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Student Work

My grade 9 and grade 7 media students are learning to make 3d photo-realistic animations using the physics engine in Blender.

Remember, there is no glass bowl, nor is there any cloth, nor is there a room. It is all modelled in the software environment.
Impressive? My hope is that through this process the student will gain an understanding of how media is created and how to create it. By practicing in the 3d digital environment I believe they will gain greater spatial awareness and mathematical understandings. Certainly at an advanced level this type of modelling and animation demands an understanding of code and mathimatical formula. There is so much that is crazy good about this. Not to mention that the physics engine allows them to virtually test different materials and designs for real world applications! Engineering anyone?Read more

Technological Literacy and the Curriculum

I am reading Technological Literacy and the Curriculum edited by John Beynon and Hughie Mackay, circa 1990. Spoiler alert! 25 years later and nothing seems to have changed. It would seem that Daniel Chandler's essay, "The Purpose of the Computer in the Classroom" with its closing statement was a warning not heeded.

"....whether it is actually possible to counteract the bias of such a dominant technology. Unless we can, the purpose of the computer in the classroom may not be that which teachers choose for it."

25 years later and the insightful content of these fine essays have little affected the educational system's blithe love affair with technology. Pity.Read more

  • Jul 27 2015

Privacy by Design

I would like to believe. I want to believe.
I think most things should be proactive, that we should work to avoid the pretense of false dichotomie, and I love the idea of transparency. But then, I don't think anyone actually worries how I am dealing with their personal data because I don't collect personal data on this site.
I can't understand how transparency will work if proprietary code is held as secret and sacrosanct. There are many cases in law that show, either with forethought or inadvertenly, individual privacy is held in contempt when seen as being in conflict with commercial or govermental concerns. And then, of course there is "complexity fatigue." So how do these 7 foundational principles enter into web practices in a real and meaningful way?
The objectives of Privacy by Design — ensuring privacy and gaining personal control over one’s information and, for organizations, gaining a sustainable competitive advantage — may be accomplished by practicing...Read more

Are We Teaching for Their Future?

Last I looked the preparations for the 21st Century Learner we're still underway 15 years into the century. Where is that entrepreneur-oriented education? Below is an excerpt from Yong Zhao's blog http://zhaolearning.com/2015/04/06/a-world-at-risk-an-imperative-for-a-p...

Excellence in Education

There is no disagreement that the world needs excellence in education but what defines excellence matters. There are two educational paradigms: employee-oriented vs. entrepreneur-oriented (Zhao, 2012). While both aim to prepare children to live successfully, the former focuses on transmitting a body of knowledge and skills predetermined to be valuable and the latter emphasizes on the developing the potential of each individual child. The former presumes that a body of knowledge and skills can be decided based on predications of

...Read more

Complexity Fatigue and Schools

"Is it possible that the population as a whole has complexity fatigue? How much energy does the average individual or family have to devote to privacy management? By this, we mean understanding the flow of personal information and the exercise of privacy rights and options. The importance of enforceable citizens’ rights in these deputizing situations remains. However, the likelihood of anyone actually acting on those rights grows fainter because of the complexity of life in an information society. What will best provide for the enforcement of privacy rights?"

from: Deputizing the Private Sector
Requiring the Collection of Personal Information by
Non-Governmental Entities for Law Enforcement or Other Purposes
by Robert Gellman, Stephanie Perrin and Jennifer Barrigar Digital Discretion Inc.
May 2015
An Independent Research Report Commissioned by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta...Read more

The voice of reason is whispering.

Maybe there are caring and intelligent people in the world. The following is from http://www.pewinternet.org/2012/02/29/main-findings-teens-technology-and...

Another comprehensive insight came from Barry Chudakov, a Florida-based consultant and a research fellow in the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto. He wrote that by 2020, “Technology will be so seamlessly integrated into our lives that it will effectively disappear. The line between self and technology is thin today; by then it will effectively vanish. We will think with, think into, and think through our smart tools but their presence and reach into our lives will be less visible. Youth will assume their minds and intentions are extended by technology, while tracking technologies will seek further incursions into behavioral monitoring and choice manipulation. Children...Read more

Commercialism in Education Micheal Apple takes a bite out of the holy fruit

It was 1992 when this was published. The ideas were ignored then, and twenty years later they echo off the big screens in the classroom, remaining unheard ghosts of intellectual freedom. The above is taken from Technological Literacy & the Curriculum – Jan 1 1992 by John Beynon(Author) Chapter 5 "Is the New Technology Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem in Education?" an essay by Educationalist, Michael W. Apple.Read more

Why are schools so sold on Apple?

It isn't hard to find an educational blogger that is awe struck by Apple products and suggests that using iPads or iMovies or any iThingy is 'awesome' educational practice. It isn't difficult to figure out why. Apple spends a lot of money on marketing and branding and public relations and their equipment is beautiful and shiny. It doesn't take much to make everything any student does look great once it's been put through the Apple template.( http://timothylee.ca/what%20do%20programs%20allow%20students%20to%20do%3F ) But is this teaching the student what we wish them to learn? How deeply researched is the premise that Apple computers increase learning? I ask every teacher I meet to show me research that shows that Apple products increase learning outcomes. Because I'd really love to know! My own research suggests that all is NOT well when students get iPads, nor is all good when they start...Read more

I'm not Alone

I'm not alone in my thoughts about the relationships of technology and society, and in what we all should do about it. And neither are you.

https://medium.com/backchannel/why-i-m-saying-goodbye-to-apple-google-an...

It is time that schools went completely to Linux based systems and joined the 'free' (as in freedom not price) software movement.
It is ironic and certainly it is a sad statement of how difficult it is to extricate oneself from the oligarchy of techno control that when I went to add a comment to the above article, I could not, as one needs a Facebook account. I don't have a facebook account. I don't want a facebook account. But as the 'commercial web' grows in power, the independant web is diminished. All website traffic is seen as the property of the big data players. Not because it is, or should be, but rather because they have the money...Read more

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