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The Most Powerful App for Education | Bill Shribman


Bill Shribman, a Senior Executive Producer at WGBH, the Public Broadcasting Station in Boston, is taking the digital camera into the classroom to make learning fun. By combining his two passions, photography and creating digital games for kids, he examined the possibilities for education and engagement made possible by the explosion of camera-enabled mobile devices. In his talk at TEDxBeaconStreet, Shribman highlights gesture-based games, augmented reality apps, and a photographic app that helps kids with autism. “I have introduced photography to many projects at WGBH as a way of teaching kids,” Shribman says with conviction, “and we’ve witnessed how well that works with every photographic project we do.”

In England, where Shribman grew up, there was a prime time daily news program directed at children. He was surprised when coming to America that there was nothing in the same vein offered to our children.  So Shribman introduced a site at PBS KIDS that used photos from the Associated Press to bring real news to kids. “Using appealing strong images from the news and Twitter-style captions we gave kids a view of the world that we don’t think they would have seen otherwise.”

Shribman makes the case to parents and educators that it’s important to help kids discover, explore and learn about our vibrant world  through the camera lens, saying “We have the ability to see the world through kid’s eyes by seeing their pictures.” He demonstrates how we can and should turn the ubiquitous digital camera into a powerful tool for learning and for exploration. “The most powerful “app” for education may, in fact, be the camera.”