"It is a good divine that follows his own instructions; I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done than to be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching."
Portia, The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene II.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

GAFE Summit Wellington 2016: Keynote 1 - Jim Sill

Jess & Melody at GAFE Wtn 16.jpg-largeKeynote 1 - Jim Sill

  • GoPro is scary
  • Is anyone being moved by what I am sharing?
  • Freytag’s Pyramid
  • Sucking is the first step to being sorta good at something
  • FOMO

Jim was talking about GoPro - in short it’s a 360 degree camera which takes pictures anywhere. I have recently read Dave Egger’s dystopic novel, The Circle. GoPro is like the The Circle in action. Be afraid. Be very afraid. “Secrets are lies….Sharing is caring….Privacy is theft.”

As we video stream our lives 24/7 we need to ask ourselves: is anyone being moved by what I am sharing? This is also a good question to ask in the classroom as educators. If our audience is not connecting to what we are sharing, we are probably doing something wrong.

As an English teacher I recognised this plot structure diagram (Gustav Freytag, 1863) immediately:
We could go even further back, to Aristotle, who perhaps put it more succinctly: A whole is what has a beginning, a middle and an end.

The point? Whether we are talking about ancient Greek drama or a 30 second YouTube video, a story needs to be told and it needs some kind of exposition before the audience can buy into the climax and resolution. This is a good thing to remember when you (or your students) are making movies.

I’m thinking of those ‘nek minnit’ videos. (Here’s the original.) Unless you show the pre-existing situation and can relate to the character in their setting, the complication of ‘nek minnit’ does not engage us, it is not funny.

Something which we as adults have hopefully learned, is that when you try something new you suck at it, but if you persist and practice, you get better. Thus, sucking is the first step to being sorta good at something. A good thing to remind our students - no one should expect instant success all the time, when we are learning something, we often suck at it at first.

We need to engage students using the Fear Of Missing Out. We see this in operation everywhere. Everyone else has a smartphone, so you need to get one for FOMO. All the other teachers can use Hapara or Classroom, so you had better learn it for FOMO. And, of course, this is good pyschology to use in the classroom, make the learning something that students want to engage in for FOMO.