I learned something during this holiday season – my first vacation time as a grandfather. My family traveled from Atlanta, Georgia to Orlando, Florida to surprise my mother, Mrs. Earlene Watkins, on her 80th birthday. The surprise is summarized at this moment.
My mother didn’t know that I would come with my wife. But we weren’t the big surprise. The big surprise was the new addition to our family. Her new four-month-old great-grandson, Princeton Josiah Smith. My daughter Nicole Smith and her husband Walter Smith teamed up with us to make this day possible!
My daughter Nastasia Watkins and I both videotaped this historic moment. I shot with two cameras: I came in with my Canon G7 Mark II and then I shot with my Canon EOS C100. I feel most comfortable with these two cameras. I had to put them in large camera bags, set them up and prepare for the shots. In contrast, my thirty-two-year-old daughter Nastasia Watkins shot her video with the camera she lives with: her iPhone. She not only recorded this video on her cell phone, but also edited it on her cell phone. She posted her video in minutes. I brought my video back to the hotel, edited it in Final Cut X on my laptop and published it the next day!
What have I learned? Nastasia Watkins is not a teenager. My daughter is a partner in her own law firm. She and her colleagues feel very comfortable when they make memories of what is in their hands. As I watched her film videos and pictures over the holidays, it was clear that she was always ready to take pictures. On the other hand, it was more work for me. It was not a matter of course. I have not used my cell phone. I had to get my camera, get ready, shoot, and then lay the camera down. My daughter never turned off her camera. It wasn’t a challenge for them to get involved with the moment and shoot at the same time. I was impressed by their ability to be fully present and capture the moment. She taught me how her colleagues and those who appear behind her process, capture and see their world. You see the world with the phone in hand. Your phone is not used to make calls, but is used to see your world, to get involved, to understand and to shape it. For us teachers, these are our students. They see their world through a screen the size of their cell phone. If we want to understand how to involve them, we have to see what they see, how they see and how they learn to understand what they involve.
How shall we do it? We have to pick up our phones and use them the way they use them. I have to park my big, expensive cameras. I commit to using my iPhone X for the reason I bought it: for the camera. If you see commercials on the latest phone, the phone’s ability to make calls is never advertised. They sell the phone as a camera. It was the commercial that sold me, and after this Christmas season, I again committed to using the most powerful educational tool I have with me all the time, and that’s the camera on my phone.
If we use the phone as a camera and editing device, we will begin to grasp and understand the world our students live in. This in turn will affect our teaching and learning. We will consider the phone as a teaching and learning device and not as a distraction from our traditional teaching moments. If we see the tool in our hand as a revolutionary educational tool, it will change the way we use what we have in our hand.
Well i know you want to see the two videos. , , You are welcome!
Video by Nastasia Watkins
Video by Ralph Watkins
Photo credit: Victor Watkins
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