A thoughtful visual about ways students should use technology asks the big question: what do you want kids to do with technology? (How do students want to use technology in the classroom?
I absolutely believe this quick visual! This is much harder to but into action then it should be. I have noticed over the years as I have worked with students of from ages 3 & 4 to the age 72, that at the 2nd grade level most students come to art class and sit down and after you show them or explain the project, most of the time they will continue to ask two things. "Is this what YOU want?” "Did I do it RIGHT?” The thing is, when you ask people to innovate you have to be willing to accept the idea that all conclusions individual students will come up with and what they learn with won't always match what is in the books. The students before the 2nd grade level that come to an art room put you in the position of riding Secretariat in the triple crown…You just have to let them run wide open it’s hard to hold them back…. but by the 2nd grade they are trained to wait and be told.
That is where it gets tricky to do this innovative use of technology when the education focus and outcome hangs on that test over the set, particular information of what's in certain generally accepted books.
This is a poster about how to train people to think, have passion, dig deep and share their own or a group's vision for something. This process gets students off the task of passing very high stake test with a distraction of deeper knowledge and involvement. This takes time from the breath approach of stuffing a little bit of everything into a learner's mind as fully as possible to cover what "might be asked on the test". The public really needs to ask whether we really want learners to focus on proving they can get the answer to a given question right or do we want learners to learn how to ask many questions and then explore for answers to find the right questions to discover the best answers that may not be in any book?
Art teachers nationally and internationally are writing and reading more about using art to address social issues and other critical issues that need to be brought into the open for innovative thinking and creating change through exposure using artistic technologies. This isn’t new. Though it is not usually taught to non-professional artist, professional artist use these tricks and skills usually to serve those with money to pay for their ideas put forward into the world. How many people watch TV or a computer screen nearly each night? The technology of today can allow everyone to be a participant at some level and they no longer have to be a professional media messenger or artist. Those that do know how or can pay to get everyone to see it their way will bombard those that are not trained to use this power for their own interest. Our brains are wired to store what we see and hear through our senses and that is now an observable fact in science labs. We cannot un-see and un-hear things…if these images and tales are heard enough all logically reason will be overpowered by emotional reactions to the images and verbal ques. This is how advertising and propaganda work. Brains studies show that the intuitive “right side” of the brain ….the part of the brain that school and test don’t train is the mega data-gathering source. It drives the behavior and reaction part of us. The rational activities in the brain are the ones we control and train in school. Facts of our own choosing can be collected into the rational data gathering stockpile and used to try to control reactions coming as a result of our intuitive data. If the words we hear and images we see impress an emotional image and reaction we store that and behave accordingly. Running shoes shown on great runners, verbally endorsed by people that impress us and shown on beautiful ladies that are great runners will make us feel we are those images or could be them as soon as we hold that shoe in our hand…thus we pay 100+ dollars for the shoe. Our rational side may say you need the money for something more important or that you already have a pair that was supposed to do that and they didn’t work but the emotional side overrides that logic.
This is why leaders of industry put billions into technology that empowers them to control the images and the message. This too, is why private citizen as young students should learn to master control and understanding about how all of this can be used to find the right questions, innovate the best answers and then understand how to reach the intuitive side of people through command of technology and make others more fully aware of what is going on with their gut reactions driving their behavior. If a learner understands the process of manipulation through technology they are not as easily manipulated because they understand and can analyze the real intent of images and verbal messages more effectively using both their intuitive (often unconscious) and rational (conscious) knowledge together to more effectively find the right solutions and behavior.
Every powerful leader of industry and government since civilization fully bloomed has been and is using art and the latest media extensively for the purpose of shaping the change (or not) each desire.
Teaching our students to use media technology and art to find the right questions motivates students to learn all types of content areas because it gives meaning and need to learning. That type of learning does distracts from acquiring the masses of lock step learning needed to pass high stake test, which teach and focus on obedience.
People that are not trained to see the power of shaping the future through what ever the current highest levels of technology are during there life time are will be destined to have their future shaped by others and barely notice how it happened.
Learners that understand the “marketing power” and the skills of “telling the tales” will be less manipulated and better at finding the true questions, best answer and also empowered to then create, with mastery of the newest technology, the change they feel is important and share their own stories and ideas. The mass of data and knowledge that is to be shared today is global knowledge coming from all types of points of views and experiences. The concept of global creative teamwork and shaping a better world with mass participation used in the process is scary to leaders, but absolutely necessary and amazingly exciting. No one wants globalized control over his or her life. The type of control multinational banks, industry, governments and armies envision is the type of global control no one wants.
But the idea of globalized learning and sharing offers everyone inspiration and creates a world that is aware of the right questions and needs of others around the world. This enables us to join in efforts to find the best answers and change the world to make it a better place for us all. Just think about it…every nation trains and teaches their young men and sometimes women to kill and who their enemies are and who to hate. I understand that is a basic survival concept and the world will never be a perfect place…But what would happen if every nation started to teach and train young men and women with the same amount of money, time and effort something different… like how to appreciate, love and treasure others. Because the truth is… people the world over are all as different from us as they are like us and everyone is as unique as a snowflake?
Monica Seymour McFeeters……Media Matters!