Sunday, December 8, 2013

Digital Storytelling; Second Life (Technobiophilia)

My Second Life

More pictures from my second Life.Someone gave me new clothes . 

This is a picture of a party, more people show up in second life at night. 


Technology is changing education and as a result the way we learn has changed and will continue to change. STEMx attempts to make learning and teaching a new experience, inn order for this change to be effective a. HP catalyst program serves to train teachers how to incorporate the use of  new technologies to teach students. I found an interesting example of the use of STEMx in one of our class readings - the creation of an iLab (an online laboratory),  in the iLab students are giving access to laboratory equipment's  that are thousands of miles away from where they are located. An advantage of this is that students don't have to go to the lab everyday, they  also have the opportunity to repeat the experiments as many times as  they want .  
I am also drawn to the growth in STEM jobs , STEM degree holders have been able to secure jobs in both STEM and non-STEM occupations. People with college degree who also hold STEM degrees have also been able to secure better paying jobs. With the rise of the use of technology , STEM jobs are the jobs of the future and people with STEM degrees in addition to other form of educational training will have a better chance of securing employment than other people.

Friday, December 6, 2013

STEMx and Metaliteracy

Photo credit :
        STEM  is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics .The United States is lacking behind in STEM education of its citizens, therefore in January 21, 2006 United States president George W. Bush propose that the federal government should increase funding for STEM education. It has also been noted that STEM based careers are some of the best paying careers. This last mooc talk is about metaliteracy and STEM+  brought to us by Anthony Maddox (USC Rossier ) , Betty Hurley - Dasgupta (SUNY Empire state college , New York), Holly Ludgate  (New Media consortium), Samantha Adams Becker (New media consortium).
         HP catalyst academy was discussed in this mooc talk , it is a professional learning network for STEMx , it encourages collaboration. The HP catalyst academy recognize the gap in quality of STEM teachers in the United States and that the current models of teacher professional development  cannot keep pace with the demand. Anthony Maddox  course, Thinking like an Engineer : Teaching and learning Pre-College Engineering, deals with   Engineering design which focus on problem solving , designs, design features and context in which there are different types of problems such as ,closed problems and open- ended problems. He also identified different designs that teachers can make use of such as Creating multimedia portfolios , Lesson, Unit or Program plans . He also talked about the next generation science which should include science and engineering practices and K-12 engineering standards, inquiry based learning , Project - based learning . The week 2 of his course will deal with STEM interconnectedness and week 3 will deal with the Engineering habits of mind , which involves  Values , Attitudes and Thinking skills. Week 4 will consist of design review and more engineering Habits of mind - this includes Systems of thinking, Communication and Ethics.
         Samantha Becker talked about the use of social media for learning. She talked about  how teachers choose to use Blackboards and Google+ to teach and how she chose to use Facebook because it allows them to humanize the teaching experience Facebook  allows the use of videos and also makes teaching fun. She also talked about how student are told to post their assignments on discussion forums , which allows for a peer review of these assignments and also learn from each other ,thus students are made  producers of knowledge. She talked about the future of E-learning ,  they found out that the best schools are not including the skills of the future in their curriculum, such skills include critical thinking skills , problem solving skills collaboration across the networks, agility and adaptability , initiative and entrepreneurialism , effective oral and written communication skills .
        STEMx  and Metaliteracy share a connection , metaliteracy promotes critical thinking , and production of information which will be made open after lots of peer review .Digital learners for the 21st century need skills for critical thinking, communication , innovation and collaboration, STEMx wants to make sure that teachers encourage students to think critically , utilize open online resources , collaborate online and also produce information.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Metaliteracy ,science literacy and the media

Photo credit:  radiantskies

       In the MOOC talk on media news literacy , I was particularly drawn to the second part moderated by  Professor John Delano. He is a distinguished professor and associate dean at the University at Albany (SUNY Albany). He talked about  global challenges of the climate_ the tragedy of commons by Garret Hardin, this seems out of place to me at first cause I was listening to the mooc talk and only wanted a connection between metaliteracy and media , but there was indeed a connection . The word "commons" as used here means unrestricted access. He showed us how unrestricted access has lead to problems over time to which the government will have to step in and take control.
        Take the Yosemite park for example , this park was left in ruins because of unrestricted access to it and the government had to take over . There must be a form of regulation to everything we use , if we are to maintain our civilized society. There must be restriction if we have to maintain our environment and not do things that will damage it, for example excessive carbon emission is threatening us with global warming right now. 
        But I asked myself , will too much restriction not destroy our freedom ? The sole purpose of forming a society , a civil society is too have freedom of trade , freedom of religion, freedom of education and so on. Therefore if the government place all sorts of restriction everything we use , then we will have a situation where people who do not like this kind of government  break away form this kind of society to join other ones. Therefore the government is always very careful in placing restriction on certain things used by the people. 
       Back to science literacy. Science teachers encourage us to develop new theories and to do this we have to disprove the old theories , which means that there would be a lot of people coming up with different theories out there. The social media provides unrestricted access to information and this includes scientific information as well , therefore how do we curb this, how do we distinguish the true information from  false information,how do we make sure that people get information that concerns them ,how do we make sure they know information about there environment and how their daily activities affect our environment . The answer is metalteracy , metaliteracy will serve as the means that will help to promote true information for consumers, it will help to promote consumption of information that matters , such as information about the effect of carbon emission on our environment. With metaliteracy we can all be certain that the information that will help us maintain our environment and also protect our freedom will be made available to consumers.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


While listening to the mooc talk on technobiophilia , I felt like I would never be able to come up with anything to write about, all I kept seeing was  pictures on the second life and it keeps reminding of the movie Avatar , I looked it up and found out that it is an online virtual world where users of this virtual online world , "second life users" can interact just like we do in the real world.

Picture credit: Google image

I  was still confused about what Technobiophilia meant , all I kept thinking was how tech and bio could combine . I kept on listening to the mooc talk and took notes as well .When Sue was about too close , every point that I had put down now made sense . I now understand the reason for all these pictures.
     First we need to understand what ART means , attention restoration theory , deals with the activities we do to relax our mind, like going away from our home to a different place like the park,  at the park we see different people doing different things . Here our attention has been diverted completely from work ,at the park we are connected with nature and our attention is also engaged with the people in nature. 
            Then what is Biophilia , it is the innate tendency to focus on life and lifelong processes (E.O Wilson)  , it is also the love of life. This is inbuilt , we have the urge to do things that are more connected with how we live our lives. This is an innate tendency, which means we would have an urge to be in connection with nature.
       Technobiophilia is the tendency to focus on life and life long processes as they appear in technology (Sue Thomas) . This is a definition similar to Biophilia but with technology added to it. This is because most of us spend more time using computers and we don't have the time to relax ourselves by going outside. We need to balance the amount of time using technology with our connection with nature. This can be done indoor , this is what Second life intends to do, this provides us with a little bit of visual break, we can also do this  by just looking at the view from the window. It can also be by going outdoor to a botanic garden or to a zoo. 

How do we connect technobiophilia with metaliteracy
Metaliteracy promotes online learning with few traditional classes , thus adding to the number of hours we will be spending indoors on the computer, this will create a major setback for metaliterate learners  because they will be staying indoor for too long. This future problem has been solved by Sue Thomas where she propose the use of Second life teaching space where metaliterate learners will still be able to use their computers and also at the same time connect with nature indoor. I opened an account with second life and met "nany", a second lifer and am about to explore. 

Below is a snapshot of my second life avatar checking out pictures of wig in the second life

Below is the snapshot of me in second life taking to another second lifer

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Digital storytelling

Digital story telling can be done by using the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Capzles. A digital story can also be told in form of a game, in this form the game tells the story. Some forms of digital storytelling includes, Facebook storytelling, Wiki storytelling, Blog storytelling, Podcast storytelling, Flickr storytelling. Digital story telling can also be done by remixing someone else's story. Here the author adds and takes out from the new story thus producing something that is completely different. Digital story telling makes use of web 2.0 without web 2.0 digital storytelling  would have been impossible .Web 2.0 allows an author of a digital story to upload data, which might be in video format or audio format or picture format and store it on the website, this data can then be viewed by someone else who visits the website. Digital storytelling requires creativity, the metaliterate learner must be  able to create a story that makes sense , is interesting to the viewer or listener. A digital story can make use of different pictures and few words to tell a story example in flickr story telling,  permission must be taken before a picture is used,  free images from open resources like creative common images can also be used. Digital storytelling in form of podcast story telling allows the author to tell the story with his own voice without the use of images . The author can also  add a musical soundtrack so that the listener finds the story interesting and would like to listen to it till the end . You can create your own music or use free  soundtracks from creative commons. A digital story like every other story should  have a purpose, a point of view of the narrator , should have a content, make use of good grammar and proper language.A digital story can be a legacy story - a story told about some one, can be a biography - which talks about the life of someone else or the story tellers life, can be a memoir- this is  more personal and reflexive and  much longer than a typical digital story.
Digital story telling can be used in metaliteracy to explain a process in which the author makes use of different photographs and words.