Video Response

The Machine is (Changing) Us Video by Michael Wesch

After viewing the suggested video by Michael Wesch called “The Machine is (Changing) Us”, I have started reflecting on the questions Alec posed for us.  In terms of the presentation, I think Wesch is trying to drive home the fact that Web 2.0 and the ability to connect, share, and converse has changed and that we now have the power to create the change we want to see in the world using these new technologies.  No longer do we have to rely on information created and presented by a ‘few’.  Instead, we can actively collaborate, create, and share information that is viewed and contributed to by ‘many’.

As mentioned in my last post, I think the biggest thing for me right now is trying to find a way to express myself online and connect with my classmates in this EC&I 831 class.  I appreciated Wesch’s comments on the idea of a ‘context collapse’ as, currently, I feel I am speaking to myself as I am yet uncertain of my audience.  I am a type of learner that likes to feel comfortable and safe with my colleagues before sharing my ideas and opinions.  I am interested to see whether or not that feeling can be created in an online community such as this.  That being said, I am very thankful for the opportunity to learn from a ‘distance’.  If it were not for these technologies, I know I would not currently be enrolled in a Masters of Education program given my current life/work situation.

I am captivated by the potential ‘power’ of Web 2.0 tools.  For instance, the message in the “Free Hugs” video Wesch refers to gained huge momentum and sent out a very positive  message to the world using current technologies.  Students are keen to learn these new technologies.  In my opinion, it does not take the majority of students long to figure out the technical requirements of using the tools.  Where I think we, as educators, can be of assistance is in helping students think critically about the message and ideas they are attempting to share. 

Finally, as an educator, I am still struggling with issues of copyright and such in relation the all of the ‘remixing’ that is happening in the online world today.  I would love to hear what others think about these issues as I am still rather confused.


~ by lewisv on September 26, 2010.

11 Responses to “Video Response”

  1. I can really relate to your comments about not knowing who your audience is. Through the written word online, I guess we are able to actually see one part of the communication process. Maybe we are deluded when we talk directly to someone that our communication is clearest, when in fact we have no idea what is going on in the other person’s head.

    I shall have to make time to watch the video.


  2. Lots of good thinking here Vanessa –

    First. A Story.
    Every school I go to and show the “Free Hugs” video, the next recess or lunch break there are students wandering the yard with “Free Hugs” signs…every. single. time.

    Second. I agree with your take on the role of educators.
    The core messages about critical thinking, about audience, about who is delivering the message remain. In fact – because the web allows us all to be producers I think working with students to understand these con concepts is fundamental. Alongside literacy and numeracy – we need digitial literacy as a core subject.

    Third. On copyright/privacy etc.
    Wesch, I believe is good on this. The key for me was to stop trying to find an “answer” to these issues and accept that we are in a state of change. The Machine is changing us, but it has not finished – we are in the process and things like copyright and privacy just don’t fit into a world with a globally connected internet, but we will struggle to make them fit until they can’t and we will have to think of them in new ways. So, I think you are supposed to struggle with it – and find what you think about it…and be prepared to continue to change you mind…that is what the machine is doing…

    cheers. Look forward to more of your thoughts.

  3. Last fall I told my grade four-five class that we would be creating wikispaces in class. The next morning three had already built theirs. Within two weeks they were teaching each other and I was learning with them. It was a wonderful experience for me. Most important, it increased my respect for these young people.

  4. In terms of copyright, a great deal depends on what you’re mixing, why, and for what purposes. As an educator in Canada, as an example, uses can fall under fair dealing provisions (which is different from fair use) – wikipedia has an acceptable discussion of fair dealing ( Is the work for research purposes? Is it for criticism or review?

    The proposed Bill C-32 offers some hope for expansions to fair dealing (though all such expansions of public rights may be subject to DRM, or ‘digital locks), and the federal government will be pushing forward with their legislation in the coming months.

    In terms of my own research and work in copyright, the economic monopolies that we have extended to rights holders (who are quite often not creators in their own right) are excessive. Lawrence Lessig’s recent book, Remix, along with William Patry’s ‘Moral Panics and Copyright Wars’ and James Boyle’s ‘The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind’ provide wonderful critiques of the present system and modes of changing copyright to make it more amenable for amateur culture creation.

  5. Vanessa:

    When it comes to issues of copyright, I cannot recommend highly enough the short book Copyright Clarity, by Renee Hobbs. Hobbs runs the Media Education Lab at Temple University. Their website is also definitely a resource worthy of bookmarking. The book breaks these issues down for educators better than anything I have read. It is concise and clarifies a lot of ambiguities and general ignorance.

    I spent about two years struggling with these issues, like you, before I attended a workshop by Hobbs, which was transformative. Since then, her book was published this spring. Look at her work and the work of American University’s Center for Social Media in these areas. It is the best stuff available.


  6. If you like the band Okgo, check out their YouTube channel. When their fans use their music in a home made video, instead of shutting the fan down, they add it to favorites. Instead of kicking sand in their fans’ faces, they realize that their fans want to creatively engage with them, because they’re inspiring.

    By accepting more than just money from their fans, and working from the spirit and not the letter of the law, they’ve developed a very loyal following.

    Side note: I have my students use creative commons on Flickr, instead of Google image search. That way they use images that others WANT them to use.

  7. I am very similar, I have to be comfortable with those I am with before I really reveal my thoughts. This played out in my early blog posts. You can see my progression as a blogger from my early posts that were focused on a technology tool review (with very little commentary from me) to my more recent blog posts where I still talk about the tool but also dig deeper into how I have used it in my own classroom. I ended up starting additional blogs where I could be even more revealing.
    I completely agree with you, most students catch on to the technology part of the equation really quickly. Our job as teachers is to help guide their thinking, and help them understand the mediums they are using to share with.

    Copyright is difficult because with the addition of the Internet and ability to remix, things are constantly adjusting to keep up. With my students, I stick to Creative Commons and open content. This is content that is labeled for and meant to be reused. I teach my students how to search for this content and how to document their use of the content.

  8. I also find the copyright issue annoying as whenever I want to do anything the copyright thing jumps. I know that copyright is a big issue, but I think it’s increasing so much. It seems that nothing is free and we have to pay to learn…

    You know the first time I posted on my blog I received many comments at that time I was happy and I felt that I am missing something really important in education. Interacting with different people from all over the world and voicing your concerns worth effort and trying:)

  9. The copyright issue is always going to be sticky, I try and take a positivist approach to it. The more stuff that I have online, the greater the chances of someone using it, and if only 50% of those that use give me credit for creating it, it’s still more than if it sat on my desktop.

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