Final thoughts

I’ve really enjoyed this class. I think it’s made me reflect how I am as a digital learner and where I want to be. Before this class, I never really thought about how I was consuming media and how I communicated and connected with people in my network. I’ve realized that being mindful and having digital citizenship is so important in how we should navigate our digital life. To truly learn and grow we must allow that to happen. That means being cognizant of the things you are doing online. Having integrity, managing screen time, being empathetic and being able to think critically are all things that I can strive for in my digital literacy. I’ve learned that our connections and networks with one another are important to have. To be able to have these meaningful relationships we must all strive for digital citizenship. As teachers and educators we need to ensure that students and young children are practicing these ideals. I believe building a good foundation in online etiquette is key in how the next generation and generations to come communicate and connect with another. I hope to continue to learn and grow in my digital literacy and in my digital citizenship.

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Spoilers

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If you are well connected with what’s going on whether it’s the news, sports and current events or things trending, then you may be prone to getting spoiler alerts. Whether it’s browsing on social media, getting news updates on your phone or having friends text you, it’s very hard not to get a spoiler. I have to consciously hide from the world when I don’t watch a big programming event live.  I do this often too because I don’t have the patience nor the time to watch commercials so I typically DVR live programs and watch them later.This way I can forward the commercials and it saves me a ton of time. I do this when I watch sports as well. However when doing this, I am always vulnerable to spoilers. It’s so bad that I am either forced to watch it live or never glance at my phone during my programs. I did this for the Oscar’s last week. I knew people will be talking about it on social media in live time so when I watched it later, I hid my phone. Information travels so fast that it is so hard to be oblivious unless you actively choose to be. When I “go off the grid” and watch my programming at a later time, I’m constantly anxious in what’s going on in real time. I feel late and out of the loop with the rest of the world. When I saw the Oscars last week (luckily I didn’t get a spoiler alert), I saw it 3 hours later than everyone.  I felt like I was experiencing the controversial ending too late by the time I saw it. Like I was the last person to know. I felt left out of the conversation. By the time I logged into social media, hardly anyone was talking about it anymore. All the hoopla happened hours prior. Because we get news so fast, does the news get stale just as fast? With so much information out there, news travels in colossal speed. If you aren’t connected in real time, you could feel left out. I don’t like that feeling but I also don’t like having to hide my phone so I don’t get spoiler alerts either. We live in such a fast paced and overwhelming time. It’s a constant theme in my concerns, but sometimes I wish I just lived in my own bubble, in my own time without so many distractions.

My life as an actor

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In my mediated writing, I wrote a short story of my life as an actor many years ago. I may have misunderstood the assignment but I felt compelled to share my experiences as an actor, something I have never really done before. I mentioned it a bit on my last blog post and it being Oscar night tonight, I felt it was appropriate to tell my story. I really wanted to do something creative again so this project really spoke to me. With the readings being all about remixing, creativity and sharing, it all just made sense to go in this direction. I had a ton of pictures (pictures I haven’t seen in years and had to dig up), videos and a bit of nostalgia to create this story. I was also inspired by Jayme who shared her mediated story about working in Art as well. I think personal stories can be a lot more effective since there can be more passion involved in them. I felt I was the only person able to tell my story. If I didn’t, I don’t think  it will ever be told by anyone. I loved being creative again and I do miss being involved in such a different world. Doing this project brought back so many fun memories. It made me realize how people can transform themselves, re-invent and also have other passions. How life can have so many twists and turns. And how we can connect with so many different types of things.  All relevant to what we’re learning in class and how we are all constantly changing and evolving.

My mediated writing/story.

 

 

The remix

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A long time ago, before I got into education, I was an actor. I had my favorite plays, actors, writers, methods and so forth. I was constantly inspired from many works of art in all kinds of mediums. I was always interested in this concept of being a unique artist. If you look at the famous artists of our past, each of them is very unique from one another. Of course there are similarities in many artists and they can influence each other for sure. However we can’t deny that there will always be just one Pablo Picasso, or Michael Jackson or Bruce Springsteen (see what I did there Jane). Everyone becomes who they are from the people that have came before them and the people that may have inspired them as well. From this week’s readings and videos, the “remix” got me thinking alot about this. Ever hear a familiar song with a beat that you may have heard before? The remix is widely used in music (thanks to P. Diddy who popularized it in the late 90’s) and at the time I was a big fan. I was a big fan because I didn’t know anything about the old beats that were being remixed. To me, it was something brand new and fresh until I heard the original songs that were being remixed. The originals were actually fresh and the remix versions were just replicas that have added material on top of it. To me this is not original at all. I understand that “Nothing is completely original” as Austin Kleon asserts in his ted video talk in “Steal like an artist”,  but I have to disagree. If you knowingly and blatantly steal someone’s creativity without bringing much to the table, then I do think it is stealing. Especially in the arts, where creativity is the most important aspect of your art. This completely undermines the definition of art, in my opinion. I think this whole concept of remixing in music and movies is very destructive especially when it seems like the main goal nowadays is making a buck. (and putting the least amount effort) Are there really not anymore original ideas out there? Or are we just being lazy? I’m so tired of all the movies out there being re-makes of classic movies of the past. Nothing seems original anymore! I probably sound super old being the guy saying “In my time things were alot better”,  but it’s true! When I hear that  74/100 movies made were remakes or sequels this proves my point. It’s one thing for a director or script writer to be inspired by something and create something similar, than to re-make a whole movie with the same exact story, characters, etc just to make money off a new generation who hasn’t seen them. I have seen so many of my favorite movies from the 80’s coming back with hardly any new added original content in them. And they’re always so bad! They’re made and released simply to make money off a formula that has made tons of money in the past. It’s insulting to me as an artist and avid movie goer. It’s also just as insulting when you hear a remixed beat and think it’s a Kanye West song but it was actually a Nina Simone song. It’s insulting to the artists of the past and not enough credit is being awarded to the original artist who actually had to create things from scratch. I’m sure every artist has stolen something but it’s different. In the past, it was more subtle and they were not blatantly doing it. Today it’s very blatant and alot more apparent. We live in a copy and paste generation and I’m terrified. I’m terrified that we have become a lazy generation constantly recycling ideas. But a part of me is also excited with what else we can create by constantly improving what is already in place. Pablo Picasso once said “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Hmm now I’m really confused..

Weekly play- daily creates

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This week I started to do some daily creates. This one is from the first ever daily create from 2012 which was to create something with repeating patterns. I recently took a bunch of photos of my son at the children’s museum and upon looking at it on my photo album, it looked like a repeating pattern. It also had a construction theme of creating so I thought it was appropriate for this daily create!

 

 

Failures

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Sometimes just playing around with something for hours and hours can be the solution. Trial and error worked perfectly for me when creating my mid-term portfolio last week. It only took me all weekend. Originally, I had always thought I was somewhat digitally literate but very quickly last week did I realized that I have alot to learn. I had no idea that creating and making your own website with the material and content you want is actually very complicated! Prior, I had considered myself digitally competent  because I knew how to use facebook, instagram and snapchat. Little did I realize that I wasn’t actually creating anything, I was just adding my voice to a platform that was already completely made. There’s a big difference from creating something from scratch to just adding content that is already made for the user. To think about it wordpress isn’t even that difficult since the step by step approach is all outlined for the user already, it’s hardly starting from scratch. However, I had some difficulty browsing through the options, making the design and its pages. I learned that I wasn’t actually as savvy as I had thought. I had to fail, get frustrated and try many different things before feeling somewhat comfortable in what I was doing.  I feel like this is the case for anything you want to learn and eventually master, not just making a wordpress site. We must all fail to succeed in anything. I’m still learning and hopefully will be more digitally literate as I fill my portfolio with more content.

Black Mirror

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Just started watching this show on Netflix called “Black Mirror.”  I’ve only started the show a couple of weeks ago but so far every episode has made me think about this class. The show’s themes always involve future technological advances and the impact they can potentially create in modern society. Every episode is different story, reminiscent of the Twilight Zone. Like the Twilight Zone, the show takes place in a somewhat alternate universe with strange and bizarre themes. It’s very thought provoking and I think many of its stories can actually happen in real life someday. This is what strikes me the most.The possibility that science fiction can someday become a reality.

(Spoiler alert) One of the episodes involved technology that can replay every memory in your life. You can rewind, look back and even share your moments with others. Like a mobile phone, everyone one has one and communicates through it. People connect and share their experiences and memories with each other and get totally caught up in it. In social settings, instead of people just plainly talking with one another, they are instead constantly talking about the past and sharing/broadcasting their memories. Employers, airport security and other personnel are also allowed and entitled to use this technology as well on people. It’s a great resource for public safety since you can see and scan what a person has done in the past. Nothing gets unnoticed and people can use it to replay moments that they maybe uncertain about to eventually get clarity on. Although this can be a great resource for everyone, it can also keep people constantly living in the past and not moving on. In this episode, the protagonist digs deep and uses this technology to find out that his wife was cheating on him. He gets obsessed in finding the truth and probably would have never found it without this technology. At the end, he’s so miserable that he disposes this technology (which is surgically attached to everyone’s ear) and feels more free without it.

I think this show is very fascinating. I definitely recommend it to you all. It shows us the interplay between technology and our social interactions and it’s positive and negative effects. So far this show has really taught me how we can let anything rule our lives if we allow it. It reminds me of the things we have been learning in class. We need to be mindful and always be able to detect the crap and not let it consume us. It’s hard but I hope I can always do that..

Things I miss

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I’m all for change. I consider myself progressive and understand things are constantly changing in the world. However I do miss a lot of older things that don’t exist any longer. I miss exchanging mix tapes. Taping songs from the radio. Having a portable radio with a boombox. I miss owning cds. I remember looking through the artwork and it’s lyrics and enjoying that listening experience. I miss videotapes. Taping tv programs and movies on my vcr. I miss physical photographs. Going to the supermarket to pick up developed pictures and not knowing what to expect. Being stingy and not taking a million photos since you only have 12 shots in the camera. I miss polaroid cameras and getting the picture instantly. Shaking that picture until it develops. I had a polaroid wall in my bedroom growing up and it was awesome. I miss newspapers and reading magazines. Flipping through the sports section and sometimes getting ink on my fingertips. I miss the library and going to bookstores. How relaxing it was to have some coffee and just read a book. I miss the freedom of not having a phone. Of coming home and checking my voicemail after a long day out. Who had called me? What are in those voicemails?  Maybe I’m just being nostalgic and like to reminisce of the good ol’ days. It seems things are easier and more convenient now but back in the day everything seemed fine to me. I had my friends. I knew what was going on with them. I had a good social life. I knew what was going on in the news. Of course times have changed and we live in a different time. Communication is more accessible and so forth. But what’s really the difference? What has really changed?