Friday, July 10, 2009

Reflections (4 of 4)

Part Four

My son and I had a discussion last night, during which he interpellated me as a digital native. We talked about how, having been active in the computer bulletin board movement, I had shown them to him, regrettably at the end of their popularity. Since then, we have moved to the Internet, and he has taught me to write HTML. It seems then, that I have gained a measure of digital nativity, sometimes growing into it with him. We differ, however on gaming, which he loves, and which bores me. He also loves his phone, while I find more as much a nuisance as a convenience and often leave it unconnected, or, depending on my mood and the caller, ignore. I have abandoned a landline however, and when I do elect to utilise telephony, it is through a MagicJack attachment to my computer. My partner uses either Skype on his laptop, or his cellphone, like my son. I seem to be midway between digital immigrant, and digital native in this respect. I do notice though, that I am much more connected to digital technology than most people of my age.

That may be one reason why I chose to create a video for my lesson plan assignment. I actually enjoy editing video on my computer. That seems very nativist. I was also aware of the limitations of video technology, probably because I had created video before, and noticed that it cannot bear large amounts of information transfer at one time. One concern I have with the new technologies is appropriateness. Because we are able to undertake something with new technology, does not mean automatically that we should or must. We must be aware of limitations, and pitfalls. It was rought very forcibly to my attention when I tried to show The Gay Brothers. It fell victim to software foibles. The college does not keep its system updated with current video codecs so Windows Media Player would not play the video. The system did not have the Videolan player, so I was stymied. On my laptop, Videolan (VLC) would not play, but crashed continually. It finally occurred to me that I used Media Player Classic rather than Windows Media Player, although they often confuse me. I tried Classic, and my video played fine, so that despite a delay, we were able to view it. The new technology always needs to be viewed critically, and provison for replacement or augmentation made.

Dan and I put together a statement of educational philosophy, and it is based largely on our negative experiences and how critical pedagogy should work. While we had minor differences, primarily over the emphasis of certain considerations, it is, I think, both interesting and horrifying that our experiences
nearly fifty years apart, are so negative and so similar.

We both agree that responisable pedagogy will revolve around respect and regard for the student. Accepting the student as a person, and one as close to an equal as is consonant with the teaching process, will result in a better relationship, and facilitate transfer of knowledge. The use of a traditional, top-down sort of educational paradigm may not always produce a desired result, and may leave feelings of alienation and bitterness. We further agree that while technology can enhance the learning process, it is not the sole means of teaching and learning. Interpersonal relations will determine the quality of the educational experience, to which technology, carefully monitored and chosen, will add greater depth and convenience. Some people uncritically accept or adopt technological advance and innovation. It is better to chose carefully the best items, and also, since technology is not always universally dependable, to come prepared with a non technological or low technology alternative in case of unfortunate occurrence. We have been exposed to egregious examples of poor teaching, and we resolve NOT to teach in the manner, in which students are viewed as empty beakers to be filled by the instructor. We advocate a partnership, sometimes a two-way street in which student and teacher inspire each other, and the learning becomes bi-directional.

I think this demonstrates our interest and committment to the idea of critical pedagogy.

I know one of the things which I found most interesting, and potentially a useful tool in either teaching or analysis, or both, was the SCWAAMP paradigm. It is a useful, short tool for film analysis that opens many prospects for creative interpretation. That with considerations of gender and sexuality, and Giroux's discussion of the abuses by the Disney company, let us look very critically indeed with various aspects of pur culture and environment. SCWAAMP explains a lot about topic selection in early film, and why gay people are absent. These are important and valuable ways to look upon our world.

1 comment:

  1. All of your project posts are just excellent. YOu did an excellent job adapting this course to make it work for your needs as a students and teacher in the college classroom. A pleasure to get to know you!! :)