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What do you get when you take free will and solitude out of education?


At least according to this highly articulate young man:

Listen carefully to this. Great points about how libraries differ from classrooms in their approach to reading - and why, for bright kids like this one - those differences are critical.

I wonder if this young man is up for adoption?

Thanks to Walt Crawford for pointing me to the Liminal Librarian Blog that links to this video.

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Reader Comments (11)

Cool video. I dug up more on him after watching this and it turns out he went on to go to my college, grew his hair long and has all kinds of stuff going on on the interwebs. His main site seems to be here:

Thanks for sharing.

February 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterteacherninja

Holy Cow! An articulate young man, who has obviously spent several hours in the library and at school. A slap in the face but sometimes we need a good clout to get us thinking. The question we need to ask ourselves, as school librarians, is "are we being good librarians or are we being good educators, and is it possible to be both?" Is this young man available for speaking engagements?

March 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGwen Martin

I love this video. I noticed he has others. I'm going to do a little research on this kid. I like what he's saying. Thanks for sharing.


March 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnn Krembs

Wow! What an impressive kid! The question I have is whether this kid's school library is more like the public library or like the school classroom? I'm not sure all of the accolades that he gives to public libraries would show up in his school library -- particularly since you can only read those titles that are in your reading level or have an appropriate test.

March 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFloyd Pentlin

Great video! The only point I think he doesn't get is that libraries and classrooms have different purposes. Just like you wouldn't go to the hardware store to buy fashion clothing. Each has a specific purpose. How many people would be able to get good jobs if they just went to the library instead of a classroom? Thanks for sharing.

March 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPat

Awesome! Made a great start to my day and made me rethink what I am doing. Hope to share this video with others.

March 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKathie

Hi Ninja,

Thanks for the link. I think we will hear more from this kid – or at least I hope we do.


Hi Gwen,

Thanks for the comment. I appreciated seeing this mentioned on your blog as well.

All the best,


Hi Ann,

Thanks for the response. Check Ninja’s link in the first response!


Hi Floyd,

Great question and one that all educators should ponder.


Hi Pat,

I suspect more people than you might think would get a better education by going to library (with a great librarian) rather than a classroom. I think that’s how I learn the best.

Appreciate the perspective,





March 5, 2009 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

How very inciteful you are about the differences of schooling and actually learning

March 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeb

From the creator of the video, Mac Davis:

Hey Jim,
Sorry to get back to you so late.

Thanks for the info. Like droplets of water in a river, it is impossible to keep track of all the interesting places information flows, but it is still fun watching.

At the time, as I recall, I was 15 and had just graduated high school. It was the summer before my first college semester, so I had a lot of time to put together videos for my life video blog, thecast.

I started the project when I was 14, and so far I've been making 75-100 videos per year. It'll go on until I die. The videos are copies of all the things I see and hear and make in my life. It's gotten to be a big part of my life.

I read Doug's book, it was very cool. I'm glad how he made it freely available to read while still offering a physical version. I thought of offering to be a guest blogger on his site.

Best regards,
Mac Davis

March 16, 2009 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

While I agree that this is not necessarily an apples-to-apples comparison, the point is no less valid. We have been asleep at the wheel as the public education system continued to add layers of process and methodology on a foundation that was no longer valid. It's been a long time since Howard Gardner and others pointed out that everyone learns differently and at a different pace. Yet we still mass produce something some call "education" and do not seem concerned that the results are vastly unpredictable and heavily dependent on the wealth of the community. Public Education is not in tune with where the world has gone, nor is it structured to fix that. Ever.

I have kicked off what I call a 150-year project to reboot public education at (ANPE) and I invite all of you to weigh in on whether this makes sense or not. There are also pages on LinkedIn and Facebook (titled: LONG Overdue: Reboot Public Education) in order to gather supporter counts to bring the need for major overhaul to the new President's attention and agenda.

If Mac has awakened any feeling in you, I ask you to sustain that long enough to read through the ANPE site and 'sign' one of the two pages in LI or FB so that something can be done. Maybe not in our lifetime, but for our kids' kids.

March 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Dill

Good luck with your project, Stephen.


March 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Johnson

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