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A Story Told by Many Using Song, Images, and Interaction

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This is not exactly fitting into any of the #ds106 categories so I’ll keep it uncategorized and off the ds106 blog. I think? I was inspired and so here it is.

I am sure we all have our own examples of these sorts of things. Here is mine.

My just 13 year old daughter has been involved in Anime and “fan dubs” for a year or so. She has a well-developed group she works with in creating and sharing anime video. My job, the one I get paid for, asks me to assist teachers in developing the best online courses we can and I feel pretty good about understanding the general placement of teachers at this institution and others in terms of knowing “about where their technical skill levels are and what they are able to envision” in the online world. The reason I write about this today is as Gardner Campbell put it, “Yet higher education largely failed to empower the strong and effective imaginations that students need for creative citizenship in this new medium.” I can sort of see it through my own experiences in teaching and by the vision of “schooling” I have been able to create listening to, and paying attention to, many of the talented people in this class. And my daughter.

So for this assignment I figured I would try to combine what I know my kid does with what teachers are doing and what we can or could be doing. Now and in the future.

Brief rundown of what my daughter does. Without being critical of each thing, these are the activities she does. Usually, there are about 10 to 15 people involved. Sometimes more, sometimes less. One or two make the movies, graphics. The rest sing. To start with, in Skype chats or using PM in YouTube they nominate and select a song. Some videos are in English and some in Japanese. They sometimes have to translate words from the lyrics using Google Translate. Someone scripts them, takes lyrics into equal parts. Scripts are done using WordPad or word and then shared to all members via Skype file transfer. Some members have solos, and others are in multiple chorus. They record lines in Audacity and send them to mixer, using Skype file transfer or MediaFire. Sometimes there are as many as 40 or 50 individual mp3s involved and they are all combined into one mp3 by “the mixer.” This person uses either Audacity or Audition. The video maker uses Sony Vegas to create to movie. Images used are from the web and often customized using some photo editing software. I got my daughter PS Elements last year. So once the video is created it is shared on either the group (fan cast) channel or an individual’s channel. They seem to really like using the comments in YouTube for conversation, which makes sense as it is a discussion form.

No email in the whole process.

Here is one of the group channels.

Here is an example of video.

This is pretty inspiring to me and really makes me want to develop a clearer vision of how we can do learning/teaching. Out of 10, how many teachers are using Google docs for collaborative purposes, or how many are actively involved in sharing ideas or creation on Twitter or a Blog? It is a pretty low number I imagine and that is a great and wonderful challenge for me. In the video with Gardner, he wonders, “What do we believe?” And I wonder where is my daughter going to be in this space when she is in college? Gardner continues, “We are entering a new age of education that is programmed for discovery rather than instruction.” My daughter rarely asks for help. She discovers it with her friends.

What interests me is the community they have and the creation of the video and the many parts to the process. Old folks like me see the tools and she just sees communication and creation. Her group thrives in multiple spaces and they understand that they do not need a one stop location for these activities. They use what works, regardless of the brand or location. Gardner, “Students would have the convenience of one-stop, single-sign-on activities, from registering for classes to participating in online discussion to seeing grades mere seconds after they were posted.” This is what is happening with her and her group, but they have gone beyond the One Stop mentality and moved into the wider “sever” space as Gardner later mentions. It is pretty remarkable and inspiring to me.

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