Archive for April, 2010
Day One of the DuckRabbit training, run by Benjamin, went so well today. The object was to learn how to approach the production of professional looking sound and vision narratives – using digital images and audio.
I was hoping to get ideas about using digital narratives with young people who find it difficult to express themselves through writing. I was thinking that I could work with teachers and develop a project that would be fun but also provide a way for learners to express their ideas multimodally. This looks like something that has real potential. Check out some of the Duckrabbit exemplar slideshows here.
However it also made me realise how, in academia, we are so staid in the way we present our work and how we don’t tap into the potential of multimedia digital presentations enough. Today we learned how to get across a much more complex message in a shorter period of time by using multiple modes of communication – using multiple sound tracks alongside images, making them work together in providing a complicated narrative. I think that using something like this in academic conferences, folllowed by discussion would be really exciting. (Academics at conferences are always stressed out by not having enough time to present complex ideas).
We are planning already, an exhibition of presentational work at the conference for The Centre of the Study of New Literacies in July, so I may try this idea there. It will be about Flickr and Streetart and the way in which streetartists are influenced by Flickr. I am doing a paper on this at the multimodalities conference at The Institute of Education and the idea would be to do a presentation that would work with that too. This is the Multimodality abstract.
*And why is it called Duckrabbit?? See here.
I came across an interesting post yesterday about ‘the digital skills’ teachers should have.
It is a really useful list to think about – in terms of the kinds of direction we need to move in. However I worry about setting up the uses of new technologies as being part of the never ending ‘must do’ list to make teachers feel even more stressed than they already do. The list is very long and very comprehensive. I am sure many teachers would read it and agree they should know all those things – but then feel dismayed.
I think it’s great if teachers can produce their own digital resources and help kids to do so; wonderful is the teacher who can make, edit and upload audio files; or do the same with video. But these are things to learn along the way of doing projects – on a need to know basis. We need to concentrate on teaching and learning and then thinking about the technologies that may or may not enhance this. Technology – apart from in the case of ICT teachers – should not be the subject content – but the way of doing things.
Web 2.0 is great – we can share resources and expertise online; we do not even always have to have the expertise in our school or department – we can always ask for help in online spaces. We do not all have to individually be able to do everything. And we don’t have to do be able to embrace every technological possibility.
This is not a technophobe post; far from it. I live my life with my face in the Internet! But I am aware of how teachers need to feel confident in their own classrooms. An important thing for trainee teachers, is to help them feel confident with new technologies, to see their relevance in teaching and learning, to see a reason for moving technology from their social world into their professional world.
For me the important digital skills for teachers, is the ability to evaluate new technologies when they come out and when we are choosing which to use; the ability to work out copyright law and work within it; the ability to locate resources and the support needed to get going with them. Guy and I are hoping this book might help.
Sorry, but I worry about the sanity of our lovely teachers.
Anyhow here is a variation on the all our base meme.