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  • Gaming

    Posted on March 29th, 2012 lisskane No comments

    I myself have never understood the draw of online video games and the online video game community. Perhaps it’s because I have never tried one. Regardless, my younger brother is what he likes to call himself “a gamer”. Him and his friends have several online games that they play together and talk through. I always thought it was a little weird, but he absolutely loves it and can spend hour after hour playing these games. My family just moved and he loves that he can go on and play with all of his friends back home in their “virtual world”. So I guess that is a cool component of it, but it also worries me sometimes that he is too sucked in and this “virtual world” is too real to him. It worried me that my brother, along with other kids, can get sucked into these games are start substituting for real life. For example, if they are playing all day with their “friends” or random people, it may feel to them that they are get a normal social experience when in fact they are not. I feel like if people get too sucked in it is hard to draw the line between them. I think it is interesting though because even if it seems real, players are under a veil of anonymity. Players don’t have to act how they would in real life and I feel like that could be a dangerous thing to learn. I hear my brother talking about other players being annoying or unfair. I think that being in a cyberspace makes it easier to act without morals, but if the idea behind the game is too make it  seem like real life, that acceptable human interactions should be constant. It is interesting how developers can make up this whole world and kind of mold it into whatever they want. I also found it interesting how the players can manipulate the game in ways the developers may not have even expected or thought up. For me this piece wasn’t quite as interesting as some of the others, but I want to share it with my brother when I go home because I know he will get something out of it. I am interested to talk further about this in class and spark my interest a little bit more.

  • Are we learning or schooling?

    Posted on March 26th, 2012 lisskane No comments

    I always find pieces on education and the learning system particularly interesting and this was no exception. As I have stated before in previous posts, I tend to worry if our educational system isn’t off focus and if we aren’t striving to get the wrong things out of education. I really liked learning webs because it stated opinions I feel to be true, but also added new ideas for me to ponder.

    The nugget about how most of the knowledge necessary for life is not learned in school, but outside of it was the first that caught my attention. It is true, at least for me that I feel that most of the things of true value I have learned were from experience. Growing up playing with friends, watching TV and observe how the world worked around me taught me what life is really about. Even if I were to talk in a more academic setting, I feel that this year in my field study working at The Child Study Center here at Tech I have learned far more about my major and how to apply knowledge to real life than any of the other years of schooling combined. Being able to experience and see first hand how psychologists and clinician actually work has taught me so much about psychology. Yes, my previous classes did give me background knowledge, but seeing it in real life made it click with me and has inspired me to go into the field of child psychology. So I couldn’t agree more with the advantages of apprenticeship or shadowing. The piece talked about how an alternative to dependence on schools is not the use of public resources for some new devise which makes people learn, but a new style of educational relationship between man and his environment. I believe that it is the when we make connections with or relationships with the world around us is when we learn, so I think this is an idea on the right track. The question though is how do we get there.

    Another thought is how do we get students to participate in self-motivated learning instead of forcing students in to strict constraints of what we call education. How could we get students to learn on their own time, in their own way and driven by their own interests, but still have enough structure in that they learn? How can we get students to meaningfully link what they want to and are learning to the world around them in a productive and way. The piece describes this as the difference from schooling and learning. These can often be confused as synonyms, but when you look closely it is interesting to observe the differences.

    Another piece I really liked was that school is structured on the assumption that there is a secret to everything to life and you need to know this secret. The only way to get this secret is to go through school and follow under the direction of the all-knowing teacher. How do we break apart from this and let students break into the real world earlier and start understanding the secrets of life as they learn and grow. Who says that a teacher has to know all or even more than his/her students? The piece talked about resources to learning being things, models, peers and elders. Couldn’t and shouldn’t students be considered a resource for the teachers as well? Fresh new minds, with new ideas, only limited by the limits of the child’s imagination helping to further the depth of knowledge of seasoned scholars.

    So when writing these I thought I was writing about all different nuggets, but I see now they are all very closely linked and related. I think what the education system needs is a combination of all of these things. Of real world experience, based on self-motivation, having students makes their own links on what they think is important and then using that to help further the knowledge of both their peers and teachers. Maybe school shouldn’t have such a rigid curriculum, where you go in knowing exactly what is on the agenda. Maybe classes shouldn’t just be focused on what educational institutions think is important, but what the people coming into these classes think is important.

    Along with my other posts on education, I have a long rambling of thoughts and questions. I feel like there is something missing from our education system, but I don’t necessarily have a good solution. I don’t know if it is really possible to get away with the idea of schooling, and I don’t think that is necessary either. I think revisions need to be made, but the question is which ones and how. How can you change something like education, something so big and ingrained in not only our society and culture, but world wide. It’s a hard question to answer.

  • Some nuggets from Viola

    Posted on March 20th, 2012 lisskane No comments

    Reading “Condominiums in Data Space?” one of the nuggets that got me thinking the most was actually at the very beginning. The piece about us living in a continuum, it has been the same moment since we were conceived. We only perceive distinct stages through memories and sleep. It might be sort of off topic, but it made me start to think about how we have kind of created “days”. We separate each day as different from the previous and separate from the next. We make each day a new beginning, when really that is the only thing that makes them separate: our decision to. Because in reality, time just keeps running as one long moment. Here is me being nerdy, but in the Twilight series, vampires can’t sleep. The characters then describe their lives as one long day, there is nothing qualitative that really separates their hours. There is not a set beginning and end. It’s weird to think what it would be like without a distinct beginning and end. I like to be able to end a bad day and have a fresh start the next. Sure my problems may follow me, but somehow with the “new day” comes a new perspective.

    Another nugget that I particularly liked, was comparing life to a jigsaw puzzle. We make our own our carve our own realities. We base knowledge on an idea of starting at the bottom and building up. Slowly, or quickly, we are adding more layers of knowledge. As we do this we find connections between the things that we have learned. I always find it extremely cool when I can start connecting something from one class to another. When something I learned at once place, helps me to understand something new, I feel as if my knowledge base is growing.  Being an observer to life is like doing a jigsaw puzzle. When doing a jigsaw puzzle, we feel as if we are building something out of nothing. When in reality, it started out as something, and we are just putting it back together. We aren’t building up something from nothing, we are simply fitting the pieces together of what is already there so that it makes sense to us.

    The last nugget I really like was at the very end. He said “development of self must precede development of technology or we will get no where”. It is true, we must work on and depend on our curiosity and growing imagination in order to get to new tools. A tool helps us, but it can’t exist before we thought it up. An object is just an object until we put use to it. A rock could be a paper weight, a door wedge,  a stepping stone or a game piece. What makes something what it is is our use of it. Our imagination has no limitation, and the more we imagine the more we can create.

  • Deeper..Yet Again

    Posted on March 15th, 2012 lisskane No comments

    After first reading McCloud, I was pleased that we had such a straightforward and easy to understand piece to ease us back from spring break. Boy was I wrong! Once we started discussing it in class Tuesday, I realized how extremely complex and weird the piece was. There was so much more than I first interpreted. My mind was boggled and confused with all of the “frame within frame, within time, within time, within a frame” talk. At times I felt lost in what exactly we were talking about. One thing I found very interesting was the idea of inception within comics. Planting an idea in someone’s mind without them knowing. Perhaps this is how we can understand comics even when we aren’t aware or see the deep thought that went into the organization and layout of a comic. Like “the dream within a dream” idea of the movie Inception, in McCloud we saw frames within frames within frames.  When reading comics, we think of them as a fun and relaxing form of entertainment. We aren’t necessarily aware of the strategies or tricks the author is using, we are not consciously aware of them, but someone we understand what is going on. We get the message without really knowing how. The idea is “planted in our minds without knowing.” Pretty cool idea if you think of it!

    As I was writing this previous paragraph last night, I figured we would have another in-depth discussion today so I decided to wait to post until both class discussions already occurred. Anyways, Going into today’s discussion, again I felt I knew what I was talking about and what was going on in Time Frames. But guess what? McCloud threw me through a loop again. When I first read over the page with the two circles, I would have never guessed it could be so complex or that we could discuss it for a whole class period! And then still run over and out of time. There were so many ideas and messages coming from one page. Towards the end of class we were talking about how McCloud was sitting in between the two circles. What does this mean? As Jordan said, is he trying to make a distinction or a connection? Personally, I feel as if he is making a distinction. In the other panels, he is outside of them, narrating. I feel as if he can be outside of the smaller one, which describes sequential time and maybe a more predictable, “clean” concept of time. This is something he can somewhat predict. But when it comes to the big circle, the controversial sequence of events, he is more in it. This is more “messy”. I’m relating the clean and messy to the picture of the clock a few pages further. From the outside it seems simple and straightforward, but when the clock is open is it messy and confusing. It is jumbled and you can’t exactly tell where it starts or ends. So maybe this messy part of time is what McCloud is referring to as “real time”. Of course, I am still not completely sure about what he is talking about and this may be completely wrong.. but it’s just what was going on in my head. It’s interesting thinking that there could be so many forms of time. Again, something I‘ve never really thought about too much.

    Also on a sort of random note, I after class I was sitting with Julie and we were talking about how at first we were (and still kind of are) overwhelmed by all of the things to do in this class and how it is hard because there is no specific deadlines. But then we realized, as Dr. C was saying today, that the work in this class forces you to really sink into and learn the material.  Earlier in the semester, we talked about how the education system may be wronged because the goal of many students is simply to get a good grade instead of actually learning. So maybe although it is challenging, more classes should be like this. Because isn’t that really the point? To be challenged, to be forced to really think and to actually learn. And we also realized that in the process of “actually” learning we become “actually” interested. I have never been in a class where students actually choose to stay past the time, because they want to continue discussing and are really engaged in the material. What a crazy concept!

  • Space and Time

    Posted on March 12th, 2012 lisskane No comments

    This reading was really fun! It was definitely one of the quickest and easiest to read. It was cool because it took something I have looked at and read a hundred times, comics, and made me look at it in a way I never had before. I never thought about how much thought went into the shape and design of comics. Or how the artist could change one simple thing and the reader could get a completely different perspective. It was really interesting seeing the different methods of showing time pass or movement. Or how the way the text is written can indicate either a moment in time or a span of time. It makes me wonder what else seems simple at first, but when you really look at it there is a lot of thought put into it. It makes me think I should be more observant, if you look closer you may find something more.

  • A look into the future.. via 1988

    Posted on March 1st, 2012 lisskane No comments

    Towards the very end of The Six Elements and Causal Relations among them, Laurel mentions “The Knowledge Navigator”, a promotional video by Apple from 1988. My curiosity sparked, I immedietely went to YouTube to see if I could find it. I found myself thinking it would be a perfect place for a hyperlink. Almost immediately my mind jumped back and forth between the words iPad, Siri, Facetime. This “product of the future” seems to be a perfect combination of so many of the amazing pieces of technology/media we use today. Networking, internet, unlimited resources, immediate news/knowledge/sources, video chatting, touch screen, voice command. It is amazing to think that today’s cutting edge technology was first thought of 20 some years ago. I can’t help but wonder if people could actually get a glimpse at the future (2011), what would they think of our current technology? Would they be impressed? Would they have expected more? less?Anyways this video was totally cool to watch.  But don’t just take my word for it.. everyone, check it out! WATCH

    I also really liked the slogan at the end. “The power to be your best.” I feel like that ties in nicely with what we have been talking about lately. What do computers really do for us? Is it the medium? A message? I like what apple is trying to say here. Or what I think they are. The computer is a tool. It may have human like capabilities, especially in the future (or today). But when it comes down to it, the computer is a tool for humans to use. It is not made to replace humans or do our work, but to make our work and lives easier. To aid us and make things more convienant. The computer is a tool that we can use a much of or as little of as we want. If we want  a lot out of it, we can get that. It is there to help us reach our goals, to help us reach our full potential.

    One last interesting thought. The video was set it September 2011. Apple came out with siri in October 2011. hmm…