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Donald Duck dreams a remix and Creative Commons

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I’ve been working on a remix for a MET assignment and am starting to think of the power involved in using this tool in education. As I contructed my remix, I became more involved with the subject of the remix, the bits and pieces that I was using to create my digital collage.

Assuming that a teacher has some video editing knowledge and the resources to edit video, I can see numerous possibilities for student-centered learning to occur. Take a project-based approach to learning, for example. The end product is the remix. The process of learning is the gathering of knowledge, identifying key points, finding material to place in the remix, collaborating to create a storyboard and narrative, cutting and pasting, editing of the remix, and making the final product, and then encouraging peer-to-peer feedback, and so on.

If interested, below is my first attempt at making a remix:

Donald Duck dreams a remix and Creative Commons

This is a re-imagined Donald Duck cartoon remix constructed using Jonathan McIntosh’s remix Right Wing Radio Duck (http://www.rebelliouspixels.com).

The video is part of a UBC MET ETEC531 (http://met.ubc.ca/met_courses/descripti­ons/etec531.htm) assigned task showing how changes are underfoot regarding digital aethetics. My hope is that the various dialogue, text, and animation narrate how art, creativity, and culture rely on the past to exist, and that technology enframes how they are created, used, and reused in the future. For example, some technologies are controlling (such as TV or Radio), empowering the creators or owners of an object. Meanwhile new media allow for a freer outcome (such as the remix), where the art or culture is less bound by a creator. I also attempt to show a part of what remix culture is, some of the issues inolved, such as copyright issues, and how Creative Commons plays a role in digital aesthetics, maintaining, if desired, some of the control older media had .

Written by seanmcminn

October 23rd, 2010 at 5:41 pm

An attempt …

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I haven’t been able to write about what I want to lately, but I would still like to share with everyone what I’ve been working on.

This is an elevator pitch for the My Words series of applications used for learning the English language. This pitch is part of an assessed task for UBC’s MET ETEC522 course. Thanks to John Milton, creator of the My Words applications, for giving me permission to use them for my assignment.

There’s a longer pitch, but I think this elevator pitch is more enjoyable to watch.

Enjoy.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny28OsZcojE[/youtube]

Written by seanmcminn

November 29th, 2009 at 8:04 am

Schoology, OSS, oh my …

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Go figure that, after submitting my MET assignment (see previous post), I would discover alternatives to the “traditional” CMSs (Blackboard) and OSS CMSs (Moodle).

A new form of CMS in the market is the Social CMS, which I believe to be following the infrastructure of online social networks like Facebook. The example I’m talking about is Schoology.

From their brochure:

Schoology has created a course management system built on a social network. While current course management systems utilize some social network features, Schoology has taken a unique approach by first building a social networking platform and then adding in the essential course management tools.
A social network provides objectivity, allowing searchable profiles for users, groups, courses, assignments and schools. Instead of interacting with just an interface or website portal, users can interact with dynamic profiles, greatly enhancing the learning experience.
Schoology provides students and educators with all the  essential course management tools, including an online gradebook, student roster, course assignments, school events, class attendance, user management and online report cards. These tools are seamlessly integrated with Schoology’s social network to create the ultimate digital and interactive educational environment.

Schoology seems to be taking into account what I expressed early: Web 2.0 technologies need to be considered as competitors/alternatives among the more “traditional” CMS.

Good. But I’m still not convinced. The infrastructure still seems to be restrictive, limiting pedagogy. True: they’re going with the online social network trend; and, yes, communication and collaboration opportunities seem to be seriously taken into account. But what about being able to incorporate other online technologies, like Second Life, animation-making tools, or wikis. It seems, in this case, that a CMS is just a CMS. Students and teacher are restricted to a set/narrow pedagogical approach within 4 digital walls.

Do we really need another confined digital learning space? Or should we find new ways to harness the affordance of digital technologies for learning.

Written by seanmcminn

October 24th, 2009 at 11:52 pm

Us vs. (using) Them

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Since my experiment with using GoAnimate in the classroom, I have been discussing with people at my university about the possibility of  developing an in-house animation movie-making software for educational purposes (in my case, for language purposes). Some have expressed encouraging interest in the proposition. Others, and I see their arguments, asked me: why spend money developing the software when there are others freely available online? A good question.

I suggested that a Language Centre in-house software is needed because:

  • available software is not culturally appropriate for our students;
  • available software does not consider end-user rights; we would want students to hold IP for their creations;
  • no available software has every feature that we require for language learning objectives (for example: voice for speaking practise, collaboration or community elements for social learning, or grading management, etc. all in one);
  • we can adapt the software to measure the intended learning outcomes of Language Centre courses;
  • the LC could license the software to other universities, secondary and primary schools;
  • we can ensure that an in-house software would be more accessible to our students;
  • we can address the various copyright issues that appear when using someone else’s software; and
  • we can control security, making the system as private or as public as needed.

This is how I backed up my proposal:

A pilot run using free online animation software provided by a third party to motivate students and evaluate their language acquisition occurred during the 2009 EAS summer course. After the completion of the course, students were asked to complete a questionnaire asking for their opinion about using the animation software. Feedback was overall positive; however, some students did comment on the limitations of the freeware used.  The next step in the action plan would be to develop software that suites the needs of our students.

The interactive web-based suite of animation movie-making tools incorporate text, audio and video, which re-enforces students’ abilities and the accessibility to experiment, learn, and reflect on their language acquisition, offering new ways for students to present their work and to reflect upon it.  Typical student activities which will be supported by the tool are: identifying, explaining, and correcting common errors in English; listening and speaking for social interaction; and speaking and listening for critical analysis and evaluation.

Teaching and learning

The tool will encourage a constructivist approach to learning.  The constructivist conditions for learning suggest that using multiple modes of representation can be juxtaposed to deliver the same content through visual, auditory and tactile sensory modes, with the content complementing one another (Driscoll, 2005, p. 399). An animiation movie-making software like this would be an example of how the production of learning content can help students take ownership for their own learning, in the process promoting their own understanding of a subject matter.

This project also reflects the Seven Principles For Good Practice in Undergraduate Education by Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson (1987) and the SECTIONS model by Bates, A.W., and Poole, G. (2003).

Collaborative Learning

Chickering and Gamson (1987) note that “learning is enhanced when it is more like a team effort than a solo race. Good learning occurs when it is collaborative and social, and working with others often increases involvement in learning. Sharing one’s ideas and responding to others’ improves thinking and deepens understanding”. An in-house animation tool will encourage students to collaborate through its animation making tools. In addition, students will be encouraged to share their creations with others through the web based network by adding each other as a “friend” or tagging their favourite animations.

Encourages Contacts Between Students and Faculty and Prompt Feedback

With an in-house animation tool, students can learn socially through collaborating, editing, proofreading, and reviewing their animations, through formal assessments, and through peer evaluation. The participatory culture that this type of tool encourages allows students to view, comment, rate, and recommend other students’ work. The tool would be a place where students can also learn what their fellow students have done in other language courses. It is also a collection of work that can be incorporated into each student’s ePortfolio. Faculty can view, rate and comment on students’ work through asynchronous tools, a grading system, and email.

In addition, an animation tool like this will be an interactive tool that:

1. allows instructors to design learning activities that use digital storytelling where students create:

  • stories to show evidence of language acquisition (written or spoken).
  • personal narratives that contain accounts of significant incidents in one’s life (reflection);
  • historical or current event documentaries that examine events that help students understand past and current issues (academic/non-academic); and
  • instructional stories designed to inform or instruct viewers on a particular concept or practice.

2. allows students to develop media-related skills in (based on Jenkins, 2009):

  • Affilitations: memberships – formal and informal – in online communities centered on the student created animations.
  • Expressions: producing new creative forms of content and knowledge based on the intended learning outcomes of a course.
  • Collaborative problem-solving: working together in teams – formal and informal – to complete tasks and develop new knowledge through digital storytelling.
  • Circulations: shaping the flow of media, such as animation blogging or sharing animation movies online.

The use of narratives encourages a ‘language across the curriculum’ practice by integrating improvement in English language communication skills.

The new software will also: enable students to experience peer engagement, reflection for deeper learning, and project-based learning; enable students to experience peer evaluation and teacher-student evaluation to measure learning outcomes; enhance the abilities of students and staff to monitor difficulties and gauge improvement; enhance faculty-student and student-student interaction; and enable and encourage students to take a more pro-active, independent attitude toward their education and a more creative attitude to their work.

References:

Bates, A.W., and Poole, G. (2003). Effective teaching with technology in higher education: Foundations for success. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. 79 – 80.

Driscoll, M. (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction. Pearson Education Inc.

Jenkins, H. (2009). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Written by seanmcminn

September 20th, 2009 at 9:59 pm

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