Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Real Media

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  • Paul Campbell,

    Yamis: one thing I've done with my kids a bunch of times when I've found something they've written that so obviously wasn't theirs has been to cut out some text and past it into google .... finds it every time ..... next question is always "If I can do it in 10 seconds do you really think your teacher can't?" .... followed by an explanation/discussion about why just copying isn't acceptable

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Deb Thompson,

    I was at the Media Studies meeting yesterday and, with all due respect Russell, I think you may have misinterpreted what we were saying. It's true we don't have a formal curriculum, but we do have a place in the curriculum and a structure to our courses, based on integral media concepts - the most important being that all media is a construct and that students need to learn how to be critically aware and analytical of all media - including new media such as social networking. It's true some of us could be classed as not as young as we could be and we are - like many, running to keep up with changes in the media environment. But we do know we have a responsibilty to empower students to think for themselves about the world(s) they are inhabiting and to keep up with the play. So - we are trying hard to upskill ourselves at every opportunity - thanks for the tips - the whole You Tube thing is fraught with difficulty in most school environments for obvious reasons. We have IP and privacy issues to think about - and our jobs to protect. We certainly aren't adverse to students getting an audience for their product (and we teach them about the pitfalls too).
    I've enjoyed reading all the responses to this and can tell you all confidently that every Media teacher I know is highly intelligent, worldly and interesting! And that includes your husband Danielle - he's doing a great job!

    Since Oct 2007 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Wernham,

    Yet none of them were teaching what ought to be a core skill in handling video these days: the optimum way of encoding clips to play on YouTube and similar services. In many cases that's because YouTube is dangerous ground for schools. Some of them just filter it at the gate.

    I have just resigned from teaching … couldn’t take it anymore! … as a secondary teacher I taught Graphics and Technology. These subjects are severely challenged, although the room to manouever in Technology has great potential … one day. Graphics on the other hand was born out of technical drawing, and is severely limited by that past. I and many others tried to use computers, (and I am 54 … does that make me old?) but the discrepancies with external examiners was disturbing. My students faced erratic results from fail to excellent in apparent random array. At junior levels we were using a wide range of digital media (not video though!): PhotoShop, FreeHand, Scanners, digital photography, AutoCAD, and 3D modeling were integrated into class work. But when it came to higher levels the use of such technologies was dependant on the year level examiner, some of whom actively resisted the use of CAD let alone other media. The subject as I have pointed out though wasn’t up to it.
    Anyway accessing the internet is so heavily controlled the suggestions re your opening comments would not be possible! Not sure if I could get “Public Address” at school, “One Good Move” was off, if that’s anything to go by!
    Many students, working independently, were often way ahead of me and school re the use of digital media, and the kind of stuff they were doing was impressive from web design to short films for the “48 hour Film competition”. It’s a wake up call for schools really

    Dunedin • Since Oct 2007 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    kia ora tatou: Russell mentioning my name (but not in vain!) prompted me to join the discussion. I have sent a message to Russell (we bump into each other at events such as the Unitec meeting) just to clarify what I was suggesting when I said that Media Studies has 'no curriculum'. This is not to suggest that Media Studies teachers make it up on the spot, for NCEA Media Studies AS serve as a proxy (and perfectly adequate) curriculum framework for what can be taught, and how learning can be assessed.

    Indeed, in my travels around media teaching circles overseas, there is envy of the advances we have made in finding a legitimate place for Media Studies in NZ schools. I would argue that all the best kind of teaching happens in media classes--integrating theory and practice, engaging with new media, asking the really tough questions about life and culture...as the technological horizon ever expands..

    I could go on but instead recommend that you'll take a look at some of the stuff that featured at the "Who Let the Blogs Out?" media teachers conference in Auckland last July, at <www.teachmedianz.blogspot.com>, or check out the Media Studies community on TKI


    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

  • Dorothy,

    <quote>...Russell, you may want to investigate Pt England Primary School. They have a stunning program there....<quote>

    Thank you Jackie

    <quote>..the optimum way of encoding clips to play on YouTube and similar services....<quote>

    I am a middle aged, female teacher and I am sure you will be cheered to know that I spent last Friday working with an enthusiastic group of teachers from our cluster of Decile 1a schools teaching them how to encode video to play on YouTube, TeacherTube etc and to embed them in Blogspot, Wikis, on Moodle, KnowledgeNET and of course to podcast on iTunes (you do subscribe to Korero Pt England-KPE- don't you) etc. Check out some 5 yr olds animotos embedded on the school website and rest assured that even if it is not happening at tertiary institutions our little kids are having a go.
    We are aware that one of the ways to raise student achievement with 21st century kids is to give them an authentic audience for their writing/speaking and we are endeavouring to keep upskilled ourselves so we can go there with our kids. At the same time of course we are keeping abreast of the literacy project, the numeracy project, the new curriculum, sun safe, water wise, healthy food in schools, addressing obesity, creating episodes for SchoolTV etc etc. I wonder how many of your the commentors who have been disparaging about teacher technical competencies have to be highly skilled in such disparate arenas in their business lives?
    We don't all take our 'superior' skills into higher valued occupations :)
    I do agree that there is a lot of difference between schools in the use of technology, but it is not necessarily tied to decile ranking.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,


    I wonder how many of your the commentors who have been disparaging about teacher technical competencies have to be highly skilled in such disparate arenas in their business lives?

    I sure don't. I admire teachers greatly for doing an important job that is really hard, and not particularly well paid. The breadth of knowledge required is huge, and if that leads to a lack of depth in most areas, how else could it be anyway? There's only so much time in a day and so many kids to teach.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,


    Oi, the world record for typing is about 170wpm! Did you maybe mean 50wpm or 500 characters per minute?

    Speed doesn't mean much without accuracy :)

    Read more carefully! It was only apparent speed. I was preloading a little buffer with the entire paragraph, then pushing 'print' and miming that I was typing. This was an old fashioned impact printer, since it was actually also a typewriter, so the sound was genuine enough. The poor old dear had no idea this was even possible. The first time she ripped the page out of the typewriter, convinced that I was just randomly hitting keys (which I was), but couldn't find one single error in the 50 word paragraph I'd knocked out in about 20 seconds (yes 500 wpm was hyperbole). So she made me do it again. Buffer still loaded, off we go.

    She must have realized there was some trick but she sure couldn't work out what it was. She decided not to pursue the matter and expose her shocking ignorance of the equipment she was teaching us to use.

    It was a cheap shot on my part, but hey, fair enough too. This technology wasn't even cutting edge then. She was always very impressed that I never made any mistakes in my typing, one of the benefits of on-screen editing. I was always unimpressed that anyone could make a mistake in their typing in that day and age.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Paul, nice honesty. My mum (who is a teacher) told me that it never bothered her when students were streets ahead of her on something. It gave her hope for the future.

    But I can well imagine the frustrations involved in teaching such a rapidly changing subject as graphics, from just keeping up yourself, to the institutions keeping up, or stubbornly failing to do so.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Why is it that only Nandor and the Greens seem to be able to protect the interests of the vast majority of the digital community?


    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Interesting variety of topics, Russell. I am attending and speaking at an education conference (Moodle Moot) at the Open University in the UK. Martin Langhoff has just given a keynote on the One Laptop Per Child project. Whilst that project is worthy the most interesting stuff is some of the research that underpins it.

    The "Hole in a wall" research undertaken by Dr. Sugata Mitra at schools and other places in India just showed how well groups of children could learn by themselves given very basic access to information. That is, a public connection the internet.

    The other thing that is interesting about this conference is how afraid educators are about giving up "control" of the classroom, virtual or otherwise. But that's not something for me to shout about in present company :-)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Harlow,

    If you heard Danah Boyd when she was here then the Bebo-haviour Russell describes won't come as a complete surprise. There is, however, an opportunity to educate (rather than regulate) here and as Don says, we need to give up a bit of control.

    Instead of leaving Beebo and Blogger at the gates of our schools let's use these participatory media tools to guide our kids towards developing their own style of public address. What Howard Rheingold calls public voice. With this comes the beginnings of a public conversation and ultimately civic engagement. Isn't that the purpose of education?

    Lofty goals indeed, but at its heart there's a real skill that might have saved the English household some embarrassment--but not if Rory has to wait for Year 12 Media Studies.

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2006 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • reece palmer,

    Hi Public Address,
    I haven't posted in ages which some of you may consider a great favour so,
    *lodges cotton wool in cheek*
    "Now maybe you can do me a favour"
    The school I work at has entered and has made the final five of a competition to create and produce a song around the integrated use of ICT in our school and classroom. There is a rather large portion of prize action up for grabs and I'd like you to help us win it. If you go to the url below,
    and vote for us I'd be ever so greatful. You have to create an account to vote which will cost nothing but a little of you time and an email addy. You get to watch a video which is based around our school and stars some of our kids and some guy who shall remain nameless, heh.
    P.S. I'm going to spam this message on loads of threads and if this irritates you, I do apologise.

    the terraces • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • reece palmer,

    Hey Dorothy, We should get on to Ewan McIntosh and Tony Ryan etc to embed the movie in their sites, I reckon. Helen Baxter would be keen too surely, we need to mobilise.

    the terraces • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • Jean Hughes,

    Well - I have missed out on most of this as I was away for a lovely weekend - so here is a small account on how the organisation I work for lets teenagers loose on computers and the internet with great results.
    I work for Notschool (www.notschool.net)an online learning community for teenagers 13-16 who haven;t been in formal school for sometime. This is a last resort for young people disengaged from classroom learning because of illness, pregnancy, bullying, phobia, travelling, reluctance to learn, disaffection, exclusion, statemented ( or a combination of these things). They get given a mac (usually mini) cheap digital camera, broadband, printer, access to our community in First Class- http://www.centrinity.com/ - and other software including garageband, amadeus and Appleworks (we can't afford & don't like microsoft). A community has developed over the years where they can post questions and finding, and there are teachers who are in daily contact as well as subject experts. Other than that they choose their learning plan, and what they are to do - so they learn from their own interests. Usually first projects will be biographies of Tupac or similar and often down in voicemail, or photo/image presentations as literacy levels often are low. This quickly develops into examples of their own mcing and djing, we presentations, home pages and we are just starting to offer own blogging capabilities within the community.
    Given the equipment and software and access to dedicated teachers (eg Robert Calliau is at present teaching programming using Revolution - http://www.runrev.com/), collaboration with others intereested in same topics, no limit on time spent on a project, great results are usual. Once they have proven ongoing interest they may be given more software to help - eg Photoshop, flash, dreamweaver.
    We don't limit access to anything on the internet but do have very robust security systems and often they post links to their own bebo, pizco etc pages.
    Here in NZ a 14yr old posted a 10 minute home movie which his Dad filmed on his camera (with extra memory card) showing him cooking pikelets. He wrote and narrated the voiceover, edited the movie, added canned laughter and wrote titles and credits (some misspelt) - not bad for someone who had been in and out of 11 schools up to then. That work gave him moving making, cooking and writing credits.
    Some others have presented their own movies and animations at BAFTA, with most going onto jobs in the the computer, games or film and media industries, while others going onto to tertiary education.
    And this is all online - no face to face and no set times for logging in - truly asynchronous and a great tribute to the teenagers' own desire to learn and play with the tools.

    Mangere • Since Nov 2006 • 88 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Hughes Jean, AWE.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

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