Friday, May 25, 2007

Students as heroes of their own stories...

Excerpted from Jason's new book, Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Pathways to Literacy, Learning and Creativity...

Digital Storytelling in the Classroom
(Corwin Press, due out in August, 2007) begins with the chapter "Twenty Revelations about Digital Storytelling in Education." We are up to revelation 12 in this journal. The first eleven can be found in previous journal issues.

Revelation #12: Students need to become heroes of their own learning stories as well as of the stories they tell with their own lives.

Book excerpt: "Above all, stories become the cornerstone of constructivist learning, in which students become heroes of their own learning adventures. This happens academically, with students building stories around academic pursuits. But it also happens personally. As a teacher, one of the most powerful stories you can ask students to tell is the story of their future selves in which they become heroes of the lives they want to live. If they are not heroes of their lives, then they become victims of them."


TECHST MESSAGES... news bits from the tEcosystem...

Reports I'm reading: Both are from the Pew Foundation, and both are excellent:

- "A Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users." 'Wondering who's using Web 2.0? This report will help answer your questions.
> Read.

- "Wikipedia: When in Doubt, Multitudes Seek It Out." 'Wondering just how widespread the use of Wikipedia is? This report should help answer your questions. Be prepared to be surprised about the fact that it is in very wide use by the well-educated.
> Read.

New Media I'm watching: The Machine is Us/ing Us, a YouTube short media collage about who we were, are, and are becoming in the world of Web 2.0.
> Watch.

What I'm composing: "Swing Thing." A simple, exploratory piece combining Logic, GarageBand and Garritan Native Instrument sounds. What's important here is that someone with average performance abilities like me can use digital tools to bring to life the music he hears with his mind's ear. A lack of motor skill needn't stop anyone from creating music.
> Play.

What I'm writing about:

- Web 3.0. If Web 1.0 was a library and store, and Web 2.0 is a collaborative, participatory commons, then what is Web 3.0? More about this in a future subTechst issue.

- The value added human being. For decades we have tried to digitally deconstruct people in one place and reconstruct them elsewhere, using email, video conferencing, Second Life… you name it. Whenever we engage in de-reconstruct, we detract from the face-to-face experience while simultaneously adding to it. Slowly we are reaching a tipping point, upon which two competing forces will try to balance: the value of being there vs. the value of not being there. Increasingly the value of not being there is not so much the convenience of not having to travel, but rather the digital depth and breadth we can add to someone's presence when we hold them at electronic arm's length.

The value added human being…it seems like one inevitable path we will take as we merge local and distributed, carbon and silicon, synchronous and delayed.

What I'm neologizing in this issue:

- tEcoystem: the ecosystem created by humans consisting of digital technology, connectivity and the communication they facilitate.

- de-reconstruct: the process of taking something apart and putting it back together. Feel free to drop the hyphen (dereconstruct) or combine the prefixes (dreconstruct). After all, it's just language.

Note about new neologisms. tEcosystem (TEE-ko-sis-tem) is a neologism (a new word) but it is also an example of a neoalaghism (itself a neologism), which is a new word that uses one or more capital letters within it. I can only hope that after reading this you don't accuse me of logodaedaly.

Cool art website I'm checking out: A lesson on perspective in art. Is it 2D, 3D? Both? Above all, it is done in a subway.
> See for yourself.

Digital storytelling conference I wish I were attending: DS2 in Aberystwyth, mid Wales, on 21 June.

Speakers include:
- Daniel Meadows
- Shawn Micallef
- John Freyer

BBC Wales is holding an innovative mobile phone storytelling project in the two days running up to the festival.

Read more details.

Jerry Springer show concept I'm considering: Kids from cross-platform families.

Mom's married to a Mac, Dad does PC (or vice-versa), and kids are caught in the middle as the bickering goes ballistic. Are today's cross platform kids the hoodlums of tomorrow's tEcosytem?

For those of you who don't know about the Jerry Springer Show, think of it as emotional gladiatorial combat in which participants use the truth about their private lives to beat the daylights out of each other…a fairly even mix of soap opera and professional wrestling match. The Jerry Springer Show is often referred to as "the worst show on television," yet enjoys incredible ratings, a fact that should keep media pundits guessing for years.