Frozen as a Critique of Fairytales?

Nov 12, 2014 by

If you aren’t subscribed to the PBS Idea Channel on Youtube, I’ll give you a few minutes to excuse yourself while you click on over and rectify that error. …. …. Go ahead, I’ll wait. …. …. Still haven’t clicked over yet? Click here! Or here! Or even here! Seriously, the PBS Idea Channel is a brilliant blend of ADHD media overload, memes, pop and internet cultural, all rolled up into the wonderfully intellectual ether that PBS tends to create. In short, it’s a “thinking millennial’s” internet show. I’ve blogged about it before, but I’ve been catching up on my viewing this week, and I stumbled across their episode from July 2014, in which the host, Mike Rugnetta, describes Frozen as a fairytale meant to critique other fairytales. And he actually does a really great job of supporting that premise; compared to the original source material (Hans Christian Andersen’s “The...

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4 Icon Challenge in the Classroom

Feb 19, 2012 by

I recently had the opportunity to spend a day in my old teaching position; an elementary technology class. I was always big on working with media when I taught the class for the 4 years I was in the position, so I took the opportunity to give the students a challenge taken from the pages of ds106, the wonderfully playful and media-rich digital storytelling community. The particular challenge that I gave them comes from the 4 Icon Challenge Assignment found on the ds106 site, and asks those willing to complete it to break down a story into 4 basic elements or themes, and then whittle those 4 ideas down into 4 basic icons. The students LOVED IT! I had them open up Neo Office on their school Macs, though it could just have easily have been done with Pages, MS Word, or some other word processing application. I then...

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Nothing Screams Discrepant Event Like a Floating Cannonball!

Dec 15, 2011 by

The science teacher in me knows what’s going to happen in the video above before the cannonball is dropped into a vat of the silvery liquid metal, but the curious learner in me still squeals with delight when the cannonball actually floats! I’m a HUGE fan of trying to provide discrepant events for my students, whether it’s science based or not, and while I also advocate that it’s best to have a live demonstration of some phenomenon that challenges learners to question what they may already know about simple concepts, there are times when a live demonstration isn’t practical. In this case, students may think, “wow, a vat of liquid, I know that heavy things like metal tend to sink in liquids”. They’re then hit with the starting revelation that some liquids are in fact so dense that even something as heavy as a cannonball can float, which begins to generate questions almost without fail,...

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Easy Four Icon Challenge

Oct 9, 2011 by

What better to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon while waiting for a batch of applesauce to cook down then make lazy art? My previous attempt at the ds106 Visual Assignment didn’t fit neatly into the assignment’s paramaters, and I’m perfectly alright with that. In fact, it’s a general principal of mine that students are always welcome to change the assignment as long as it still gets across the learning objective or goal. In this case, the goal is to summarize a movie, story, or other event into four basic elements, and then further reducing those elements into simple icons. As I said, in my previous attempt I summarized the film Fantastic Voyage using 5 icons rather than 4, but I felt it tied together the assignment in a much more pleasing way in terms of design, and I was still able to get across the basic elements and plot...

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Four Icon Challenge – Fantastic Voyage

Sep 13, 2011 by

“Reduce a movie, story, or event into it’s basic elements, then take those visuals and reduce them further to simple icons.” Those aren’t my words, but rather the instructions from the Four Icon Challenge ds106 assignment. Since this coming semester’s ds106 theme is apparently that of a “fantastical voyage” (the opening post for the course is “journey to the center of the internet”), I thought it might be appropriate to pay homage to the 1966 Academy Award winning film, Fantastic Voyage. For those of you who may be new readers of my blog, I am an open participant in the most excellent storytelling course, DS106. A completely open, collaborative effort by a growing number of universities, DS106 (digital storytelling 106) is an exploration of media, technology, and story telling in a way that challenges its participants to create, remix, and manipulate images, sound, and video to tell a narrative....

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