Tag Archives: interaction

Don’t bag Facebook

 

Photo courtesy of phillipsandwich on Flickr

This is for all the people who think (and write) that young people use Facebook to waste their time with pointless dialogue, flaunt themselves inappropriately, engage in banal chat about drinking or bully others online.

Here’s a thread started by my 16 year old son who loves classical music and composing. Statistically, you could say he would be a target for derisive comments, and yet, read for yourself:

Maxim is composing his 8th symphony in B minor “Sinister”about an hour ago

good man maxim

cool

Bloody talented composer here. 🙂

I like! I like!! I like how’s already been pre-nicknamed

Maxim Yeah, it’s gonna be really dark and ominous. The very beginning has cello, bass, contrabassoon and bassoon with a dark unison theme. I got the inspiration from Borodin’s 2nd symphony for that.

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!! You must send it to me when you’re done!

Maxim Yes, but it may take a while.

can you please send it to me aswell???

YAAAAAY!!

Maxim Sure! Maybe 1 mvt at a time. This’ll take me a pretty long time.

YAAAAY!! It took brahms over a decade to make his first symphony… Take your time

Maxim Not that long, maybe a month or 2 I meant.

cool!

are there 1000 performers?

Maxim Is that a piece of music? Or are you asking whether my symphony requires that many players? Mine probably wouldn’t require 1000 players.

Well it does now!! It will include a huge choir!! And an orchestra at least 3 times the size of a normal one! YAY!!
(there’s a challenge maxim!)
Mahler’s 8th Symphony is also called “Symphony of a Thousand”. One of the best performance experiences I have ever had. Check out the ending: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYM54vhLYTU&feature=player_embedded#t=20
Maxim  Oh, ok. Thanks.

My older son says that his friends often share links and information about new bands or where to get sheet music. They’ll find sites which teach you how to play an instrument; they use Facebook to help each other learn or create.

For those who focus on the negative aspects of social networking, think again. There will be negative interaction online, just as there is in life, but platforms like Facebook have enabled young people to connect in new ways, to learn from each other.

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Filed under 21st century learning, creativity, networking, technology, Web 2.0

Guggenheim 2.0

The Guggenheim Museum in NY has a great little online event going which encourages interaction and collective thought around some of its collection. 

Catherine Opie is an American artist specialising in issues around documentary photography.

For this exhibition, Catherine Opie has selected images from the Guggenheim Museum’s photography collection and organized them into three sections: Self-Portraits, Landscapes, and Portraits. Visitors can write responses to the questions Opie poses about them and read other people’s responses.

Here are some more details from the Guggenheim Museum website:

September 26, 2008–January 7, 2009
While celebrated for her role behind the camera, Catherine Opie remains acutely aware of the voices of her subjects, and the diverse readings all images engender. Exploring this circuit of interpretation, Opie has selected images from the Guggenheim Museum’s photography collection to present alongside questions about the works’ themes and meanings, inviting museum visitors to respond with stories of their own.

People can participate online by writing about a photograph or reading other people’s comments.

guggenheimThe

I clicked on one of the portraits.

3infrontofcar

 These are the questions asked about the portraits:

What do you think makes a portrait interesting?

  • How do the titles of these photographs make you think differently about the people they portray?
  • Some of these images are made spontaneously while others are carefully staged by the artist. How does this difference in approach affect your response?

Here is one of the responses:

An interesting portrait to me is one that represents people honestly. Not only is it usually aesthetically pleasing, but it also is educational and interesting. In Keita’s photo of 3 women, she presents them in their usual daily clothing, telling the viewer something about their environment and status, and then the juxtaposition of the car brings to mind a completely different world or environment. The two together represent a very real albeit somewhat staged composition that’s intriguing and interesting.

I was excited to find this, and I’d like to keep up with the many innovative programs and ideas coming out of cultural institutions such as museums. The idea of  an artist selecting images from the collection is a creative way to bring out to more people what would normally remain within the walls of the museum, and perhaps not be accessed by as many otherwise. The addition of the questions and options to comment is added value,  inviting interaction and the sharing of opinions. I also like the fact that, whereas people would normally just look at the photos at an exhibition, maybe read a little about them, in this case the public is invited to express their impressions and opinions.

I was a little disappointed that only one or two responses were accessible, unless I’m missing something. I was looking forward to a real discussion and debate around the photos.

Nevertheless, an inspiring concept. This would be an excellent way to initiate discussion and reflection in the art classroom.

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Filed under 21st century learning, art, creativity, Web 2.0

Is that work? Or are you wasting time on the internet?

There are two places to be – immersed in Read/Write worlds and not. And never the twain shall understand each other. There are some things that cannot be explained theoretically.

Today a friend of mine, who is extremely intelligent and wise (I’m stressing this to support a point that’s coming) said to me in all earnestness that she never wanted to blog, didn’t see the point of it, and thought that a few years down the track, people would look back at blogging and say big deal. I’m paraphrasing loosely here. I told her that she didn’t get it because she didn’t do it. And that the only way she would understand it was if she did it. The same goes for other forms of online social networking and learning.

Now this friend, as I’ve already mentioned, is intelligent and wise, an extremely experienced and competent educator, and committed to her role as teacher librarian. So what keeps her in that other place when many of us have moved to the new improved place? And what will it take to give these gentiles an understanding of the transformative nature of the interactive, connected online world? Is it like convincing non-believers that Jesus actually walked on water? (I’m hearing you already, non-believers).

Following this discussion, another friend in the same business asked me if I had read many fiction books lately, and I said not many because there was so much to read and respond to online. Her brow furrowed, and with genuine confusion, she asked what was there online that took up so much of my time. Was it work?

Now here’s another prickly subject for me. Is it work when I spend most of my evening on the internet? Some of it is, and directly related to my job as teacher librarian, but much of it is self-directed reading and responding to the overwhelming mass of wonderful ideas, discussions and resources that are shared. A hollow and static concept – ‘work’. Do you mean, is it something that will be useful in your teaching and supporting role to teachers and students? Then, yes, it is. It’s that and so much more. It’s discovering gold mines many times a day, connecting with people and their knowledge and expertise, giving and receiving ideas, and surprising yourself with the ideas that are expressed by you – ideas you never thought you had, ideas you may never have known you had, if it weren’t for the blog or the comment box. If we’re going to justify the hours we spend online, then we must acknowledge once and for all that what we’re doing is valuable. It’s an ongoing learning process that feeds us so that we can feed our students and school community.

We don’t want to dry out. We must dry out if we don’t water. Networking feeds us, connects us to great minds and wonderful people from so many places. It’s not about the technology, it’s about people.

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Filed under Education, Teacher librarians, Web 2.0

teacherstudents/studenteachers

father and son fishing

In her wiki ‘6 words’ (thanks for the link and information, Jenny Luca), Lauren O’Grady says something that I feel very passionately about – she talks about bridging students and teachers through multiliteracies. Her blog, ‘teachers are learners – learners are teachers’, takes as its theme the vision of a partnership between student and teacher, and more than that; if we acknowledge that learning and teaching are complementary, then we do away with that hierarchical, unequal footing in the classroom. Then we free teachers from having to know everything (which is impossible), and encourage them to learn continually, share their learning, take learning from whoever is willing to give it.

With Book Week coming up, I decided to involve students in my own learning. Voicethread is something I know about in theory only, and I thought we could record the activities including student comments . I’ve also not used iRivers or audacity to record or edit audio. Today I spoke to some students and, surprise! surprise! – they’re more than willing to help out. I’m looking forward to it and will post about the experience once Book Week is over. Next week I’m hoping to take part in a class of year 7 students who are learning to use Video Studio. I’d better make a head start on the how-to, because, as the teacher reminded me, the pace will be at the level of the students, not the adults.

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Filed under Education, Teacher librarians, Web 2.0