Monday, February 4, 2013

"A day made of glass 2": slick and utopian #EDCMOOC

My first reaction to "A day made of glass 2" was one of slight unease. But as I watched it, I began to like it. It is in a way, awe-inspiring like any other futuristic film. Everything looks so cool and everyone looks very happy, as in all advertising (irritating!). More than talking to each other, people communicate digitally. But, despite all the swiping, human life seems pretty much like it is now. Some indicators of this are the comic book at the foot of the child's bed, the children getting into the car all giggly, playing and enjoying the music in the car, their naughtiness and the father's indulgent look -- all these constitute happiness in our world.

In the school, the teacher looks content teaching the children, who seem very involved. Smart boards and smart tables are shown to be fantastic teaching aids. The children are shown learning about colour in a most enjoyable way. But then, children would learn about colour just as well (maybe better), if they are given boxes of paint and asked to finger paint. In fact, they would love it! Where is the fun of the touch and feel, getting hands dirty, washing them, getting the sink dirty, getting screamed at...but then, yes, the virtual colour palette and what they do with it tempts you to have a go at it!

The nature of communication in the world that is shown is mainly digital...people are swiping all the time, passing on information from tablet to tablet (this terminology would be an 'accent' according to Prensky...I wonder what they would be called then), tablet to wall, tablet to gadgets and so on.

There is a dominance of the utopian in this slick film. If the new technology can aid medical research and save people, then it is utopian. If the changed education system has resulted in enhancement of learning and teaching, it certainly is utopian. Thankfully, the human element is there too, as seen in the walk to the park, where the dinosaur is a projection, but surely, the finding of a Roosevelt elk footprint is real. The mother and children sitting together to watch the video and the bowl of popcorn are signs of happy times, as also the mother helping the child with homework (on a 'tablet) and then kissing her goodnight.    

And yes, in all this, one also learns about electro chromic glass, optical fibre glass, and the such, that Corning makes!

1 comment:

  1. I found the lack of use of the sense of touch sad. As you mentioned, there is so much richness in touching paint and smearing it on paper (or another material). Here I only see people touching screens the majority of the time. And although the nature scene does show that the natural world exists, it is visited on a field trip, and instead of just sitting and observing, they have their screens to interact. It creates a need for instant knowledge and shows no room for struggle and frustration while you discover and explore.