Randy Pausch giving his farewell lecture.
Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
Click Here to watch his speech
I have to say that even though this lecture was over an hour long, it was not painful to listen to, and even though I had a hard time understanding all of the technology stuff he was talking about, I took away learning important life lessons about being honest, the power in helping others, and that brick walls give you a chance to show how badly you want something. He discussed three things; his childhood dreams and how he accomplished them, helping others, and lessons learned.
He is a professor and works with virtual reality. He's done things with Disney, such as The Aladdin Project, and teaches virtual reality classes where students make a virtual world. One of them was Hello. World. It was hilarious how the world didn't want to move on so another world could be presented. The audience could also participate and control something on the screen. I would love to take a class where we did something like this! I think it gives students pride in that they did something amazing, quite cool, built friendship and had fun doing it. Always having fun was something Pausch pushed in his lecture, and I agree with him. You only live once, so have fun doing it.
He described his virtual world course as a pioneering course and a course about bonding. He said he knew if a groups virtual world was going to be good or not if when the people got up to present the world were standing close together and seemed connected. I agree with this cause if people work hard together, are comfortable with each other and had fun it shows in the presentation. He discussed the Dream Fulfillment Factory; the Entertainment Technology Center or ETC I believed he called it. There is no book learning, they made things, and they took field trips to places such as Pixar. Sounds magnificent to me! A field trip to Pixar, I'm jealous!
In his lecture, he also explored edutainment and a project called "Alice." Edutainment is where they taught using gaming technology and how it as become a global phenomenon. He showed a bar graph on the results on what college students thought of how easy each other were to work with. He claimed that this taught students to be self-reflective and if you can teach students this you've taught them a very powerful thing. He also discussed his project "Alice" where kids make movies and games, and the head fake is that they are actually learning how to program. He gives an example on virtual reality by saying how people can see the promised land without actually stepping foot on it; experiencing something without actually experiencing it. I would love to have my students and myself be apart of something like this. Pausch calls himself the "mad hatter" in that he wants this to be infinitely scalable, where tens of millions of people can chase their own dreams. He's done great things in his life and I honestly wish I could've had the opportunity and privilege to participate in one of his classes.