Beyond the Glass

Reflections on education in a connected world. Jackie Sakatch

Creativity, Play, Technology and FUN!

This summer I had the pleasure of participating in The Play, Art and Narrative Summer Institute at the University of Regina.  In The Creative Arts:  A Process Approach for Teachers and Children Wallas stages of the creative process are outlined.  Wallas’s stages include preparation, incubation, illumination and verification.  Balkin’s idea of the “re” factor is added to Wallas’s model.  The “re” factor is

The creative person must continually rethink, reconsider, replace, refine, redo, reaffirm, reprocess, rewrite and re conceptualize.  What better lesson could children learn in coping with life than the importance of the “re” component? (1990, p.30).

This first video examines how concern of parents for their children’s safety leads parents to have their children play inside more frequently and participate in structured activities reducing children’s access and time for free play activities. The video shows how parents use technology to keep track of their children.  If we build a society that is based on mistrust how do we teach our children to trust and to be trustworthy.  I watched the Sext up Kids video (Warning:  Adult content) and I wonder if by placing technology in the hands of my child to act as a watchdog replaces trusting them to make decisions about what is safe.  If I do not allow my children to walk home after school and go to the park to play without a monitoring device  do I as a parent fail to teach them the necessary lessons of making good decisions?   Do I make them  vulnerable to using their devise to share pictures of themselves in ways that they later regret by not teaching them to make decision?   In the video Elaine Raakman discuss her work with children in organized sports.  She describing how when children are given a task outside of a structured setting they do not know how to think for themselves and they lack of creative problem solving skills.  Elaine lists the skills learned through free play as cooperation, communication, creative problem solvers, and conflict resolution.   The leaders on the playground were the risk takers and children were much freer to take risks when adults were not around.  I would hypothesize that the same principals could be applied to the use of technology with children.  If we give children the opportunity to explore with technology with some guidance, expectations and support but trust them to make decisions about what is appropriate content to view.  They will develop the skills necessary to navigate digital literacy in a safe manner or know when they need to ask for help.

In the following TED talk Lawrence Lessig discusses how children naturally play with the digital tools that are available to them.  He discusses the societal shift from a Read-Write culture to a Read Only culture and back t a Read-Write culture with the development of the internet.  The internet provides opportunities for “usg” user generated content.  People produce amateur content for the love of being creative not for the purpose of making money.  This content is what children produce all the time by taking songs and remixing them.  The tools of the film industry have become tools of digital literacy that children are naturally drawn to.   Lessig goes on to say that our current laws should be reevaluate to give artists the freedom to allow amateur to use their content and remove the stigmatize of piracy from what children naturally due with their digital knowledge.

I am reminded of my own remixing experience this week when I was experimenting with iMovie.  I read the help screen about adding music to a movie and was under the impress that I could use anything in a movie from my iTunes account that was not blocked.  I  added a soundtrack to my movie project from my iTunes account which I believed I had permission to use because it was not blocked like some of the track.  I then added photos to the song to create a slideshow.  When I tried to upload the iMovie to Facebook I received an email notification and a notification in Facebook when I opened my account that I had violated copyright.  I believe that I could create the slideshow in iMovie using the soundtrack but once I tried to share it I had violated copyright  law.  An honest mistake.

Kirby Ferguson in Embracing the remix shares his idea that everything that we  create is a remix.  We take the ideas of people that come before us and remix it to create new content that we share and that in turn is remixed by someone else.  Ferguson points out the irony of Patent Act of 1790   which was developed “To promote the progress of the Useful arts” and how by patenting technology will impede the progress of the arts.  I think back to the work of Balkin and the creative process that parallels what Ferguson is saying about everything being a remix.  One way that children play today is through digital means.  They create, share and consume content through play.  I wonder what new discoveries children will find through digital play?

Related content

http://ashleybeyoung.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/sext-up-kids/

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Frustrated and Inefficient

I retweeted this link this morning. I thought that 100 Twitter accounts for Teachers would be a wonderful way to build my Professional Learning Network.  I did find a few people that I was already following like Sue Waters  , Alec Couros, and George Couros.  I found a number of interesting people to follow on twitter including Angela Maiers and Chris Wejr.  As I was going through the list of suggested Twitter accounts I must admit I became frustrated by the process of clicking on a Twitter account listed on the website, following them on Twitter and then returning to the Tweet to get back to the website to click on the next account to see if I was interested.  I wished a subscribe to all accounts option was available and then I could have looked through the new followers and unfollowed accounts I did not want to connect to.

Today I started to work with my son to develop his digital identity.  He wants to create a YouTube channel so that he can post videos and share them with the world.  I decided to create this channel through my Google account so that I would have control over the comments and the content that he is able to post.  Before doing this we discussed the possibilities that someone might leave a mean comment and what we would do about it and how it would make him feel.  We talked about the possibility that if the comments made him uncomfortable we might have to change the settings on the account so that he felt safe.

Once I felt he was prepared we started to create the YouTube channel.  He had specific ideas about what he wanted to call the channel he has been talking about this for the last two months.  I went into my Google account to create a channel for him.  Then I started to upload the first  video from dropbox to  YouTube.  It uploaded but it was not full screen.  I then tried editing the video in iMovie and then sharing them on YouTube.  That did not work.  So I saved it to my Camera Roll on my phone and tried uploading from there to YouTube.  That got the video to my account on YouTube but not into the Awesome Tube 2 channel.  After some searching I tried downloading the video from my channel to my computer and then uploading it from my computer to Awesome Tube 2.  The video is still processing.

I imagine there is an easier way.  I hate this feeling of having a bunch of steps to follow but in the end I still don’t end up with the information where I wanted it.  Why is it so difficult to move a movie from my phone to YouTube?

138/365 Frustrated.

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