Friday, February 8, 2013

Learning Log 2 or tall masted ships

This picture is another for the series that I did for my old roommate's son Andrew.  I spent a good deal of time looking around the internet for old poems that engaged my imagination.  I found this poem which was written in the early part of the 20th century.  It engaged my imagination as a thing I might have said to the younger brother I didn't get in my first four chances.  This drawing actually drives me a little bit nuts because the proportions are off especially in the elder brother's right hand.  I like how I drew it but not in the place that I drew it.  I could go back into photoshop and try to fix it up but I'm little bit of a purist when it comes to photoshop and drawings.  I am willing to adjust colors all over the place on photoshop but I never mess with the integrity of the line drawings.  I do love the sentiment of the drawing, the sense of exploration and bright future.  A poem written in this day and age about the same subject would not carry the same hope for the future.  When I think about adding technology to this equation I have some uncomfortable thoughts about the future of my chosen field.  Almost universally I hear from other teachers about the lack of social skills present in their pupils.  Some of that may be due to the particular populations that we are teaching, however I believe that a large part of the problem is due to the large amounts of time that students are spending in front of a tv screen.   Call it an Ipad Iphone or anything else the reality is that it is a tv screen and through the guise of technological advancement we are inviting it into our school.  Large corporations are getting an opportunity to advertise in our schools like never before.  It is a much more difficult proposition to take out an advertisement in a school textbook, than it is to get some product placement in the Channel One news channel we were required to watch in my Jr. High.  The employers of the future tell us almost universally that they are looking for team players.  Students rarely learn to become team players through a screen of any kind.  That is one of the great paradoxes I see in modern education, we require the students to become more technologically savvy while also being more socially acceptable than ever before.  I think it is a large case of unrealistic expectations.  You need to decide what is more important to teach the socialization or the technology.  I come down firmly on the side of socialization, I see technology as a tool that may help socialization but cannot teach the necessary skills of social interaction.  For instance, in my work with special education we have a song time near the end of the day.  4 days a week I sing a variety of songs with the children.  they pick the song, tell me when to go and I generally make a fool of myself singing the songs for the kids.  On fridays we listen to songs off of Youtube, and it is a much different experience, the kids seem to have a much different relationship to the screen than they do to me as the source of the songs.  I think that it is ok to shake up the order of things but I certainly wouldn't want this to be a full time situation.  

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