Creativity and Innovation:

Leveraging Technology to Change YOUR World

Creativity and Innovation: Leveraging Technology to Change YOUR World

© Gretel Patch 2013

Masters of Educational Technology Student

Boise State University



I briefly want to introduce myself.

I call myself the EdTech Didi. I use didi to mean older sister, one who works for you, one you respect, one who walks beside you on your journey. That's what I try to do with teachers, parents, and students. I am passionate about where education and technology intersect and feel it is an exciting time to be part of both fields.

I am on Facebook under EdTechDidi as well as Twitter. My email is On my website I have many tools and resources that may be of interest to you. Please keep in touch!

We have lived in Kathmandu for almost two years and it has been a very rewarding experience.

This is my family. We have four children. My two oldest are with me today. They're great kids. We have lived in Africa and Australia before Nepal, but we are from the USA.

You can see the star right here. I am from the state of Utah, a city called St. George.

It is very beautiful with a lot of red rocks. It is close to many national parks, including the Grand Canyon. It's also very close to Las Vegas.

I am the Technology Integration Coordinator at Lincoln School in Kathmandu. We are an international school with students from many different countries around the world. I work to help students and teachers use technology for learning in their classrooms.

I will graduate this May with my Masters of Educational Technology from Boise State University. It is an exceptional program, one of the leading in this field. Fortunately for me, it's all available online. I love learning and I love technology, so it's a perfect blend of both interests.

I have been involved with the Access program since I arrived in Kathmandu, and it has been a wonderful experience to work with students in Kathmandu, Gorkha, and Bhairahawa. I have tried to share some tools that will help them as they develop technology skills.

I thought you might like to see a short film I put together. These are the Kathmandu Access students as they celebrated Teej festival not this last year but the year before.

Problems: Where to begin?

The world has a lot of problems. Your situation might not be ideal. Everyone has unique problems and struggles. You may not be able to change the world. You won't be able to provide food, clean water, energy, and wealth to everyone. You won't be able to eliminate war or hatred or crime. You may not be able to change even your own country and the problems you face here. So, what can you do?

Let's watch a short clip where Dr. Jane Goodall tells how a few students in Tanzania made a difference in their world.

Start Somewhere: Change YOUR world

What do you do? You start somewhere! You may not be able to change the world, but you can change YOUR world. What are your problems and what are you going to do to solve them? What will you do to make your world: your family, your village, your community a better place.

Maybe you've heard of this story about a group of young boys in rural Thailand who had a dream. Let's watch...

Let's talk for a minute about technology: what is it and how can it empower you to be global citizens? How can you use technology in creative and innovative ways to change YOUR world?

Internet: Your ticket to information

First, let's look at the Internet. It is your ticket to information. It is a great equalizer. It means that as long as you have access to a cyber, you have access to the world, the same as anyone else.

Let's look at a glance back at 2012 world events as shown through Google searches...

Internet: Your ticket to information

Do you have to have a fancy computer or smartphone to access such information? Sure, it would be nice, but it's not necessary. Any device that can connect you to the Internet connects you to the world.

You have access to the same information -- the same power -- that anyone else in the world does. From here in Nepal. From anywhere.

[demonstration with string that represents the Internet or information superhighway and grasp on to it from various points]

The question is, what are you going to DO with that power? If you are simply using the cyber to check Facebook, play games, or watch YouTube videos, you are missing a great opportunity.

Look at this man from Kenya who used his basic knowledge of Google searches to improve his community.

Mahabir Pun: making a difference

Let's get a little closer to home. You've likely heard of this man: Mahabir Pun. He first dreamed of connecting his village of Nangi to the internet in 1997, and has been working ever since to bring the internet to rural Nepal. Mahabir was born in Nangi, and completed his primary education there.

After working as a teacher for several years, he completed a master's degree in education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Mahabir has constructed computer labs at several schools in the area and planned out the entire Nepal Wireless network. He plans to to continue to expand access in the future.

a. Mahabir Pun was elected Ashoka Fellow ( in 2002 by Ashoka Foundation, USA, which is the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. The foundation recognizes people from around the globe, who have "innovative solutions to social problems and the potential to change patterns across society".


It is Increasing quality educational opportunities in rural schools and communities by creating tele-teaching and tele-training program, and by making e-learning materials in local language available to students, teachers and villagers through e-libraries.


In Nepal, there is acute shortage of doctors. The people to doctor’s ratio is approximately 6000: 1. At this situation even there is no health post in remote rural villages. To take basic facilities of quality health services in rural area Nepal wireless project is running tele-medicine projects through 8 centers. These eight centers Nangi, Paudwar, Tolka, Dolakha, Pharping, Jomsom, Trisuli and Nepal Medical College are connected by the wireless network with the Kathmandu Model Hospital located at Kathmandu.

Genius = 99% perspiration + 1% inspiration

Thomas Edison said that Genius is 99% perspiration (or hard word) and 1% inspiration (or a great idea).

To get anywhere in this life, you must work hard. Success doesn't come easily.

You're off to a great start in the Access program. It is not easy. You give up a lot of your time and dedicate yourselves to learning English. You will be better people, better students because of it.

Information + Application = Power

So, the Internet brings large amounts of information to you. You can find the answer to almost any question. You need to be able to sort through that information, to make sense of it. That is where there is power.

Let's watch this short clip about using technology to transform lives.

possibly remove slide

Social media: your connection with the world

So, technology can transform lives. But how?

One way is through using social media for good.

Raise your hand if you have a Facebook account. Twitter?

Social media can be a powerful force for good. Let's watch a short clip on some ideas on how.

You may not be collecting donations. But what are some ways that you can use social media for good?

Share ideas: Be a global citizen

You have a tremendous opportunity to tell the world about you. Let them see who you are. If you're just going to post about what you did last night or favorite music or whatever, then what's the point?

Share your ideas. Share a part of your world. Let others see what you believe in and what your hopes and dreams are.

Network: Connect with others

Through social media you have world leaders and innovators at your fingertips. Connect with and follow causes and leaders you look up to. Learn from them.

Be proud: Post wisely

Everything you post online tells your story. Only post those things that represent your very best self. You don't want something to come back to negatively impact you or your friends or family. Don't ever assume that anything you post online is private.

Be safe. Be careful. Be proud.

Learn: Knowledge is power

Social media and the Internet gives us a real opportunity to learn. Let's look at some of the ways you can increase your knowledge and education online.

All of them are free and available to anyone in the world with an Internet connection.

Raise your hand if you've ever used Khan Academy?

"The Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. We're a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere."

"With a library of over 3,800 videos on everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and hundreds of skills to practice, we're on a mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace."

If you're only using Google to search the Internet, you are really missing out on its power. Google Drive hosts several online, cloud-based apps that can really help you. They are great because you don't need expensive software on your own computer or device.

You can create a document, a presentation, a drawing, keep track of things on a calendar, and more. You can share, work together in collaboration, and comment on each other's work. This is really helpful for teachers and students. You don't have to be on at the same time either.

Google apps can really help you store your documents and writings and also learn some good skills that will help you in the workplace.

I don't work for Google (though that would be great fun) but I just returned this past week from a Google conference in Sydney, Australia. I met several leaders from Google and many educators who are using Google apps in very innovative and brilliant ways in the classroom to help students learn.

Trust me: There is real power in learning these tools.

Using incredible technology, Google Art project brings you high-resolution images from the world's greatest art museums. You may not be able to travel to Paris to visit the Louvre, but it can come to you. Google Art Project is an incredible way to

If you're only watching music videos or other nonsense on YouTube, you are really missing the point. YouTube for schools ....

MOOC: Massive Open Online Course

MOOCs are really catching on in the U.S. MOOCs stand for massive open online courses. That means that major universities offer free online courses to anyone in the world. It will be interesting how this trend affects higher education in future years.

You can access these courses as you are able and as you grow older to supplement your education in areas of interest.

Here are some examples of MOOCs.

EdX is one of the newer MOOCs and is backed by MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley.

Coursera has been around longer and has 2.5 million students and over 200 courses offered.

All for free.

Udacity is run through Stanford University provides thousands of students with quality education.

If I could learn anything, what would it be?

So, in conclusion, I want you to ask yourselves a few questions:

If I could learn with anyone, who would it be?

If I could learn in any space, where would it be?

What will I learn today?

What will I be today?

What will I do today to change my world?

From YouTube:

“We at Together We Can Change the World, Inc (TWCCTW) played a major role in bringing over an African Youth Choir called SIFA. All of the children are AIDS orphans. The goal was to raise money for the children to take back to Uganda in order to finish building their orphanage and to build new homes for them to live in.

Their six month tour was a tremendous success. Every where they went people just fell in love with them. A very good friend of TWCCTW, Mark Shepard, wrote a song that describes the heart of what we do and why we built this company. Before the SIFA Choir left to go back to Uganda, we were able to get them and a young lady named Rilee O'Neill into a recording studio to lay down this song so it could get placed on an upcoming SIFA project and promoted by us.

TWCCTW continues to raise and donate funds to build orphanages and help abused children around the world. Our goal is to put millions of dollars into the hands of non-profit organizations of all kinds. This song speaks right to the heart of our message to people everywhere. You can become a part of this mission too. Please watch the entire video. Thank you.”

Given at English Access

Mircoscholarship Program


Winter Camp 2013

Access Leadership Conference 2013 - Google Slides