sábado, julio 18, 2009

"Top 10" Revelations, Ideas, and Things I have Learned

DAY, JULY 16, 2009

"Top 10" Revelations, Ideas, and Things I have Learned

1. How the brain works while watching advertisements and the different parts of the brain that are affected is very interesting. The limbic part of the brain that is our emotions and feeling is highly targeted in media. As well, as the reptilian part of the brain that targets the fight or flight processes that humans have. When we show ads to our students slow them down and talk about the different frames, music, images and words that pop up on the screen. The brain can only track eight frames per second and TV shows 30 frames per second. Teach students to ask questions about the media. Just do not watch the commercial or see the advertisement by analysis it.

2. Eight trends in our 21 century media culture shows us that the media is always changing. From words to image (Epistemological), from analog to digital, from mass media to personal, from discrete to convergence, from regulated to deregulation, from commercialisms to corporate, from objective to subjective, from privacy to surveillance.Deregulations and corporations are the driving forces of or media today. Free market to children today with more than 40 billion ads. Before 1984 there were only 4.2 billion ads marketed to children. The goal is to hook children into products and have them for life. ( Brand Loyalty) “You are what you have, you are what you buy, you are what you own”, if you do not have it you are know one. That is pretty much our philosophy today with people. It is shallow. It is about me attitude in our culture today. We are super consumers and will consume more than anyone else.

3. Media education is about access, analyze, evaluate, and produce. Questioning Media: Seven Basic Principles of Media Education will be a great teaching tool to help students evaluate ads. We need to be knowledgeable, and skilled to deconstruct and analyze production techniques. We need to be a media activism. That means we need t teach students to question, teach write, support, volunteer, seek out, produce, establish, host and affiliate. The seven basic principles of media education are keys when deconstructing and analyzing media. Teach students see ask, “what stories are not being told and why?”

4. I will be using the handout, developing a Media Education Language: from Persuasive Techniques to Analytical Tools,with my students when deconstructing and analyzing ads. I like the idea of having a poster hanging in the classroom representing each technique. This will be a great media education assignment for my middle school students. These posters will be a stimulus for critical reflection and also a reminder as they hang in the classroom where students will be able to see them on a daily bases.

5. I plan to use some of the media activities from the 18 Easy and Fun Media Activities from ACME as I teach my different units.I will be adding media education into my drug and alcohol unit, nutrition and fitness unit, and body image unit. Some of the activities that will work well with middle school students will be; print ad dissection, live radio spot, media and me journal, and feeling media’s mojo.

6. I learned a new term this week that is differently a 21st century term; ambient awareness. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and blogging are all social networks that have brought about opening conversations around the world. I have not experienced a lot of use with Facebook, Tweeter and blogging but now feel I will be trying to use these mediums more as I have learned more about them from the course. You do need to have time and interest to get on the computer (or cell phone for some people) to take advantage of these wonderful new of ways of communication. But, I am a lot like Suzie and would rather be doing something active. I do have more confidence in technology after taking this course and I am excited to try new things, such as blogging more, using Twitter to form interest groups and Facebook to keep in touch with friends.

7. The books FEED was interesting. I found FEED hard to read at first, but as I got into to it I found it very interesting. How could the author know that this is how we are living today? It is so true that corporate marketers and government agenciesdo have a huge influence on how we live our lives. So much of our life focuses around the internet and television. We do live in a corporate and media dominated culture. We are bombarded today with what the corporate world wants us to know. FEED really shows us how media really attacks teens.

8. Neil Postman’s book, Amusing Ourselves to Death, opened up my eyes to television and the media and showed me how the electronic media is reshaping our culture. TV is turning all public life (religion, politics, education) into entertainment.Image is undermining other forms of communication, particularly the written word. Our media environment is vastly different now than it was in 1985. Multitasking is standard today. We spend many hours using “screen time”, and that involves computers, cell phones and TV sometime all at the same time. Today, teachers are not considered good if they do not entertain their class. Students do not want to read today. We live in a world today much different than in the past. We read shorter stories, have fewer face to face conversations and spend more time in a media saturated world that influences our every step.

9. I learned how to video tape and put together a short video clip.I have never done anything like that before. I liked visiting Channel 17 and experience what it takes to put together a video clip. It was interesting watching the dotcom people get so involved in using the equipment. Creating our video clip in class was fun. David was great in showing me how to add audio, graphics and edit. It was fun using the video cameras and shooting shots around Best Buy and Majestic Theater. I feel that I can know down load some clips, graphics and music to my computer. I only have my students for such a short period of time and so much to do that I do not think I will be able to do any video production with them.

10. The five afternoon video were all very interesting. Consuming Kids was great. It would be a great video to show parents.Mickey Mouse Monopoly video showed The Mirror Project and how images of females and males are stereotyped. High school age students could benefits from watching this video.Wednesday’s videos where interesting and made me see how to watch the news in a whole new way. I will definitely be questioning the news from now on. Toxic Sludge is Good for You, showed how corporations are unregulated. I did not likeReal Bad Arab. It was a very difficult show to watch because I have trouble with violence and refuse to watch anything that shows guns. I understand the point behind the video and totally agree that Arabs are stereotyped in one way. Overall, the class was great and I learned many media education techniques to teach my middle school students.

Three “still to do “items I plan to do to move forward with teaching media education with my middle school students are:

1. Create poster using the persuasive techniques to hang around classroom.

2. Have students bring in magazine advertisements and dissect them using the general principles and persuasive techniques as a guide.

3. Have students keep a media and me journal for a day.Discuss how many minutes they spend using different media and how does it affect their life.

Ethnic Stereotyping, Alcohol Glorification in Media

As a Native American, I was especially interested in what the class had to say about typical stereotyping in media. Alcoholic, proud, lazy, one with nature, can't master English (language is broken), behind the times. My group brought up the government stipend the Native Americans get through the casinos. Even though I am 1/4 Cherokee and other tribes, I have been unable to obtain one dime of those stipends, because the federal government refuses to accept our tribe. So...not all Native Americans fit these qualifications.

In the assigned readings, I was appauled that "33% of high school seniors reported that they had consumed 5 or more drinks on one occasion in the previous two weeks." As a mother of a soon to be high school senior, that's particularily alarming. That's one in three students. If my son is not drinking, one of his friends is....who's driving? These are the students the alcohol ads are targeting. They make their money on the binge drinkers and alcoholics. Unfortunately, their ads pay too big a chunk of our entertainment dollars for them to be "black balled". It wouldn't hurt my feelings if they were put out of business.

The last 2 articles on teaching media literacy in the schools made me reevaluate this class. There is so much in media today: hidden messages, values, stereotypes, etc. that I feel my students should know. Actually, I think everyone should know it. I didn't know most of what we learned in class before last week. I can easily see how billions of dollars are leaving the consumers hands through unknown "duping" of the public through media sources. Personally, I would rather be a more informed consumer. I'm positive everyone else would feel the same way after learning what I have learned in these last 2 weeks. Thank you, Mary, for teaching this to us.

Media Literacy: Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media by George Siemens - July 18 09

As new and old media pervade so many aspects of our lives, it is very important that everyone learns to decode and interpret messages and images and to ask critical questions about who is creating them and for what purpose.

Photo credit: Nancy White

Inside this Media Literacy Digest:

New media technologies are the new means to explore, study, research, experiment and discover. Understanding and making sense of how these new communication tools work, allows everyone to communicate more effectively and to develop the new job skills required in our information economy.

Here all the details:

eLearning Resources and News

learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends

by George Siemens

Addressing Problems of Faculty Resistance


James Morrison tackles the topic encouraging faculty to expand their range of instructional strategies and increase utilization of technology in the process. A great discussion follows the original post.

Obviously, you don’t need technology to be a provide a great learning experience. Creative, engaging, and participatory learning is an educational mindset, not something that requires blogs, wikis, Second Life, and podcasts.

What technology does, however, is expand the range of options for interaction.Classroom walls give way to global connections. Single educator models are replaced with distributed networks.

A bit utopian? Perhaps. But, once control shifts to a network of learners, the prospect arises for the creativity that exists in open source software and with application developers (i.e. iPhone, Facebook) can be applied to education.

Social Media Guidelines


You’d think that certain things are obvious and don’t need to be explained. For example, a company like Intel deals with pretty cutting edge technology. This requires some fairly intelligent people.

Apparently, even then, organizations have to tell their employees how to use social media:

These are the official guidelines for social media at Intel. If you’re an Intel employee or contractor creating or contributing to blogs, wikis,social networks, virtual worlds, or any other kind of social media both on and off intel.com - these guidelines are for you.

Tools and Our Brain


We often hear about how technology doesn’t change the brain. Or, at least that technology doesn’t impact how we think in the short term. Evolution, we are told, takes much, much longer.

This argument then forms the basis for treating technology only as a tool - something that we use and select for particular tasks (for a review of the differing views of technology, see Heather Kanuka’s excellent article(.pdf) on the subject).

Norman Doidge, in his text The Brain that Changes Itself, provides many compelling examples of how technology, tools, and experiences can substantially rewire the human brain in a short period of time.

While we may disagree about the impact of technology on humanity, it is difficult to argue that technology does not alter mental functioning.

Computers, mobile phones, and web search form the basis of a network of and for cognition. Consider this study of how tools become part of the body. We have a reciprocal relationship with tools: we use them, they change us.

As McLuhan stated: first we shape the tools, thereafter the tools shape us.

Social Media and Social Divisions


Does the internet - social media in particular - act as a unifier? Apparently not,according to several researchers.

Instead, social media amplifies existing social structures. Or, as Danah Boyd states, “pervasive social stratification is being reified in a new era”.

Technology doesn’t (immediately) alter human nature. It provides new views (mirrors) for seeing what we are.

The desire to associate with people who share our beliefs, values, and economic conditions, migrates to new social spaces - digital or physical.

That Brain of Ours


Researchers are in the early stages of understanding the dynamics of the human brain.

Discoveries (interesting word - how do constructivists respond to the notion of discovery?) to date are causing shifts in views in fields like law and the legal code.

If I commit a crime, and it is due to a brain lesion or a developmental disability, should I still be punished as if though it was a free will choice?

What I find most interesting in developments in neuroscience is the growing understanding of the brain as a complex system and knowledge / thought as connection-forming and patterning (we had a short discussion of the support neuroscience offers for connectivism during CCK08 last year).

Two resources on this topic:

  1. How chaos drives the brain - a short, but intriguing video of patterns (waves) of thought activity.
  2. Olaf Sporns presentation from 2007 where he discusses the brain as a complex systems that produces networks configurations often noted in sociology and mathematics (i.e. small world phenomena).

Consumer Voices


Trends can build and develop for long periods of time without significantly impactingstatus quo.

Periodically, the trends coalesce and offer an expression of the nature of change. YouTube, for example, has had moments where it exerts its growing influence on existing political discourse (US presidential elections) and entertainment (pick any of the dozens of YouTube-created celebrities).

Occasionally, an example of the depth of the power shift from The One to The Many arises.

Dave Carroll’s damaged guitar, at the hands of United Airlines, resulted in this music video. Approaching 500,000 views, it has become an embarrassment to United and a rallying cry for frustrated travelers.

The appeal of this video is largely based in the shared experience of suffering indignity and of “voice-less-ness” when dealing with large corporations.

There is in this video, I think, as sense of expression given to our collective feelings of being powerless... followed by a sense (hope?) of the ability for emerging media to alter power relationships.

Five Ways To Run a Deadly Online Seminar


Alan Levine reflects on his experience attending an online seminar:

I recently felt like this wistful gal during a recent online seminar- isolated, lonely, and wishing to go outside and play.

With nose-diving budgets and more work moving online, it’s time to raise the bar on how we run online events.

Like a horrendously designed PowerPoint, no one sets out with a plan of creating a deadly dull online seminar, but they seem to happen often enough.

The move to online meetings parallels the experiences I had in the late 90’s/early 00’s with teaching online.

The initial assumption is “no problem, I know my stuff. I can teach this online”. But, the online medium is different from face-to-face - different orientation points, cues, distractions, etc.

As with teaching and learning, the goal is to transform the experience for the environment, not merely transfer it.

On a side note, Alan delivered an exceptional presentation at ED-MEDIA a few weeks ago on 50+ web 2.0 ways to tell a story. He used Cooliris as the presentation tool - visual and effective.

Originally written by George Siemens for elearnspace and first published on July 17th, 2009 in his newsletter eLearning Resources and News.

About the author


To learn more about George Siemens and to access extensive information and resources on elearning check out www.elearnspace.org. Explore also George Siemens connectivism site for resources on the changing nature of learning and check out his new book "Knowing Knowledge".

Photo credits:
Addressing Problems of Faculty Resistance - kmitu
Social Media Guidelines - Irina Tischenko
Tools and Our Brain - sgame
Social Media and Social Divisions - jjavo
That Brain of Ours - pablo631
Consumer Voices - Mikael Damkier

George Siemens -
Reference: eLearnSpace [ Read more ]
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