Thursday, July 2, 2009

Giroux, Mickey Mouse, and Capt. Crunch

Giroux’s article puts into prospective the immense power behind mass marketing and communications. The sad fact is that Disney uses this powerful tool for the pursuit of power and money, which may or may not be a societal virtue. However, he fails in his writing to reveal the power which mass marketing and demographics have in the classroom. The intrinsic value of “hip” is something that cannot be calculated because it is both post modern and primitive. The idea of objects and media being at face value, more in demand and precious than something similar is a very modern and complicated concept. However the idea of uniting many people under an icon be it religion, a flag or a tag on the back of some jeans, is something we have seen over and over since the dawn of human history. It is in our most basic instincts to come together around something that represents all that we stand for. The seductive power of these icons is something that can be used for the creation of a more enlightened and aware society. However, the survival instinct turns people on each other. Disney will look for money any way it can. I don’t really think this is outside their rights. But fortunately the more money they make, the more market research they do. This is an incredible tool because it allows people without the funds or the time to do this to figure out how to more adequately identify with the most open and malleable of our society. Ads aren’t ruining our children’s capacity to think, they are communicating with them in a language and a dialect that is their own. This is why kids can rattle off more than 200 brands at any given time. The ad agencies speak to children in a way that is easily digestible and strangely familiar. When the power of this approach is fully harnessed elsewhere in society, for purposes unrelated to presenting ideals or products, we have the power to move people to greatness.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 1 - Reflection

The immediate response to my first day of class was "wow." I was amazed by how fast class flew by. I was 100% engaged. As my first graduate level course I was both excited and nervous to start, but I quickly felt at ease. I feel that this course is going to be very beneficial for me, and also for future students.
I don't exactly know how I feel about Prensky's categorization of digital natives vs. digital immigrants yet. His theory has certainly got my brain working. (This is my first blog, and I'm supposed to be a native?) I am willing to accept that I am a digital native, but I'm not up to top speed, or "twitch speed." The question that keeps playing over and over again in my mind is "how do we make digital education relevant?" I really feel that it is my responsibility as a teacher to embrace digital education and begin to break through the boundaries of public school education. Hopefully this class will help me start to sort out the ways in which I can do that. (Im tapping on the glass.)
The Mike Wesch video really made me think. I agree with most of what he said, and will without a doubt look him up on YouTube. The Marshall McLuhan quote also resonated back to me. I decided to look up other quotes by him but none stood out quite as much as the quote from class. (could be due to the image)"We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future." Take a look at some other McLuhanisms.
After day one, I am already learning how to use media less as entertainment and more for learning! This is a good sign.
See you all in class tomorrow!

My intro and how I see myself in relation to the digital world

My name is Lisa Kilburn, and for the sake of this blog I will go by LisaMarie. I recently turned 24 and was given the opportunity to take this short, but hopefully very beneficial class. I am currently actively seeking employment as a Spanish or ESL teacher. I became interested in teaching during my final semester of my undergrad at the University of Rhode Island. I worked as an assistant teacher in an ESL classroom at Hope High School in Providence, RI. After graduation, it was clear that I had no idea how to use my degree in Political Science and Spanish, so I decided to go to Spain and travel a bit as a graduation gift to myself. I ended up falling in love with the Spanish language, culture, and people. I just couldn't leave, so with the help of new friends, I enrolled at the University of Barcelona. In a short time I became certified to teach, and began working right away. I stayed for 2 years before returning.
So here I am, 24 and searching for a job, like so many others. When I'm not searching for a job, I like to travel, actually I love to travel. I also like to read, and write. Occasional exercise is a must of course, so when possible I like to take yoga classes. (Bikram yoga is my fav!)

Now, moving on to how I see myself in relation to the digital world. I suppose I would be considered a digital native, although I have my doubts and I ocassionally love to escape from the digital world. I check my email everyday atleast once, check facebook obsessively (yes, I admit it) text instead of call, and drive a prius. Right now my life is especially digital because I am applying to jobs using my computer, and I must admit that it gets frusterating. I have people telling me to go to the schools that I want to apply to, and then when I do, I am sent away because only online applications are accepted. So, I suppose it's safe to say that I am a digital native, but by no means a digital expert. As a teacher, I would love to use media sources more in the classroom, but feel bound by countless restrictions. I am hoping this class will help me learn new ways to incorporate new media into the classroom, and possibly find ways to get around the rigid restrictions that are in so many public schools.