Media is Your Only Friend, Until the End

“Music is your only friend, until the end.”
Jim Morrison

As much as I worship Jim, he may have only told part of the story.

Last night while I was engaged in killing some enemies in a bit of Halo, my 10 year old daughter was killing the airwaves as a DJ. I was pretty focused on my game but I did overhear some pretty funny comments from her. After my game she was still rockin’ some fine Hanna Montana. So I listened. She wanted her recorded session on her iPod so I saved it as an mp3. I copied it to my flash drive and when I arrived to work this morning I clipped out much of the music and left just her Wolfman Jack like DJ awesomeness. She starts about fifteen seconds into the clip. I left some of each some in for effect. Take a listen while you read the rest of the story.

Mary radio short version by toddconaway

Her big sister, 14 years old, has been making anime movies and I have written about that in the past. Pretty amazing. We have a video camera and the girls have long pointed it at themselves and made movies with Moviemaker. The 14 year old has progressed to Sony Vegas but they both use Audacity for making audio clips. They have done puppet shows, sang loud and crazy, and they have watched the videos a million times and listen to themselves sing just as much.

We love to hear our voice when we are young! We love to see video of our friends and even ourselves. What happens when we get older? All of a sudden we don’t like to see ourselves? Working with teachers I see the hesitancy they have when it comes to putting their face on YouTube. And in this day and age that is really an important part of communicating online. How do we get over that?

As a teacher I like to see people use various mediums to express ideas or share experiences. A few years ago our oldest got a “D” on a volcano report. I forced her and her friend to walk up a volcano as punishment. Just kidding.

Well, not really, we did go walk up a volcano. I know enough about geology to have been able to tell them some factual data about volcanoes and some specific information about the one we hiked up. She didn’t care one bit. No problem. We took a video camera. Our daughter made the video below with MovieMaker.

I know that I was able to capture and share some really wonderful experiences with students, parents and friends when I took trips with the kids I worked with as a high school teacher. The kids really loved to see themselves on the videos, the parents loved to see their kids doing something outside, and for me, they remind me of how lucky I am. Below is one of many hiking and biking trips I took video of and usually, the students either made themselves or helped put the videos together.

Our youngest recently joined an afterschool computer club. The first thing they started to play with was Scratch. I am soooo glad they did not start off with PowerPoint! That woulda about killed me. Here is one of here Scratch stories. Use spacebar to start.

Learn more about this project

Granted, these kids live in a home with a kinda geeky dad, but the playfulness with which they use these tools is pretty wonderful. I think that for me, in the world of ds106, I have been that playful kid. Reaching out to the community with some audio, some video, some text, and some images and it is playful, challenging, exciting, and stretching my abilities. I think that is called learning.

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4 Responses to Media is Your Only Friend, Until the End

  1. Laura says:

    It is great reading your post and checking out all of the video and audio. I was just in a conversation this week with some colleagues about children and what their experiences are with media technology in today’s world. Seeing this post was perfect timing. It was great reading this statement: “the playfulness with which they use these tools is pretty wonderful” (Conaway). Thank you for sharing. Your post is definitely food for thought.

  2. Todd Conaway says:

    Thanks Laura.

    One of my favorite activities in school was drawing maps, drawings animals, or making graphs for class projects. I loved to make the “covers” for book reports or stories too. It added an addition part of me to the product. I think today that is even more possible given the medias and tools we have available.

    And play is always healthy in school!

  3. Cris says:

    Your ode to the playfulness in learning reminds me of Papert’s concept of “hard fun,” Todd. It’s not fun in spite of being hard; it’s fun because it’s hard — digital technology gives many new ways to have hard fun http://www.papert.org/articles/HardFun.html Enjoyed your media samples! Rock on, Mary!

    • Todd Conaway says:

      I was telling a colleague today about this post and your comment and I could not remember what the LEGO stuff Papert did was about? So I went back to review. I love the “hard fun” concept and it plays well into gamification stuff these days.