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Posts Tagged ‘vimeo

There are some videos that you watch on YouTube and there are others that are on Vimeo. Those in Vimeo tend to be in a class of their own.

A good example is this animation about two robots mining gems.
 

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There is not a word uttered in the video, but the message is clear: Cooperation is constructive; competition can be destructive.

The same could apply in the context of schooling. There will be times when competition is important or even necessary, e.g., competitive sports, fund-raising, friendly rivalries.

But there are times when it is counterproductive, e.g., teachers not sharing resources or students not helping each other in order to stay ahead.

Unlike in the video, the impact of negative forms of competition are not always and immediately obvious. They fester and rot, and as they normalise, we say it is just part of our culture or defend it by saying there is nothing wrong with competition.

Competition is not always a good thing. If you cannot see that, then you need to let these two robots remind you why.

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I enjoyed this short video.

I also enjoyed showing it to my family, watching their reactions, and discussing it.

It is no wonder that it won so many prizes at film festivals. It is simple and it tells a good story.

It also does not shove messages down your throat and is instead designed to provoke thought. There are several potential takeaways, but it does not make them explicit. It draws them out from you, and in the process, you learn to think and to articulate your thoughts.

Therein is a lesson or reminder for teachers.

What if STEM was taught differently so that it was learnt more meaningfully?

For example, this is an engineering video that relies on a Nerf gun.


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Now here is a video about scientists that features a few as superheroes.

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These videos are not just more interesting, they are also thought-provoking. They could get a teacher to redesign the way they approach STEM. They simplify without dumbing down.

I hate people who only play the numbers game or hide behind numbers.

But I admire people who can use numbers to tell a compelling human story.
 

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This video is about the latter and not to be missed. Watch all of it. It will be time well invested whether you learn something about the human waste that war is or telling a great story with numbers.

One of the messages I try to deliver at talks is: You can’t teach them if you can’t reach them.

This Vimeo video illustrates that in a story.

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Without spoiling too much, the protagonist fails to connect with a love interest because she uses a conventional but ineffective method. She learns a whole new language to make that connection.

The same could be said about teachers who truly wish to educate their students. They must reach their students first. If they do not, they might as well be talking to brick walls.

They must not teach as they were taught. They must learn a new language, one that is enabled by various technologies, in order to reach first, and teach second.

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In an effort to urge people to slow down and think, this video might seem to send mixed messages.

I caught a phrase, focus is blinding, that is double-edged. Having unerring drive in the face of adversity is admirable. But it can also make one immune to other needs.

In the end, slowing down just enough to take stock, to reconsider that focus, or to refocus is wise advice indeed.

Watch these two short videos.
 

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What do these two videos have in common?

None of the items in the first video was real. They were all computer generated. The orangutan in the second video was also a product of computer-generated imagery (CGI).

A few years ago, they said that it could not be done. If it could, people wondered if we would still need actors, props, and other movie-making paraphernalia.


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If you have watched Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, you have an intermediate answer. Actors like Andy Serkis (the main protagonist, Caesar) do motion capture. They are still part of the process, but the other half of the work is down to the computer animator.


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We might react viscerally to such change. We argue that machines and animations cannot replace people or replicate nuance. Not yet in entirety anyway.

As with most technology-led change, the push and pull factors are initially efficiency-oriented. Movie-making with CGI will be cheaper and faster, and for certain scenes or genres, the only way.

Over time, it will be harder to tell the difference between what is “real” and what is CGI. We move away from efficiency to effectiveness. The videos above are already a testament to this.

Initially our minds are tricked into believing what is real. We are then convinced it is real. Eventually it does not matter when we believe it is real. Then heart understands what the mind already knows.

Many people also react emotionally to people using mobile devices as social intermediaries, kids learning in ways we do not understand (e.g., gaming, YouTube), teachers being pushed off the sage stage. These are the same people who might cite dystopian “realities” from science fiction movies like WALL-E as if they are inevitable.

They might not understand that we shape our technology and then the technology invariably shapes us.

We are not going to lose our humanity because we embrace technology. The technologies enable us to do things, and to teach and to learn in ways we could not before. They enable us to focus on better things if we use them wisely.

Instead of focusing on what far-fetched bad things might happen, why not focus on more plausible good?

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