I am a Marine Corps veteran pursuing my career in education. I am currently a student at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). I am all about positive motivation and helping others achieve their max physical and mental/intellectual potential. I love to think "outside-the-box" and believe in looking at things from different perspectives. I enjoy the many arts of life: music, film, literature, aesthetics in the art of the anatomy and physique (i.e. bodybuilding), etc.
I am always open to learning from experience, whether it be my own or others... Good or bad... We will learn regardless...
2 min read
W. Ian O’Byrne answers many questions he asks in his piece on online content creation: “What does it mean to create/construct online content?” “How is communication in ORC (Online Reading Comprehension) different from creation, or even construction in OCC (Online Content Construction)?” “How is online creation different than online construction?” O’Byrne goes into depth explaining and answering these questions.
O’Byrne explains his research on construction vs. creation explaining the differences between the two. He defines creation simply as the act of producing, or causing to exist. Construction, O’Byrne explains, is the building or assembling of an infrastructure. In both cases, both require persistent work and rewarded with a sense of pride from this hard work.
An understanding of construction and creation needs to be broad enough to allow for change in the future. O’Byrne believes that viewing online work as construction and more expansive then creation allows for eventuality. Construction is a process… Many thinkers and leaders collaborate towards a created product. These thinkers will ask each other for help and will learn from each other during their creative process… A process that involves emotions, actions and rewards with gratification.
3 min read
Gunther Kress does an awesome job of breaking down the effects and differences in learning from ‘old-school’ writing and comprehension from paper media to comprehension via the screen in his piece Reading Images: Multimodality, Representation and New Media. Kress discusses how different media can shape or change how we interpret situations. From simple change in voice deflection or a change in dialogue tone, to changes in visual media (paper or technological); Kress explains how these effects affect our comprehension as learners.
I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t have to Google the meaning of ‘Multimodality’ upon first seeing the word in the title. After reading its definition, I understood what Kress was trying to get across in his piece on multimodality. Multimodality has everything to do with how we represent, interpret and learn via media.
Kress uses an example of explaining a nucleus of a cell. It may seem like a simple task to verbally explain how a nucleus works within a cell or even verbally describe how a nucleus looks, but learners will have different interpretations. A few misinterpreted words can mean a completely different perception of what is being explained. (link to hypothesis). Other students agreed that a visual representation of a nucleus would lead to a better understanding of what it looks like and its function in a cell.
Kress even explains how a simple movement in a teacher’s body, complete with involving speech, can get a point across to a student. A technique I find myself doing also automatically and something that has helped me recently in a classroom.
We all go through life with different interpretations on multiple subjects. We interpret speech, visual media and written work differently. This is our nature… Kress put it in perspective that as technology evolves how we get our point or lesson across to someone also evolves. New media can help us see points, lessons, subjects, etc. from another’s perspectives. I mean I used Google to interpret what 'multimodality' even meant, who else hasn't googled subjects?
3 min read
“I’m Learning… And it’s fun!!!”
After reading and watching all the recent readings and videos on new literacy and comprehension of media, I can’t but help but reflect on my own learning through modern technology and media sources via the web. Upon transferring to Southern Connecticut State University from Housatonic Community College, I have had the pleasure in participating in a political science class called International Studies. This class requires students to participate in an online simulation called “Statecraft”. International Relations is one of the first classes I have taken (besides #edu106) that actually deals with how I interact with the media and tech; and combines that with how I interact with students in ‘real time’.
(Statecraft World Map)
Statecraft is a simulated world of multiple countries. Students are assigned to a country and get to determine its regime type. From there, students have to act as ‘leaders’ of a country and make diplomatic decisions. It is a lot fun and it is a definite example of using tech, gaming and media in literary comprehension.
Coming from a ‘gamer’ background, I am kind of verse in games like Age of Empires, Command and Conquer and other simulation style games. This has giving me advantage to some in my class and a sort of leadership position in my country (I am the National Security Advisor; in charge of my country’s military happenings and gathering intelligence on other countries. I also have to come up with “what-if” scenarios and contingency plans.
(Command & Conquer)
I can see the combination of “real-world” and simulated play having a tremendous effect in how the other students are earning in class. The gaming effect of Statecraft makes it seem like it is a game, but gives the students a set of roles and responsibilities in certain positions as leaders of a country. As quoted from another student in my 'country': “I never play video games or anything, but this is really fun!”
Statecraft is an awesome example of what was discussed in the Big Thinkers Video of Sasha Barab and the Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture reading. I recommend any student that needs a political science class as a tier requirement to take International Relations that uses Statecraft, as a class.
3 min read
Barab explains how society is at a different time and how textbook resources are, in a sense, outdated. He tells how it’s really not about getting the information, but more about using the information. Games give students a purpose from the get go. The student has to think: “What are the rules of the world?” “What laws affect the world?” and “What happens when I do this, what happens?” He gives examples of different games like:
Trauma Center ,
and Quest Atlantis
as games that require students to learn a bunch of information so they can accomplish certain goals in a game (save a life in surgery, level up a Pokémon or save a town) even better than previous attempts. In this model, failure is a motivator and not something to be avoided. An awesome quote by Barab is that if we limit students to be ignorant vessels to be filled with things, we are not creating futures for them at all. A mantra said by professor McVerry and heard multiple times in our #edu106 class.
According to Barab, we as future educators need to let parents know and have our voices heard that there are additions to the “old ways” of literacy and that this new media literacy will be determining the students’ future. Memorizing facts is old-school… We can find more information on our cell phones in 5 seconds than we can remember in our entire high school careers. Educators need to advocate for ourselves and for what students do outside of school. We can’t stay out of the “tech-game” and miss opportunities to transform the old institutions of academia into newer advance institutions where students are allowed to manipulate media and use games as a way to learn and create…
4 min read
(This is a group essay my good friend Cesar and I did for our #edu106 class.... Enjoy this collaborative goodness!)
(P.S. Shout out to Google Docs... A great tool for collaborative group work...)
Andre Reyes, Cesar Escudero
GameFAQ’s and the Bigger Picture
For those who are not aware GameFAQ’s is an online forum that provides information on today’s video games and how to progress through them with peer guided ease. GameFAQ’s fan base consists of gamers and those who are more interested what makes a game, but the majority have a common purpose to help their fellow gamer with any particular part of a game that is rather complicated. The site (Gamefaqs.com) consist of boards and forums that are utilized by gamers, and at times, non-gamers alike. Content for these forum boards are constantly being posted and updated around the clock. With so many post being added to the numerous boards the site has to offer, many gamers have a chance to read over the comments and write back positive feedback. Other than the game being played, a variety of topics are discussed such as game mechanics, story/plot, graphic engines, etc. There are also boards dedicated towards non-gaming material as well; such as anime, movies, TV, etc. These types of discussions allow for gamers and non-gamers alike to find each other and discuss their common likes and interest all while discussing their common interest in more depth.
Peer support is an essential key to the forum boards. Majority of publishers on GameFAQ’s are masters at gaming and thus they impart their wisdom onto novice players or more popularly known as ‘noobs’. The relationship is like that of a student and master; where the student tries to duplicate similar tactics of the master who is the original creator of the tricks. These types of forum discussions are filled with opinionated people who debate the quality of a game, walkthrough, tip/trick, etc. This creates two-sided debates where everyone displays their point of view to see whose resolve is stronger. These types of discussions and debates are also valuable input for game developers to try and make better games. This all stemming from GameFAQ’s original intent in having veteran gamers assist other players with in-game challenges.
When it comes to publishing content on the site there are no restrictions. Any valuable input is worth putting on the site. All comers are welcomed to GameFAQ’s and are welcomed to take advantage of all that the site has to offer. One feature GameFAQ’s offers is the ability for veteran gamers to record their gameplay and publish it for all to see. This allows for step-by-step instructions, via a visual guide, that allows for learning to occur within ‘noobs’ .
The community is also rather large. With games of today becoming rather complex, gamers need all the help they can get in defeating certain levels, bosses, goals,etc. “Squad” and “clan” based connection is an essential element towards accomplishing these gamer goals. Gamers can meet on GameFAQ’s as part of an online community where they support each other and then expand that connection onto all gaming platforms.
GameFAQ’s is the ultimate peer-to-peer, collaborative environment ! With boards directed specifically towards gaming and other boards for other interest, GameFAQ’s is a great example of how society is now conducting modern collaberative learning amongst ourselves.