Our Digital Selves

WRO 05
Photo by Katie Lips
Title: WRO 05

Hi everyone. My name is Ken Buis and this is my 9th MET course…almost there!

I chose this photo because it reminds me that technology changes the way we view ourselves, and the text of the digital world integrates with our ephemeral world realities. The photo illustrates text falling into people like a rain of data creating a web of information around a person. This photo is an excellent visualization of how text, technology and the resulting data combine with organic life to create systems of information. Our smart phones feed the digital world with information about where we are, what we are doing and what we are saying, while we as humans use social media to integrate our own information inputs to build digital personae. The individual on the far left with the camera uses technology to interact and connect with the display of falling text. Is he searching for a way through it or is he trying to connect to it?

Everything about the composition of this photo is marvelous, and the beautiful movement of colour within the characters suggests the tenuous link between our differing realities in the ephemeral and digital worlds.

I have been teaching for almost 20 years with the Vancouver School Board. Currently I am running a Digital Media Arts program at Roberts Education Centre in the west end of Vancouver. My program is a blended, mixed-mode set of courses which include Digital Media 11 & 12, Visual Media Arts 11 & 12, Applied Digital Communications 11 & 12, and Programming 11 & 12. I make extensive use of Moodle to support the learning as well as a series of professional skill building workshops. My students are aged 17 – 70+ from every corner of the world and from every profession, particularly artists, photographers, movie makers, musicians, business people, and others interested in social media, website design, graphic design, animation, blogging, marketing and much more. The school did not have a computer program for a few years so I was parachuted in to set it up an it has been a great success so far, with lots of opportunities for growth for all of us learners.

I also have a website design company called Fervid Designs and design and manage websites and print work for over 40 companies from all over the world. In my spare time, I am the Digital Media Director for the Luxembourg Academy which is an art travel school based in Europe.

I took this course because I am fascinated by the way in which the internet and our new digital reality has completely transformed us into citizens of a networked global society, and the contents of this course have a great impact on how we view ourselves and build our identities as well as how we think. It is also important for me as an educator, online course developer, website designer and graphic artist to understand how we read digital text, how that transforms our physical brains and mental processes and how it impacts our communications. I also do a fair bit of blogging and writing for the web and need to get a deeper understanding of the technology of text.

It is nice to see some familiar names in the roster, as well as many new ones. I look forward to working with you all.

Ken Buis

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