Looking into Project Ideas

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I stumbled across this clip the other day and it inspired me about our upcoming project creation. Knowing that we will not be able to change education overnight, what can we zero in and focus on to just have a starting place. Ken Robinson, British author and education expert, covered a variety of topics. But the two that stuck out were, how children are so easily diagnosed with ADHD and how group collaboration can be more useful for students. Also, his overall point was how millions of students are easily being forgotten due to the fact that they are not reaching societies standard of excellence or being smart enough.

This semester I began working on a teaching certification and I have learned that it is very important to include and engage all students in the class. Students will have various special needs, but the point is not to cast them aside because they may be lacking, not paying attention or falling behind. Also, children are being born into a very stimulating time and era. There is Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, commercials, advertisements for everything and just being targeted at them fighting for their attention. This can then lead to not caring about what takes place in the classroom and later possibly lead to someone telling them that they need medication to control their hyperness.

For the project, maybe we can create a classroom of the future so that children will be able to effectively work in groups using various devices to promote enhanced learning for the forgotten student.


Bullying Mob

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As indicated by their name, smart mobs are not always beneficial. Lynch mobs and mobocracies continue to engender atrocities. The same convergence of technologies that opens new vistas of cooperation also makes possible universal surveillance economy and empowers bloodthirsty as well as the altruistic. Like every previous leap in technological power, the new convergence of wireless computation and social communication will enable people to improve life and liberty in some ways and to degrade it in others. The same technology has the potential to be used as both a weapon of social control and a means of resistance. Even the beneficial effects will have side effects (xviii.)

This author was ahead of his time. Inventors and creators are quick to point out a positive outlook and how beneficial the features will be for the growing society of technology users.  But the harmful and negative features are too quickly dismissed until something horrible happens and they are forced in to the light. The Internet and text messaging has enhanced the bully mob. This mob is very evident throughout K-12 grades. Bullying, never being a positive thing, was able to be controlled and handled pre-technology and Internet days, but when they discovered that their bullying could have a large online audience, it became a monster overnight.

I have learned that Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr are not bad platforms, but it is the people using these social networks that are causing these networks to become a negative playground. There was a story in the newspaper a year or so ago, and it detailed how a young man in college was filmed having sexual relations with another person. The young mans roommate had positioned the web cam on his computer to face his roommates bed, and all of this activity was streamed to the school and whoever else wanted to take a look. The young man killed himself once he found out that he had been filmed. Everyday middle and high school children are taking to blogs and social networks to post embarrassing pictures of their classmates, harassing them online and making up false tales. It is hard for these actions to be ignored when young children begin to take their own lives. As these smart mobs and bully mobs grow bigger and as technology creation moves at accelerated speeds, let us all take a moment to pause. In this moment consider the negative effects that texting a picture, degrading somebody on their Facebook page and filming them with an iPad will have on our youth. As the creator and user, ask yourself is this product really worth somebody taking their life.

An abundance of products and technologies being created will say that it will better the world and your life, but in reality is it?

Knowledge and Dewey

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“The Dewey Decimal Classification system can’t be fixed because knowledge itself is unfixed. Knowledge is diverse, changing, imbued with the cultural values of the moment. The world is too diverse for any single classification system to work for everyone in culture at every time,” (56-7).

When Dewey created this system to file and find books he based it upon his “19th century American-Christian views according to the chapter, The Geography of Nature. He chose main subjects and numbers, so that nonfiction material would be together in the same area and shelf. How did Dewey determine what was important enough to be a main category?  Once this decision was made how was he able to assign which number(s) would go where and its importance? Dewey wanted make sure there was plenty of room for ideas to grow. His vision was that the floor plan of a library would be a map of ideas. The resulting issue is that by attempting to create a system for categorizing knowledge, libraries and society will always end up with a classification slanted by the cultural and political norms of the day; therefore limiting their usefulness for finding information in the future.

Even though decimals did offer Dewey an unlimited number of subdivisions, they also limited the number of main categories. What happens to the system when a new main idea becomes the focus of society? Knowledge does not shape itself into “ten top-level classes with ten divisions, each with ten divisions” (54). Would this system have the capacity to be upgraded to the current century? The highlighted paragraph states that it can’t be fixed due to the world being too diverse, but that’s not an acceptable answer. New books have to go somewhere. The book gives the example of a book about military music and how it sits on the shelf with military books, but it is filed under “military” and “music in the card catalogue. The catalogue is able to offer some flexibility so why not assign multiple numbers to the spine of the books?

The Dewey Decimal Classification has been through 23 major revisions, and while this may have improved some of the issues within it still doesn’t improve the overall system.  “Knowledge itself is unfixed,” (56). Knowledge will constantly keep expanding in such a way that one day it will not be able to be contained. Dewey did the world and libraries a great service by providing a technique that is universally used, but it’s impossible to account for the changing times. The Library of Congress has its own classification containing 21 main subjects and even this system is not enough.

To tie this in with K-12 education, the grades by which students are separated don’t take into account the changing student. There is the matter of students moving from grade to grade and from middle to high school without being fully prepared. It can be viewed as a stigma if a student is held back, but this can give them the time to develop the skills needed to succeed in the next grade. Should there be a complete overall of grade and school levels? Maybe this could help with the educating of students, instead of passing them through the system without gaining any knowledge. But this is a topic for another day.

World Wide Web

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The ultimate ambition of the Web designer seems to be to integrate and absorb all other media.  Even in the cases of respectful remediation, the user may be left to wonder why she ever needs to return to the original medium. When all classic texts finally become available online, why return to the printed library? …Many organizations develop web sites whose role is to complement other media products they own. Newspapers and television networks maintain extensive sites, but surely have no plans to discontinue their printed papers or televised broadcast, although they may start wholly new ventures on the Web (Reid 1997). Instead their earlier and newer media both rival and support each other (208-09).

When the Yellow Pages was first introduced it was in the form of a thick book; it contained hundreds of pages and thousands of names. If you were searching for a certain name or establishment you would have to flip through all those pages and names and hope you came across what you were searching for. If you didn’t you were out of luck and left to some other method of securing the information. This was very limiting to every person who took the time to search and even a waste of paper because not everyone kept their Yellow Pages. Since then this book has been remediated to the Web and lets take it a step further with the advancement of smart phones you are now able to search for what you need and finding it within a matter of seconds. With this remediation, has or will the use of the Yellow Pages die out, no, but the production of the actual ten pound book will decrease due to being able to search for names and address on the web or on your smart phone. As I was doing todays reading the idea of how the Yellow Pages and those similar to it have transformed was a strong thought in my mind. What if this option of simply typing in a few keywords on your phone to look up a certain restaurant was available a decade ago? As I said before the mass production of phone books will decrease because instead of a truck dropping them off at your door, those who actually wanted the book delivered can say so.

To put it plainly, looking up numbers and addresses on you smart phone is the remediation of the phone book. Mobile internet is definitely a help in that aspect. All I would need to know is a few key terms about what I was looking up.  Moving to a new city and don’t know where anything is, you can simply search the internet for the closes gym or laundry mat. In need of a tow truck or a repair shop, I can look it up and it gets better because I can read the reviews about that establishment before giving them my business. The use of clicking on links to read the reviews of that particular place is it being hypermediated. You use Google to search for an auto body shop and Yelp pops up. Yelp is designed to give you the address, services and most importantly reviews; so the phone book was remediated via the web and then hypermediated through links and reviews.

The days of flipping through the phone book are over for this Droid user. I use my phone and the internet to look up what I need. Now, my parents still use the phone book but they’re transitioning to asking me to look up numbers and addresses for them and for the most part I don’t mind. 


Getting the Word Out There

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Part one of the book argues that the printing press brought changes to people’s everyday life.  With more books readily available the acceleration of knowledge rapidly spread.  Letters and books transformed people’s minds causing them to become critical thinkers and scholars.  Intelligent rates went up, death rates declined and the people during that century began living happier lives. Instead of waiting for a teacher, priest, a person of higher stature or those who practiced the oral tradition of storytelling, the people could instead go pick up a book and gain the knowledge from there. This new age of the printing press also brought along the ability to pass along information by simply sharing a book with a neighbor or a friend. The era of a print culture was becoming fully realized and this meant that books would have to become a means of academic acceptable and well-supported information.

Organization was also introduced by books massive spreading of knowledge through developing and the bringing together of new occupations and diverse skills. Recipes, lists, formulas and tables began frequently showing up in books. It helped to explain and classify the phenomena with a better, deepening precision. Elizabeth Eisenstein states that, “Reading out loud to hearing publics not only persisted after printing but was, indeed, facilitated by the abundance of texts.”  This further demonstrates how the introduction of the printing press helped to impart and enlighten the people who may have not known how to read.

To bring the printing press and the widespread of knowledge up to date with the current medium to disseminate information; the newly educated generation can go beyond picking up a book or numerous books to learn about a new trade. There are now multiple techniques and skills that can be used to help various community groups, in the classroom and other audiences you wish to reach.

  • Indentify the message. (What do you want people to know or to do?)
  • Indentify the audience.
  • Make the message simple enough to where they can understand.
  • Put the message on various mediums. (TV, Radio, Internet, Print)
  • Spread or talk about the message frequently.

This all means that books now target whatever audience they want to share their message with.