Monthly Archives: April 2012

iPad Hand

iPad HandIt was only hours before the “New iPad” had virtually replaced my hand.  I now have no need for the “real hand” because my iPad Hand can do anything imaginable – and more!  This new hand will help me think things I never thought possible, take me places that weren’t previously places, and provide me with years (at least until the upgraded version comes out that I can wear like a glove) of distraction.  Depending on my frame of mind, frame of reference, picture frame, bowling frame, or if I just get framed – I might forget what the old hand was good for.  I believe my new frame – I mean hand – has taken the place of Scott McCloud‘s frame.  Mine will not tease you, taunt you, challenge you, and make you guess how many circles, gears, and frames there are.  Instead, my frame (there I go again), will tell me everything in living, moving, color.  Besides, my new hand can easily transform into a calculator, a phone, a camera (still and motion), a chessboard, a book shelf – hell, the whole damn library.  It just can’t get any better than that.

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“Learning Webs,” from Ivan Illich’s Deschooling Society

The solution

Is this the question or the answer?

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Engagement Pt. II

I forgot to mention in my previous post that I witnessed a wonderful example of classroom/student/technology engagement.  I was sitting among the students because we had a guest presentation, on Arts and Culture in Community Development by Scott Tate.  As Scott was giving his presentation, I could see over the shoulder of one of the students, that she was Googling topics as he presented them, and was then posting comments directly to her group/required blog for the class.  It was great to see.

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Video Games and Computer Holding Power

TEDxUIUC – Sherry Turkle – Alone Together

A very stimulating discussion today on Sherry Turkle’s Video Games and Computer Holding Power in the New Media Seminar today.  I come away each Wednesday having felt like I learned so much from people who have encountered and considered these topics far more than I have.  What I experience is the type of engagement that would be utterly fantastic if/when it occurs in any of my classes.  This is what I’m learning most from my fellow seminarians.  Especially today’s discussion.

But what is the essence of intellectual engagement?  How does it happen?  When does it happen? Where does it happen?  Why does it happen?  I know that for me that I just get interested in stuff and want to more about it.  But naturally the things that interest me don’t necessarily interest the next person.  Fortunately I’ve encountered several people in my life who have shared their interests with me and at the same time, stimulated and engaged me.  The most important is Chris Olsen (friend and non-academic) who taught me the meaning of “who says?” and “why not?” Also, Paul Wack, Steve French, and Bill Drummond (academic mentors).  And also a catholic nun (whose name I can’t recall) who allowed me to learn Basic Programming in 1974 (or so) on what I think was a TI Tymshare 100 (with an acoustic coupler modem).  How they did it I’m not sure.  A combination of shared interests, encouragement, inspiration, and willingness to take the time. And I’m pretty sure they didn’t intend to.

Which finally brings me around to Sherry Turkle, technology, and video games.  Yes, games and technology have structure, rules, and can be distracting.  But as mentioned in the discussion today, they can also be used for a source of communication, inspiration, entertainment, and engagement.  I’m not sure we know the meaning of much of this yet, but in the mean time we will continue to explore.

 

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Will There Be Condominiums in Data Space?

I’m very fascinated by the use of video as a means to create, communicate, and archive, and remember.  This is probably because my memory and imagination (sometimes not sure which is which) play more like streaming video than like words in a diary.  As Viola mentions in this piece, portions can be edited and rearranged, again, like memories seem to be.  The concept of video as memory is interesting too.  While it can act as a archive (which I think of more as storage), remembering feels like a different process.  With an archive I feel like I need to have an index, so that I can find what I’m looking for – but I first need to know what I’m looking for.  With memories, there seem to be fuzzy connections between seemingly unrelated events that can spawn new or different connections that I didn’t remember having in the first place.  Is this imagination?  This is all completely outside of what I’ve thought about before, but I’m guessing experts have examined the intersection of memory and imagination.

So I Googled it.  “Memory & Imagination” came up as a page from Michael Lawrence Films, coincidentally with a tribute to Steve Jobs at the top and a quote from Ted Koppel:

“We record everything. Everything. The impact of that becomes totally numbing. I mean, future generations are going to be looking at literally billions of pictures and reams of videotape and film; and I’m not sure that they’ll be able to make any sense out of it.

“I fear that we in the mass media are creating such a market for mediocrity that we are losing our ability to manage ideas, to contemplate, to think. We are becoming a nation of electronic voyeurs whose capacity for informed dialogue is a fading memory.”

The second link I clicked was for “Imagination and Memory” – which is apparently advertising a book called, “Secrets of Mental Suprememacy”.  The word supremacy is like a stop sign for me, so I didn’t read any further.

I just realized now how automatic this process was.  I had two terms in mind, memory and imagination, and wondered how these had been put together so far (at least as indexed by Google).  Not not I couldn’t rely on my own, but wanted to explore how others had made meaning of these.  Instantly I had access to nearly infinite sums of both memories and imagination (indexed? archived?) on the Web.  What did we do before all of this was at our finger tips?  It wasn’t that long ago, but it’s very hard to remember. I have no idea what this has to do with condos.

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