What I learned about technology from a Botswana marimba band

Every kid there is on Facebook, like here.

Many of the kids bought phones just for the two week stay — lots of texting.

Our Facebook page helped engage fans at the rate of 50 interactions per week. The students, however, didn’t post on our wall.

All of the electronic event bulletin boards in the world still cannot turn people out like a single Arts section headline article in the local paper.

Two of the group bought computers to take back home, one of them a netbook.

I had regular, real-time email exchanges with Botswana in the morning and at night.

Our touring vans had wireless Internet and a xbox (when running).

Google Maps Mobile was absolutely indispensable when driving from place to place.

I found it easy to set up advance ticket sales within just a few minutes per event.

It was equally easy and inexpensive to lay out programs, posters, business cards, and even a six-foot vinyl banner in InDesign and send to a copy shop for production.

It was even easier to produce hundreds of t-shirts but much harder to sell them.

Recording from a theater’s sound board straight into GarageBand was more effective than using a portable audio recorder (thank you Overlake theater tech!).

The CD replication shop accepted MP3 files by FTP and replicated the CD in two days! They printed the CD surface and sleeve a few days ahead of time.

Our small Canon videocamera captured much higher quality video than our Flip, at under double the price.

I feel like I witnessed the launch of the iPad in slow-motion across three states, as I encountered people who had just received their orders.

I saw a surprising number of cracked iPhone screens in various people’s homes, all of the devices still in use.

Obsessing about music, Botswana, and schools for two weeks helps put educational technology in proper perspective.

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