I can't believe the class has come to an end. I've learned so much and enjoyed exploring and experimenting with different media tools throughout the semester.
Below is the iBook and PDF files of my final project:
I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the course!
After reading the articles on critical making, the image of a bunch of people around a campfire came to mind. First, they come together, gathering wood to make a fire. Other people are foraging about for food to cook over the fire and once the fire is up and running, everyone sits around together, enjoying the warmth of the fire, eating the goodies that they cooked or roasted and having a jam session or narrating some scary stories. What does this have to do with critical making? As the people are gathered together as a community and engaging in ‘making’ tasks, this campfire scenario exemplifies the principle of critical making that emphasizes shared acts of making. Whether it is making a fire, making a dish to eat or making up a song or story to share, these people do so not in lone settings, but with others in mind, in social and communal spaces.
According to Ratto (2011), critical making involves three stages:
(1) the review of relevant literature and compilation of useful concepts and theories
(2) people jointly design and build technical prototypes
(3) reconfiguration and conversation where reflection begins
With this in mind, how can critical making be brought into our classrooms?
Below are two big ideas/suggestions that the readings brought up.
One of the huge concerns for incorporating coding into the curriculum is that it would potentially engage only the boys in the class rather than the girls, especially since boys are stereotypically the ones more associated with video games and there is no primarily visible presence of female gamers. Jenson & Droumeva (2016) claims that these gender differences may influence “access to and use of computers and gaming consoles, which likely speaks to cultural advertising that targets boys for high-end consoles such as XBOX4 and PlayStation, while establishing a wider audience for ‘educational’ tools” (p. 116). If computer and gaming companies tend to target boys who interact with more strategy games, then how can we introduce how to code these into our classrooms in a gender-friendly way, a way that would involve the girls and help them build their confidence? This is no easy task. There are small organizations in Toronto like Ladies Who Code who do coding workshops that target girls in order to do just this, but for the most part, the world of computer programming tends to be predominantly male.
In accordance with this, Rushkoff (2012) highlights how “code literate kids stop accepting the applications and websites they use at face value, and begin to engage critically and purposefully with them instead.” Considering this, it is easy for educators to promote a culture of inquiry, critical thinking skills and deep learning opportunities by incorporating coding into the curriculum, allowing the students to meaningfully engage with things they use in their daily lives in different and novel ways.
"In order to make deeper learning possible on a large scale,
what kinds of instruction will have to become common practice?” (p. 1)
"Whereas under earlier conditions students had to earn, to merit, to ‘‘deserve’’ their teachers’ attention, nowadays increasingly the tables are turning, and it is the teacher who must earn or deserve the attention of her students — or her students will turn it elsewhere."
- de Castell and Jenson, 2004, p. 382
“Lankshear and Knobel emphasize that schools ought to be paying more attention to attention’’ and take seriously into account a range of new literacies.”
- de Castell and Jenson, 2004, p. 393
"That everyone is equally intelligent (says Ranciere), and that each and every one of us ‘‘learn’’ at whatever rate we are able given shifting constraints is, in a way, precisely what video games do presume — that anyone who plays the game can learn to fight and so on, so that variation in ability is, more than any- thing, a by-product of time spent within the game’s structures."
- de Castell and Jenson, 2004, p. 396
“Any motivated teacher can design and run their own ARG without programming skills, specialized technical knowledge or a big budget. This is assisted by the availability of free or inexpensive user-friendly, web-based tools, and digital software.”
- Darvasi, 2014, p. 3
“If games could [let players prepare for actions from different perspectives or identities], they would speak to one of the deeper problems of education: that many students who can pass paper-and-pencil tests cannot apply their knowledge to solving real problems”
- Gee 2007, p. 4
"These features of failure in games allow players to take risks and try out hypotheses that might be too costly in places such as classrooms where the cost of failure is higher or where no learning stems from failure.”
- Gee, 2007, p. 9