Please find my final portfolio here:
@RemiHolden Confused: Are we to do work from DS106 Assignment bank to answer the summative question?
Week #7: Story Critique
I chose this digital story image to critique as a supplement to my chosen scholarly research on work-life balance (my focal theme) and going back to work after staying at home with children. This image comes from the blog post, 10 Tips for Surviving the Transition from Stay-at-Home-Mom to working mom.
Reading Response #7 : Opting for Change
The research paper, Nilsson (2010): Developing Voice in Digital Storytelling through Creativity, Narrative and Multimodality, clearly identified two ways literacy can be defined. The first is simply the act of reading and writing and the second is taking materials and making meaning and associations, drawing conclusions, and connecting text to reality. These distinctions are important in consideration of what we have been learning and creating in digital storytelling and the value of this work. The first definition describes what is currently wrong with our education system, the rote learning, the standardized tests, and the focus on particular skills without knowing or seeing a larger picture. The second definition has the ability to open up worlds in education. It’s learning deeper and more complex with social knowledge, cultural understanding, and creative focus. This shift moves away from a teacher centered classroom to where the student takes charge of his or her learning, interests are explored and skills are learned as a part of a bigger whole.
Nilsson’s study involved a nine-year-old student, with learning difficulties, who used digital storytelling to grow academically, emotionally and intellectually. It is a perfect example of the shift needed away from our current education systems to one with more of the pulling-in approach and intellectual/skill expansion. This student gained his voice in creating multimodal storytelling with the support of his teachers and in collaboration with other students. This couldn’t be a better example of the reasons for learning the particular skills and theory we are in this class.
Another way to move along this educational change is for open pedagogy, which can be described in Open Digital Pedagogy = Critical Pedagogy by Jody Rosen and Maura Smale. Once again, there is a call for students to become more empowered and invested in their education and not subjugated to a curriculum that is pushed upon them. With open tools and platforms, students can construct their own knowledge, have space for reflection and experience productive dialogues with others. Students end up doing work not just to fill a requirement or go through the motions but to engage, produce, inspire and create with intrinsic motivation.
I am opting for change, not just in education but also in my professional life as an educator. I have found a research study and paper that perfectly describes where I am in my life and my desire for work-life balance (my focal theme). Opting Back In: The Influence of Time at Home on Professional Women’s Career Redirection after Opting Out by Meg Lovejoy and Pamela Stone speaks about the a group of people in the “Opt -Out Revolution”. The “Opt-Out Revolution” occurred (and still occurs) when a large group of college-educated, married women in professional carriers left their jobs to become stay at home moms. These women left their positions out of necessity when their careers became less than family friendly, even as the media deemed it a choice, creating a negative stigma. I am one of these people. In this research paper and in reality, it is a problem that our society does not value children, family life, and care-taking as it should, which in turn can make working mothers lose their career track. This research involved 54 stay at home mothers who left their careers to take care of children/households and to take part in the community. Now, like me, they want to opt-back-in but find stigma, skill depreciation, ageism and lack of confidence holding them back. According to this paper, there is a huge penalty for opting out in income and advancement. 93% of women in this study wanted to opt back in but only 73% were successful with 30% less in earnings. Because of this, most women in this study wanted to change their career path now that they have spent time at home and their priorities have changed from work to family. I plan to do the same, hopefully going from classroom teaching to instructional design or development. I don’t know what my life will look like next month after I graduate from this Master’s degree program but hope that eventually there will be a healthy work-life balance for my family. Like the authors of this study, I want the work world to have more flexible work schedules for families, care-work valued and public and private support for family-work life.
We aim to learn good design principles; can you take what you know or have learned to do the complete opposite?
Week #7: My Favorite Lyric
I love music and just took a really long time trying to find a lyric for what I wanted to say. I really wanted something from Radiohead, Modest Mouse or Sia, who are some of my favorites, but settled on a lyric my Michael Franti, who I also adore. These lyrics represent an aspect of work-life balance (my focal theme), by recognizing what is important in life, love, rather than work or money. Working and money are very important but without family or friends they would almost be worthless. They key is to find the time and balance to do what needs to be taken care of while enjoying the rest.
I began this project by looking through lyrics of my favorite musicians on http://www.metrolyrics.com/ and http://www.azlyrics.com/ . After spending a disproportionate amount of time on this task, I went to https://pixabay.com to find a photograph under Creative Commons CCO. I first searched for “nature”, then “sunshine” and then “happy” before finding the one I chose and downloaded it. I had been wanting to use Windows Paint and saw this as a chance to explore the application. I uploaded the photo from my computer to Paint and then added text. I had difficulty altering the text after I clicked off of it and spent time trying to figure why. In the end, the text is a bit more simplistic than I would have liked but because there is so much text, I believe it works well with the photo.
For some reason, this course week felt easier but that might be because the rest of my life felt harder. Personal struggles plus global tragedies aside, I think I am becoming more efficient about getting my work done which allows me to go deeper in my learning. I have been starting my weeks with projects from the DS106 Assignment Bank because I find them the most enjoyable. I am feeling better about taking the risk of being creative in public. For my DS106 Assignment I created a warning poster about work-life balance. I played around with quite a few images before settling on the ones that ended up on the poster. Overall, it was simplistic but effective.
This week’s reading Lankshear and Knobel chapter 7 focused on social learning, the relationship revolution of the internet and the concept of the pushing out of information opposed to learners pulling in information. I read Scott Campbell’s article about the lack of solitude in the digital world and for my own scholarship I read about how being constantly connected can hurt our mental health and work-life balance. All of these works have a theme of connectedness and an abundance of information. My annotations on the required and recommended reading lead to some interesting conversations with my classmates and some better insights of the material.
I really loved the digital story I critiqued this week. I shared and analyzed Eric Pinkerskill’s photography about cell phone usage. I really enjoyed delving into this story, the artistic component of it, and seeing the effects this type of work can have online. Normally I would have seen this work through social media, thought it was cool, and moved on. But, by doing a story critique I really got to spend time getting to know the work and its effect.
I ended up doing three Daily Creates this week since I was testing myself to see how many I could get done. I thought for sure I would have done more. I may try to take this challenge next week. Also, next week I plan to take my theme, work-life balance, a bit more personally and study how this concept relates to stay at home moms going back to work. Two weeks left until I need to start looking for a job full time, all-out, with gusto. I think I exceeded expectations this week by getting everything done on time and in depth.
Week #6: Story Critique
Photographs can be found here: http://www.removed.social/angieandme
This week in my reading response I wrote about how our addictions to smartphones and being connected to the internet impact or work-life balance (my focal theme). I included two sources, Smartphone stress: Are you a victim of ‘always on’ culture? and Relationship of Smartphone Use Severity with Sleep Quality, Depression, and Anxiety in University Students, that spoke of how the lines of work and home life can become blurred with our need to be online and how this affects our well-being. At this same time, I became aware of a photographic series called, “Removed” by the artist Eric Pickersgill. He created a series of photographs of people looking at their phones but with the phones removed. At a time when work-life balance is becoming blurred because of constant contact with the internet, this work displays this isolation and connectivity. In preparation for his exhibit, Eric Pickersgill created a video explaining his process and after his exhibit he explained his work in a Tedx Talk. For the purposes of this story critique, I will be focusing on the series of photographs and the story they tell.
The artist Eric Pickersgill is making a statement about phone usage by capturing subjects in poses that seem ridiculous and isolating without their phones. The participants were asked to recreate their normal body language and expressions when using phones. It is implied that the audience will analyze the meaning of this work, their personal connections to the message it sends and possibly ideas about changing behavior.
The artist understood camera angles and the juxtaposition of the subjects when creating these photographs. He told a visual story by remixing what was expected with the unexpected in common situations and scenarios.
I first became aware of this photography on a Facebook post by a friend. This series became extremely popular through a variety of well-known online sources such as, slate.com, wired.com, theatlantic.com, thegaurdian.com, huffingtonpost.com and so on, who wrote articles celebrating the work. Through this attention it became viral on social media, eventually winding up on my Facebook feed. What is interesting is that these photographs criticize out constant connectivity which is where this material was found. The impact of this story is expanded by the medium in which it was shared.
Had I not been aware of Eric Pickersgill video explaining his work and his Tedx Talk, I would have suggested a background view on the process of creating these photographs. I am assuming his video was displayed at his exhibit of the photographs in New Yok, NY last year. In light of this information, I do not think this work needs any modifications.
Assignment: Oh no DRAWING! You can draw, trust us. See what you can create in one continuous line, no picking up the pen, cursor.
You might have to think about it first! See it in your head. Or copy something you see in your view.
OG Line Art:
This week’s Lankshear and Knobel (2011) Ch7: Social Learning, “Push” and “Pull,” and Building Platforms for Collaborative Learning, brought up some great learning theories. The chapter began by delving into the meaning of social learning through context and authentic activity. These concepts along with this quote, “If we want to learn deeply, we need access to the means, contexts, and tasks that are integral to generating knowledge, not simply to content transmission and abstracted activities of application like ‘essay writing’”(p.212) kept reminding me of my time as an ELL teacher. Teaching English Language Learners or ESL (English as a Second Language) is always more successful with authentic learning, in the right context and knowing positive cultural means. In this way language and social learning are similar, but they differ in that social learning is a catalyst for innovation and creativity. Now learning a language through a participatory and social manner is beneficial and doing it online can be transformative for many. The children I taught always learned the English language way better on the playground than in the classroom. How can we apply this to technology in the classroom?
I was also very interested in Lankshear and Knobel’s ideas that the information revolution is actually a relationship revolution and in that regard, what is more important is how we learn rather than what we learn. When focusing on how we learn we actually get a deeper sense of learning that can be altered, applied in different situations and expanded upon. When learners focus on the how they become part of what they are learning and can connect to bigger communities of learners. This is a revolutionary idea in that it takes the top-down approach of education and brings it down to focus on the learner.
Speaking of the top-down directive of traditional education, “the push” and “pull” theories in this chapter further call for change. The push is the pre-determined curriculum pushed out to teachers, the dictated information, the “programs” which I have taught the whole time I have been a teacher. The pull is learners being networked, sustainable resources created and developed as needed, platforms of learning, participation, and practice. For me, this is something to be excited about in education.
On another note, I did read all the recommended reading for this week but would like to focus on Scott Campbell’s The Importance of Being Along in the Digital Era. This was not the first time or will be the last time I have read about or analyzed my need to be connected and my lack of solitude. This article also came at a time when I have just had three weeks of guests visiting from out of the country. I have not had a moment to myself in a long time, not even counting my digital addiction. Anyway, it is sad that we feel the need to always be connected and that we now have to actively seek out being alone. And what does this mean for work-life balance (my focal theme)? Since we are always connected online we are also always connected to work. This BBC article Smartphone stress: Are you a victim of ‘always on’ culture? , claims that we are having to manage a broader range of information and communication at work and home leading to more stress. On average we are consuming media for more hours than we sleep! This peer-reviewed article Relationship of Smartphone Use Severity with Sleep Quality, Depression, and Anxiety in University Students adds that our smartphones can lead to a behavioral addiction that may need serious monitoring and in cases cause depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. So where do we draw the line in our new online participatory culture? Learning, working and playing needs to be a mix of digital and offline activities in order for a balanced life.