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Rosanna Miiller Salas

Reflections about online education…

Lankshear and Knobel. Fifth Chapter. Collaborative Practices.

collage new literacies

The proliferation of collaborative practices is having an important impact in educational and working environments. The chapter focuses in exploring blogs and wikis as participatory and collaborative literacy practices.

I found interesting the evolution of blogging practices which are increasing due to the accessibility of easy-to-use publishing tools and hosting services. In terms of encouraging students’ participation and engaging in these types of blogging practices I think it is very important Technorati’s 2010 survey findings about the impact of mobile devices and shorter posts encouraging participation and providing dynamism to the exchange communication. We certainly can relate to our ds106 experience where microblogging and short posts are proving to be meaningful and engaging for our community. As Lankshear and Knobel mentioned, blogs are a flexible medium and a result of practices that are constantly evolving.

One idea that resonated with me was when the authors pointed out the little research focused on the readers’ impact despite the interactive nature of blog as a medium. In my opinion this is an important variable due to all the different interactions and activities occurring when developing a blog, and even more relevant when writing and reading multiblogger blogs. In massive collaborative experiences both participants and participation implies interactions and actions were readers and writers interact in a complex level of active contribution.

Lankshear and Knobel referred to the potential that wikis have in education to promoting massive collaborative educational projects. They mentioned that “wikis are widely identified as collaborative software” (p. 161) I found very enlightening the explanation of Wikipedia as participatory culture space were the community of authors play different roles and get involved in the creation process as a community-system where the interactions are addressed as a system perspective. This is an advance level of participation and I personally think it will be a great addition to include more serious practices in pedagogical practices. The experience of Bruckman (2005) to progressively transforming participation in collaborative projects can be an inspirational start point for other educational projects to understand and interact actively in collaborative projects.

In terms of collaboration work I experienced as a student and as a teacher the difficulties to work collaboratively. In most of the experiences I remember the teams divided work into specific tasks and then everyone worked individually and added their contributions to a whole, but the real collaborative work was absent. the final result was a compilation of individual ideas and tasks but not a group perspective product. To provide training and opportunities to exchange ideas, modify a common work, and create a team voice is in my opinion very important. In an interesting cross-cultural research O’Brien, Alfano, and Magnusson (2007) found that using digital technologies increase intercultural competencies. They concluded that using communication technologies improve social relations and can positively influence human attitudes and behaviors.

“Our project discovered that when students and teachers learn best practices for using information and communication technologies, they gain knowledge not simply in modes for digital discourse but the development of tools to build relationships, cross-culturally situated knowledge, and new media writing products that in turn advance research and learning in the field.” (O’Brien, Alfano, and Magnusson, 2007 )

Blogs, Wikis, and collaborative literacy practices provided important opportunities to engage students in one of the most complex educational goals: working collaboratively. Knowledge building in participatory cultures requires developing a sense of group work, and identify as an active part of a system where each member contribution is important and is building a whole perspective. That is very difficult and requires practice, flexibility and responsibility but the benefits are priceless.References

    • Lankshear, C. & Knobel, M. (2011). New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning. New York: Open University Press.
    • O’Brian, A., Alfano, C., Magnusson, E. (2007) Improving cross-cultural communication through collaborative technologies      [Online]

https://web.stanford.edu/group/ccr/pubs/OBrienPersuasiveTech.pdf

TDC Kissing my Birdie

Pajarito

A few days ago my little daughter drew a bird “to keep me company”. I decided to “take” it on my finger and give it an ink friend to love it.

How did I make my Hand and Paper drawing? I drew a little magic girl using ink and markers and took a picture of it. Then I took a picture of my daughter drawing with my finger over. I blended both drawings using Photoshop App. Finally I edited the composition using Pixrl Express Online Editor and uploaded it into Flicker.

Week 5 Story Critique. Unplugged

Machinima videos are a new discovery for me. I found a production very well developed for a young team of producers that is at the same time an excellent example of remixing practices and it is related with my focus theme. Regarding the story, it have a original narrative, is creative and attractive, and also shows a sense of audience. I enjoyed the positive inclusion this bilingual production brings.

The video is a remarkable example of remixing practices, literacy skill development and promotion of collaborative work between diversity teams. Al Peretz is a recognized Spanish-speaking machinima producer. He is working on developing machinima videos with a cultural approach. In an interview about his approach, he mentioned the difficulty of creating machinima videos in Spanish but how the production process helps developing team members English skills and becoming familiar with other cultures since everyone participating in the project brought their personal background. After the interview published in the book Machinima: The Art and Practice of Virtual Filmmaking the authors concluded “Al Peretz is one of a growing number of Spanish-speaking machinima producers who bring a cultural perspective to its art and practice. His school targeted to helping the Latino community learn machinate is likely the first of its kind, particularly when looking for online instruction intro areas. The machinima community in Second Life has encouraged such thinking, with the idea of acknowledging the accessibility and empowerment offered by this tool.” (Johnson & Pettit 2012, p. 222)
Critiquing the story from the kingd of involvement and literacy dimensions I found all the kind of involvements and literacy mentioned in Lankshear’s and Knobel’s chapter four appendix. I will comment the ones in my opinion that are best addressed.

Video editing skills: The video production is excellent. To produce a machinima video blending together different sections, actions, and games requires expertise editing software to create a cohesive whole. The flow and pace is adequate and blended appropriately virtual and real world as well multiple languages. I also enjoyed the incorporation of captions and comic elements to facilitate bilingual audience involvement. Additionally all the production credits are detailed in the video site.

Expressing fan identity: This short film evidences deep understanding of gaming, avatar creation, self identification with digital identities, relationship between non-player characters and virtual world. Additionally it provided a sense of different interactions depending on cultural background.

Maximizing narrative: This machinima movie demonstrated a deep understanding of how to leverage the original games and mashup them to maximize the original machinima story created and developed by the producers. They put together several games and game elements to make a cohesive and logic story effectively integrating gaming environment, character manipulation and game expertise skills.

The production is in my opinion is outstanding. However it has a little space to improve. I think sometimes the soundtrack can provide more sense of action. Also I would like to see a version developed in Spanish with the parallel real actor conversations in English. This great short movie is a great way to encourage new literacy instruction as well as creativity and originality, my main concerns with the materials I reviewed last week.

Mashup Assignment. Mashedup Children’s Book

Jack Sparrow and the beanstalk

One of my passions is children’s book. This assignment appealed to me. I decided to mashup together a classic book “Jack and the Beanstalk” with an icon of the pop culture such as Jack Sparrow has become. I can imagine Jack using his pirate arts to steal the beans and the giant’s gold and trying to escape using his hilarious style. I intentionally modified the image to provide an antique appearance of vintage publications.

I used Photoshop App and Pixlr Express online Editor to blend and modify the images. I uploaded the final image to Flicker.

This is the original book cover

jack bilingual

TDC #PenATweet day

#penATweet day

I love the idea to celebrate the value of handwriting with the #PenATweet day TDC assignment . I wrote the first idea that came to my mind when I read about it. To create the image I wrote the sentence in a notebook and drew a tweeter image. I used the photoshop app to mix the image background and updated it to Flicker.

Week 4. Reflection

photoI enjoyed deeply this week’s activities and reading. From the reading I learned about popular everyday remixing practices I am ashamed I was unaware of. Like making machinima videos or fan fiction short movies, It was interesting exploring the sites, understanding the production requirements, and watching different videos and images to select which one to critique. I also have a deeper and meaningful exchange of ideas and opinions with my peers. My time commitment with the course feels more productive, therefore I had the opportunity to review almost every peer post, that probably was the more important time investment I did. Having the opportunity to spend time reviewing my partners’ posts help me to understand them better and expand my own knowledge. I also found myself disconnected from some of the critiques since they are mainly focused in common knowledge about tv shows, movies, or music that I am not familiar with; again the cultural barrier appear between me and my classmates, but at the same time I found places in common like enjoying Harry Potter movies or art expressions. At the end I identified more similarities than differences and I am really glad for it.
I also have the opportunity to share my ideas about remixing benefits and my concerns regarding creativity, originality, and copyright issues and found that concerns are shared for others in the house, bringing again the ecology nature of this class and the notion of nothing is new, everything is part of humanity’s knowledge and the transformation and evolution of individual and global ideas.

These are the links summarizing this week activities:
First TDC, Second TDC
DS 106 Design
L&K Chapter 4.
DS Critique
Comment on Susannah and Emily critiques.
Comment on Amelia and Alicia reading responses.

I am proud of my daily participation this week contributing in different ways with the constant flow of ideas and post necessary for our community. I assigned myself 9.5/10.

Week 4 Critique. Severus Snape | Important Scenes in Chronological Order

Ootp076

For this week’s critique I chose to focus on a fan fiction short movie about one of the most representative characters of Harry Potter series, Severus Snape. As a Harry Potter fanatic I found this work fascinating and it clearly shows deep knowledge of the history of the series as well as solid literacy dimensions representative in this fan fiction movie. Regarding the kind of involvement, the young author expressed fan identity when explaining her personal reasons to create the video, she also expressed her fan enjoyment through well documented knowledge of the book and movie series. Additionally she shared in a mature way considerations about the central character of her movie, Severus Snape. In terms of creative process she also gave proper credit to all the material she used in the production and added a brief explanation of how the movie was produced “All rights go to their respective owners. I used GarageBand, Final Cut Pro 10.0.08 and iMovie to edit music + video.” I also found interesting how she encouraged further discussions about the video and the character providing links to her Tumblr site.

Some literacy dimensions I would like to evaluate from the ones provided in Lankshear and Knobel chapter four appendix are:

Video remixing skills: Excellent. The production evidenced adequate use of video editing techniques: (e.g., cutting, splicing, transitioning) to create a seamless whole. In my opinion the author demonstrated expertise remixing segments from the movies and putting them together changing the chronological order to produce a well organized and logic story. I recognize all the time, effort, and capacity of synthesis the production involved.

Music remixing knowledge: Excellent. The video shows expertise in selecting relevant music for the movie soundtrack. The music is edited, combined, and synchronized appropriately with the videos. She also gave song links in order of appearance.

Promoting the fan space: Excellent. The author responded to comments and engaged viewers with forums about the topic such as http://tinyurl.com/snapefanfic. She also is responding to the feedback received in a proper time manner in her video discussion as well in her Tumblr site, additionally providing other resources that may be in the interest of the fan community. The number of comments is an impressive 7,807,591 and is still increasing even though the fan movie was created in 2014.

Overall, In my opinion the production is excellent and a wonderful example of how the younger generation is developing great skills in new literacies. I enjoyed and recommend the fan movie. If you are a HP fan you will enjoyed this fan work!

Design assignment. My DS106 Days

DS106 Infographic

For this week’s DS106 Design assignment I chose to create an infographic life. I graphically represented how I distribute my daily time each day during this course. I estimated that my daily activities usually take 16 hours and calculated the percentage I usually spend developing UC Denver ds106’s different tasks, having family working time, and relaxing personal time. I enjoyed visualizing it because I am loving everything I am doing in this moment despite physical and emotional challenges.

To create the infographic I took pictures with my iPhone and modified them using Photoshop App and Online Editor Pixlr Express. I made the infographic in Piktochart combining my images with the graphics the site provides.

Lankshear and Knobel. Fourth Chapter. Remixing Practices Reflection.

collage new literacies

Examining social practices of digital remixing as a necessary condition for democratic culture as a new norm for writing gives me a new dimension to consider popular production and expression. Lankshear and Knobel emphasized the increasing importance technology has in digital remixing though the practice of writing. They explained the power incorporating sound and video has in engaging young people to act as digital readers and writers. Increasing access to software enabling user’s ability to produce, exchange, and negotiate digital productions providing an exceptional opportunity to expand complex relationships developing among social participation in practices.

The chapter included an enlightening appendix section connecting popular everyday remix practices such as making machinima videos or political remix with the kind of involvement encouraged by these practices, some literacy dimensions involved, and some online spaces, sites of examples to explore. To successfully participate in these remix practices is necessary to develop some skills in manipulating media. Lankshear and Knobel discussed photoshopping, music remixing and creating service ware mashups as common digital ways to contribute in remixing. In the article Mixing It Up: Bringing Young People’s Digital Creativity to Class, Burwell (2015) advocates for the value, as she pointed out, how to include remix techniques in classroom production combined with analyzing practices have the potential for the students to expand their participation as readers and writers, consumers and producers providing valuable experiences to bring their ideas to the public domain

“…the analysis and use of remix techniques in class has the potential to bridge the divide between young people’s experiences of media and technology inside and outside of school. As numerous media and education scholars have argued, the gap between students’ digital media experiences in school and out of school is significant. This gap may heighten the perception that adults are disconnected, unavailable, and largely uninterested in the complex role that digital media play in the lives of young people. Recognizing young people’s creative digital practices, and their centrality to communication, community-building, and public expression, is one way to begin to bridge that gap, and to move towards classrooms that embrace a range of contemporary literacies.”

I understand the importance of integration, acceptance, and criticizing to create culture. I also recognize the power of remixing in engaging young people in critical thinking, and to promote educational equality when accessing digital material. However it still prevails in me the conflict between encouraging creativity and respecting others’ ideas. The notion of pairing consumption with read only culture versus read and write with creativity seems too extremist to me. I agreed when the authors advocate for the value of remix for research culture. I concur with the authors when mentioning research as a professional remixing of knowledge and findings. My concern is what is the limit? How to determine the real value of this digital remix practices in education? Are we encouraging laziness and attempts against self production? Would it be an appropriate approach to integrate discussion with students addressing ownership-driven questions considering identified social norms and exploring the vast potential situation of reusing images, sound, music, and ideas into new kinds of narratives.

As Lankshear and Knobel point out there are many popular kinds of digital remixing activities, the benefits to access and expand this practices are enormous like providing opportunities to produce and express ideas. At the same time I am afraid it is an easy way to lose identity in massive remix practices. What is the best pedagogical approach to encourage this democratic remixing culture without losing the sense of personal identity? Originality is becoming an impossible goal?

References

Burwell (2015) Mixing It Up: Bringing Young People’s Digital Creativity to Class [Online]

http://www.cea-ace.ca/education-canada/article/mixing-it-bringing-young-people’s-digital-creativity-class

Lankshear, C. & Knobel, M. (2011). New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning. New York: Open University Press

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