Publication policy

What are the elements, which could prevent the  effect on the platform from being exposed to the media?

This was the question I had asked our students to think before the platform was launched. I showed the publication policy made by Mitch, Gary, Hiromi and Joy last school year as  a part of the course 2 assignment.

Password protected or not

For our students this was not a surprising reminder, which had been taught to them already. They did not know the term ‘digital footprinting’, yet they know the concept of it. One of the students referred the risk to an analogy to tattoo, which had been discussed with her parents at home.

They paid their attentions to how things online would affect their lives continuously as any posts or comments on the social network stay permanently. They think that only the first name should be stated in the comments, and the password and the username to log in could be good for that protective purpose, although one of students suggested it should be working without any username and password otherwise the platform could not make itself global enough to be connected to outside of this community since it won’t be searchable via google.

How far should it be accessible via search engine? Kirsten showed me how to set up the weebly website accessible enough for viewers to reach via search engine. Is this necessary set-up in our case? In order to make the platform as authentic as possible, we want it to be passed on to someone, whom users know/trust. Then hopefully we could expect qualitative responses and comments.

Under the age of 13(Conditional offer)

On the last Friday, as I happened to know through my colleague, whose students have been participating in setting up the platform via Weebly that students under the age of 13 are not actually allowed to create a blog by the use of Weebly account by themselves according to Weebly.com. This is a quite shocking fact to me, and as I read the term/condition,

it says

Individuals under the age of 13 are prohibited from creating or using accounts through Weebly.com. Students under the age of 13 may, however, use Weebly through special student accounts created by their teachers through education.weebly.com, provided the teacher has obtained signed parental consent from the student’s parents.

I think most of the social network systems always pay attentions to the worst scenario  in the case that there should be any problems caused and it is also interesting for me to find out from students, with whom I have been working that they seem to have already got their own social networks of accounts outside of this school community. Yes there are tons of students under the age13 , who enjoy social communication with their friends, who live outside of this world.

It is very natural for them to have friends overseas, which is nothing special since they go to an international school, where many people all around the world get together to learn. Some of them stay in Japan a few years and leave this country all of a sudden. An international school is the physical miniature  of a social network around the world.

Your own school regulations

If you are working at school, your school has its own regulations/policies you/students need to follow. The hardest part of launching a project, which even seems to be good for students is that teachers/students need to get an approval of whatever you do or develop  from admins. You have to be very aware of things you can do and things you cannot do within such an organization. If there are no regulations/policies at all, upon which no responsibilities are taken, it would be easier for initiators to meet the project’s desire than you think. However vendors/schools/organizations need to be concerned with their regulations , rules and policies, which would be relevant to their philosophy or national laws. This is the dilemma every one of us experiences. How could it be challenged by students?

Credentials:

Terms of service‘ by Weebly.com on the 28th of October, 2012

‘For sport and play I think that we are born…..’

遊びをせんとや生れけむ 戯れせんとや生れけん
遊ぶ子供の声きけば 我が身さえこそ動がるれ(#359)

Title: Royal Visit to Ôhara, from The Tale of the Heike. Attributions: By peterjr1961 Peter Roan.

梁塵秘抄(りょうじんひしょう) ‘Ryoujin hishou: The Collection of Japanese Popular Songs’ Edited by the Ex- Emperor Goshirakawa in around B.C 1180.

For sport and play

I think that we are born;

For jesting and laughter

I doubt not we are born.

For when I hear

The voice of children at their play,

My limbs, even my

Stiff limbs, are stirred.

 

Translated by the reknowned Arthur D. Waley in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, April 1921.

(Please refer the above translation to the link here.)

Absorption

When you are absolutely riveted by your interests, you forget the time passing by. It seems to me the whole concept behind reverse instruction and game-based learning or play lies here.

Since we want students to be absorbed in what they learn, educators thinks of various possible teaching methods to have them interested in the subjects, which teachers teach to students.

Even extra schools, where students go after their commitments of compulsory schools attract  new/incoming students and their parents in innovative ways of coaching them. They could refer to things, which normally compulsory schools could not offer to students because there are not enough time to do relevant experiences such as experiments/practices for science/math, programming lessons for IT and following-up or going ahead of/some explorations of school curriculum.

Extra (cram )school and its developing coaching methods 

As I read through articles for this week, one of extra schools after regular compulsory schools in Japan came up to my mind. This school was a kind of cutting edge at that time when I used to go there to review or prepare for my studies at compulsory educational institutions. It introduced the concept of game-based learning, which had been integrated with school curriculum. By means of the game-based learning, students are supposed to learn the elements of subjects step by step.  However  this was not about ‘learning new things in new ways’ since the contents were all top-down contents, but rather ‘learning old things in new ways’ if we could still see this type of learning at the extra(cram) school, where I went.

At that time, this was quite innovative learning method at least for me, and it was OK to be left behind the progress of other students since the curriculum at that school customizes your according level. Every booth(, in which there is a desk-top computer with the integrated curriculum installed into the extra school’s system) was segregated by the board in your right and left, and there were no pressures at all compared to any other types of cram schools(Juku) in Japan since the school would have no rankings of your extra-school performances visually posted and you were graded against your previous scores and levels. In addition, you were welcome to call for coaches or teachers to ask inquiries as they did their work(answered the questions based on the game-based learning method) on the computer during your contact hours.

The process of the learning system was that the first cycle of each lesson has the lecture, and the other half of the lesson takes you to answering the questions regarding the topic. This was a kind of early developing stage of flipped-classroom since there were no hours spent for experiments or exploring your learning journey.

Your competitive rivals were yourself within the educational philosophy at the extra school. Customization of your lessons, the way each student is assessed within the institution and the lecture you could take on your demand in front of the desk-top at the extra school could be said to be ‘learning old things in new ways’.

It is your job to get yourself motivated/absorbed.

On the other hand, I enjoyed the first half year of the custimized program at the extra school since game-based learning attracted me in an easy-going way, and I felt or had illusions on myself if I could be on the better track or  learn better/more  to catch up with or enhance my understanding of the compulsory curriculum of the school.  Yet the attraction or my addiction to the method of using the desk-top PCs to take the lecture and answer the questions based on the curriculum did not last since I simply got bored with learning old things in new ways(,in particular, learning methods) although I kept going to the extra school for a while. You would get bored with some kinds of innovations once time passes by and you get used to it.

Although the new ways of learning such as game-based(or sound-like play) learning,the reverse instruction itself and even flipped classroom are applied to the provisional and novel educational methods, the contents have to be dynamic enough to attract learners. In other words, I personally think that this is something each learner has to find in his/her way to get himself/herself absorbed in enjoying to learn.

It could be you that can motivate or inspire yourself. Moreover no ones could help this point no matter what parents or teachers encourage learners or students to do their studies or research. Since nothing stays forever, everything is changing. Yet  the fact that each student’s curiosity needs to come from his or hers seems to be an unchangeable status or element for learning whereas all sorts of learning methods such as the reverse instruction, flipped-classroom,the gamification and the game-based learning could be replaced with far-out strategies at some points in some days.

Idling moments

In order to have learners motivated by themselves, educators should welcome idling or seemingly ineffective/inefficient time, which learners are confronted with or spend although more or less to educators or parents it could sound nonsense or unproductive.

Credentials:

  • “Shaping tech for the classroom” by Marc Prensky. Edutopia.12/2/2005. Online. The George Lucas Educational Foundation. 2012.
  • “The Ex-Emperor Goshirakawa (1127-93)’ under ‘Japanese Elegies Index’ categorized by ‘Modern World-surveys of poetical works’ by Kiyo. Repository of mythos and poesy-Welcome to Kiyo’s gleanings from literature. 02/06/2008. Online. GoStats. Hosted by Earth-Link. 2012.
  • “Royal Visit to Ôhara, from The Tale of the Heike” by By peterjr1961 Peter Roan. December 18, 2010 in Upper East Side, NY, US, using a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi. Online. Flicker. Yahoo! Inc. 2012.

NETs standards and curriculum

NETs’ standards

Since I am not sure what teaching the NET standards to students means to students and us, I looked at Jamie’s blog post called ‘Tech Standards: Who Should Be Teaching Them Anyway?’ This helps to give me a clue to know how NETs should be treated.They look to me that they are the global guidelines, on which digital users such as students and us could follow to meet international standards. In Jamie’s school, NETs have been integrated with his school’s educational technology expectations(ETE). They are the basic components to meet his school’s ETE so that his school is on the right track of trans-media age.

Then is it something right or wrong? Does it matter if they are not on the right track, which refers to the NETs standards? What for reasons those standards are made? Since all technological tools are part of our daily lives, they have already been embedded with our normal days. Such tools are analogous to languages too.

Hidetoshi Nakata and his talent

Last week when we had a fun conversation about sports during our lunch break, one of my colleagues said to me

Nakata as the ex-football player is my favorite player! He is so intelligent that he could have gone to Tokyo university, yet he took his career as a football player at first hand. After his retirement as a professional football player regardless of his young age, he lives in a completely different world as he speaks 4 languages or so.’

 

I also know how talented he is since his gift has been exposed to the media . I have heard that in terms of his talent on languages and footballs, they are not only the targets of his life. They are part of his life, and he has been on his way to building up his life. As for languages, I assume he did not learn them only for the purpose to acquire language skills, which have been integrated with his life.

Title: Hidetoshi Nakata. Attributions: by aiksing Aik Sing Neo.

I know that what he has been doing can not be done as easily as he does  since I am sure he is born to be smart and his intelligence is beyond my understanding, yet what he approaches his life could give me a hint to tackle with how we should interact with the advent of  technology, in particular, in this case ISTE Standards. How could they become a part of the educational curriculum as Nakata’s conductive 4 languages and his experience as a professional football player have been in his life? Technological standards such as ISTEs are not the purpose for us to achieve but only a part of our lives or a tiny bit of a process to formulate each long or short life.

NETs standards VS The project itself

If this is considered, I think how we could tell whether they are being met in the integrated model can be only clear or transparent when students and us could feel themselves or ourselves in a short term or long term that they could not achieve or accomplish their or our purpose without the aid of those tools. (I am sure this kind of aim or big idea would never end even if it is completed to the deadline.) No ones could seem to judge if what you have been doing reaches the standards because it has been going on not to meet the standards but to strive for the project or the problem based activity.

This kind of open-ended thinking could lead to what Rebekah and Kim made a point  during the workshop yesterday referring back to a school where Rebekha used to teach. When there are nothing to be scared of or lose, we could easily go beyond the set-frameworks such as curriculum and standards.

Whose job is it?

Can we explain to students and ourselves transparently that we have a curriculum to meet or follow the global educational standard, which has to be coordinated with the current technological tools. This means to us that they will change day by day just like the currency in the stock market, and we would have to adapt to the environment. As a school staff or a teacher, some teachers/staff know better than others regarding how to interact with up-dated technology and so do students. Could we help each other regarding technology matters to pursue what we want or how we want to be in a future?

Then Who’s job is it to teach the NETs standards to students? It is teachers that instruct the NETs standards to students. Who’s job is it to teach the NETs to teachers, by whom students are learned? It could be everyone who understands the NETs that guides them.

Since our school currently is trying to approach the technological integration with our school curriculum, media department where I belong is getting ready for a new school year, when every one of us in our school would have one lap-top for each(M/HS students and all school staff).

Mitch as a computer technologist instructs each member of our media department to be proactive for possible situation once everyone gets a Mac every two weeks. So far he introduces us convenient tools to be used for your digital educational life. I take the session in a sense that we have been learning useful applications or tools now to be able to help other staff or teachers in order for each of us to feel natural or part of the better digital environment.

Credentials:

  • ‘Tech Standards: Who Should Be Teaching Them Anyway?’ by Richard, Jamie. Learning for life. April 20, 2012. WordPress. Online. Learning for life. 2011.
  • ‘Hidetoshi Nakata’ by aiksing Aik Sing Neo. May 1, 2011. Yahoo. Online. 2012. Flicker. 2012.

Library as a press role

Advertising role

Library might be one of the best places in a school to advertise digital story telling, which could be produced by students or any other relevant people.

Title: Story. Call For Entries SIXTY SECOND STORIES Attribution: By DixonBaxi No real name given via Flickr.

The purpose to show it to users or guests of a school could be to stimulate their imaginations and even digital products or works themselves introduced to the outside of the classroom, which could be even enhanced or developed in better ways.

Any kinds of digital storytelling being kept on air with/out sound in a library  look more official than those visualized and displayed in any other home rooms since viewers would be in most of the cases limited to those students and their home room teachers in addition to parents only coming for P/T conferences.

Always auditioning

The social network services (such as sharing each other’s thought or exchanging each person’s opinion or accessing to a personal view) have benefited us a lot of possibilities. They make it possible for us to expose our subjective views positively, which would be reflected on or highlighted or enlightened by others’ opinions.

For instance, diaries, letters, memo or circulars, which were written by and circulated among good friends in a small community were the media of communication among the citizens before the advent of social network services.

Title: Digital stories. Attributions: By Writers' Centre Norwich Writers Centre Norwich via Flickr.

The most beautiful aspect of social network services is that all kinds of media could be shared each other not only in a small group but also in unlimited groups instantly and expansively. The chances of your products released or exposed to the public nowadays are higher than those of works produced and circulated to other people prior to the social networking era. Their creative ideas can be auditioned or screened to the public in anytime/where.

Digital storytelling as your commitments

The digital products of story telling, which used to be those of writing in pencils before the advent of technology could be viewed to more populations than what used to be done as required assignments within a school. In particular, the more public the digital storytelling done by students is, the more qualitative their performances become. Of course library has got plenty of other missions to do, yet if we could collect all digital stories done by students, more values would be added to their assignments(, which might be regarded not as something they are forced to do for their task but as their own commitments).

However it might be possibly understood that all digital story telling should be free to be released to the public right after students complete their projects, yet if their originals came to a school library to be promoted, edited and conserved in any possible ways (such as visually/digitally advertised to users or guests within a library or its network after/before they want to release to the public), their products could be valued in the mode of intellectual property more.(This might relate to how to brand intellectual property.)

Library as a main station to serve for digital storytelling

If a school library could be a more like a place as a advertiser (like a  press role in a company), it would kill a bird with two stones. That is to say, since the students’ works would be as valued as something to be officially(including publisher’s elements) promoted or shared with outsiders of a school, their attitude toward what they learn at school would sound like alive or practical. They could face or confront the subjects of learning more seriously. On the other hand, a school library could find its additional mission to exist.

Thanks to all existing applications or tools ,for instance, via 50 Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story, there is a plenty of descriptive or expressive ways to communicate with or share with others through releasing your own creative digital stories. Library could also be the main station to serve for the users(or authors) to create their digital storytelling.

Credentials:

  • “50 Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story” by Alan Levine. Home-Wikispaces. Jun 21, 2011. CogDogRoo-CogDogBlog Takes an October 2007 Trip Down Under. WordPress. Online. CogDogRoo. 2007

 

 

  • “Story” by DixonBaxi No real name given. July 22, 2009. Flickr. Online. Flickr. February,2012.

We are driving this digital world!

Our Common Senses

More or less I think we are driving this virtual society, where our common understanding in this real world is getting confused or misinterpreted.

Common sense relating to IOSH.

Attribution: By Solutions-IMS, Image: Common sense relating to IOSH.

Generally speaking, our common sense( or etiquette) as to what we feel good for or bad for about are our sharing concerns or views, and nothing would be inapplicable to this digital society. Anything ethical matters among our human-beings are unchangeable no matter how evolving we are meant to be as long as we have emotions in ourselves. Basically wherever/whenever/however you live in this world, you have the same fundamental feelings as human-beings. We know how you feel happy/unhappy, pleased/sad, calm/angry and sick/healthy. Such emotional status or even those adjective definitions would not change at all even if we are involved in the cyberspace, where digital format dominates this society.

Human Brain Computation

Being responsible digital citizenship therefore refers to being responsible analog citizenship(,about which one of YIS COETAILers mentioned at the workshop held on Nov,2011 although I could not remember who s/he was), and the ethical attitudes of human beings should not be affected by this digital world although it could distract people from thinking what it is/n’t real on/offline due to the technological advancement just like a virtual and an augmented reality, where we live.

Human brain

Attribution: akio@flickr on Flicker, Image: 'What!' Energy, Brain Diversities and Application of Computation, visualization.

No matter how developed all digital facilities/equipments such as 3D visual aids, interactive communication tools and games are, they could not compete with the mechanism of our brains. According to Yoichi Sato in his book ‘Introduction to Reading in Scientific English’ by ALC press in 2007,

  ‘Computers consist of a large number of fast, simple devices. Each device follows logics and works reliably and consistently…..Human brain computation is very different from the precise, logic-driven computer systems. It is performed by a large number of nervous systems called neurons. The neurons form slow and complex nervous systems that make computations through electrical and chemical interactions. The performance of the biological computation results from billions of neural cells and the highly parallel system. Though the full story of the human computation process is not known yet, it is certainly not binary logic.’

 

We can infer from those quotes that human brain’s system is far from computer’s one, which relies on its simpler binary logic than the parallel mechanism of human-brain. It is still mystery part of our body for even scientists to uncover all unknown areas of human-brains, thanks to which we can be ethically thinkable organisms.

Misinterpretation

I think such inherent characters of computing system affect our misunderstanding that what we believe in this real world get mixed up with what we trust or not in this online world, which particularly refers to side-effects or risks of cyberspace( such as ‘identity, privacy, authorship, credibility, and participation’ in Our Space: Being a responsible Citizen of the Digital World). If we could not believe ourselves in this real world, there are nothing we could trust each other online world as well. That is to say, the computer is just another tool, which would not affect our own ethical values and its trustworthiness reflects on the offline one too. Hence our ethical issues (over the social network sites) such as copyrights; intellectual property; cyber-bullying cannot be separated from the regime of offline world since they have not been caused by the technological development of cyberspace.

Who is responsible for this digital society?

Moreover as I remember the computer programmer’s quote on TV news ; ‘a computer is initially a fool tool so that you have to re-make it available to be efficiently used for you’, it is something that human-beings could make it more responsible item in all aspects. To put it another way, it is our responsibility to control this cyberspace, with which our continuous self-educating efforts for those subjects should be engaged so that we could not misinterpret that it is not digital society but ourselves that run this virtual/real society.

Since we owe so many benefits or indispensable possibilities/potentials (, which refer to ‘affiliations, expressions, collaborative problem-solving, circulations’ written in an occasional paper on a digital media and learning )to such development, they will certainly serve our community timelessly unless any other replacements could appear. All discourses (including collaborative ideas, innovative thoughts and problems solving conversations/interactions )expressed/created on line will be more valued and more represented as we become more conscious of or pay attention to being responsible for what we do online.

Oops, not yet!

I would like to start off as Will’s writings,

 So here’s the deal: my kids are 12 and 14. It’s looking more and more like the world they’re going to be trying to find work and build a life in won’t be playing by any of the same rules that we’re accustomed to (unless, of course, they go into education.) Yet, they are being prepared for that future using those old rules. Sit in rows. Do your own work. Raise your hand. Disconnect. Be obedient. One size fits all. Grades. Grades. Grades Tests. Tests. Tests. Etc.

My question is we need a speed to catch up with this fast social move trend in this digital society, to which any reasons behind all our social pressure or urge to move on to the next step as quickly as possible seem to attribute, to some extent, yet we still need enough time to go through this dynamic change to find our best ways to live on this turning point. The whole ideology from modernism to postmodernism is anyway a huge innovative conceptual change just like the shift from medieval age to enlightenment. It would take certain amount of time for each of us to fully or truly understand what are ‘network publics’, ‘peer-based learning’ and ‘youth-centered social/cultural world’(, which can refer to Digital Youth Project on pages 35-39)and what they could bring to our world. In my view this whole society seems to be now in the process of getting more to know the meaning of social networks and applying those ideas to their daily lives. If this idea could be fitted into the frameworks of Ito Mizuko’s book, the realistic society is in the stage of ‘hanging out’ and ‘messing around’ and it is certainly too early for us to get to the point for people to be competent of adapting to the innovative age. In other words, it would take certain amount of years needed to get to the point where everyone could be comfortable of ‘geeking out’. In other words, we have not been ready to be fully controllable of how we should enjoy or get benefit from the properties of this digital society.

As Will also quoted the New York Times in his article,

 “The initial and follow-up reaction from the equity market is likely the realization that the Fed has little left to offer, that Washington is a mess, and their only hope is to ‘ride it out’ over a long period of time,” said Kevin H. Giddis, the executive managing director and president for fixed-income capital markets at Morgan Keegan & Company.

Technology itself is evolving sometimes too fast, and leaves us behind so many assignments we would have to learn and acquire. There was the worse case observed early this year at one of the mega banks called Mizuho Financial Group in Japan, which had caused the system failure and none of account holders could use ATM for 4 hours or more. Moreover there was another case from one of Japanese banks, which had lost huge money due to the only click or moment of the system trouble to have lead to the trading failures of stock market exchange. There are so many computer troubles(, which also freeze the liquid society ),and those failures are hard to believe sometimes especially mega banks in Japan could not make those faults, which would lose their trust in other countries. I think frequent technological failures, which cause troubles in society are more likely to be seen as the form of experimental stage or social process (or progress if you like) , in which we learn to live with technology.  According to Google’s 20 percent factor, if you believe or not, sometimes time is needed to create an innovative idea.

 People who are given free time to think, without pressure, often see further down the road, because they’re not focused on today’s immediate problems.

It seems to me that although the pressure to go on to or catch up with the new fast moving social trend or mobility is sometimes important to let us alerted the dynamic meaning of social change, the technology could likely become autonomously control all invisible human tasks, which would be beyond human surveillance or overlook. This appears to be because we have only get started to apply those technology to our society, in which there are so many invisible uncertainties. Therefore as the another article shaping tech for the classroom says, we should do ‘new things in new ways’, yet probably our process to learn new things have just started, and our absolute authority over this advancement would take time.