Digital Humanist

     That’s what Dr. Jason Ohler lists as his occupation. At least that vocation is at the top of the list ahead of college professor, columnist, author, conference speaker…you’re probably starting to get the idea. “Renaissance man” comes to mind too, but that might date him (and me).
     We started trading emails a few years ago when I was looking around for keynote speakers with a digital storytelling bent for our spring state conference here in the Chicago area. I am happy to say we finally landed him for the keynote and a couple of breakouts this year. And though we’ve been sharing emails for years and winter weather for the last two weeks, I have yet to meet this digital humanist from Alaska. I feel like I know him somewhat though. I’ve enjoyed his Techwit column off and on over the years, we both seem to lean heavily towards digital storytelling as an important classroom tool and 21st century skill, I’ve read a pre-release copy of his book Telling Your Story: Putting the Story into Digital and Traditional Storytelling, we’re both Apple Distinguished Educators (a usually like-minded group), and so I trust him enough to lend him my guitar for his keynote presentation at our conference in two weeks.
      Just in case you won’t be able to catch Jason at our Illinois Technology Conference for Educators on March 2nd, you might want to pick his brain and benefit from his wisdom online. My recommendations would be…
     Art, Storytelling, Technology and Education. You just knew I’d start with his storytelling page, didn’t you? He seems to see a strong tie between art and the art of storytelling.
     Handouts Here’s a gold mine of resources. I especially like his different takes on the ebb and flow of a story. And I can’t wait to see him explain some of the slides in this very comprehensive PowerPoint described in Handout Category #3 .
     The Quotes 
Lots of fun like Three variations of the Catch 77 of the technological age:
    1.    We do, because we can.
    2.    Because we can, we must.
    3.    Yes! Whether we need to or not.
     The Wisdom Lists a very scholarly bibliography/greatest hits of research applicable to integrating technology in education.
     Jason’s video clips page is down as I write this, but hopefully, it will be back up soon and you can get a look at him in action. If not, you’re always welcome to join us the first two days of March in St. Charles, IL and you can even stop by the Discovery booth and room while you’re there.


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