My official experience with the reality-altering course that is ds106 may be over, but my love for creation has not diminished in the least. If you’ve ever let your mind wander while laboring through some menial task such as weeding the garden, scrapping paint, or doing laundry, then you’ll understand where my concept for this video comes from. The idea is to create a juxtaposition between the emotions typically felt during a common shared experience, in this case doing laundry, and attempt to evoke an emotion or mood with music that’s discordant to the actual experience.
As a part of all learners’ educational experiences, they are asked repeatedly to compare and contrast moods, settings, events, characters, and emotions. Not just in language arts, but increasingly so in other content areas. With the adoption of the Common Core Standards, the ability for students to be able to construct and articulate an argument in support of or against a given topic using a wide range of media makes it all that much more important that students can think emotionally, as well as logically. When trying to frame a story, which is at the heart of any argument or viewpoint, the ability of a learner to use emotions and imagination is just as paramount as their ability to effectively contrast their viewpoints from another’s using logic. Pathos plays a role in the construction of any type of media, story, or argument, and is most likely one of the most useful “soft skills” that learners can develop while in school, and one that has become quite easy to accomplish in the classroom through technology.
The ability to piece together a short video is ridiculously easy today; a $100 handheld HD video recorder, iMovie, and a cheap miniature tripod are all that I needed to create this video. There’s hardly an excuse anymore not to have students making their own videos to express themselves and their learning, but as educators we must still ask them to tell stories with emotion, with logic, and be able to articulate how a story or an effective argument makes a person “feel”.
A good challenge for any teacher this coming school year, regardless of content area, would be to ask your students to take a chore or other simple task and try to elicit some type of mood or feeling using music, video, and still images that’s counterintuitive to the chore or task. Have them prepare some brief notes as to why and how their creation juxtaposes the mood of the original chore, and have other students be prepared to challenge their statements (in a positive way). Examine in which ways their piece of art is both complimentary and discordant to the task being accomplished, and then challenge them to think differently about the school work ahead of them this year, and what sort of story they want to tell about their learning.