New Media Faculty Dev. Seminar – FA2010

"Awakening the Digital Imagination" – a Networked Seminar

I Should Write Here More Often…

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Post source: publicintellectual

I've been thinking about ways to creatively procrastinate in my need to grade student essays while giving meaningful feedback. I want to be able to give myself a break from the gnawing fear and frustration that comes with the natural struggle to gain ability in a skill. However, I also need to not drift too far mentally from the topic at hand. (There, there be dragons!) In the coming months and years, there is a possibility that this blog with be rejuvenated with a new project and direction of my research and teaching. Bah...I'll get back to grading, but with the integration of Google Apps to a better degree, at least I no longer have to go to far to write something, even it if just represents my thoughts. Currently Listening, Reading, and/or Watching: "Shut Up and Play the Hits" covers 1 and 3. I'm reading student essays and Divergent for s and g's. It's fun.

Post source: publicintellectual

This is a test for embeddable video in preparation to a potential Writing for Digital Media course in the Fall or Spring: It seems to work, and the video is catchy as well.

Post source: publicintellectual

Post source: Applications in Biology for a New Generation

We have grown up with comics and have accepted the need to hop from frame to frame in a linear path. Time moves to the right and down in standard comics. So we have accepted the flow visually. This is not a new concept. We have been telling stories in this linear fashion with drawings from as far back as the Egyptians.

Looking for patterns – when the pattern is as simple as boxes side by side we see the pattern. But complex patterns are missed by many people. I don’t know if this is a new phenomenon or has always been a problem. As a dyslexic patterns are very simple for me to see. Is pattern recognition a measure of intelligence? I have personally witnessed in the last three weeks that many of my colleagues can not recognize or follow patterns. Are they unable to see them or do they see no value in recognizing them. Is this a fine arts skill that is not normally seen in analytically individuals.

Parallel pathways – comics today could be just like the web. You could select your path based on your own interest. We do this with web searches or YouTube when you select the next and then the next as the computer searches for similar videos. Before you know it, you are no longer anywhere near where you started with your original search.

Learning from the comics

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Post source: mccmktg

What a refreshing reading!  I thought the format was extremely effective.  I’ve never been a fan of comics, but I now have a great appreciation of the art of comics as well as their power to involve the reader in the subject matter.

Radio is often called “theatre of the mind.”  It is sometimes more effective than television because, if engaged, the audience uses their imaginations to fill in the blanks and the pictures that they create are more powerful than ones provided by video.  I can see that comics also  have that power.  I wish I had more drawing talent.  It would be fun to try to create some instructions for students in comic form.

Scott McCloud on Comics

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Post source: Gail'sNew MediaBlog

McCloud’s explanation in comics form of how comics “work” was fascinating. I had never thought of the mechanics of how comics artists get their story, action, and representation of time across to the readers.  I think writing this book in comics form was a great and entertaining way to literally illustrate the many points he makes about the different conventions and techniques that comics artists use, and how the reader understands and perceives the story, action, and the passage of time.  If one was talented in this area, which sadly, I am not, wouldn’t this be a fun course to take?

I also loved McCloud’s speech on TED and his pictures and other graphical representations of what he was saying. Very interesting, entertaining, and fast-paced. He would be great to hear and see in person.

Post source: Applications in Biology for a New Generation

We do live in a society that values degrees. In previous years that was not as big a problem as it is today. Today parents and students alike value the degree but not what it takes to acheive the degree. In many cases both feel that grades and degrees give them some magical way to achieve their goals. They do not take into consideration what it take to learn the material or the importance of that information learned. This is best illustrated by grade inflation.

Some remodeling of content may improve students learning, as seen with cross discipline courses, but until the student make an effort no change in our educational system is going to make a difference. We use to value experience in college education. People from industry were not required to have the graduate hours to teach.

Today’s classroom is often focusing on “the test”. Teach to the test. The numbers on the test will determine funding, will determine if you have a job tomorrow, etc. Instead of teaching student the whole story we only focus on that which is on the standardized tests – what has that gotten us – a group of high school graduates who can not read, write, or do arithmetic at a high school level. I say the model is broken and we need to throw it out.


Deschooling? Scary

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Post source: Gail'sNew MediaBlog

I really enjoyed today’s discussion of “Learning Webs” in Deschooling Society. My fellow participants had some great comments and insights. While the author made some good points, it is scary to think of changing the educational system in such radical, major ways all at once. I would be afraid the students, and indeed, everyone, would not be motivated or knowledgeable enough to be in charge of their own learning. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. The educational system and the society the author described sounds too different to actually conceptualize it. I can’t see it happening the way the author described it.

I Will Survive…

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Post source: publicintellectual

First, I Was Afraid. I Was Petrified...

or something like that...

I must admit that I struggled with the Deschooling reading for today. Something deep and, seemingly, primal screamed out in slo-mo, "NOOOO!!!!" when the author appeared to belittle the hierarchical order and engagement with knowledge.

"Of course one needs to find and engage with knowledge in order. It's obvious." Or, additionally, the "reorganization" of schools in a deschooled environment, a web of learning, would resulted in further divisions between the haves and have-nots.

But I Spent So Many Nights Thinking How You Did Me Wrong...

Then, however, I began to think as I encountered different examples about how resources were used in ways similar to the author's descriptions, like the tape recorders and mechanical donkeys, that mirrored my experiences in teaching. I teach about half of my day at a relatively lower privileged high school where money seems prevalent for football and computers that remain locked in closets. I see textbooks that cost hundreds of dollars that cost only that much for the reason that they control the flow of information and are driven by the profit motive.

I was also angry about the article's assertion that it was the teachers who held onto this structure. I would love nothing more than to let students be self-directed. In fact, I've structured my final paper in my freshmen writing class to be inspired by a reading of their choice and tried to serve more as guide than a "TEACHER". I encourage them to ask questions that they are interested in and follow the directions that their research sends them. However, they have been so strictly trained against inquiry that these appears to cause the same anguish as ordering them to kill their pet rabbit.

Clearly something is NOT right.

I Grew Strong. I Learned How to Carry On.

The problem that I see in this debate, and the reading itself, is that educators and policy-makers seek answers rather than a dialectic. Just as Ms. Gaynor states in her totemic song, the strength comes from struggle, not the solution. It comes in the realization that the narrator has about what they should have done in the distant and recent past AND in their practical response to what they should do now.

The error of complete reconstructionalists is that they can imagine the world and relationships in that world in any way that they want. They have the luxury of a known fantasy. Gloria Gaynor, along with the vast majority of educators today, knows that the what-if's are as self-interested as the no-good-nic attempting to return.

Perhaps, just maybe, the solution to the education/tech debate rests in the song as she sings to not just focus on
all the strength I had not to fall apart kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart and I spent oh so many nights just feeling sorry for myself


But rather on the direction provided by the example...
Now I hold my head up high and you see me somebody new. I'm not that chained up little person still in love with you


Yes, we could completely recreate ourselves to meet the expectations of one constituency or another, but then we succeed only in demonstrating something of the lack of value of the very thing that we offer to provide.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

I Will Survive…

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Post source: publicintellectual

First, I Was Afraid. I Was Petrified...

or something like that...

I must admit that I struggled with the Deschooling reading for today. Something deep and, seemingly, primal screamed out in slo-mo, "NOOOO!!!!" when the author appeared to belittle the hierarchical order and engagement with knowledge.

"Of course one needs to find and engage with knowledge in order. It's obvious." Or, additionally, the "reorganization" of schools in a deschooled environment, a web of learning, would resulted in further divisions between the haves and have-nots.

But I Spent So Many Nights Thinking How You Did Me Wrong...

Then, however, I began to think as I encountered different examples about how resources were used in ways similar to the author's descriptions, like the tape recorders and mechanical donkeys, that mirrored my experiences in teaching. I teach about half of my day at a relatively lower privileged high school where money seems prevalent for football and computers that remain locked in closets. I see textbooks that cost hundreds of dollars that cost only that much for the reason that they control the flow of information and are driven by the profit motive.

I was also angry about the article's assertion that it was the teachers who held onto this structure. I would love nothing more than to let students be self-directed. In fact, I've structured my final paper in my freshmen writing class to be inspired by a reading of their choice and tried to serve more as guide than a "TEACHER". I encourage them to ask questions that they are interested in and follow the directions that their research sends them. However, they have been so strictly trained against inquiry that these appears to cause the same anguish as ordering them to kill their pet rabbit.

Clearly something is NOT right.

I Grew Strong. I Learned How to Carry On.

The problem that I see in this debate, and the reading itself, is that educators and policy-makers seek answers rather than a dialectic. Just as Ms. Gaynor states in her totemic song, the strength comes from struggle, not the solution. It comes in the realization that the narrator has about what they should have done in the distant and recent past AND in their practical response to what they should do now.

The error of complete reconstructionalists is that they can imagine the world and relationships in that world in any way that they want. They have the luxury of a known fantasy. Gloria Gaynor, along with the vast majority of educators today, knows that the what-if's are as self-interested as the no-good-nic attempting to return.

Perhaps, just maybe, the solution to the education/tech debate rests in the song as she sings to not just focus on
all the strength I had not to fall apart kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart and I spent oh so many nights just feeling sorry for myself


But rather on the direction provided by the example...
Now I hold my head up high and you see me somebody new. I'm not that chained up little person still in love with you


Yes, we could completely recreate ourselves to meet the expectations of one constituency or another, but then we succeed only in demonstrating something of the lack of value of the very thing that we offer to provide.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad