Confidence built through story-telling

MLTI Student Conference

ORONO – Joe Lien didn’t follow the conventional path to graduation at Poland Regional High School. But after four years, he’s a graduate with plans to enlist in the U.S. Navy and attend college after that.

Article image: Joe Lien speaks on stage at the MLTI Student Conference with Jim Moulton, Education Development Executive for Apple.
Poland Regional High School senior Joe Lien, left, presents at the MLTI Student Conference on May 26, 2011. Jim Moulton, Education Development Executive for Apple, is at right.

The 18-year-old from Mechanic Falls attributes his on-time finish largely to an adviser in Poland’s D-Path alternative education program who didn’t let him walk out, fight or slack off.

It’s that teacher who asked Lien to create a journal detailing his life story, he said in a presentation at the Maine Learning Technology Initiative Student Conference on May 26.

For that, he turned to the MLTI laptop he was assigned as a student.

Using the program “Pages” – which comes standard on the MLTI laptop – Lien told his life story using a combination of words, images and videos of him pursuing his passion: playing the electric guitar.

As he worked on that story, called “The Frets of Life,” Lien said he gained confidence in his storytelling and musical abilities. Ultimately, he built up the confidence to request a chance to play the national anthem at his graduation.

Poland’s graduation committee agreed, and Lien performed at Poland Regional High School’s graduation on June 5.

Lien published his story as an ePub, a format that allows a document to be read on multiple devices, including the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It’s also a format that’s become popular in the growing world of freely distributed, open, online textbooks.

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