relate on a level that everyone can understand.

Dan Maas said...

How about this: Story is the humanization of information. I think of this because when you hear a story, part of it reflects the person who tells the story as well as the characters within the story...

alexf said...

ZachH~
I disagree with Pink when saying that, “there are no new stories, just the same one retold.” I think that each individual story is different and unique. If it wasn’t, why would we tell stories so much?

Tylerg! said...

Dan, s when someone is telling a story you can see information and parts of the story about that person by their emotion and interests.

Jim Gates said...

@morgant - I remember telling a story to last yea'rs class - about the power of forgiveness. lt me see if I can find it

maddieh said...

Tyler- I think that life isn't about where you get but how you get there. (paraphrasing Leslie's quote) So I think that a story, like life, shouldn't be defined by the ending but the details and experiences that got you there. So I think that is more that the journey is the story but the journey defines the story, not so much the destination.

morgant said...

Dan- I think that if the common person imagines story in life, it can enhance the future (I know that sounds cheesy). I mean that if you are living your life with just facts, logic, and analytical skills, life can be pretty boring. Using story really takes imagination. Then you can really develop the imagination, and pretty soon, seeing stories is natural.

macm said...

Mr Gates-
Exactly. And to relate it back to the book I believe that putting together facts and seeing the big picture is a strength of the right brain.

Christian Long said...

@melissaz: I'm reminded (thanks to your comment about the "big story") of the German word: "gestalt". Best way to describe it: Think of a set of stars in the night sky. Our mind's eye is able to 'see' the lines between them, the connections, because we know the 'story' (Greek myths = constellations, etc). This is a form of "gestalt".

@zacch: I believe that 'quality' always matters, and obviously we shift constantly back and forth from 'epic'/universal truths and current/modern details when we respond to stories of all shapes/sizes. And ultimately, there are better storytellers (teachers, filmmakers, old fella on the train...) than others.

Ryad said...

Dan Mass- "Story is the humanization of information." I really like that. I believe that feeling is a very big part of being human and story is basically information mixed with feeling.

morganw said...

@ Jim Gates -

While knowing facts straight facts becomes considerably less important, or well-to-do, with the increase of technology I believe that the facts themselves become much more important because everyone has access to them. We tend to over-look them. Just because we have more facts out there doesn't mean we don't need them. But with this comes the problem of knowing the facts. That’s where twenty-first century learning comes into play. We need to incorporate story, play, meaning, design, empathy, and symphony into our learning so we can remember and apply all that we have learned.

An example of this would be problem-solving. You cannot teach problem-solving, but in order to problem-solve you need a background of facts and knowledge to work from.

Christian Long said...

@jimgates: Amen to your "who can put it together" comment.

Jim Gates said...

@morgant - found it. I had it bookmarked because I show those podcasts to teachers around here. But, see if that story doesn't help you internalize the power of forgiveness

click here to read it

Selenam said...

Jim Gates- Something's value is determined by how many people want it, and how many people had it. When the number of people who want it outnumbers the people who have it, the thing is valuble. When information was scarce and hard to get, the people who had it had something a lot of other people didn't have and wanted. Now, that same information can be seen by millions of people across the globe in a few seconds. A lot of people have it, and employers and other people who are looking for that information have a huge well to draw from. Since there are more people who have it then people who want it, then it drops in value.

Dan Maas said...

Story in everyday life: the interview question for a job. How would you handle this question? "Imagine you are walking down a road. What do your surroundings look like and where are you going?" I was asked this in a job interview for an IT position...

ZachH said...

Mr. Maas

That's a good question. I think story can help people in the work place in many ways from job training to advertising. As for the everyday common person, I think story is just a natural part of life. I think people want to tell their story and if not in the work place, they will tell it to someone. I thik stories can touch people and maybe even incourcage someone to make a difference or change the world.

I am not sure i really know how to answer this completly but I do think Story makes the world a little more intresting.

jordanh said...

mr. mass-
i would agree that story makes info human. as Dan Pink said, facts become disposable when a teenager in his home can find info faster then the head librarian at Cambrige. Facts become so disposable and worthless, but they become valuable when they make stories. It is more interesting to read a story about WWII then a History book's take on WWII.

Jim Gates said...

@morganw - I wasn't trying to say that. In terms of employability... who would you hire? The person who can spout out all 50 capitals of the US, or the person who can write a song that helps kids learn them?

That person with the creative mind will get hired much faster, I think

maddieh said...

Dan- I think story can help people in everyday life because sometimes it is easier to evaluate yourself from a different point of view. I'm kind of thinking of Aesop type of fables that have a moral because it is easier to point out the flaws in a character than in ourselves. Stories can be used as a tool to help us evaluate human nature and behavior without critizing ourselves directly.

morganw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ParkerH said...

Dan maas, that humanization comment is a great insight. I agree, after you said that. You can hear a story from one perspective, and it is very different from the other perspective. That comment also has basis in history. Many wars were told from very different points of view. For instance, one side might say that it's cause was just, or it was a holy war, while the other says that the other was evil and that the others were oppresors. Things like that happen all the time, if not necessarily to that extent.

Tylerg! said...

Maddie, that is true with everyone, no one wants to point out what they do wrong, so we write stories to share examples instead.

morgant said...

Mr. Gates
Wow! That is a really powerful story. I really like that. That is so true is so many ways.

melissaz said...

Jim- I think these 2 quotes from the book can support that idea.
" Story represents a pathway to understanding that doesn't run through the left side of the brain."(115)
"...what stories can provide-context enriched by emmotion, a deeper understanding of how we fit in and why it matters." (115)
These quotes I see show how stories have more value than a plain fact. Stories add other aspects that facts can't supply. Also,
"Story is high consept because it sharpens our understanding of one thing by showing ot on the contex of something else."
If one can take the facts and add a story, it shows an even higher level of understanding to be able to apply it to another aspect.

Jim Gates said...

@selenam - how does the One Laptop Per Child program - which gives computers to kids in underdeveloped countris - change the value of that information?

And Tell Mrs Smith I think she's a valuable employee, too!!

Dan Maas said...

@Morganw

Courage is to do the best you can.
Will is to do what must be done.

Courage defines the Brave
Will defines the Warrior

Thanks for being a Warrior

ZachH said...

Mr. Long,

That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for clearing it up for me.

alexf said...

Mr. Mass~
Wow, well I’ve never heard a question like that. For some reason I see myself walking down a crowded city street. Who knows why! What I’m wondering is, what does that interview question test and why would it be helpful for applying for a job?

Christian Long said...

@morganw: When I speak at conferences, I often tell a story -- including showing the audience the actual real-time example -- about my 16 month old son (Beckett) at daycare. We are able to watch he/his class via the Net whenever we want, as long as we're on the Net.

This simple act -- being aware of his minute-to-minute 'story' in daycare (school) -- makes me think about what it'll be like in 3.5 years when he goes to kindergarten...and suddenly his classroom is no longer 'visible' to his parents in the same way.

In these conference conversations with my audiences, we talk about kids who are sick or away from school NOT having access to their classrooms in real-time. You, and your teachers, however, are taking simple steps to making the classroom always available to each other...

...even with a broken arm well away from campus.

Good to meet you, @morganw.

annes said...

Jim- you are too kind.

MorganW- keep up the good work with the broken arm! You are doing a great job typing!

Jim Gates said...

@morgant - if you like stories, give THIS story a listen. It's aout Christmas time, but listen to it anyway. I send it out every year. A WONDERFULLY told story. Sure to be a hit!

click here for it. Make sure you LISTEN to it

mattw said...

In "A Whole New Mind", it has a fact that doctors averaged interupting their patient's story in just 21 seconds. It shows how sometimes it's hard to mix profession with personality.

melissaz said...

Dan Mass, that is a great point about "Story is the humanization of information." I agree. Story brings in another aspect that the facts can't alone. I feel that both fact and story need each other to become the most successful.

Tylerg! said...

bringing the iiner circle discussion, what do you think of cute heart warming stories in commercials, so they can make more money. I understand it's a business, but what is your personal opinion?

morgant said...

Mr. Gates-
Thanks! Yes, I do like stories. I will definitely listen to it! =D

Dan Maas said...

@alexf

The interview question about walking on a road challenges you to tell your story. I use it in my interviews now. Here are two examples that I recall:

1:" I'm walking on a country road and there's cows and trees. I dunno, I'm not going anywhere, I just like being outside."

2: "I'm walking on a county road and the grade is uphill. It's hard work, but I'm up for it. The air is fresh because there's just been a rain storm but I feel good about myself because I made it through. I'm heading to the summit of the mountain ahead of me and I'm walking with some friends. We're excited to tackle that big challenge because we enjoy accomplishing great things together. The harder the challenge, the more I like it!"

Which one do you think I hired?

Jim Gates said...

Try this: How does THIS NOTICE from NASA apply to the idea of stories?

Christian Long said...

@melissaz: When you speak to Dan Pink, ask him about the combination of right and left-brained skills/senses...rather than a left vs. right decision. My gut tells me (as well as having read the book several times) that Dan is in favo of an 'and/and' choice where we are 'response-able' to use both/either sets of senses to respond when we need to any situation in the future. I like your "need each other" point very much.

morganw said...

@Jim- I agree with you, the creative person would get my vote to be hired, but his creativity would have been a waste had he not already known the 50 states. What I mean is, facts do not become obsolete, they merely take a step back to creativity.

@Dan Maas- Thank you. I'm just disappointed that I couldn't meet you in person.

maddieh said...

This is kind of going off the discussion in the inner circle about misleading stories, is it really neccesary to have facts to tell a story or can it be something designed to just be fun?

mattw said...

Kind of off what the inner circle said, I think it's stupid how company commercials and especially political candidates don't make themselves look good, they make their opponet LOOK BAD... it gets sickening.

hannahl said...

Because of the wide variety of facts. Do you think that stories give facts credibility? Does a good story make the difference between persuasion and disbelief?

melissaz said...

Maddieh- that is a great point about the how stories help humans evalute their own flaws with out pointing it out.

mitchl. said...

mattw that statistic is so true, because I was watching this tv show about doctors, and they said that doctors usually spend about 15 seconds with their patient each time they check up on them. But, this was on tv so that statistic may not be true

Jim Gates said...

BTW - Did Mrs SMith have you look up the word irascible? Mr Pink used it in this chapter

ZachH said...

Mr. Long,

I think you bring up a great point with being able to view your classroom when you are missing school. I think this would be a great tool for students who are sick for long periods of time or on a vacation.

I can also see this technology possibly replacing schools. prehaps students will just watch a teacher on a screen in the future and never have to leave their bedroom to go to school.

hannahl said...

Irascible I think means angry.

mattw said...

jim - no she didn't. I will look it up though.

maddieh said...

Jim- Ms. Smith is big on making us control our own learning. So, no she didn't make us look it up. She wants us to rely on ourselves when we don't understand something.

mattw said...

Why thanks Hannahl....

alexf said...

Mr. Mass~
I completely understand now! (Of course, you hired the second!) What I am taking from this, (although it’s probably wrong), is that that interview question focuses on your life and how hard you work. It shows your goals, willingness (after all, they told a detailed story), and your attitude. Great example of how the story plays a role in the work place. Thanks for explaining it to me!

jordanh said...

hannah- I think that a story sets itself apart from a fact. A fact can either be accepted or not. But, a story is a cluster of experiences and opinions. Stories can be unaccepted, but it can't be proven wrong in the way that a fact can. A story will still be a story, but a fact that is proven wrong is worthless.

macm said...

Mr Gates-
Thsi notice is really fascinating. This is a job based on facts and exact numbers and yet they still want people with stories and who are empathetic. It shows how our world is is changing. So does having a story cloud people's perception of you and how they work around you?

melissaz said...

Thanks Mr. Long, I will ask Daniel about that becasue I have been wondering that myself as reading this book.

Jim Gates said...

@morganw - true. Facts don't become obsolete, but consider the lines of people trying to get that job. In one line are those who can tell you the 50 capitals. In the other line are those who can do creative things with that information. You know which line is shorter, therefore THOSE PEOPLE are in higher demand. Right?

Karl Fisch said...

Irascible - according to MS Word - easily provoked to anger or outbursts of temper

maddisonm said...

The section in Story about medicine really interested me. If you all recall it was about how doctors are now starting to be required to classes to help them wit their “Story senses.” It seems like when you go to the doctor, and you give your symptoms you fell ok about yourself, but when you tell your own personal story behind how you got hurt or how your symptoms came on, you feel better, you feel like everything will be ok now that the expert knows your story. What do you all think, do you agree that telling a story can help in the medicine field, or should it be base off symptoms and facts alone?

Christian Long said...

@anyone: Anybody seen the commercial where a series of individual people 'help' others that they don't even know: pushes someone out of an oncoming car, picks up something that fell, etc.? The music is uplifting. And for 25 (of 30) seconds, you watch a story of people everywhere watching someone help others...and then doing something themselves, a cycle that continues on and on.

Seen it?

I'm amazed by this commercial because I am always riveted to it.

And yet, I never remember the company...and rarely the product.

Insurance company, I think.

Effective if you don't recall the company but love the story?

morgant said...

Why are stories not as believable as facts? How does a person tell fact from fiction in a story?

Maybe this is where 'A Whole New Mind' is incorporated?...

maddieh said...

Alex- I think that you would hire the second person too because to me, personality and morality are more important than trivia facts. Just like how you want a story rather than a statistic.

Jim Gates said...

@macm - Did you catch this line: "Creativity. Ambition. Teamwork. A sense of daring. And a probing mind. That's what it takes to join NASA,..."

ZachH said...

Do you think the concept of using stories in business is new or has it been around as long as companies have been hiring? Do you think the quote on page 105 by Ursala Le Guin is true?

Tylerg! said...

Well morgant, facts are true, while there are manty different types of stories, so how can we tell if they are true.

Jim Gates said...

@karl - 1)I've lost the sound from your mebeam feed, and 2) Nice job finding that definition. :-)

Now, can you make a story out of it so we'll remember it? :-)

morgant said...

Mr. Gates-

NASA needs imagination. Inventing new space crafts or space tools requires imagination. How are you going to build it? You can't really just begin buiding something from scratch from facts. That is where developing your imagination comes in.

Christian Long said...

@morgant: BRILLIANT Q re: "fact from fiction". Our culture -- of the last few decades (perhaps since Enlightenment made 'fact' more important than 'myth' -- has had a love affair with "fact" over "fiction" in terms of being 'right'. Yes, we want 'escape', but we trust 'fact'.

Dan is saying that perhaps the shift to right-brain values (or at least a re-capturing of them from our ancient selves) is making "fiction" just as relevant as "fact", if not more so.

Again, love your point!

Dan Maas said...

@Alexf
You got it! Your GPA, your test scores, your transcript gets you the interview (the left-brain piece still matters, as Dan Pink suggests), but it is the story you tell in the interview that gets you the job, the scholarship, the college entrance...

Here's another thought to trip your noodle. The interview questions are not terribly important. I see them as openings for you to tell your story and why you are the best choice...

mitchl. said...

christian- I have seen that commercial, and I really don't pay attention to what company it is or what they do, but I think it is amazing how one little favor or kind deed goes that far and effects so many people. It is like a huge chain reaction.

Ryad said...

Mr. Long- I have seen that commercial and the story of it makes me feel like I should pass that feeling on. But I also do not remember what the product is for.

Going off of that, do you think compainies can over use story to the point where they are forgotten while the story is remembered.

Ryad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alexf said...

Mr. Long~
I do remember and love that commercial about everyone helping everyone, but no, I don’t remember the company. I think that that commercial is completely story and little about the actual product. Could this mean that story is not always good, but only useful at certain points? Also, what do you think about the Lysol commercials… It’s ironic but they say, “FACT: blah blah blah.” I distinctly remember Lysol for that commercial because it has such a compelling script. Ironic how the story commercial I can’t seem to remember the company, but the complete fact commercial I can totally remember!

mattw said...

morgant - that is hard to say unless you're a therapist. Somebody may tell a story (or opinion) like a fact, but it may not be, and I know I would sub-consciously side with the person I first talked to about the subject in an argument.

Selenam said...

Who here gets bored when your History teacher says "X happened in 1274, and Z was in charge when it happened. It will be on the next quiz. Learn it." Or when your Science teacher says, "This is the order of classification. Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species. Learn it."
Wouldn't you rather have a Science teacher who said this? "To remember the order of classification, say this acronym. Kings Play Chess On Fine Grain Sand."
Or a History teacher who said this? "Well, in 1274 when X happened, Y was in charge. But the funny thing is, Y wasn't suppose to be in charge. His brother, Z, was in charge, but then his cat got sick, so he told Y to stand in for him. If his cat hadn't gotten sick, then Y would have gotten the blame for X happening."
In short, would you rather have a teacher who just lectured, or a teacher who told stories?
That answer alone shows how important stories are.

morgant said...

tylerg!- exactly my question. How do we discern that?

ZachH said...

Morgant-

I think you are exactly right. It takes a left brain to analyze facts and it takes a right brain to enjoy a story but it takes 'a whole new find' to function.

melissaz said...

Maddisonm- I think story is what is going to seperate the human "touch" from the computer facts. Anyone can Google their symptoms and get an idea of what is going with their body. But a doctor can actually hear their words, and ive them advice. That is the differance.

macm said...

Mr Gates-
I did actually. That was the line which was the most surprising, becuase to me, jobs in NASA are left-brained. Although, if you have read the book Deception Point by Dan Brown, there is much more to NASA than meets the eye. Is it a good thing that they want to hire people with creativity and ambition instead of those with expertise? This could mean the loss of important discoveries or the loss of lives.

Jim Gates said...

@morgant - you've got a point about why facts aren't just as important. After all, when we hear speakers give us a lot of statistics don't we often recall those?

But, what is the similarity here?

maddieh said...

Christian- I have seen that commercial so many times and I love love love it!! But I can't remember the company either. It kind of reminds me of the left brain- right brain thing were the right brain sees the big picture (the story and the emotions it brings) but the left brain, which is responsible for the details, forgets the company because you care more about the right brain effect the commercial brings.

(Of course, I'm referring to the metaphor of right brain- left brain.)

Christian Long said...

@dan maas: Amen about the "gets you the interview" vs. "gets you the job". EVERY student in the world needs to realize that when applying to college, a job, or a volunteer opportunity. So vital...and not even a 'new' truth. There is a reason why many businessmen/women play golf to secure new business. It's not about the product or the golf. It's about knowing your client's story...to serve them better (vice versa). Same in all walks/jobs of life. But we don't formally teach it (or often admit it).

morgant said...

selenam
That is a good point. I know that I really do get bored when someone says X happened in 1974. That is why when stories are incorporated into teaching style, students are more motivated to learn a fact by listening to a story.

Jim Gates said...

@macm - Did you watch the movie Apollo 13? Think about the guys on the ground who had to solve the problems they had in the spacecraft. Were they left or right brained solutions?

ParkerH said...

@Christian,

I know exactly what you're talking about. I have no idea what the actual company is. The visual was effective, and the story was good, but nobody really knows the company, so the marketing part of it was not effective at all. So no, it isn't effective if their whole idea was to get costumers.

melissaz said...

Mr. Long, I remeber that commerecial!! And yes, I can't remeber the company it is even for. I had never really noticed that sometimes the story can get in the way of the information that needs to get across. The story catches people's attention but is too attractive. Great point.

maddisonm said...

Mr. Long- I have not seen the commercial but I think that is a very interesting question. I personally think the commercial is useless if you can not walk away from it and know who the commercial was about. Yes, it grabs your attention, which is a very important aspect to a commercial, but if you do not even know why the heck they told the story, then what is the point in to company making the commercial? What do you think? Do you think it is an effective commercial?

maddieh said...

Selena- I ARGREE MORE THAN YOU COULD EVER KNOW!! It's like your being talked at, not to.

Tylerg! said...

well morgant, that is up to each individual to discern, if everyone believed in fairytales we would live in a strange world, stories are here for us to tell and re-tell, but facts are for knowledge.

mattw said...

HAs anyone ever noticed how some commercials get so enthralled in the story that you never find out what they're trying to sell?

this especially happens with perfume or "clothes" commercial.

ZachH said...

That's a good point Alexf.

When Mr. Pink said that our brains recall stories easier than facts, maybe we become to focused on the entertainment of the story versus the message it is trying to convey. I mean outside of english class, most people aren't analyzing stories for themes, motifs, Morals, in depth character analasis, ect... they only want to be entertained.

morganw said...

@Christian- It's wonderful to meet you too.

@Smith- Thanks. I'm slowly getting the hang of typing with one hand. Thank you for providing this opportunity for my learning.

@Jim- The NASA notice is a perfect example of story in many ways. When I was reading it, I immediately thought of how wonderful space exploration must be and I remembered seeing the launch of the space shuttle over the summer.

It connected me with many stories of my life. The "frequent travel may be required" made me think of my best friend’s dad who is almost always traveling for his job.
Stories are a great way to connect with people and encourage them to do their best

alexf said...

Mr. Mass
That’s an excellent point. The left brain gets you the interview, but your creativity gets you the job. Wow! Now that I think about it (and as you have told me), a story can express why one should get the job and why they are willing to work hard. Excellent question! Where do you see yourself walking?

Dan Maas said...

What role does truth play in story? Is it essential??

jordanh said...

mattw- yes, i have, and i think that it is an useless advertising technique. Sure, a story was told, but for what?

Christian Long said...

Hate to think-n-run...but I have a faculty meeting and then need to catch a mid-afternoon flight to Philadelphia to join some of Mr. Fisch's blog-colleagues at the EduCon 2.0 conference:

http://educon20.wikispaces.com/

Wish I could take all of you with me.

So honored to have been a part of this discussion (and get to add you all to my learning curve). See some/all of you later when you talk about future D. Pink chapters.

Cheers from Texas -
Christian

maddisonm said...

melissaz- that is a great point! Also, a website is generalized for millions of people, but when a doctor hears your story, there could be one small detail that is different from the website, that could change the way your symptoms should be treated. I totally agree with your point.

melissaz said...

Christian and Dan- Yes, that information about interviews is very helpful and insightful. I agree that both aspects is what will really get you the job.

Jim Gates said...

When *I* interviewed for my job - at the age of 50 - I was leaving and I felt that nobody really KNEW me and what I could do. As I was getting ready to leave, I told this story, "In the movie CAMELOT, the Wizard is asked for the secret to happiness. He replies, 'If you want to be happy, LEARN something.' And, when I reflect on the times in my life when I was happiest, it WAS when I was learning something."

Another story - that worked! I got the job

maddieh said...

MattW- Yes, some stories get so wrapped up in being artistic than the meaning is lost. I'm thinking more of those drug commercials featuring people on beaches and riding horses but it never once tells you what the drug does. Ut seems to me that those give the idea of a miracle drug that fixes all your problems. (Yeah, it doesn't exsist.) Thats helpful, eh? So I think stories can actually be a curse more than a blessing sometimes.

morgant said...

Mr. Gates-

You need your whole mind to understand a story with facts incorporated. If you just learn facts, your right brain is relatively quiet. But, to put something together from relatively nothing, you need your right brain. You need to invent things. What could I do to make this better? What could I do to solve this problem? You can't really just build it off of facts. They are certainly needed, but right brian skills are needed to do it from scratch.

Did I answer your question?

ZachH said...

Mr. Gates,

In answer to the question you asked Macm, I think the people on the ground were using their 'whole new mind' rather than left or right brained. They had to do a lot of in depth analasis and calculations but they also had to synthesis everything that was going on.

annes said...

Christian- thanks so much for taking the time

jordanh said...

mr. maas, having read A Million Little Pieces, I knew that I was reading a made up saga. But, I still connected and enjoyed the story. So, I think that story is the essence of experience and captivation, and if the listener/reader/viewer can connect both, it doesn't matter.

mattw said...

My history teacher said every piece of literature is based on an event in history, or at least can be related to one.

Is that true???

morgant said...

Bye Mr. Long! Thank you for joining us!

mitchl. said...

Dan- truth is probably one of the most important things in a story. If the story isn't true, then it's just a lie. Don't get me wrong though, I really like some made up stories that can never be true or that have never happened, but like if you're going to buy something and the sellers of the product lied to you, then that is just wrong.

macm said...

Mr Gates-
Sorry, I was focused on the inner discussion, but I have seen that movie. I think that the men on the ground are a mix of right and left brain, becuase they need to know how to fix the problem but they have an empathy towards the astronauts that may give them extra motivation to fix the problem than just their paycheck. As Daniel Pink says, you need a whole new mind.

Tylerg! said...

thanks for the conversation guys

Karl Fisch said...

Thanks Christian - feedback to karlfisch@gmail.com

Wish I could join you at Educon (Anne, too).

Dan Maas said...

@Alexf
Interviewing me now, eh? Nicely done.

My road is a busy place and I feel like I'm in a hurry because I just can't wait to get to my destination. I'm surrounded by a crush of people all of whom I care about and want to benefit as I race ahead. I firmly believe my destination will help them (some of whom won't understand the benefits) and I hope I can make it there in time. I straighten my tie, grasp my laptop and plunge ahead.

Jim Gates said...

@Dan Mass - good point. How many of us still remember and cite the story of the dramatic rescue of the female soldier in Iraq - and it turned out NOT to be true.

mattw said...

maddieh - I haven't thought of that. But it's true, eh?

morgant said...

Bye everybody! Continue the conversation at home! =D

maddieh said...

MattW- I think that is true but not neccessarily on purpose. People connect things and that is why the hero's journey is so important and practical in everyone's life.

ZachH said...

Thank you Mr. Long, Mr. Gates, and Mr. Maas for joining us today.

melissaz said...

Dan- I think the presence of truth matters for the purpose of the story. If the story needs to get a point across, truth needs to be a large aspect. And I think more times than not truth is important.

Thank you all so much for talking with us today, you all had great points!!!!

Karl Fisch said...

Jim and Christian The bell rang - we're done, but feel free to continue with some comments or responding to student comments at the end.

feedback to karlfisch@gmail.com

Jim Gates said...

@Karl - I live but two hours from EduCon and I STILL can't make it. :-(

(There's a story behind that)

:-)

macm said...

Mr Gates-
I have Biology now but I can look after school and I would appreciate any extra comments you have. Thanks.

Jim Gates said...

Karl and Anne - THANK YOU SO MUCH for allowing me to be a part of this. I only wish the mebeam part was recorded so I could play it for my teachers here. They're anxious ot hear how this went. I'll tell them it went FLAWLESSLY!

Dan Maas said...

Jim and Christian,

Great job! You really added so much. I'm glad to meet you

Jim Gates said...

@macm - I DO hope you will one day know what a rare teacher Mrs Smith is, and how important Mr Fisch's educational philosophy is to making these things happen. You're a lucky guy - and I hope you will one day realize it.

morganw said...

Mr. Gates, Mr. Long, and Mr. Maas, thank you so much for giving up your time to blog with us today! It is such an honor.

Also, thanks to Mr. Fisch and Ms. Smith for allowing me the oppurtunity to join in on this discussion.

morganw said...

@Jim- I really like how you brought up the point about Apollo 13. It really wraps up the whole idea of story and inovation.

melissaz said...

zach- I know this is really late and you made this comment towards the begining of the blog, I still wanted to answer it about stories being retold. I think that it is true that stories are mostly the same, just retold. They catch our attention because they add different spins to the old stories, they add visuals to catch other's attention. They just cahnge a few things to make it their own.

beckyg said...

To everybody who blogged with us.
Thank you very much for taking the time to discuss these ideas with us, give us your input, question us, and help us to grow in our learning. I really apreciate this gesture and I hope you enjoyed it as much as we do.
Thank you,
BeckyG

Jim Gates said...

@beckyg - It was very much my honor and pleasure to join you today. I've already shared the experience with my teachers and at least one is already psyched for doing something similar.

You folks are sure putting Arapahoe on the ol' map!

morgant said...

Thanks to all of you who joined us today! Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule! It really was fun! I liked it a lot!

rsabey said...

Ok so my three main ideas are that story is everywhere from the pregnancy of a moom to when the baby is boorn its first breth every day every year and eventually its life. And then what creates how it turns out such as family and friends and then their stories and whrer their stories cross and so on to the infinate work of stories.

rsabey said...

My next idea is that stories are not just a huge coolection of stories but also that small things can end in such a huge story. An exsample of this is J.K. Rowlings. Harry Potters life began in the mind of Rowlingsa dirt poor lady who started wrirring his story on a napkiin in a bus. It is amazing to think how such a small act has influenced so many lifes and ideas and ended in seven books and so much of the story is still untold.

rsabey said...

My last idea is the different cultures have different ideas and stories. I am amazed how much the stories are a reflection of the ideal culture. An exsample is america and how are heros end up rich and china and how its heros are very respectful to its elders and often sacrifice for their comunity.

catem said...

Hello everyone. Unfortunately, I was in Pennsylvania the day of the blog and didn’t arrive home until late Sunday night, and the Hampton Inn in Uniontown, Pennsylvania lacked wireless connection and laptops. However, I just finished reading the entire blog and thought it was a huge success. Here are some of my ideas about some of your questions and thoughts. If anyone comes back I would love it if you would comment.
ParkerH~ Your comment about how a story changes depending on which perspective it is told from I totally agree with. For instance, the Spanish/American/Cuban War will be told in different ways in each country. Perspective also brings up the point of credibility. A story told in a gossip magazine will be much less trusted than one from The Wallstreet Journal. Even if the story has the same facts, the way they are told can change the story entirely.
ZachH~ I think that although all stories are not exactly the same they all have the same basic format like in a hero’s journey by Joseph Campbell. Yes they differ, and often seem completely different, but at their very simplest form they are all just a beginning, middle, and end. If you catch my drift
SelenaM~ I loved the point that you made about how all cultures told stories to keep traditions alive. If a civilization can remember its history over thousands of years by oral stories, then telling stories in school must help people remember a subject. Although this is kind of off topic, the talk about different cultures all telling stories reminded me of this book I read. The book was called Bound by Donna Jo Napoli. I read it and although it took place in China, and some of the events were different, it was pretty much the same as Cinderella. So do you think that all the cultures were trying to teach the same morals through their stories?

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