Monday, November 23, 2009

What is Art? Or, how Dewey makes my head hurt.

Jean Delville is the greatest artist ever


"Watermelons in Easter Hay" (by Frank Zappa) is one of the most thoughtful expressions on guitar ever played...go listen. I'll wait.


"The Godfather" and "The Godfather II" are cinematic masterpieces.


I could keep going, but you get the picture. Now, had you really discussed it, i'm sure you may argue one way or the other that I'm full of it. But is it art? What is art? With regards to the first 2 I mentioned, we'll never know, they're both dead. Although, Zappa has been quoted many times that he writes music for his own enjoyment and that he likes to hear the 'absurdity' of his ideas and that if someone enjoys it, so be it. So thats art?

So how do we come to enjoy the arts (i say the arts, cause you know me, i have to include music)? It all starts with a new way to teach; develope a new language that incorporates visual, digital, anthropological arts (thank your Freedman and Sturh). While it seems obvious, we don't really know what is being learned when we engage in arts activities (thank you Hetland et. al.). The answer? Constructionism! (Kylie is going to be so proud of me).

A simple, yet ingenious 3 tiered approach:
2-Personal connection to work,
3-Value of projects to larger community

Monday, November 9, 2009

It's all fluency, flexibility, and mud.

I can't believe i haven't blogged in so long. I have a post waiting to be posted on my progress with Impromptu, but as life happens, i got the flu. Now, i'm not saying it's H1N1, but the flu nonetheless. Needless to say, i was out of commission for some time. But now, i'm back (oh joy!).

Regarding the readings for this week, i was happy to see the notion of fluency mentioned. In an earlier post I argued:

It seems that literacy has been talked about like it's some sort linear thing that has a start and end point. It's not, it's evolving. And what happens if you are an expert in an area? Is literacy over? You're totally literate with nowhere to go? I don't think so. But now we're getting into creativity/innovation, aren't we? That's a whole other discussion.

Now, before i start going all "Nelson" on traditional literacy (e.g. HA-HA), let me re-trace my steps on why see it this way. I'll do this by constructing my concept map.

First, i read the diSessa paper in which I sum up as this (just click on the picture):

I stepped back and looked at this and thought...kinda circular. Next i read Reas article and got, yet another view of literacy and that was saying people gaining skills to develop software and tools that help them communicate their ideas. Huh? I wasn't sure what to make of that, but put it on the map (you'll see the full map later.

Next, i read the Resnick piece. Can you say mud? Such a great metaphor for how technology should mud. This is expanded on in the Smith paper that says technology should be made for flexibility and fluency. Ahhh...ok, now i'm getting it. So, the diSessa map i made is starting to come together. That is, in order for this to happen, we need flexibility...MUD!

So what does this do for literacy? I guess that depends on who you ask. I still say that literacy is a term that is too concrete. With the technological changes literacy needs to be evolving, which is why i like the term fluency. Think about all the projects you've worked on in're 'literacy', at least mine, was flexible and expanding due to the construction of a meaningful artifact. Hmmm...interesting.

Then comes creativity...such a fun topic that i know little about, but i know it when i see it. Instead of trying to explain my thought process, i'll just show it. It's hard to just click on it.