Friday, October 3, 2008

Response to Student Video

The message that I take away from this video is that students want to be engaged, they want to be enthusiastic. They want to be passionate and productive. Technology offers the tools that attract kids intuitively. Kids don’t think consciously, “That stupid map doesn’t move, doesn’t show me how high the mountains really are…” They are simply not interested in static presentation materials. Kids react more than they think. Their response to interactive material is physical and intellectual when they reach for the mouse saying, “ WOW! If I fly over the Himalayas I will feel like God looking over the Earth!” Curiosity takes over and they begin probing the capability of the application and the various types of things they can learn by using the technology. Can I scale the mountain and look down? Which peak is the highest? Can I mark out the trail I’d like to take or can I see the route that Sir Edmund Hillary took?

From Sue Mc Cormack's post: I wonder if it is also fostering a stronger sense of community?
In some ways, I think technology (and I really wish we had a new word for it!) fosters a stronger sense of community by offering a forum for new ideas to kids with unique experiences and perspectives. Particularly in rural places. lower populations seem to narrow the walls of acceptance. Yet, when kids and adults have access to communities beyond town and state borders, they often discover that they are not as alone as they thought, and that their perspectives are not so foreign. Think about the movie ( for the older folk reading the blog) Footloose. The kids in town were strongly influenced by their traditional values and venues for expression and interaction, but they ached for change. When the troubled Kevin Bacon arrived on the scene, his passion for dancing and willingness to teach and share it provided an outlet for some of the kids’ frustration with the local traditions. Technology opens doors for expanding minds.

My thought on technology fostering community: Yes. Technology fosters community. Technology fosters new definitions of community and technology fosters kids’ willingness and ability to interact with their communities. Our task is to assure that more kids in Vermont have access to many of the tools South Burlington has!

1 comment:

Karyn Vogel said...

Thank you for this perspective! It definitely would have been more difficult for students to make a video like this one back in the 80s. One of the key tenets of media literacy is that one of the best ways to become a critical consumer of media is to create your own.