Life is just a game/art at Vermont farm

Sunday, February 27, 2011

From Knowledgable to Knowledge-able: Learning New Media Environments
by Micheal Wesch, Kansa State University
Talking point #5

In Micheal Wesch's article, "From Knowledgable to Knowledge-able: Learning New Media Environments", the author discusses the need for todays modern calssroom to convert the teaching style from top down authoritative knowledge of the teacher style, toward a format of digital information where knowledge is made, not found. Students must progress from cognitive memorization of facts toward finding and analyzing and especially creating information.
Wesch describes the process toward technology to be a form of social revolution because it empowers the student and changes the teacher-student relationship. Different types of technology are mentioned. The HYPERLINK allows information to be in different places at the same time. BLOGGING shows that anyone can create information, while WIKAPEDIA teaches us that an  information network allows students to work together to create new informatin environments.I was amazed to learn that NETVIBES are portals that can bring in any specif kind of information to our sites. Yeah, an old dog can learn new tricks!
I think the main idea of this article was the importance of the why and how of what our students are learning which adresses the form vs content format of education.So these are the tools available to create information but I think the bigger problem is using this technology to enforce real life , problem solving skills vs abstract content based memorization and to incorporate prior knowledge into what is being taught in school.
Authenic environments, created from technology can provide scaffolds for students to learn and to acess tools to learn not normaly encountered in schools. In a study examining Instructional Frameworks, Jan Herrington states the instructional technology community is in the midst of a philosophical shift, promoting real life situations through accessing information and tools to promote critical thinking and problem solving. The information is out there, it is up to educators to grasp and teach methodology to students and themselves to embrace this time in education.

Points to discuss in class:
No Child Left Behind emphasises Teacher Accountability and test scores which reflect rote learning is how teachers are measured. How do we incorporate use of information technology and creation of knowledge within this atmosphere?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Tale of Discources by Rebecca Raby Talking point #4 Argument

In a Tale of Discources by Rebecca Raby,she describes discourses as that which organizes what we know, speak and interpret in the world around us. These eventually claim the status as truths in our culture  Raby breaks adolescent discources into 4 categories and uses the method of interviewing grandmothers and their teens to view how society and these relatives see these girls and how these girls see themselves inside each discource.
"The Storm" describes experimentation and uncertainty and Raby says that parents may project their own discomfort about adolescence (their own?) onto their teenagers.This is listed as an opportunity to manage their growth.
"At Risk" can include any behavior and may be used to justify control by parents.
"Social Problems" states that adolescence are, by nature, risk takers, but today it is happening in a much more dangerous environment, according to those grandparents interviewed and society at large.
"Pleasureable Consumption" Consumerism and adolscence become equated.Teenage years, are depicted in the media, as the idealized age.
I think the jest of this article is the contradictions presented when adolescent grandmothers were interviewed and asked their impression of these discources . Are they cultural truths? Do all teens act and react in this manor? The problem being that societal expectations places teens in the venue to explore and identify the adults they are to become. The problem is that the teens development is to be organized along parent expectations. A sort of: "look, see, hear but don't touch."
Raby found that the girls were frustrated by the message. They are there to challenge the status quo but that challenge is neutralized by social standards. Raby's main point in this article was that adolscents are confused by the parent expectations that they grow and mature but block experiences that may help them achieve this.
These is a fine line between too much and too little, and parents get no instruction book at the baby store. One depends on parenting skills learned and found. I did not like the way Raby used "supposed" so much in this piece. I find it full of expectations that are not fair when evaluating your subject..

Linda Christensen: The Myths That Bind Us" Talking point #3

In Linda Chrsitiansen's piece "The Myths That Binds Us", Christiansen describes a "secret education" to young people instructing female children to react in submission to their male counterparts. Reference to Disney movies to make this point is strong and relevant. Diversity is depicted secondhand creating stereotypes. Theses stereotypes have become imbedded in our social picture. Unraveling these hidden meanings can be painful to some as youthful memories are often intertwined with media productions, as Disney films, and can be described as a dissection of dreams.
As a young mother I had been exposed to the women's movement in college and began looking for these hidden and sometimes blatant sexist stories. I filtered Grimm's Fairy Tales finding one horrible image of women after another. As my daughters got older I talked about these rhythms, stories and films to them and what was wrong with these depictions. Their eyes were alittle wider than mine going out into the world.

Grinner: Hip Hop Sees No Color Talking Point #2 Reflection

Hip Hop Sees No Color is an analysis of the media and multiculturalism. The old standbys of color means poverty and failure and being white means power and success. The film, The Last Dance, deals with the effects of poverty on the characters. White characters are portrayed as the strong and powerful and the black characters, the weak. This film was made over 10 years ago and it still rings true. The films that followed continued to show balck women in positions of weakness with music media presenting womens in sexually charged submission.  In the last 5 years, sit coms are coming one the scene depicting sucessful black middle class families. Race is often forgotten and comedy rules in regard to family tries and tribulations. Is this progress? Is the back producer protraying what is seen as equal curcimstances of balck America?

Croteau: Media and Ideology Talking Point #1 Quotations

Croteau wrote of ideology in the political sense of justifying actions of those in power, by distorting reality.  The ideology of scholarship is the basic system of meaning which makes sense of the world. In contrast, the media ideology is a key between images and ways to define social and cultural issues. "The media is the battlefield upon which cultural warfare takes place."(pg 162). It appears we are invited to defend our realism but first we must define it. In this article we are challenged to look carefully at the "patterns" (pg163) in media text, instead of analyzing one film in isolation.  Looking at famous films in which the weaker heroine depends and is rescued by the stronger hero, one wonders what came first: the chicken or the egg? Was our societal media simply reflecting the ideology between men and women since the beginning of time or did the regning  media  create an even stronger version of what had always come before? Croteau wrote that " mass media are commercially organized to attract audience for profit, there is good reason to believe popularity will be more important to media producers than a commitment to any specific ideology." (pg 164)  The question I pose are the resulting films in the middle of the 20th century a distortion of reality or a mirrow on what was popular?I do not defend media powers, but one must understand the enemy before going into battle.

Personal Note

My name is Mary Spyres. I am a School Nurse-Teacher in an inner city (Olneyville) elementary school in Providence. My "well population" of kids numbers over 400 and remembering all their names is difficult, largely due to their hispanic origins. Its important, and I try. I am a  health laison between these families and the system as so many do not have insurance. I provide health services and screenings directly to the students and I teach health courses. I finished my EdM in Health Education at RIC back in 2002, and, no we did not blog. I am held as a genius within my family because I can text to my kids and "no one else's mom can". So this class has revealed my weakness but will challenge me to grow new synapses, which I hear is a good thing at any age!