On February 19th, CMA hosted Howard Blumenthal, renowned author, new media producer, and creator of projects such as Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and Kids On Earth to speak on the current global state of kids. Blumenthal has made it his mission to focus his work on global citizenship and the influence of connecting cultures, and in this event he shared his experiences and perspectives with attendees related to this.
Blumenthal kicked off the event discussing the Internet, and how it’s affecting children all over the world. Kids can easily find a website or video on whatever topic they want, which they wouldn’t get in a normal classroom setting. This fact will continue to force modern methods of teaching to drastically change as media use takes over the learning experience. Along these lines, Blumenthal thinks of the Internet as “the fastest-growing educational institution the world has ever known.”
Blumenthal then recounted a childhood experience with a piece of literature that was given to him by a family member that told of the experiences of young children in the Philippines forced to replant trees in a war affected area. He spoke passionately about how this changed his perspective in a global sense and sparked in him the passion to speak with children around the world.
This personal story was a great lead into the final Q&A portion. A number of questions from attendees revolved around Blumenthal’s production process, spanning from scheduling, contacting, to filming setup. When the audience connected with what Blumenthal shared from his personal experiences with children around the world, he highlighted how important we as content creators truly are. He urged a focus on the impact that the content creates as opposed to the process of creating it. He emphasized the power that our content can have on the children of the world and urged for us to nurture good thinking.