Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Visual Advocacy: Ivanhoe Interests

So after the meeting with Ivanhoe last week, we were overloaded with an abundance of design opportunity. How great is that?

So my initial interests were peaked with their boy and girl scouting activities/ groups. The fact that these scouting groups are the most stable and popular groups for younger kids in the area makes this a great outlet for kids to meet each other and do good for the Ivanhoe community as they make their way to Eagle rank. As an eagle scout myself I know just how much community time you spend just in helping others with their projects. Other troops around the KC area might also be a great source of help. It's always difficult figuring out your eagle project, but if a call were to go out for help in Ivanhoe, other troops might be willing to help out the community.

My contact for the Boy Scouts of America would be the location on Holmes (816-942-7757) and the contact for the Girl Scouts Headquarters would be on Blue Parkway(816-358-8750).

The food desert issue is by far the worst, and stands at the front of Ivanhoe needs. Without any grocery stores in the Ivanhoe neighborhood area, they have become isolated, commuting to areas miles away for food that is well out of their price range. They need a store within their area, and one that offers a cheaper food alternative to stores like Sunfresh or Costco. The partnership with UMB could also be highly beneficial to the families in the area. In our last class, we had discussed the possibility of a card only shopping experience, helping to discourage any sort of robbery. Without a cash withdrawal option available at the UMB branch, this is a feasible and practical solution. The store itself could also hold a space for a UMB branch on site, eliminating any drive to and from the bank to the grocery store. 

My contact for this issue would be a manager within a food franchise, such as Aldi or Constantino's.

The other issue that grabbed my attention was the community garden and farmers market effort. These community gardens are great answers to the food desert issue, and also bring the community together to swap experiences, food, and tips. It brings a healthier diet to an otherwise unhealthy selection of cheap foods at grocery stores currently available to them. Particularly with eating out becoming cheaper, an easy way out. On a family level, it could also serve to bond parents and children, learning important lessons in responsiblity and a better sense of a neighborhood community. A spade in their hand is time better spent than loitering around the plaza or getting in trouble elsewhere.

My contact for this issue would be the community garden coordinator on the Ivanhoe neighborhood council. I've yet to obtain the number, but I'm sure it's listed in the brochures we picked up at the last meeting.  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Multimedia Experience: A Sentence

Our proposed sentence description for the Class Crossover online community:

Class crossover is a predominantly after-school online community through which students of a single school, ages 11-14, can discuss the knowledge they gained with other classmates learning other subjects—breaking the boundaries of traditional education through integrating curriculum adds context and breadth to their education, while promoting participation, analytical thinking, and discussion. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Multimedia Experience: Integrated Curriculum Project

Physical Boundaries
In one school, and at each students home

What’s and who’s involved
Middle/Junior high students

Equipment Involved
home computers
(perhaps) video sharing/camera function
(perhaps) scanner (for sharing notes and documents)
printed media and textbooks
digital-format textbooks?

able to afford OR check out computer/laptop (or tablet?)
all genders and races

Wants and Needs (Individual and Community)
   want to be social
   willing to discuss
   critical thoughts
   draw connections
   desire for in-context subjects
   need for relatability
   need to make links
   long-term retention

message board icons/conventions:
speech bubbles
plus signs
online identity
media references
instant feed?
links (IMG, URL, VIDEO)

Motivations for Participating
part of grade
better retention of knowledge
confidence/empowerment through sharing
ability to discuss, rather than introverted learning
casual setting, comfortable
practical, well-rounded education
keeps kids connected, even outside of school (NO isolation!)

Articles on integrated curriculums:
Why Integrate?: A Case for Collating the Curriculum
Integrating Curriculum: The Importance

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Multimedia Experience: Blog Posts

The Seven Types of Intelligences
This article discussed psychologist Howard Gardner's theory of the seven types of intelligences found in people, particularly children. These dictate the strengths of a child and how best they learn in an educational environment. The theory itself is fairly solid and the seven types are as follows:

  • Linguistic- Children with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.

  • Logical- Mathematical Children with lots of logical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories and relationships. They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games and experiments.

  • Bodily- Kinesthetic These kids process knowledge through bodily sensations. They are often athletic, dancers or good at crafts such as sewing or woodworking.

  • Spatial- These children think in images and pictures. They may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing, building with Legos or daydreaming.

  • Musical- Musical children are always singing or drumming to themselves. They are usually quite aware of sounds others may miss. These kids are often discriminating listeners.

  • Interpersonal- Children who are leaders among their peers, who are good at communicating and who seem to understand others' feelings and motives possess interpersonal intelligence.

  • Intrapersonal- These children may be shy. They are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.

  • Gardner's theory serves as a great basis in understanding that children do learn differently and that the same standardized angle that teaching has adopted won't be effective with every type. However, not every  one lies within a single type of learning, and I find even myself to have learning traits from several types, so I feel this list is better understood as a set of categories that certain aspects of learning can be sorted into.

    Media Smarts: Kids Learn to Navigate the Multimedia World
    This video was a great listen. It brings to light the issue that children throughout school are typically held to a reading and print based learning system. While this is important, with our digital age today and the vast amounts of media and technology that our kids are exposed to daily, kids need exposure and discussion to the information they recieve over these channels. While it might make things more difficult for the designer, it's important that they learn the process and reasoning behind decisions in the broadcasting process. Newspapers were a great example in sifting through various layers of propaganda and misleading information. As kids grow, particularly with each new generation, they will be exposed to a greater amount of digital-based channels and they need to know how to makes use of them effectively without getting bogged down and confused by media techniques of persuasion.

    Web Squared: Web 2.0 Five Years On
    I thought this article was fantastic. It was great insight into the evolution of the web and it's connection to the mass media and channels that have become so connected with our lives over the last few years. It amazes me that web 2.0 has turned such simple actions such as searching and communicating to each other, into a tool to further tie data together and better help humanity. With a simple twitter post or search over google, someone not only gains results or enjoyment from an action on the web, but help new technology to better and more efficiently help, and in some cases target us.

    While it's true that we are now barraged with wave upon wave of ads that know our interests based on our data contributions to the web, ads are only one of many useful tools in reading trends and actions of mass populations and communities. It's a step in the right direction to speed up and better make sense of our economic condition. With companies like Walmart tracking purchases and translating that digitally to votes on a certain product, products can now be rated without spending the time to sit down and leave a rating or comment. As a collective, today's consumer can make better educated decisions in their purchases by viewing surveyed data from other consumers interested in similar products if not the same ones. The mobile device in particular has become a brilliant evolution in our digital society. With that small screen, a filter in cases of augmented reality, we can take photos of places, scan QR codes, and better attach reality with the digital world.

    This passes over into other devices as well. When sensory technology is present in many products, the mobile device in particular, we become an assistant, part of the digitalization process. Our location, places around us, people we know, and things we are seeing and experiencing can all be recorded, shared, and understood by the web. A foreigner can now step foot into a country they no nothing of, and in seconds retrieve their location, where they need to go, and what they can do around them. Drivers no longer have to know the roads, and digital systems can talk with us and aid us in finding our way as well as avoid accidents and high traffic areas.

    I believe that web 3.0 will certainly spread further into augmented reality territory. The web itself will likely soon exist in physical space through the camera rather than on a fictional page in digital space. I for one am excited to see the bridge and design for the world in front of our eyes. To be completely surrounded by design and information.