Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Movement of 'New Literacies': Week 3 Reflective Practice INTE 5340 Digital Storytelling

Week 3 Collage

Introduction


As part of the educational discourse in digital storytelling each week, I will conduct a reflective practice self assessment. These ‘reflections’ will serve as both formative and summative assessment to the learning goals of the course INTE 5340.

See learning goals in the INTE 5340 syllabus. See DS106 syllabus.

Requirements and Production



The Daily Create (x2)

Where I Stand tdc1262

The Power to Shape The World Through DrGarcia's Lens tdc1266

DS106 Assignment Bank (Video)

Ken Robinson HG Wells Quote - Kinetic Typography

Response to Lankshear & Knobel “New Literacies” chapter one and selected scholarship

Ed 2.0, Affinities, And Social Responsibility: A Response to Lankshear and Knobel Chapter 3

Digital story critiques (x2)

Let’s get fired up! CNN Ron Clark Academy Global Citizen

A Curious Critique On A Story About A Story, About Another Story

Comment peer critiques (x2)

Critique Week 3-2: Critique: Edutopia- Fostering Creativity and Community with a Platform Video Game

Week 3 Critique: 2 I Got 99 Problems… Palsy is Just One

Comment peer chapter responses (x2)

Reading Response: Chapter 3 - "'New' literacies: technologies and values / War of Art, Pages 61 - 86


New ethos and social learning – Week 3 reading response


Reflective summary

The Movement of 'New Literacies': Week 3 Reflective Practice INTE 5340 Digital Storytelling

What was challenging?

The challenges of this course overall is the amount of production that must take place each week. This would not be so bad if it was not for other responsibilities such as a full time job that also requires an intense amount of production and communication across several platforms and devices. I am currently experiencing multiplicities of ‘new literacies’ almost to the point of overload. I let Twitter distract me on a daily basis because I want to be thinking about the course, and what I am learning, pretty much whenever I am not sleeping (and I am sure some tweets find their way into my sleep). This slows down my work day and makes it more enjoyable but it’s a distraction. I’m finding part of navigating ‘new literacies’ is to choose times of focus and limitation of communiques and times of extreme communication across multiple platforms and devices.

Secondly, what’s challenging about this week was the video assignment I chose from the video assignment bank. I knew it was going to be hard to learn how to animate effectively in Adobe After Effects, and it was going to take a long time to make the illustration I had in my head, but I knew I would learn a lot whether successful or not. Because I was finding success, I kind of became obsessed with animation and was working late until 2-3 am a couple of nights. This tends to happen to me when I start to grab a hold of something new. It’s good and bad. Because after staying up until 3am and getting 3 hours of sleep I got sick the next day and I was not as productive. This was a reminder to me about pacing myself better. I probably would be okay staying up until 1am and getting up at 7am so I should try to shut my brain off earlier.

The third challenging part of this week was chapter 3 in Lankshear & Knobel. There was a lot of information to digest in this chapter. I read the chapter 2-3 times and I highlighted important things and put sticky notes on pages with thoughts as they came up. This was just a small step to being able to synthesise what is learned in the chapter with scholarship. I downloaded Ken Robinson’s “Creative Schools” this week and I have been listening to the audio book while I do my professional work. I know I am an aural learner, right next to social and visual so it is possible for me to get just as much, if not more, out of the audio recording rather than more reading. I found much relief in doing this because the amount of reading I do on a day to day basis is already immense. After making it halfway through the audio book, I was able to make some connections between Lankshear & Knobel and “Creative Schools.” Now the real challenge was limiting myself on what I wanted to focus on for my response. Chapter 3 encompassed so many things, but I decided to focus on the contrast between modern/postmodern, web 1.0-2.0, and affinities. I was able to draw out some deep thinking by focusing on the comparison in education reform to these concepts as well as suggest social responsibility in regards to participation in affinities.

What was most enjoyable?

I really enjoyed creating the animation as part of the kinetic typography video assignment. It was challenging, but I now feel empowered to create animations for many other things. In my mind on any given assignment, I see movement, I hear sounds, I see words - now I feel as though I can take what is in my head and deliver that to the world. Rather than something static or abstract from what is in my head, like simply writing about it, or making a static visual, now things can move and emote to communicate what I am thinking about. However with that in mind, I have to limit my scope of work so that I do not take on too much work. In fact, I would like to do a video showing some behind the scenes stuff and reaccounting the week in an animated compilation, but I know I will spend another 4-6 hours on this and I don’t have the time to do that. Knowing when and how to effectively use media, all things considered, is also part of the learning that happens in this course.

What was learned about the focal theme and what issues / questions have emerged?

The light bulb turned on for me when I saw the table on page 53 of Lankshear & Knobel. When I was able to see and compare and contrast modern/postmodern by use of the table and compare that to education it all started to make more sense. As a society we have entered the postmodern era and so must education. I likened it to ‘ed 2.0’ in response to ‘web 2.0’ as was learnt in the chapter reading. All this fuss about about creativity in schools, and creative arts, and technology is about this pull from society for education to be more relevant in the postmodern and digital age.

The issues that have come up this week, however, in regards to’ affinities’ and ‘open,’ and as I think about education reform is: What is acceptable and appropriate use? We have seen, on numerous accounts, that young learners can align themselves with very harmful factions or individuals on the internet. In Colorado alone there has been accounts in the news of teens aligning themselves with ISIS through use of social media. And of course, the most recent event in Charleston, SC, where the shooter aligned himself with white supremacy. Is it okay for young learners to have a Twitter account, or email, or Facebook? How do we really monitor and guide young learners in ethical, moral, and responsible ways to interact, create, and etc.? When do we start talking to young learners about these things?

Points earned 10/10?

This week was rough. I got sick and I struggled physically and mentally. The pace and breadth for this course is extremely intense. I don’t feel like I delivered as well as I typically could on the critiques and as timely as I would have liked. I also came in a little later than I like (Friday) for the reading response to chapter three. Although I don’t feel the quality of most of my work suffered this week, the timeliness sort of did. However everything was turned in this week and I did participate in more than the required discussion on blogs and twitter. I give myself 9/10.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Power to Shape The World Through DrGarcia's Lens tdc1266




Happy birthday! I hope you like it. Make sure you zoom in and read the tidbits in the HUD.

I sketched the sci-fi landscape and made it look like HUD. I borrowed a HUD from a1samurai to help get me started on this daily create. "I'm uploading the photoshop for this file, so that people can download it and use it..." -a1samurai

A Curious Critique On A Story About A Story, About Another Story

http://www.brainpickings.org/2015/06/17/ian-leslie-curious-rsa-animation/



Assessment criteria: As part of authoring critiques of digital storytelling in INTE 5340 three criterions are selected from Jason Ohler’s assessment traits.


Media Application (Score 1-10: 10 Points)

Media supports the story. Media use is effective and does not overpower writing or story core.

Comments:
This digital story was interesting because it mainly features a wonderful animation, but it synthesises a presentation by the author of the book “Curious” by Ian Leslie with the story about how this animation came to be. Essentially it is like 3 stories in one - the author Maria Popova, wrote the story about the story on the story. This makes it a rich story to critique and it has lots of depth with the media application because of the quality of writing in conjunction with the video and the story about the book that inspired the video.


Media Development Process (Score 1-10: 10 Points)

Use of media was well thought out. The planning was well executed to deliver the story.

Comments:
What’s really amazing is that the animator was very deliberate and careful in craft so much that only one scene was shot a day for the lighting to be consistent due to natural light being part of the scene. There is a wonderful sense of craftsmanship in the variety of the scenes. Additionally, the scenes are relatable because the artist utilized everyday things to create the animation. I’m sure the artist created some sort of story boards and practiced constructing creative elements out of everyday found objects. The author of the story mentioned some of this ‘behind the scenes stuff’ to help the audience appreciate the development process.


Craftsmanship (Score 1-10: 10 Points)

The story was crafted well given the use of mediums and sensibilities to neatness.

Comments:
The author did a great job by telling the story of the book and how that influenced the animation. The use of links and quotes and placement of pictures helped break up the text in key areas to focus the audience throughout the story. The pictures and embedded media was appropriately placed throughout. The craftsmanship of the animation featured was also very well done to help illustrate the story.

Total Score 30/30


Other characteristics this assessment fails to capture:

This assessment fails to mention the monetary and permission concerns one might have given the author provided a great deal of direct quotes and is asking for donations at the end of the story that features other people’s work. I would be interested to know the process behind this story in order to get permission to create and publish this.


How could this digital story be improved?

Maybe too much direct quote towards the end of the story? I would like to see some other more original ways to interest the audience towards the end of the story.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Ed 2.0, Affinities, And Social Responsibility: A Response to Lankshear and Knobel Chapter 3

In chapter three of New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning Third Ed by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel the reader digs deep into the technologies and values that define ‘new literacies’ in detail. Lankshear & Knobel do not suggest that these ‘new literacies’ override convention but instead they transcend or build upon the social practices of previous eras (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 52). This is described on page fifty-three by use of a table to compare and contrast ‘modern’ and ‘postmodern’ variations between paradigms.

 
Lankshear and Knobel "New Literacies" p. 53
Illustrating the changes in paradigms in this manner makes it incredibly clear that when education reform is discussed, mainly, the argument for creativity and the arts, it should be relevant to some if not all of these dimensions in the ‘postmodern’ era. It is through my continued research and scholarship in the works of Ken Robinson, and his latest book, Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education, that I found many similar points which will be compared to synthesize and further emphasise the importance of creative arts in education.

What really stuck out to me on the table was ‘multiple’ and ‘dispersed, modular.’ Lankshear and Knobel describe this as people operating under different identities or Discourses. These perspectives are shifting based on ‘life’ in the given moment. And the concept of a singular, linear life as one dwelling, or family, job, and social class or status is a thing of the past (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 53). Ken Robinson notes this when comparing people as products of the educational process under the industrial paradigm.

“The principle of linearity works well for manufacturing, it doesn’t for people.” (Robinson, Ken Ph.D. 2015, Ch. 2)


In many ways our lives have changed due to ‘new literacies’ and the postmodern era yet it seems educational practices and processes lags behind. Recognising the shift in paradigm makes it abundantly clear that if schools have not enabled their students to be engaged in the postmodern era then it’s time for a change.

In addition to ‘paradigmatic,’ these new literacies in the ‘ontological’ sense have changed dramatically in the postmodern era with the growth of digital technologies and programming languages (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 55). These technologies have allowed many different types of people to have access to encoded texts and generate many possible meanings as never before seen. The sheer quantity and myriad of ways to communicate encoded meanings, such as Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Youtube, LinkedIn, etc. has created many ways for people to create cultures and identities from the very broad to the very niche. Ultimately these technologies have created new ways which change social practices, such as a parent using Facebook to share their preschoolers drawing instead of hanging it on the fridge with magnets. (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 57, 58).

What is also important to note about these technological and digital ways for encoding and generating meanings, is that until recently, many of these platforms have not been readily accessible to people because the technology was too complex to engage the average person, unless they were interested in coding. Many great examples of these are listed on page sixty-four that show how recent technologies have enabled access to users by way of interface and simplification. (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 64). This enabling, essentially is how we can separate web 1.0 to 2.0. I can relate to this from my own accounts, such as, in the 90’s using IRC and AOL to access the internet and chat rooms with a dial up modem versus what is commonly done today, simply unlock your phone look at your Twitter and Facebook feeds. I can remember in the 90’s there was a nerd stigma associated with using the computer and the internet because of the various technological know-how required to even access social networks on the internet. I can remember the surge in web based professions and HTML and scripting languages. Now mostly, no one needs to know how to code because the major software platforms that people choose to utilize in web 2.0 do the coding for them.

It’s incredibly interesting that these ‘new literacies,’ which we are enabled to use in our everyday lives, has in many ways acted as a catalyst in education reform. Not only increasing the arguments for access to technology in schools, but also contributing to the argument for more access to arts disciplines as ways of being able to generate meaning in creative ways. One might call it ‘education 2.0’. At least that’s how I’m defining it by synthesis of “New Literacies” and “Creative Schools.” Where education 1.0 can be seen as the system designed and delivered in the industrial-modern era, ed 2.0 is taking shape now in response to societal demands placed upon schools to become more relevant in the postmodern technological age. Much like contemporary life that is complex and adapting, due to the age of technology and web 2.0, education must be. As Ken Robinson describes in “Creative Schools,” referring to the works of Dave Price’s “Open,”


“The growing availability and sophistication of digital technology is transforming both the world in which students learn, and the means by which they do it. Virtually every day, there are new tools for learning and creative work in all sorts of disciplines, and new programs and platforms that can help to customize education for every learner.” (Robinson, Ken Ph.D. 2015, Ch. 3)


In addition to what can be learnt or taught in school by being enabled with these new literacies, there is immense value in what can be created, learnt, and taught outside of school. Lankshear and Knobel describe Web 2.0 further by ‘affinities.’

“These are affinities where their participation and collaboration enact relationships to/with others and their shared interests, and contribute collectively to building the affinity and a sense of membership in that affinity.” (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 80).


Affinities are further described as various based on ‘ethos’ and 'configurations.' When the affinities and configurations take shape to form a community of interested and collaborative folks engaged in sharing information and learning, one can see great value and potential for student engagement beyond the confines of typical education (four walls and a ‘know-it-all’). In these affinity spaces students may engage other students with similar interests, or professionals who can impart their knowledge. What is learned is then shared with other students in a classroom or another affinity space, and so forth. Ultimately, creating and cultivating the conditions for education to thrive.
 
As I begin to think more deeply about these kinds of 'new literacies,' and affinities, and the immense complexities involved with these social arrangements, I am starting to wonder, for young learners in particular, what is acceptable? With regard and concern for young learners, these affinity spaces and talking to strangers on the internet can potentially lead them to harm. Furthermore, how can young learners be guided to associate themselves to socially acceptable, ethical, and moral affinities? As our society faces, yet another tragedy due to racism and gun violence, in Charleston, SC, I am really starting to wonder. How did the young killer decide to align himself with affinities on the internet related to white supremacy? Was this part of his learned culture from his family? Was this something learnt on his own and on the internet? As I learn about ‘open’ and ‘free’ internet, I am beginning to see the need for more emphasis on ethics and morality. Although I do not think this is discussed in great detail in “New Literacies,” I believe there should be a chapter on 'new literacies' and social responsibility.

Citations



Aronica, Lou; Robinson, Ken Ph.D. Creative Schools the Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education. 2015. Narr. Robinson, Ken Ph.D. Tantor Media. May 8, 2015. Accessed June 20, 2015. Digital File.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Let’s get fired up! CNN Ron Clark Academy Global Citizen






The Ron Clark Academy - CNN Global Citizen and Global Leader
CNN's piece on how RCA teaches its students how to be global citizens and global leaders.
Uploaded on May 3, 2011

Assessment criteria: As part of authoring critiques of digital storytelling in INTE 5340 three criterions are selected from Jason Ohler’s assessment traits.

Research (Score 1-10: 10 Points)

Presentation of facts necessary to support the story. The audience’s questions are answered in the facts presented.

Comments:
As I was watching this video I had doubts. Doubts about the ‘real’ success of a school that actually shows kids having fun AND performing well on tests. As these doubts or questions entered my head the story presented factual information to help me buy in to what is being presented. The factual information also answered my questions about tuition, who goes to this school, and how much do the kids actually enjoy it. Very brief yet informative - excellent.

Story Flow (Score 1-10: 10 Points)

Information was presented concisely and in organized fashion. No detours or tangents.

Comments:
The story began with the CNN journalist and narrator sliding down the slide into the school. This definitely grabbed my attention and helped me enter the mindset of ‘this is a fun school’ as well. The rest of the story unfolded from describing the brief history of Ron Clark Academy and how and change in mindset and pedagogy created the school. From there the audience can see the school from both student and teacher perspectives and then finally rounding it out with happy and engaged students performing at the top.

Engagement (Score 1-10: 10 Points)

The content in the story kept the audience involved as the story unfolded.

Comments:
This story was very inspiring to me. I was overjoyed to see the kids so happy and participating in an educational environment that engaged them. Naturally, I wanted to see this from a teacher’s perspective as well so just as I was getting ready to look for another video about teacher’s perspective the story showed how Ron Clark Academy trains their teachers. It was very interesting to hear “his real mission is teaching teachers.” This made me think about what teachers should be doing or learning and kept me engaged through the remainder of the story as it was shown from a teacher’s perspective and then finally back to the students.

Total Score 30/30

Other characteristics this assessment fails to capture:

This assessment fails to mention the requirements or other potential bureaucracy issues that are part of the considerations for launching and attending a radically different school. How did the academy craft education to meet both state and federal government requirements? I would like to see the sort of ‘how did they do it?’ and behind the scenes story as well.

How could this digital story be improved?

Someone really needs to find the original recording and increase the resolution and upload it!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ken Robinson HG Wells Quote - Kinetic Typography

Inspiration

This may be the hardest assignment yet, and perhaps all semester. The video assignment naturally includes audio and illustration so the time required for a successful assignment is huge. I picked the “Kinetic Typography” assignment from the DS106 assignment bank. I was inspired by the Sherlock Holmes example on the landing page for the assignment. I’ve also been inspired all semester by animations and it seems half of my critiques this semester have been on animated shorts. My choice in subject matter directly relates to my theme ‘the importance of creative arts in education,’ and my scholarship with the works of Ken Robinson. I just downloaded his latest book Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education as a mp3 that I can listen to while I work. Needless to say his well-spoken narrative voice is ringing in my head.

Thumbnail Concept

Creative Process

I first created a very rough sketch, also known as a ‘thumbnail’ to get my mind moving in the right direction. This sketch only took 3-5 minutes and the purpose of it is for intrinsic value. I usually don’t share things like this with clients but other designers and artists, maybe. The point is to solve the problem by drawing it out and finding intrinsic value before jumping into more complex and time consuming art.

Next, I used Adobe Illustrator to create a large illustration of the entire animation and elements (on separate layers) as I saw them in my head. Before doing this I watched all of the intro tutorial videos to learn how to use Adobe After Effects. Much like the audio assignment, I am completely new to the software and knowledge required to create successfully. I have created simple animations for games UI in Adobe Flash before but never AE. And I have never created an illustrated animation like this so there was definitely some learning curve. Once I finished the animation, I really felt like I could easily navigate, create, and manipulate video elements in AE. Overall, the assignment was really rewarding. I would have liked to do more animations, but it takes time to make buildings pop out of a planet and for jet planes to race text past an opening book with an illuminated light bulb igniting the wick to a catastrophic explosion!

Illustration Inspired Animation



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Where I Stand tdc1262

Where I Stand tdc1262
From where I stand, these days, there is usually a book, or a phone, or a tablet in my face. Sometimes all three at the same time.

DS106, TheDailyCreate, tdc1262

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Sound of 'New Literacies': Week 2 Reflective Practice INTE 5340 Digital Storytelling


Introduction


As part of the educational discourse in digital storytelling each week, I will conduct a reflective practice self assessment. These ‘reflections’ will serve as both formative and summative assessment to the learning goals of the course INTE 5340.

See learning goals in the INTE 5340 syllabus. See DS106 syllabus.

Requirements and Production



DS106 Assignment Bank (Audio)

Rain Chimes

Response to Lankshear & Knobel “New Literacies” chapter one and selected scholarship


Digital story critiques (x2)


Comment peer critiques (x2)



Comment peer chapter one responses (x2)



Reflective summary

The Sound of 'New Literacies': Week 2 Reflective Practice INTE 5340 Digital Storytelling

What was challenging?

The most challenging component of week two was starting to understand audio. This is new to me, I have never taken a music class, or audio editing, or any relevant formal education to sound or music. Being able to engage in ‘new literacies’ requires some knowledge of audio to be effective so I was encouraged to learn. I had to start from the very beginning - What is sound? How is it digitally recorded? What are the differences in file format? How do I alter recordings? How to I edit clips? How do I mix tracks together to make a mix master? These are just some of the questions that needed to be answered in the form of an effective audio assignment. To my surprise, I was able to do it in a weeks time with the help of online tutorials and videos.

In additional to technical and production challenges, it was also challenging to effectively participate in an online course that leverages social media as the fundamental platform which to express digital stories. This week an awful mass murder took place in Charleston that fueled the fires and debate about racism in this country. When one has the ability to participate in this discussion and perhaps even create digital stories to express meaning around the current affair, it's hard to withdraw and continue to produce as normal. What's more, as I am learning more about the criminal that committed these crimes, it seems his rage was fueled by stories read on the internet. Thus showing a need for ethics and morality in digital story telling among many other things.

What was most enjoyable?

I have never made audio recordings and manipulated them digitally. The act of recording some sounds and altering the clips by cutting and adding ‘fx’ was really satisfying to learn how to do successfully. Even more gratifying was being able to take all of the edited clips and mix them into a session or mixed track to make a ‘sound scape’. In addition to learning a great deal about audio editing and mixing, I also learned how to embed media into my blog and adjust the sizes in HTML. Week 1 I only posted youtube videos, which are part of the pre-made functions in blogger. This week I had several different videos, sound clips, and articles that needed to be embedded that were not part of the standard functions in blogger. The need came about to scale the embedded media because when I pasted the HTML code into my blog, the video was larger than the frame I created for my posts. Thus the video was overlapping some text and side-bar elements. I opened up the HTML and started tinkering with the fields where I saw numbers. Sure enough I was able to manually change the size and make it proportional with very little math involved. I also added a Twitter feed to my blog because there has been a lot of Twitter conversation happening in this course. I was able to change the design of this feature to integrate with the style of my blog. This was also very rewarding to create.

What was learned about the focal theme and what issues / questions have emerged?

The most challenging assignment for me is to read the course text and synthesise what was learned in the text with my focal theme. Mostly it’s not a stretch to do this in my mind, but to focus on a select portion of what was learned in the chapter to create a cohesive response is challenging. This week I focused on connecting the dots between Discourse and disciplines learned in school. Such as, math, science, literature, history, art, theatre, music. The last three seemingly optional for some school programs. This was brought up in point in my chapter response. To limit the disciplines of study would simply mean less ability for students to be creative because they have less to draw from when coming up with creative solutions. Without creative arts study students may not be able to synthesise what is needed to add deep sociocultural meaning to works that may be exhibited as ‘new literacies.’ What I struggled with in the digestion of chapter two material was the concept of internal thought versus external social practice, i.e. Reckwitz reference on page 34. When I personally engage in any Discourse I have internal thoughts that may be in contrast to the norm of social practice or goes against the norm of a Discourse which I belong to. These thoughts may never become ‘external,’ per se, so how do we characterize this ‘deep’ internal mental practice within social practices?

Summary and Points earned 10/10?

This week I learned many great things about audio, embedded media, and the continued study of ‘new literacies’ as Discourse in combination with my focal theme. I also made improvements to my blog to add to the ongoing conversations in this course. I contributed to the required post responses to peers as well as additional responses to daily creates and DS106 assignments. I also added to conversations on Twitter to increase engagement with peers with the intent to ask questions to continue the conversations on their blogs. I dug deep into the text to provide my own response as well as contribute to others. I pushed myself to learn new things for the sake of learning beyond the requirements of this course. I give myself 10/10 points.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Blind Contour tdc1258

Ms Kitty blind contour

Our minds create symbols in the world that we see so that we can make inferences and judgments. Learning to draw is the beginning of a new relationship with the world and it's like seeing the world for the first time.

Blind contour drawings are useful as a practice to learn how to draw. It helps create trust between your eyes, your mind, and your muscles. It reduces tendencies in most beginner drawers to draw what is known rather than drawing what you see. Blind contour drawings are practice in drawing what you see.

Draw what you see, not the symbol of something that you see.



tdc1258, The Daily Create, DS106

Thursday, June 18, 2015

How Discourse and Creativity Express Meaning

Moving from literacy and ‘new literacies’ to Discourse.


In chapter one of New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning Ed by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel. I learned about literacy as a historical concept and a social practice. I also learned about new literacies as ‘paradigmatic’ and ‘ontological’ (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 27). In chapter two I began to learn more about literacy as a social practice through Discourses and encoded texts.

“Hence, literacies are ‘socially recognized ways in which people generate, communicate, and negotiate meanings, as members of Discourses, through the medium of encoded texts.” 

(Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 50).

As a social practice one can think of literacy as observable ‘things’ humans do with their bodies and minds to create meaning. Lankshear and Knobel cite the work of Scribner and Cole to describe these practices as “consisting of three components: technology, knowledge, and skills. (ibid,: 236)” (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 36). Being engaged in literacy also requires context to create meaning and purpose for the social practice to be ‘recognized.’ Meanings are negotiated by these practices and behaviors through encoded texts (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 36,37). What is most interesting about how literacy is defined in this sense is the idea of negotiated meaning and configurations in which literacies take shape. Lankshear and Knobel elaborate on this by providing examples. One’s interpretation of a recipe may differ from another, or one’s perspective on a Bible passage may differ from another’s based on meaning that is derived from being socialized into various sects of Christianity. (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 38).

Meaning is derived from texts as ‘articulation’ and ‘interpretation’ according to Gee cited in Lankshear and Knobel (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 41). Where as, articulation is the work itself ̶ a DS106 assignment from the ‘assignment bank’ for example. The interpretation may be derived from an audience by consuming the work. The various ways in which the work is interpreted is negotiated by the audience based on their personal socialization and Discourses which they belong to.


Discourse and Creativity


It is the various Discourses and ‘coordination’ that I found great value in the relationship to ‘the importance of creative arts education’ and creativity in general. Lankshear and Knobel refer to the works of Gee and describe coordinations as a way humans recognize themselves and others in distinctive ways. It’s a way of ‘thinking and feeling.’ (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 44) These coordinations thus inform the Discourses humans participate in. Whether it be a class, religious gathering, club, sport, multi-player online game, or any sort of Discourse, the individuals contribute their own culture and coordinations. The Discourses are the things that bring meaning to the world (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 45). 

When I think of creativity, I think of the many different and unique ways humans express meaning to the world. To quote the definition of creativity as Sir Ken Robinson defines it in the context of value in education,

“In fact, creativity ̶ which I define as the process of having original ideas that have value ̶ more often than not comes about through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things.”


To Ken Robinson, these meanings are expressed through ‘interactions of different disciplines’ such as math, science, literature, art, dance, music, etc. These are just some of the Discourses students may be involved with in school. One might deduce, if the Discourses are limited students have less chance to be creative and express meaning in their own unique way, which of course is vital to creating a sense of value and meaning in the world.

As a citizen and a teacher in an American society that is struggling to keep up with the rest of the world through measure of education and standardized testing, I hope we can find new ways to create meaning through the many various sociocultural practices and Discourses we as citizens participate in. In other words, why would a country rich in culture seek value in a limited and unimaginative measure such as standardized testing? So much that we would limit our Discourses and disciplines, and reduce our ability to be creative, and perhaps be less equipped to participate effectively in ‘new literacies.’

"It's like education is an industrial process that can be improved just by having better data, and somewhere in the back of the mind of some policy makers is this idea that if we fine-tune it well enough, if we just get it right, it will all hum along perfectly into the future. It won't, and it never did."

Robinson, K. (2013, April). How to escape education's death valley.

Looking forward to the next chapter “‘New’ literacies: technologies and values,” I hope to gain a better understanding of these ‘new literacy values’ and in contrast, compare them to the current values of the educational system in America. Are we at odds with ourselves? Does lack of value in ‘new literacies’ in the educational system lead to less relevant education? Does this ‘boredom’ lead to dropouts? How can we keep up?

Citations

New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning Third Edition by Colin Lankshear and Michele Nobel. McGraw-Hill Education 2011.

Robinson, K. (2006, Feb). How Schools kill creativity.

Robinson, K. (2013, April). How to escape education's death valley.

Critiquing A Reflection On Learning

How A Slight Change In Mindset Accelerated My Learning Forever:
A personal sports story and a practical life tip. 


How A Slight Change In Mindset Accelerated My Learning Forever

Assessment criteria: As part of authoring critiques of digital storytelling in INTE 5340 three criterions are selected from Jason Ohler’s assessment traits.


Media Application (Score 1-10: 9 Points)

Media supports the story. Media use is effective and does not overpower writing or story core.

Comments:
The pictures of kitesurfing were well placed. The map of The Red Sea was needed to remind the audience of the remoteness of area where the story takes place. The thumbnail sketches demonstrate how the actions were performed and were very needed to illustrate the story. I only wish that there was a video embedded at the end of the story to demonstrate learning kitesurfing. However would that take away from the story? Would the audience skip all of the writing and illustrations and go straight for the video?

Story Flow (Score 1-10: 10 Points)

Information was presented concisely and in organized fashion. No detours or tangents.

Comments:
Because the author was describing, in some detail, physical acts in sequence, it was very important that the understanding of the story be apparent in the flow. At first glance, I usually shy away from stories that include step by step instruction (unless I’m reading a tutorial) but this story was captivating because of the overall meaning and flow.

Reflection (Score 1-10: 10 Points)

The story offers unique perspectives based on reflection of events that happened in the story. The audience is inspired to reflect on their own practices.

Comments:
This story was very inspiring to me. As I learn about new technologies and ‘new literacies,’ it is very easy to fall into a ‘timid’ mindset. Where the author exhibited confidence and commitment, his performance and enjoyment in learning was most abundant. This mindset may be applied to learning almost anything.

Total Score 29/30


Other characteristics this assessment fails to capture.

This assessment fails to mention the story did not show any real evidence of the beginners truly not trying hard enough to be successful, or not fully committing to the act at hand. The story also fails to show with sound evidence that ‘trying hard’ on the first attempt while learning something new leads to better outcomes. There is something to be said about experimentation especially when learning something new. It’s possible experimentation, instead of ‘trying hard,’ can come off as being timid or shy.

How could this digital story be improved?

The author describes how he applies his approach to learning something new. He mentions how a majority of people demonstrate lack of commitment or ‘half-assing it.’ Or the beginners feel shy so they don’t demonstrate confidence. I think this could be substantiated a little more. Perhaps some people are, in general, shy or introverted and their outward expression of an activity may always come off as shy? Maybe next time the author teaches something new he can use surveys to capture the true personality, mindset, and character of the people being observed?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Rain Chimes


DS106 Sound Scapes, AudioAssignments, AudioAssignments970


The soundscape audio assignment really appealed to me. I sometimes listen to ‘voiceless’ music during the work day when I need to focus hard and not be distracted behind the meaning of words in songs. It also relaxes me and helps me enter a more meditative state. I figured, why not make my own soundscape? With all of the rain in Denver, Colorado, I decided to focus on water sounds. I typically enjoy the sound of a good rain shower. Since the requirements for the assignment were to use ‘found sounds,’ I like the idea of recording some of my own sounds. I used an iphone 5c to record most of the sounds since I don’t have any other more sophisticated recording device. I also used freesound to gather some chimes, and dings. However all water sounds I recorded.

I thought this would also be a great assignment for libraries such as Anythink, which has a studio for people to record their own sounds and mix it together. Or maybe another spin on the assignment could be a ‘sound scavenger hunt’? Sounds could be described with words and then sounds could be found to meet the requirements then mixed together. The assignment is accessible and can be appreciated for the potential for learning.

The learning that happens, and this is a great assignment to introduce students to sound, is learning about sound waves, how audio is digitized, different types of digital audio files and which ones are appropriate. Also, how to alter recorded sounds and then, ultimately, mix it all together in a multitrack session. I found extreme value in this assignment for myself, as well as demonstrating another assignment that supports the idea of value in arts education to create ‘literacies’ in technology. I have never purposefully recorded audio and mixed it together. I have never taken a music or recording class. I really don’t know much about sound editing or recording equipment. This assignment forced me to learn many new things.
Although I could have learned how to use some freeware software to mix and alter tracks, I chose to use Adobe Audition CC. I already use my Creative Cloud account for visual software so this was an easy download as part of my CC subscription. Opening up Audition for the first time was really overwhelming because of the robust menus, however watching a few video tutorials really helped me understand the basics, and enough to complete the assignment with success. I must say however, it did take considerable time to complete the assignment from beginning to end with the amount of learning and the many tasks I created for myself by tinkering with the sounds.



Listen to some of my recorded and found sounds. Can you identify when and how they are used in the mixed final track?

Found sounds on the web:


Chiming Out

Wine Glass Tinkles

Personally recorded sounds with iphone 5c:


Rain

Rain Pipe

Water Shake


DS106, CUDenver15DS106 Sound Scapes, AudioAssignments, AudioAssignments970

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Critique of complex simplicity:The Poetic Dance Between Simplicity and Uncertainty in Physics

 

The Poetic Dance Between Simplicity and Uncertainty in Physics

By MindShift AUGUST 19, 2014

Assessment criteria: As part of authoring critiques of digital storytelling in INTE 5340 three criterions are selected from Jason Ohler’s assessment traits.


Audience Sensibility (Score 1-10: 10 Points)

Explanation of story is accessible to audience. Use of media and character is appropriate and appealing to audience.

Comments:
Concepts in physics and the duality of theories and perspectives is a challenging concept to present to any audience. However Xiangjun Shi created a beautifully animated video with a ‘hand touch’ to bring the story and concepts to light in simple terms. This story is accessible to grade school age audiences through adults.

Story Economy (Score 1-10: 10 Points)

Information was presented concisely and in organized fashion. No detours or tangents.

Comments:
It may be easy to get lost in technical jargon or advanced concepts in physics. However the author kept focus and interest with the story through a concise manner, although jumping from one physics concept to the next. The animation really helps the story move through each concept with simple yet elaborate transitions.

Personal Communication (Score 1-10: 8 Points)

The story unfolds as a personal journey or story that has meaning and relatable emotion.

Comments:
The animations and narration by a little girl helps bring the audience to a humble and personal level. The personal story is inspiring because in the end Xiangjun Shi demonstrates she understands the basics of physics and is coping with the polarity of theories and concepts. It makes the audience feel relatable, not just about theories in physics but life in general. But is the story really told from the perspective of a little girl?

Total Score 28/30


Other characteristics this assessment fails to capture:

The limited assessment criterions do not necessarily capture the planning or process of this story. Did Xiangjun Shi help animate this or only narrate? In the credits it appears the story was a collaboration between RISD and Brown University. How did they decide to collaborate to tell this story? In a way it is misleading that perhaps a little girl very talented at physics is also very talented at drawing.

How could this digital story be improved?

I wonder if some more background information in the animation itself could make the story a little more personal. How old is Xiangjun Shi? How long has she studied physics? What made the collaborators come together to tell this story? What is the intent?

To Be A Kid Again: The Daily Create 1254

Paper airplanes with notes

If I could be a kid again…

I would make paper airplanes with my dad.
I would ride my bike as fast as I can in the rain and splash in puddles and mud.
I would let my parents know how much I appreciate them and love them.
I would perform random acts of kindness to kids who were bullied.

tdc1254, The Daily Create, DS106

#DS106, #tdc1254

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Mountainous Climb: Week 1 Reflective Practice INTE 5340 Digital Storytelling

Introduction

As part of the educational discourse in digital storytelling each week, I will conduct a reflective practice self assessment. These ‘reflections’ will serve as both formative and summative assessment to the learning goals of the course INTE 5340.

See learning goals in the INTE 5340 syllabus. See DS106 syllabus.

Requirements and Production


The Daily Create (x2)

"Digital Graffiti" - The Daily Create 1247

A Flower for Grief: The Daily Create 1251

DS106 Assignment Bank (Visual)

Where The Ocean Meets The Sky Meets The Land

Response to Lankshear & Knobel “New Literacies” chapter one and selected scholarship

New Literacies and Creativity are Intertwined: A Chapter 1 Response to Lankshear and Knobel

Digital Story Critiques (x2)

A Critique of A Hero: Sir Ken Robinson

A Critique of Visual Mastery (RSA Animate)

Comment Peer Critiques (x2)

“Digital Story (selected scholarship) Critique #1, Week1 – There’s No Health Argument for Veganism”

Learning to Critique: Assessment of Digital Storytelling Series – Part 1

Comment Peer Chapter One Responses (x2)

FALLING OUT OF LITERACY: A 21st Century Paradox

Literacy as a Social Practice: Chapter 1 Reflection

Reflective Summary

A Mountainous Climb: Week 1 Reflective Practice INTE 5340 Digital Storytelling


What was challenging?

The most challenging part of week one was getting started with this course and also producing an incredible amount of work whilst overcoming week one hurdles. Hurdles such as, “Who else is in my class and where is their blog? How do I connect with my classmates on Twitter? How do I create a Twitter list? How do I write a critique? How do I ‘blog like a champ’? Who should I tweet? How do I state a clear and concise message in Twitter within the character limit?” Essentially, technical stuff I now know as ‘ontological’ in nature. The second challenging part was the discovering of the sociocultural sense of literacy and coping with the fact that myself and my classmates are becoming literate in ‘new literacies’. This ‘coping’ means accepting I am only beginning to learn and I have many great technical, artistic, and social ‘things’ to create and discuss to become ‘newly literate.’ In other words, I’ve got a long ways to go looking up from the base of a mountainous climb.


What was most enjoyable?

The most enjoyable aspect of week one was discovering the power and freedom of digital storytelling in an open forum. It was great to see collaboration beyond the walls of a classroom or beyond the confines of a LMS. As a student who spends a lot of time crafting digital stories for consumption by peers, it is refreshing that our voices can be heard beyond the confines of a limited LMS forum of say, twenty peers, and one to two instructors. One of my favorite moments from the week was when I was tweeting with @jimgroom about some of my work on DS106. It is incredible to learn and to practice with current technologies and appreciate the access we have to key people to involve in our conversation or issue at hand.


What was learned about the focal theme and what issues / questions have emerged?

When I began to critically think about the Lankshear & Knobel text in conjunction with my focal theme ‘the importance of creative arts in education’ I began to realize: the arts and ‘new literacies’ are intertwined. I am starting to understand that there is significant learning and ‘meta learning’ that happens when creating digital stories. And masterful expression of digital stories cannot be realized with a simple practice of one exercise. One may learn how to write a blog post, but masterful blog posts may include embedded pictures and videos, with links, in a font and layout that is visually appealing and contributes to the focus and ‘read’ of the story. The ability to ‘express effectively with mastery’ takes lots of practice and critical thinking to develop an aesthetic appreciation for details.


Points earned 10/10?

I am traditionally my own worst critic. Working in an art related field for many years, and having to ‘show’ my work and thought processes to the world constantly, and deal with both extremely subjective and objective criticism, I have developed a way to internalize criticism of myself as I am creating ‘things.’ And I often times do things more than once to get it right and pay attention to the details of whatever I am crafting. I thrive in iterative processes and ‘fix’ my work as I go rather than trying to get it right the first time. All of that to say, “I am very critical of myself and when I can score myself highly it typically means I went above and beyond what I expect for myself.” Score 10/10.

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Flower for Grief: The Daily Create 1251

Dear Susannah,
Today's daily create, 'send flowers to DS106 people,' is for you!
As you are processing grief through digital storytelling know you are not alone. Cancer also runs in my family and I have lost family members from this disease. Today my mother went to her cancer specialist (cancer free for 10 years now) to talk about 'genetic research' to share with the rest of my family. My cousin is in Houston right now going through chemo and stem cell routines to save his life. I hope the flower can remind you of the beauty and fleeting in life. This is from my garden today with fresh rain this morning in Denver, CO. Thoughts are with you as you heal and process grief.
-Kirk

#DS106, #tdc1251, #Grief

A Critique of Visual Mastery (RSA Animate)




Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk: Changing educational paradigms (animated by RSA animate)

https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms

Assessment criteria: As part of authoring critiques of digital storytelling in INTE 5340 three criterions are selected from Jason Ohler’s assessment traits.


Digital craftsmanship (Score 1-10: 10 Points)

Mastery of media: use media is appropriate, well-crafted, and supports the story. Media application is free of errors.

Comments:
The use of white-board media creates a 'hand-made' aesthetic. The attention to detail and ability to draw and communicate ideas with this medium as an animation is incredible. The animation appears to be free of smudging or errors yet it doesn’t look overly reproduced digitally, or retouched. The evolution of the drawings takes shape into a larger picture of the lecture to support the story in a very creative fashion.

Flow, organization, pacing (Score 1-10: 10 Points)

Information presented makes logical sequential sense; story pace is easy to follow.

Comments:
The lecture followed a logical sequence as demonstrated by the drawings and animations that evolved over time. The pacing was a little fast for the “deep” concepts but the drawings and animation completely makes up for this by accurate visual depiction.

Problem solving and innovation (Score 1-10: 10 Points)

Obstacles to presentation and access to story overcome. Creative use of media that demonstrates innovation.

Comments:
This video demonstrates a unique ability to express complex interrelated social concepts through the use of visual imagery. The use of a white-board and marker to express the concepts as they take shape over time is really innovative yet accessible.


Total Score 30/30


Other characteristics this assessment fails to capture:

The limited assessment criterions do not necessarily capture the planning or process of the incredible undertaking of this story. How many times did the artist(s) have to draw the images to get it right? Was it highly edited? Were some of the drawings made digitally and then crafted to look like ‘marker?’

How could this digital story be improved?

This story and execution of creative visual media is an excellent digital story. There is not much room for improvement, but perhaps video of Ken Robinson giving the lecture could have been added as well. I can see this as being a small window in the corner showing his ‘presence’ as the animation takes shape. Perhaps this was attempted by the creators but it was decided it was too distracting? I would love to see ‘the making of’ of this digital story.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Critique of A Hero: Sir Ken Robinson


Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk: How schools kill creativity

https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity#t-185891


Transcript

https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity/transcript?language=en


Assessment criteria: As part of authoring critiques of digital storytelling in INTE 5340 three criterions are selected from Jason Ohler’s assessment traits.



Voice, creativity, originality (Score 1-10: 10 Points)

Tone is appropriate, pacing is good, intonation, inflection, diction, overall quality of speech. Use of anecdotes, humor, and personal experiential knowledge.

Comments:
Sir Ken Robinson is always a pleasure to listen to. His humor, his tone, and relatable anecdotes instantly grab the audience. The use of humor followed by critical story points gives the audience a chance to recall the information because of the recollection of a humorous story. The expression of creativity in his stories paints an authentic picture of the topic at hand.

Story clear, articulated, compelling (Score 1-10: 10 Points)

Personal expression, engaging, descriptive, persuasive.

Comments:
Ken provides several examples of creativity in children and how society and educational systems suppress it. He uses personal anecdotes to describe instances of creativity with humor. The audience is compelled to rethink the value of creativity and different types of thinkers.

Research? Research clear, thorough, integrated (rather than listed)? (Score 1-10: 5 Points)

Use of visual aids, statistics, multiple sources, seamless transition from story to statistical information.

Comments:
Although most of the lecture was anecdotal and humorous a few statistics were given in the speech. However no visual aid was used. A lack of multiple sources and visual aid is not as convincing.

Total Score 25/30


Other characteristics this assessment fails to capture:

It is difficult to consume and “critique” digital stories to some degree because the author of the work isn’t necessarily aware of assessment criteria and thus to some degree the assessment isn’t fair. Also some works of digital storytelling have other constraints (such as a short time limit for a TED talk). It’s worth mentioning Sir Ken Robinson is a prolific author and thought leader on the issue of creativity in the educational system. It would be assumed as an audience that Ken is an expert on the subject and statistics and visual aids may not be entirely necessary given his status and knowledge. The audience should be interested and persuaded to learn more about the topic by reading Ken’s books.


How could this digital story be improved?

The wealth of personal anecdotal information that Ken shares is incredibly engaging. However, the use of media to present visual aids or demonstrations would be more convincing and persuasive. There is an animation created by the RSA as a visual narrative to one of Ken Robinson’s TED talks “Changing education paradigms.” I can imagine a most effective lecture with this animation playing in the background supplemented by statistical graphs and video instead of solely relying on the use of colorful anecdotes.

New Literacies and Creativity are Intertwined: A Chapter 1 Response to Lankshear and Knobel

Background

As a primer to UC Denver’s INTE 5340 Digital Storytelling course, I decided to take my professor’s advice and begin an early read of the course text New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel.

Source: Amazon.com

When the book arrived three weeks ago I was intrigued to see a cover with what looks like web interfaces and digital icons for different social media platforms. I can honestly say that I could only identify half of the icons on the cover and only regularly use a couple of the platforms. I didn’t have a Twitter account until a couple of weeks ago and I have only used Facebook for a year. Never the less, I was excited to learn about these ‘new literacies’ and perhaps face the fact that in terms of literacy, in this context, I am in some ways ‘illiterate.’

In conjunction with the course text for course work in INTE 5340, students focused on a theme of one’s choosing based on personal interest. As an instructor in a visual art related field, and a person that sees the world through the lens of a visual artist and educator, I chose to focus on ‘the importance of creative arts in education.’ My scholarship in this area is limited but my participation and inquisition to the subject at hand is somewhat broad. In the past I’ve been an art history tutor, and an artist in residence in my local library, and currently a teacher of design and drawing for nearly three years. I got the opportunity to, in many ways, see the issues directly through interactions with students and have the chance to make an impact in this area of interest.

Because of this interest, I was drawn to the works of Sir Ken Robinson, a thought leader and prolific writer of educational works that focus on creativity and education. After reading the first chapter in “New Literacies” I was reminded of Ken Robinson’s TED talk: How Schools Kill Creativity because Ken mentions literacy and creativity in the lecture. Although I do not believe Ken meant to describe literacy as ‘new literacies’ at the time, I believe current discussions of literacy in education reform must include these new literacies to adequately describe literacy as a sociocultural concept. Therefore, I synthesised the ideas of creativity as Ken Robinson described it and literacy with the response to the first chapter in “New Literacies.” I believe 'new literacies' and creativity are intertwined and inseparable.

Chapter 1 Response


Chapter one, in review, was very important for setting the stage for the concept of literacy in a historical context. I deduced in order to better comprehend what was described as ‘new literacies,’ one must first understand the classic sense of literacy, how the concept developed, and how literacy is part of social structures. Lankshear and Knobel provided many examples from around the world, mainly Britain, USA, Canada, and New Zealand but he also mentioned the work of Paulo Freire who was influential in the establishment of literacy as a sociocultural theory (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 7). It is noteworthy to mention Freire’s “praxis of reflection and action,” (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 6) which in turn has the potential to bring about social change through “knowing the world better: more ‘deeply’ and ‘critically’,” (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 5). This may be compared to the current practice of digital storytelling courses, such as DS106, by exploring the many examples of critical consumption, creation, and dissemination of knowledge present in the works of the participators. In other words, DS106 serves as a means to become ‘literate’ in ‘new literacies.’ However, somewhat beyond the scope of DS106 are the essential tools to make quality contributions to the practices of digital storytelling courses which roots draw from creative arts and technology. For example, if one does not know how to effectively manipulate drawings in digital software how can one deliver an effective digital drawing assignment that can be consumed and has meaning and value? Essentially, to champion the efforts of ‘new literacies’ society must place high value in integrating creativity and arts education from K-12 through higher education instead of ‘killing it’ as Ken Robinson refers to in “How Schools Kill Creativity.”

In addition to acknowledging the power of literacy to bring about social change, it is critical to note, according to Lankshear and Knobel, “To participate effectively and productively in any literate practice, people must be socialized into it. But if individuals are socialized into a social practice without realizing that it is socially constructed and selective, and that it can be acted on and transformed, they cannot play an active role in changing it,” (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p.18). As a society that is ultimately responsible for how K-12 students are socialized in education, since the young students would most likely be unaware of being socialized, it is important to encourage activities and creative expression that contributes to the socialization of ‘new literacies.’ In Ken Robinson’s point of view, students may actually be discouraged from creative practices that relate to being engaged in creativity, and thus, the means necessary to engage effectively in ‘new literacies.’

“The thing they were good at in school wasn’t valued or was actually stigmatized. And I think that we can’t afford to go on that way.” Robinson, K. (2006, Feb). How Schools kill creativity.


Furthermore, it should be expected that higher ed students contribute powerful and meaningful ideas that have value. As this has been the historical tradition of higher education and is part of our culture and society. If the future of ‘literacy’ is ‘new literacies’ how can we as a society expect college level students to be ‘literate’ when there may be a lack of deliberate and encouraging socialization into ‘new literacies’?

The final lasting notes from Lankshear and Knobel in chapter one define ‘new literacies’ as two main concepts: ‘paradigmatic’ and ‘ontological’ (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 27). The paradigmatic approach is concerned with literacy as a ‘social phenomenon’ rather than previously established ‘psycholinguistics’ understanding (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 27). Where as an ontological concept would involve social practices that include new technologies. (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011, p. 28). I found that these terms adequately describe two key facets of ‘new literacies’ and they encapsulate what was described in chapter one. As I begin to develop concepts in ‘new literacies’ I will recollect these terms to describe ways in which ‘new literacies’ are being expressed.

As I look forward to a deeper understanding of ‘new literacies,’ as described by Lankshear and Knobel in the following chapters, I hope to develop a broader sense of humanity or understand new concepts in ‘human ecology.’ As Sir Ken Robinson would put it:

“I believe our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception of human ecology, one in which we start to reconstitute our conception of richness of human capacity.” Robinson, K. (2006, Feb). How Schools kill creativity.

Citations

New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning Third Edition by Colin Lankshear and Michele Nobel. McGraw-Hill Education 2011.

Robinson, K. (2006, Feb). How Schools kill creativity.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Where The Ocean Meets The Sky Meets The Land

Image Crop of Panoramic

DS106 Surreal Panorama VisualAssignments, VisualAssignments1330 


I have been fascinated with surrealism art since I first learned about it when I was in highschool (1998). I was captivated by the works of Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali among several other incredible surrealists. What is interesting about surreal art, is that it often times combines photorealistic qualities to give a sense of realism yet something isn’t quite right with the juxtaposition of the elements in the scene. The viewer gets an odd sense of an alternate reality or dream like state. The inspirational works of surrealism provides a creative lens to the tangible world, and the world of visual arts.

Rough Concept Sketch
The works of Magritte has had such a profound impact on my interest in art, I chose to pay homage to the influence by focusing on the “water” and “clouds” in the scene I created. Many memorable works of Magritte include manipulation of clouds and water in juxtaposition with objects that are not naturally part of the environment. Initially, I drew a sketch of “sea clouds” with ships upside down and the earth landscape rendered as clouds.

However, after I starting creating I flipped the canvas and turned the boats right-side up. The decision to do this was because I did not feel the viewer could be as engaged without a natural gravitational sense. The viewer did not feel so inclined to look at the protagonist (the two boats in the foreground). The surprising result to doing this made the water look as though it was falling due to gravity and the “cloud earth” looks like a bubble or containment for the environment. Overall the experience of reliving my memories of Magritte’s work and creating the artwork itself was very satisfying.
Full Panoramic
The technical details to creating this work in Photoshop is fairly challenging. However, starting out with great images will simplify the process. Fortunately, I am familiar with a website frequented for video game designers who create level art called CGtextures.com. I’ve been using the website since 2006 for various video game projects. I downloaded several images of landscapes that I knew could work for the image I had in mind. I also perused my own photo library from a weekend vacation I took to San Diego, CA. I was able to get the water and the boat pictures from my own photo library. I began by stitching the landscape and clouds together to make a panoramic style image. From there I literally cut out cloud shapes with the selection tool over the images of water and pasted them into the scene. The most work involved creating the “sea clouds”. I used the warp tool and distort tool on my shapes and then used the smudge and erase tool on the edges of the shapes to get the feathered look. I used custom brushes that I created for past project painting backgrounds and clouds for games. I cut out the boats and changed the saturation and value on them to blend them into the scene. Finally, I flattened the image and applied some adjustment layers to increase the color and contrast.



Tips for success:
  • Create a sketch first.
  • Find appropriate images to match the design in your sketch (use royalty free or personal photos).
  • Keep it simple. Focus on foreground, middleground, and background development.
  • Have fun experimenting!
Enjoy the DS106 easter egg!