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Making Technology Dance

A few weeks ago I stumbled onto this video:

The piece speaks for itself, but it has to be one of the more uplifting things I’ve seen in a long time. It’s hard to look at the clip and not feel that somehow, some way, we’ll eventually get things right. I also think there are a few educational points to be made here, and I don’t want to pass them up.

I teach technology integration. In the course of my work, I often hear educators concerned that technology is invading our lives and taking away the human element. I think their point is in some cases justified, but I will also say this: if using technology in your classroom is reducing human interaction, you’re not tapping into the power of technology. Technology, done correctly, can bring people together in ways we have yet to imagine. Technology is a tool for enhancing and increasing communication, not dehumanizing our lives. The “Where the Hell is Matt” video is a perfect testament to this.

This is simplifying things, but the gist of the story behind this video is that Matt would make short videos of himself dancing in various places around the world as he traveled the globe, then post them online. After a while the word spread, and his little dancing videos became more and more popular. Eventually Stride Gum decided to sponsor his travels and dances. This latest video brings in people that heard about his dancing and simply wanted to join in on the fun. The whole thing started with one guy, one video camera, and a little web space.

Ten years ago, none of this would have been possible. The little videos of Matt dancing around the world would have been seen by maybe twenty people. There would have been no gum sponsorship. The final video would not have been made. There would have been no way to know of Matt, no way to spread the idea, no way to see it without the help of major television networks.

But in today’s world, Matt’s simple videos evolve into a project involving more than a thousand people from over 42 countries. As of this writing, it has been viewed 9.6 million times on YouTube and 2.6 million times on Vimeo, not to mention other video hosting sites. One person, making technology dance, inspiring and touching millions.

Video Information:
Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

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5 Responses to “Making Technology Dance”

  1. on 31 Aug 2008 at 5:05 pmkc

    I also teach a technology integration class to teachers, and I couldn’t agree with you more. Thank you for sharing such an inspiring and thought-provoking piece. The world is simultaneously getting larger, as we learn how far we can go using technology, and smaller, as we discover how quickly we can connect with someone on the other side of the planet.

  2. on 31 Aug 2008 at 9:17 pmMike Smart

    Thanks, kc!
    Glad you enjoyed the piece, and I agree with your comment. I think the exciting part about many of those connections we make on the other side of the planet is that we discover in many ways how similar we all are.

  3. on 01 Oct 2008 at 1:32 pmStina

    Great to see that you keep inspiring people around you and around the world. Loved the video! Especially the part from Stockholm:)

  4. on 13 Oct 2008 at 10:38 pmMike Smart

    Thanks, Stina!

  5. on 30 Oct 2008 at 11:05 pmThao

    Dear Sirs,
    I am star studuying dance but I love dance much and hope i have nice step be future

    Please send to me the book/ brochures or something to read ?


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