Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Aha!!! Moment

Gotta publish this. I just had an Aha! moment that was more than a year in the making. I finally found a file converter for the Mac that dealt with an .mpg file. Now I can share some of the digital media projects from my last year as the Digital Media Arts coordinator for Teach Elementary School in San Luis Obispo. The program is freeware and is called Prism. My first try at converting an .mpg file to an .avi format left me wanting. The .avi file would not play. I then converted the .avi file that would not work into a .mov that worked. I couldn't get an .mov file directly from the .mpg file however. Alternative detour but I got there.

The class tonight provided many descriptions of what I feel was accomplished in the Digital Media Arts (DMA) classes I taught last year. The students were responsible for learning the software, creating sets, doing online research, working collaboratively and editing the majority of their product. Multiple mediums were used and a constructivist, project based lesson was employed. There was some resistance to the process by regular teaching staff, but the students were excited and pushed it through. The culminating activities of viewing their creations at both the Downtown Cinemas and Palm Theater during the SLO International Film Festival created a great incentive for the school district, parents and Teach Elementary to continue with the DMA program. Unfortunately it has been less fruitful this year due to lack of support by the school district, poor communications with Cal Poly and renewed resistance by some of the teachers.

I enjoyed the last class of Ed 400 with Dr. Faverty but still have some confusion about what the objective of the first exercise was. I also got ahead of myself and read ahead of schedule. I found it interesting in the ECAR report that most students over-rated themselves in technological capability, especially males. I was pleased to see that my age group also did not fall behind the younger crowd on the use of the most recent devices.

The article about Toffler was inspiring. I feel that he described the situation perfectly in regards to our system being a remnant of the Industrial Revolution. We have not kept up with the real world we live in. Schools are not as user friendly as shopping malls, convenient stores and gas stations... which probably make better use of technology on hand.

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