This week I waned to use the guidelines we have been using to analyze a digital story on one of my students powerful stories about Muslim’s and Islam. She is in 8th grade, and it was her goal to educate other students about our muslim students. She did an amazing job on this and I was very proud of her. We then had students asks questions about Islam, and on a later news episode we answered those questions.It is obvious that the creator is very involved in this story. The concept itself shows that the director is passionate about this subject, and from that you can understand her connection to the piece. I know her, so I am sure that makes me impartial, but I feel that comes through in her film making. This story was played for our entire school of 700+ students, and is available on youtube. It was not promoted in any other ways and in the future it should be. It was very powerful to me that there was an audience component where after this video was shown students were able to ask questions anonymously that they had about Islam. The questions were all very appropriate and respectful and I believe the intended purpose of the film worked. In the future I would like to use google docs, or phones to ask questions.
The importance of being alone in the digital era
I chose this article to write about as it seams contradictory from everything we have been learning about how technology is so wonderful for sharing and that learning is enhanced by collaboration. So choosing this article based on the title of being about alone was a no brainer for me. The article talks about how in the past we had boring mundane alone moments, that we no longer have. That we used to spend time preparing for conversation, and that these days we are no longer alone, because even when physically alone we are connected to the world, or entertained, or able to do a number of things with our phones or computers. ” I am not arguing that everyone needs more solitude in their life. However, with unintentional solitude no longer mandatory, it might be a good idea for us to direct more thought into intentionally carving out times, places, and activities for being alone, not just in the realm of atoms and molecules, but in the realm of bits and bytes as well.” I am a huge believer that technology makes our lives better, however I do feel that there is a time and a place to put down technology and take in the life and love that is around you. I notice this the most when I am with my family. I do have my phone on me constantly and am always checking it. I could definitely do this less. Do I need to isolate myself to feel solitude, no, should I find a way to limit my tech use a little, for sure!
I am still in the middle of a wonderful family vacation on the East Coast, and having many of the same reflections as last week . I have not been a perfect class student this week, however I have been a perfect student in life. I went to Washington DC and learned about our presidents, and the cities history. I talked to peers about how the 4th is not a perfect holiday with all the injustices that have happened to almost everyone that is not a white male. I got to see Philadelphia for the first time, and most importantly got to spend wonderful times with the amazing family I am so lucky to have. We will head back to Denver on Monday and I will get back into full academic mode, and be more involved. I am thankful for a the amazing life I am able to live, and being a lifelong learner and teacher is a major part of that.
I chose to do my reading response on an article “Dear Future President.” I enjoyed this article and thought it shows young students the power of writing in public. We so often look at the negatives associated with public postings, but this is the a really positive reason to post publicly. Students write letters about what they are needing from their next president. These letters then get turned into a massive online platform and posted online. I think that having students be part of the the process of change is hugely important. My only issue with this is making students that are young post online for all to see may have a negative impact on them if they are they are not prepared or ready. This may prevent them from doing other open online work later when they are ready.
I went back to PBS for this weeks digital story critique. They offer amazing content always, and overtime I watch one of their productions I learn, so it is a great source for me. Our family is still on a wonderful family trip to the east-coast, and my brother in law had never seen the amazing city that is Washington DC. So we drove 3.5 hours for an amazing one day excursion. On this trip we saw more presidential monuments than I ever had, including the FDR monument. When we were there I was talking to my brother about FDR, and then teddy Roosevelt came up. I wanted to learn more about him, as I do not know much. I found a small digital story online at PBS’s website that talked about how Teddy Roosevelt’s longest lasting impact was saving the national park system. I have enjoyed our national parks for my entire life, and am always incredibly reflective when I go to them that they would never preserve this amount of land for people to use. Today this land would for sure be used for profit if it were not for Teddy Roosevelt. The story was very simple and this digital story was very well produced. It was very short, however, so I would of liked to see more. Next week I am going to seek out a student production, as this production was amazing, but obviously professionally done.
My cousin just got married in Brazil and my family was unable to go due to the Zika Virus and my wife is 6 months pregnant. Many other family members were not able to make it due to other reasons. It was very difficult being away, but through digital story telling, we were able to all dress up and make this dance video to show our love!
Average/Exceptional week for me this week as I am traveling and visiting with family back east. The average part comes from my actual classwork in which I have felt that I am rushed and not able to get in depth with my classmates in my online work. Exceptional in that fact that I am exploring some amazing places, New Jersey, New York, Boston, possibly DC and Philly with a new eye and ear on an open platform and how it will change education in the future. I am talking to people everywhere I go and will have stories to take from this as I move forward. I am listening to conversations as I move through this trip and always learning. I do not know currently or feel comfortable digitally documenting my journeys, as it seams like more of a hassle to be away from family and friends and not in the moment and instead to be with my family. Right now for example my family is enjoying each others company, sharing stories and fun, and I am finishing this write-up. So I am going to get back to them, and save the future stories to be able to share at a more appropriate time.