STRAIGHT UP CHALLENGE, yet providentially a door opened for Tahira. Back in 1980s I help a Pakastani family with their English. I don’t know their whole story, their English was very limited and I did not and do not still speak Pashtu. Early days I have been drawn towards other people to learn about them, to try to understand, to connect. This digital story is powerful…powerful for anyone who is facing a tall rock face that they want to pass through…whatever that rock face is.
I understand that I tend to gravitate toward human interest stories, stories that on some level could require thinking, thinking about what is said and how it was said, thinking about the visuals and imagery. The theme I have explored for INTE 5340 is education and more closely the English Language Learner. I have sought stories and application for using technology and have honed in on the elementary level. This is an English Language Learner (ELL) that is more proficient with English than not. For this digital critique I will look at story, sense of audience and presentation/performance.
Story: This is an authentic story with unbelievable obstacles due to culture. Tahira’s voice is calm, direct, and steady. She speaks from her heart yet there is not an emotional roller-coaster. It is nice.
Sense of Audience: I do not know the intended audience, but I believe it would be a powerful story for jr. high and up. I think you have to be in a place of deeper contemplation about people and life and experiences. While upper elementary may think it is a feel good story, it is my contention that older audiences will benefit far more from Tahira’s experiences.
Presentation/Performance: She has chosen well how to portray her journey with the photographs and digital enhancements like the broken glass that is floating and rotating and breaking above the photograph of Tahira and her Dad. The music moved me along with her. It seemed sorrowful and continued for the duration of the video. She used nature to encompass her thoughts which opened her slice of the world to our eyes.
INTE 5665 CU Denver found us at one juncture reflecting on privacy in social media. Here is what I shared last Wednesday for our discussion post.
Even before the advent of technology on steroids–with hyperlinks–to hop you quicker, privacy was probably also at an all time low. I am from the day of party lines on the phones. That was a treat. We tell someone in confidence a private matter only to have someone approach us to speak about what was delivered in private. I am definitely more aware of what I post on any social site, and to some extent the courses through CU Denver. Several years ago I had a few people at my elementary school call me on the carpet about what I posted on fb (in the privacy of my own home) concerning politics. They “would have to unfriend me”. At first I was unnerved, and as the days passed, it really ticked me off and I didn’t care that I was summarily unfriended. Since that time, here and there, and now with this question I’ve thought about the privacy issue. If we could post as our transparent selves, that would be nice…but then…how much of yourself do you really want all of the world to know. My dad used to say the following: “If you tell everyone what you know, then they’ll know what they know and what you know.” Sometimes keeping silent is a better option, off or online.
When I consider the profiles that we are creating for our ILT studies, I’ve had to go back and really consider what should I let people know about me. I do not feel incompetent, but I do know that I do not have a lot of experience in the ILT realm, so information is limited. My intent is a broader sweep rather than specifics, at least for now
I’ve not had anyone “take ideas” from me, again, as I haven’t created or published something that someone may want to take as their own. My daughter is in the art world and they are very very careful to site who the artist was, etc. For one project she was required to sign a waiver noting they had no property rights as they were commissioned for the piece. It happened to be through Harley Davidson, so all of the loose ends were sown up tightly. I can only think that many privacy issues are violated more than we can imagine.
If I were to listen to “all of the opposing viewpoints” centering on privacy, I imagine I would find something worthy from each side. Perhaps it comes back to a logical case by case situation, if the privacy issue is being questioned. The can you keep a secret does not fly if you are a public servant. You are obligated to report a misconduct.
If we move the physical into the online realm, the playing fields will most likely fall along the same line. As with guns…I believe it is the user, not the tool itself. A computer cannot steal or type unsightly garbage. Nor can a computer hack your accounts. Hmmm, regardless of the invention the heart of each man rules how it is used.
Another saying from my dad: You lock your door to keep a good man honest. We do have rules or laws or policies in force for a reason, and for that I am thankful.
Social Learning ‘push’ and ‘pull’, and building platforms for collaborative thinking
If I’m thinking correctly, and I do like how this chapter addresses the change, particularly in education, that collaboration is building while curriculum for curriculums sake is waning. I can testify that the variety of learning now available via platforms has taken us from the physical classroom or workroom to worldwide resources, events, and situations. As this particular chapter notes, the end user is ‘pulling’ the information that is necessary for a particular study, class, or research project.
I have been using all of the technologies as discussed without really considering that shift, until reading about the changes. What has been created in technology helps someone get to what they need while putting them in communication with a multitude of resources to include texts, settings and people for that particular need. As a simple example, I just thought of Irish weaving because I’m Irish and I do sew here and there and I do have an interest in woven goods. I search the term, ‘Irish weaving’ and immediately I am give choices of what direction I want to go. Do I want…
Images for irish weavings
Or, do I want to know any of the above? If so, I follow the link and lose myself in the realm of Irish weaving.
I understand in layman’s terms what our authors, Lankshear and Knobel are explaining about the shift, but I have a much more simplistic and definitely visual understanding. The thinking of platform design comes back to authentic learning which has been in practice before technology, but very different and more narrow by virtue of where one lived. For example, me, from Iowa back in the day discovered about other people and nations from library books and National Geographic Magazine. I recall Mr. Bell, world traveler, coming to our elementary school yearly and bringing artifacts and movies (the reel kind) to take us around the world. Now, the physical boundaries dissolve and virtually every content can be found. We are connecting with others as our passions intersect although we only meet virtually. The ‘push’ effect of giving us what has been constructed, i.e. Mr. Bell, has dramatically shifted. This as a simplistic example helps me understand what is given or shared or required is so different than my desire to study ‘x’ and doing so. Or as a collaborative team of people we will do ‘x’ and we may meet or we may be asynchronous or we may meet through an online host. The changes are exponential.
Lankshear and Knobel (2011) say the following: Rather than seeking to dictate the actions that people must take, pull models seek to provide people on the periphery with the tools and resources (including connections to other people) required to take initiative and creatively addresses opportunities as they arise… Pull models treat people as networked creators (even when they are customers purchasing goods and services) who are uniquely positioned to transform uncertainty from a problem into an opportunity. Pull models are ultimately designed to accelerate capability building by participants, helping them to learn as well as innovate, by pursuing trajectories of learning that are tailored to their specific needs. (p.228-229).
To be the devil’s advocate, here are some of my observations for what also has transpired with the amazing technological advances. There are platforms created to monitor online behavior. I can only imagine is is prevalent in the corporate work place, as in education, is that what I do, you do, or for that matter what any of us do can now be even more scrutinized. Smile at the camera as you walk by, and if you are at your computer you most likely are being scrutinized. When is someone online? What work have been done? What period of the day were you not in class? Why can’t I speak with a person vs. only accessing a chat or leaving a voicemail to a recording? Can I only record my child’s absence with an insensitive rote recording? Why doesn’t Survey Monkey allow me to flesh out my thoughts? Why can I only choose between the range of ‘never’ to ‘always’? There will most likely always be ‘the good’, ‘the bad’ and ‘the ugly’ with advancements made.
The flip side of progressing and using technology for marvelous advancements and creations is also a weight, a burden a ‘big brother is watching you’, and that is not just a feeling, it is in fact a reality. I am advancing…look at me….ILT CU Denver…but I hope to have a footing of caution as I proceed not just here but anywhere.
Your mission – show us where Shakespeare’s head is!