Tech Task No. 10

After watching the Everything is a Remix series, I was and wasn’t shocked. To see that things we all know and love to really be just an accumulation of other things we might not notice is an interesting thought. In the video, they mention “genre” movies, and pointed out a couple of things that characters tend to do in said movies, like “Meet the Goddess”, or go to the “Belly of the Whale.” I find this interesting because I studied this exact guideline in another class.

I’m not really in tune to music like others might be, but even I notice similar beats once in awhile. It leads me to thinking – how far can copyright laws be pushed while still being considered legal? As someone who has posted artwork online, I often wonder about whether or not somebody is stealing my ideas and characters. How can I post things online without worrying about my art being stolen? I’m not sure if there really is a way. The Everything is a Remix series creates/provides a pretty good argument stating that everything is, in fact, just a massive remix.

What laws do you think should be made about the boundaries of copyright and remixing?

Summary of Learning

The final project in ECMP 355 was to create a video that summarized our learning. That’s kind of hard to do in only five-ten minutes, but I tried my best. I added in animation to kind of make up for the really plain audio. I used garage band to record the audio, photoshop for the pictures, and Windows Movie Maker to put it all together. My script was handwritten, so whenever you hear the odd/awkward transitions, that is most likely because I can’t read my own writing! I couldn’t mention all of the tools and topics we’ve covered in class in one simple video, but I’ve made an attempt nonetheless.

Tech Task No. 4

For the fourth tech task, we were instructed to make a 3-5 minute presentation on a topic that mattered to us. I chose to talk very briefly about the importance of Arts Education. This is my first podcast; I’m not used to recording audio, or writing (legible) script, so pardon the strange transitions every now and then.

Racism in Social Media

One of the largest issues in society today is, perhaps, racism. Frances Kurtenbach, a friend of mine, recently created a presentation addressing the issues of racism in media, so the topic is quite fresh in my mind. Interestingly enough, she didn’t have to use many sources for racism in common media – only the television and internet in her household! Its quite a scary thought that the best examples of racism are at our very fingertips. One of the most recent (and extreme) examples are of the 2013 Miss America pageant. Several articles online have both more details on the story and examples of really racist tweets.

Frances is in an ECS101 class, which has a large focus on racism in classrooms. She used a basic filtering system – kind of like a checklist – to see if the commercial being viewed passed basic tests about being culturally diverse. The checklist is as follows:

1. Are there people of colour present in a multicultural setting? (i.e. If its a commercial about a documentary on feudal japan, obviously you’re not going to see an african american in the background. It has to make sense.)
2. Are any of the people of colour misrepresented or stereotyped?
3. Are they shown as being upper-class, and with euro-centric beliefs and values? (A.k.a. are they assimilated into the dominant culture?)

After watching 60 commonly-aired commercials on her home television, she totalled the following stats: “13/60 had POC (people of colour), only 3/13 had POC who weren’t stereotyped, and 0% of the commercials were NOT euro-centric.”

Shocking statistics, once we are made aware of them. In my opinion, being aware of racism is perhaps the best way to handle racism.

You can contact Frances via her twitter account if you are interested in learning more.

What are your thoughts on handling racism both in and out of classrooms?

Technology in the Classroom: Is there a limit?

I’ve heard a lot about a certain technology called the “Oculus Rift”, which is (supposedly) a headset that creates a virtual reality. It reminds me of some kind of bulky helmet, and seems very front-heavy.

Here is a picture of the Oculus Rift prototype.

Here is a picture of the Oculus Rift prototype.

When I first heard of the Oculus Rift, I wondered many things. How would this work for people who need glasses? Or people who have motion sickness? Wouldn’t this give users a massive headache? The company has come very far in the past eighteen months. To sum things up in a very fast and crude way, I will outline some facts about the program that stuck with me the most. Oculus Rift is the first ever successful company built upon a kickstarter campaign. Facebook recently purchased the Oculus Rift company for an impressive 2 billion dollars, so the company has done very well for itself. To read more about the Oculus Rift, you could visit Nathaniel Mott’s article about Facebook’s recent purchase.

Though, if we were to think about if VR technology develops into a widespread phenomena, there are even MORE questions that could be raised. As a pre-service teacher, I have to wonder what technologies will be in classrooms in the next ten years?

What if something like the Oculus Rift becomes available for classroom use?

Its kind of an exciting thought, and I don’t know quite what to make of it. However, I’d love to hear what other teachers have to say on the matter! What do you think classrooms would become if VR technology was introduced?

Tech Task No. 6

For my sixth tech task, my class was instructed to get into small groups and recreate the door scene using page seventeen of the 21st Century Educator’s Handbook.. In the end, my group created our own rendition of The Door Scene. Enjoy!