Sunday, May 08, 2011

What's Your Happiness Moment? A Winner!

Screenshot of all videos tagged, "HappinessM90" as of May 6, 2011 - 12:00am EST.
My "Happiness Machine" contest officially closed on May 6, 2011 at 12:00am. The comments shared were a mix of fun and heart-warming stories and I want to sincerely thank everyone who entered this contest.

I must say, each video really touched me in some special way. The videos vary in quality but none-the-less, the message was most important in the end.

These three videos, from "Hall Davidson," reveals the magic that happens when educators learn something new and exciting and realize they can do something they've not done before. With Hall Davidson at the helm, I know there are thousands of other "Happiness" moments just like these.

This video, by "Hoffman," showcases a "Happiness" moment from which we can all take a lesson. She gives her high school students a chance to play a children's game, Duck Duck Goose. How refreshing is that? In this day of "school is too serious to be taken lightly" - frame of mind, this video shows us that it's ok to take a breath and give kids a chance to be... well... kids!

This video, by "TimeOutDad," gives us what should be a mandate: to not look for moments of happiness, but to create them. I love how he shares his son's imagination and sense of humor. He also used one of my favorite (free) video creation web services, Animoto.

Reader, "CakeBlast," created a Happiness Machine in a box. His video shows him waking his son with a sock puppet in a Happiness Machine that he constructed out of a box. The innocence with which his son wakes up to a fun surprise is very sweet. 

The following two videos were the "Final Two." My decision became even more difficult as I tried to choose between them.

In Beth Still's video, she shares how she brought unexpected happiness to three amazing educators via the ISTE Newbie Project. I have personal knowledge of the project and know that the folks Beth profiles, and who have been the recipients of this "scholarship," have experienced a Happiness Machine that allows others to tag on and glean even more "Happiness" moments from the sharing and interaction that occurs at a conference like ISTE. Beth's gift keeps on giving as she continues in her quest to bring more "less connected" educators into the conversation. I'm very glad Beth entered my contest and shared her project. Her project allows educators around the world to learn from each other in a way that just a few years ago was virtually impossible.

Finally, the winner is this video by "The Behavior Guy" that shows his moment of unexpected happiness (with the early arrival of his baby). It is the way in which he tells his story with the unexpected visual of his newborn taking her first few breaths, that reminds me that the power of digital storytelling alone can bring Happiness moments to others. When I viewed it, I had an emotional reaction. I like how he speaks directly to the viewer and challenges us to think about and to recognize those blips in our lives that bring extended moments of happiness. So, Darren not only shares his personal moment, but in creating and sharing this video he gives us all a tool to bring a moment of joy to others.

Congratulations to "The Behavior Guy," on winning this contest. He will receive a brand new Lenovo M90z with which he can create and edit many more videos showcasing "Happiness" moments.

Enjoy Darren's video below. Thank you to everyone who entered!


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