Look into the Face of Student Engagement

It's easy for teachers to feel like their students are far too distracted by the many glowing screens that light up their lives.  Robbie Cooper, a photographer and video artist, explores the impact of these information screens in his new "Immersion" project.  It offers a fascinating look directly into the faces of British and American kids playing video games (with varying levels of violence) – including Halo 3, Call of Duty, GTA 4, Tekken and Star Wars Battlefront. Cooper uses a system that stations a high resolution video camera right behind the projected game screen.

It's painful to look into the faces of students so caught up in the (sometimes) violent world of video games. I wonder if the students are attracted to the violence or the fact that video games create environments that provide them with an engaging mix of interaction, feedback, and information control?  View more project still images here.

He has edited some of his material into this short video. 

Start Your Digital Scrapbook – I Collect SpamHaiku

Spam Haiku

I’ve found a tool that makes blogging too easy. Tumblr let’s you quickly post thoughts, dialogue, quotes, images and videos. The account is free. Sign up and start posting your content. The engine lacks design and management tools, but that’s a plus. It’s a format designed for short-form posting without the commentary. You don’t have to worry about creating a blog that that takes over your life. If blogs are journals, tumblelogs are scrapbooks.

I started a tumblelog a few weeks ago called SpamHaiku. Each morning I spend a few moments with my spam before I hit delete.  I’ve long admired the pointless subject lines – now with a quick copy / paste – I assemble a “poem.” I pick the morning’s most outlandish spam “author” and give them credit for the post. Here’s a few  of  “my creations.”

Pounds down
Mood up
Punishable footprint
Frown bereft
— Fern Fry

Goldfish sleepily
watch his pounds
— Birdsboro Boone

Technology continues to lower the barrier for entry to the new media. The new copy / paste culture fosters a bottom-up takeover of the information flow. Will we upload more than we download?  Will the audience become the show?