Last week I watched the first ever White House film festival. A couple months ago, students all across the country were invited to make short films about the technology in their classrooms or how they imagined their classrooms could use tech. The results are quite amazing. Of over 2500 submissions, 16 were selected and the kids were invited to the White House to see the whole festival in person. The event was kicked off by seventeen-year-old Shelly Ortiz, of Phoenix, who introduced President Obama. Later Neil deGrasse Tyson and other science and popular media celebs introduced film categories.

I believe that great film making is one of the highest forms of applied critical thinking, problem solving ability, and communication skills. I would love to see this kind of challenge emulated by governors in every state or mayors of major cities. We need to inspire our kids to surpass us in their creativity and use of technology.

Here are my favorites:

Double Time. Two boys across the world collaborate on a school project — 8th graders Joshua Leong and Stephen Sheridan from Longfellow Middle School in Falls Church, VA.

Hello From Malaysia. Fictional story of girl sent to boarding school in the US. 17-year-old Kira Bursky from Asheville, NC.

Tomorrow’s Classroom. Real story from today: amazing vision of what a connected classroom can be. Alexander Emerson from Manchester, MA, 8th grade.

Technology in Education: A Future Classroom. Beautiful sci-fi vision of the future classroom. Daniel Nemroff from Wynnewood, PA, 11th grade.

Alex. How one kid’s access to technology accelerated his ability to learn despite severe dyslexia and dysgraphia. Aaron Buangsuwon from Atladena, CA, 11th grade.

Art Tech Collaboration Elementary “Mr. Wood, Mr Wood, come to the 21st century.” Two schools in Naperville, Illinois came together to create this dramatization of how they might interact in the future.

They are all truly wonderful. Check out all of these inspiring student films.

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