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Mediated Writing – Adobe Slate

Language Learning

For this assignment, I used parts of a paper that I have written for another graduate class and mediated onto Adobe Slate. The main reason why I chose to use this writing piece as oppose to a research paper was because of the images that I wanted to use. I knew that these images are essentially “texts.” However, I felt that these foreign texts would serve as a nice backdrop for the “writing” parts.

The videos and hyperlinks that I chose, provided additional information that weren’t conveyed or written in my actual paper. This format allows for a nice segway without feeling like it didn’t belong in the original writing. Additionally, it shouldn’t detract readers from the overall Slate presentation if they chose not to click on them.

I’ve been working on this assignment for the past week now and really enjoyed this new medium. I might want to try using this over PowerPoint slides to add variety. I love visuals in general, and using Adobe Slate may illicit emotions through this medium more prominently than reading conventional writing. What’s lost are the details in writing, but this doesn’t takeaway from the overall content. I do want to mention that there was a historical piece on the banning of the “Taiwanese language” that I was going to include, but decided not to since I didn’t write it in my actual paper.

All of my images are purposeful. So, if you have a question about any of it, then please don’t hesitate to ask me; or I would love for you to share your interpretations for their purpose. 🙂

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Learning and Playing

ANCoL

I’ve been loving these past two weeks reading of Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown’s A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change.

The first two chapters (“Arc-of-Life Learning” and “A Tale of Two Cultures”) speaks of this “new culture of learning” phenomenon which is currently happening beyond the traditional classroom setting, even the hierarchy of how information was once transferred from expert (teacher) to another (student(s) or to the masses) is no longer the case.

“This new type of learning…takes place without books, without teachers, and without classrooms, and it requires environments that are bounded yet provide complete freedom of action within those boundaries” (Thomas & Brown, p.18).

The basic components of this arc-of-life learning are composed of play, question, and imagine. Reading “Sam’s story” was heartwarming and such a great example on this phenomenon. As I learn about remix this week, it was inspiring to hear this nine year old beautifully and “without hesitation” describe the difference between remix and a copy.

“Gaming across Generations” was another great example of this arc-of-life learning between a mother and son. Reading this story made me think of a previous colleague’s wife and young elementary-age son. I remember this colleague would share/complain how they’re into gaming (which he wasn’t); I am guessing he found it a waste of time and wasn’t into it himself. I also imagine that he didn’t understand or know about the games they were playing either. I don’t what game the mom and son played, but I do know it wasn’t one of those violent or graphic ones (colleague is a educator/teacher & his wife works in social work at the hospital). anyway, reading and learning more about “World of Warcraft” is what I imagine it was or similar to the like. It also made sense to read that it’s more than just playing a game but rather…

“During the time they spend together, family members are not just idly chatting; they are actively engaged with one another-questing, learning, and building teams to complete real tasks. They feel that the connections they build in the context of gaming can be about something concrete: accomplishments and shared experiences that bring them together and motivate them.” (Thomas & Brown, p.28).

Lastly, the part I’ve been wanting to blog about is “Learning through play and imagination” in chapter 3 of “Embracing Change.” The first thing I thought of was how we incorporated “Games” as workshop/activity for our professional development day last week. Since it’s a day to learn (via workshops) and network, we like to end the day with some physical activity. This year, we added games onto our usual pickle-ball and chair yoga. Since I facilitated the “game” portion, I was able to teach two staff three new games: Big Two/Deuces/Pusoy Dos card game, Mancala, and Othello. At first the two wanted to play “Uno,” which was something they knew; but I really wanted to encourage “change motivates and challenges.”

Although the two I assisted found the card game slightly difficult even though they knew the rules to “poker.” Overall, what I saw in them were the curiosity of play and if they were doing it right (learning the game and strategizing): What do I do now? What do I do next as I process the hand just played. I saw this “thinking out loud” and “looking from a different perspective” as they would make an awesome move or fail at it within all three games that we played. I also see gaming as such, not just a time to interact and connect, but also exercise our brain in a fun way. So, remember it’s important to play play play!!!

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“Beyond Measure”

I came across an interesting article titled, “It’s Our Job to Rescue Kids from Burnout,” by Jill Suttie. It talks about the overscheduled and overtested young teenagers preparing their every hour around being the most competitive candidate for college admissions. “Beyond Measure: Rescuing an Overscheduled, Overtested, Underestimated Generation” is a book by Vicki Abeles who discuses the downfall in meeting the rigorous academic demands and the concerns that our youth are paying for it.

Whether parents push their kids beyond these limits or self inflicted, these youth are paying a toll on their overall well being, having to study long hours, participate in extracurricular activities (i.e. join sports, play an instrument, take language classes outside of regular school), and volunteer community services. According to Abeles, “our children are so overly taxed by work and activities that they have no time in their lives to relax, to dream, to think creatively, or to just be happy; instead, the pressure to ‘succeed’ is making them stressed out, anxious, and depressed.”

We must recognize as a society that not just the students but also the parents are caught in this systems which they can’t do much about. Thus, leading our youth to believe that achievement is a priority that takes precedent over their physical and mental health. It is with no doubt that our society is focused on competitiveness and achievements. However,  we must learn to resolve the damaging aspects of our current system as scientific evidence “suggest that many of the things we think contribute to a better education  actually have little impact on learning and, in some cases, actually lead to poorer results.”

Do you agree that “doing homework is practically useless” as mentioned in the article? What are your thoughts?