Video: “The power of physical ‘stuff’ in our digital world”

Note: This is not a commentary or analysis of the video embedded below, simply a summary and quotes that particularly resonated with me. I will try to write something more analytical at a later date.

In this TEDx talk given at GWU, Dr. Carol O’Donnell emphasizes the importance of tangible objects and tactile, “gateway experiences” in the expanding digital world. As the Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, she discusses the need and benefits to digitizing museum collections but emphasizes the importance of using “object-driven learning” and “digital learning” in conjunction with one another, using the digital as tools to “bring students to places too large, too small, too complex to experience first-hand.”

Quotes that particularly resonated with me:

  • “physical objects help evoke those personal histories in us”
  • “even as we lead more digital lives, we still crave…tactile experiences.”
  • “stuff is still removed from the context of its environment”

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