Monday, September 23, 2013

Exploring Civilization

      The world as a whole would be a better place if we could achieve the points Rifkin made in his video. Rifkin speaks mostly about how empathy can be and should be implemented throughout the whole world. We are able to be empathetic towards people of our kind. It started small with just being empathetic towards people of the same race and grew into being empathetic towards the human race. The example he used was when an Earthquake hit Haiti everyone across the globe were racing to find way to help them.

      In order for there to be total empathy we as humans would have to be able to become empathetic towards all living species including animals, plants, and the Earth as a whole. One of the main was this is being achieved is through social media. While I'm not a huge fan of the increased use of social media I completely understand how it is important in the furthering of empathy as a whole. Social media is the main way in which people communicate with each other. Communication has evolved so much since the days of spoken word, to script writing. It really is the only way for humans to connect near and far. It will be the biggest tool used in furthering the stride for total world empathy.

      Kaku's video spoke more about how there are four levels of communication starting with how we communicate today and the fourth was intergalactic communication. He spoke about how our goal is to have intergalactic communication and empathy. It would mean that our race would be able to co-exist with other races and have total empathy toward each other. I don't when we would ever get there or ever how. I believe we need to become as empathetic with each other a a race first and then after that we can ;earn to be empathetic with other races and civilizations.

      Having empathy that spans so many people is a hard task to accomplish and I wouldn't know if it was something we as humans could accomplish. I think it will take many and many years for any huge changes to occur but as of right now I think we are getting the ball rolling.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Media is the New Massage

There goes privacy
There goes time
There goes childhood

I had to read a really trippy book called "The Medium is the Massage". The book was on acid but the massage was pretty legit. The media has become so overwhelming and so forceful that it has taken over everything. You can't go or do anything without the media being involved. Take this class for example. I am required to use social media to communicate with other people in my class as well as my teacher to receive assignments and updates. I truly don't enjoy having to subject myself to social media but it has to be done.

McLuhan states three main points that I could relate too. The media has taken away our privacy, time and our childhood.

People used to live in world where if they had private business it stayed private, it was theirs. But now people literally know everything about everyone. Social media like Facebook and Twitter make it hard to not know everything where you want to or not. Constant updates are being posted to an empty world full of people that really couldn't care less. And yet people post. Constantly. Nothing can be private anymore and it probably never will be again.

And there goes childhoods, out the window with the click of a button. Children used to play outside and interact with real people. Even during the days of the TV children still lived their lives. Now most kids can be found indoors playing on their computer, burning their little eyes out and killing their IQ's. It is becoming harder and harder for children to be able to communicate with other people in person due to their constant computer usage. And spelling and grammar have also taken a toll due to texting.

Time truly is a thing of the past. Free time used to include hobbies like kitting and fishing. Now it includes TV, sitting, watching, texting, scrolling and everything else that doesn't ever bother you to get up and leave your house. It's a sad thing to see how quickly new media is helping us destroy the world we live in.

I found that the way he used media in his book quite interesting. Again, the book was on acid but it helped to prove his point. The pictures were easy to look at and it provided the massage that McLuhan was trying to prove.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Media in our Education

Growing up I remember being taught how to use a computer in our school's computer lab. Even at that young age we were being taught why the computer was important. Today you can't go anywhere without new media being shoved down your throat.

My mom used to tell me stories about what life was like when she was growing up. Time were so different when the new media was the radio and newspaper. I sometimes wish we could go back to those times because everything seemed so much simpler then. Today we are controlled by social media. Tweet this, facebook that, Instagram! I'm not going to lie I'm guilty when it comes to using social media. I don't truly know if I could live without it and I don't like that. I don't appreciate that the school system has taught me to be depended on new media and social sites. It scares em that we rely on something so flaky. And it is a hard habit to break because new technologies are being invented everyday.

I don' think all new technology and new media is bad, I would maybe even encourage it. What I don't like is that the school system seems to be switching over to technology for teaching. I so strongly believe in the classroom and the teacher. It is a concept that has been used throughout hundreds of generations and have gotten use to this stage in evolution were we are coming up with all this technology. It is a good system and honestly, if it's not broken then don't fix it. I use that phrase solely in terms of the need for children to actually go to school.

I would say that I support the Protectionist Approach towards teaching media to new generations. It's not that I believe that one day media will be erased from our everyday lives and we will go back to the simple times. I know how unlikely that is because of the vast amount of new technology that is being produced. However, I do support the idea of protecting future generations from the addiction to media. There is no hope for my generation because that is long in engraved into our heads. Though I do believe that some of my generation are starting to see the negative in the vast amounts of new media and this may lead to a rise in the Protectionist approach becoming a bigger thing.

The idea of teaching children with paper and books is an appealing one. They will always have the internet and tv but it would be really nice if the school wasn't the reason they became addicted to it. They will find all that out on their own. I think it's the school system's duty to now preserve the art of lecture and print because it has been a staple in society for centuries.

There needs to be an equal balance of new media and old school teaching. For society to lose old values is a saddening idea and one that can be so easily avoided. If a child becomes addicted to new media it should not be because of the "trusted" school system. Led Masterman's article "The Media Education Revolution" speaks about how teaching media went from protecting children to encouraging them. There needs to be a happy middle or the future will become one depended on everything but themselves.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Changing Time

School's these days are leagues different then what they were in the previous century. We've entered the days of digital everything.You can't go anywhere without technology playing its role, and school is no exception. I think the biggest change I've seen in schools in the amount of technology used and how it is being integrated.

Back in first grade I was learning how to use a computer on a huge mac desktop in the computer lab. By the time I graduated high school we were using newer dell laptops for just about everything. I can't remember ever having a school assignment where I didn't need to use a computer for something. I guess this is to be expected but I think I would have liked to have seen technology not be used as much. It's nice to actually sit down and hand write a paper every now and then.

One of the biggest changes my school system started making was the integration of "End of course exams". In the state of Florida we used to have a standardized test called the "FCAT". It was supposed to be a test to see if we were ready to move on to the next grade but hardly anyone who failed didn't move on. If they did fail the "FCAT" they would just take remedial classes the next year. With the new switch to "EOC's" (end of course exams) if you fail the test you fail the class and every well might not move on the next grade level. It's a harder test and it focuses in on the course being taught. One of the worse things about the "FCAT" was that teachers needed to meet a certain quota with the number of kids that passed the "FCAT" and if they didn't then it made them look bad. So teachers didn't teach class they taught "FCAT". Classes would teach techniques on how to study for, prepare for, and pass the "FCAT". It was honestly the most screwed up system I've ever had to be a part of. But now with the "ECO's" the teachers are required to teach the class so the students will be prepared for the test. And they were smart about how they integrated it. They started with all the Science classes, them History, Math, and finally English. Students now actually get taught the class, the way a school system should work.

The article "Actually Going to Class, for a Specific Course? How 20th Century" talks about students actually learn better outside of the classroom. So many students use online classes to substitute sitting in a classroom and they think it's better this way. The "Uncollege" is a seven week course that is only taken online. There are no lectures and only work to do. Dale Stephens also created a program that is all based on sharing knowledge with other people to help you get the job you want. I so strongly disagree with both of these ideas. I do believe it's important to go to school and have teachers. Anything else just feels like a cheat at life. Call if old-fashioned but I think teachers are important to share the knowledge they have inquired and the idea of school is important too. It's an institution you hate growing up but later realize that it actually helps you out in life. It requires you to be on time for class and helps prepare you to do the same in the work place.

The integration of technology could either make the next generation the greatest in knowledge or the worse.