we are here to advocate for all students being able to learn about an ethnicity and its history: this is about a privilege that I enjoy at my school, St. Gregory, and which I feel every student should share: the freedom of knowledge.
In a fast-changing world, the responsibility is upon us, all of us, more than it has ever been before, to continue learning and growing. Graduates, you are, all of you, headed off to college and university, and as we are the St. Gregory College Preparatory School, we are pleased and proud that you are. A college education is a very fine thing to have.
But it is not sufficient.
One of you, I know, began this week already a course to become a real estate agent. He tells me that in his class of 40, he is the youngest by ten years—and that this is just one element of his broad based plan to educate himself both inside and outside of college.
How might you learn in ways beyond and in addition to college? Graduate school, yes: more than 70% of you have indicated your intent to go to grad school, nearly double the national average. But grad school too is not enough.
Reading, certainly, is another way: and we should all be grateful to the service of Librarians like the retiring Mrs. Speetzen who inspires and guides us in our learning by reading.
There is also a whole world of learning available to you online– one example being, oh, I don’t know, maybe TED Talks, (pause) and in addition to TED talks, there are hundreds upon thousands upon millions of places online by which you can continue and extend your learning.
The true beauty of online learning, however, does not lie in searches, page-views, and video watching, but comes from creating, producing, sharing, and collaborating online.
In her recent book DIYU: Do-it-Yourself University, the Coming Transformation of Higher education, Anya Kamentz explains that in this still new online environment,
Everyone explores, virtually and actually. Everyone contributes something unique. Everyone learns. This is the essence of the DIYU idea.
in these new learning environments, digital media provide access to a rich source of information and play. Now new online collectives are forming, in which people belong in order to learn. Thanks to digital media, the range of available collectives is almost limitless. They constitute an ocean of learning.
Innovation is social too. As Steven Johnson explains in Where Good Ideas Come From,
the most consistently creative individuals have broad social networks that extend far beyond their organization,
We become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions,
Please stop waiting for a map. We reward those who draw maps, not those who follow them.
Graduates, and all of you who are learners, leaders, and innovators: Go forth and learn, because as Jacob and Aubri said, everyone should share in the freedom knowledge brings, and use that ongoing learning to make your own maps and better address the challenges our society and our planet face with character, leadership, scholarship, and innovation.