Thursday, August 23, 2007

Unplugged Schools

This article from the Orion gave me a bit of pause. I think it strikes a chord with me because it is the beginning of a new semester, and I have spent the last 3 days in front of a computer wrapping things up. I start to wonder -- is this the way I want to live my life? Is this the way any of us should live?

Those who have read my blog regularly know that while I use quite a bit of technology in my work, I remain concerned about how it is used in teaching, and whether we put too much emphasis on technical skills, at the cost of other skills that are important -- critical analysis, storytelling and more.

The idea of disconnecting from technology when teaching kids has a lot of appeal. They will have the rest of their lives to play video games, order pizza online. The core skills to use technology effective actually have very little to do with actually learning software itself. I struggle with this myself in my own studies -- I am much less interested in becoming proficient with something like Maya than understanding how color, light and composition work to convey information. If I understand that, I can tackle the mechanical skills of learning which button does what.

I think there is a confusion about learning technology and learning how to use technology. Teaching someone to use powerpoint, and teaching someone how to communicate effectively -- which one would you rather have?


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Audio From DE Presentation 07

Alan Foley and myself gave a talk at the DE Conference in Madison WI a bit over a week ago titled "MySpace is not YourSpace". I've included an acrobat file of the slides in the last posting, but here's the audio combined with the slides as an enhanced podcast (but not actually in a podcast ;-)). Right-click (or control click for onebutton people) and select "save as" to save a copy to your computer(it looks much nicer in iTunes).

For those interested, this was recorded with a Sanyo CG-65 digital video camera configured to record just audio, using the built-in microphone.