Friday, 8 February 2013

WOW! They've glassed us! #edcmooc

A Day Made of Glass is a horrific vision for the future in my opinion. Corning's dystopic fantasy puts us in a glass prison, for profit. Screened off and distanced from real world experiences and genuine issues like biodiversity loss, deforestation, resource depletion and climate change, the take home message is WOW!

"Saving the Rainforest" was a slideshow I made for my friend Denis who is a passionate lover of nature and a dedicated wildlife warrior. When my little boy saw a movie about orangutans, he was obsessed with swinging on a monkey vine in a rainforest and when I asked Denis where one could be found, he directed us to the 5 acre remnant rainforest in Robertson NSW. It was the only patch of the huge rainforest not cut down by  European settlers in the early days of British colonisation of Australia. We found our vines, and with strict instructions from Denis to be very careful with them, we returned with best buddy George and the two boys spent hours swinging like monkeys. After our visits, Jonny, with no prompting by me, wrote a story about saving the trees and animals of the rainforest from woodcutters. WOW!

In my developing notion of digital storytelling, here are my tales of two forests, four children. 









This was my original version for Denis who says that in all his years as an environmental activist, this was his greatest achievement. It is my favourite digital story: the photos were taken on the many trips we have made to the forest. And I love the music.





And Corning's promo, for the record.



Thanks Denis, we need mentors.




10 comments:

  1. Angela, I love this post. Your pictures of the Rain Forest are exquisite.This is just another way that MOOCS and the Connectivist learning approach can inspire. My youngest daughter, loved the movie Fern Gully. She would watch it over and over. Your photos of Jonny swinging on the vine brought memories flooding back.Our Rain Forests will be just that, a memory, if not for yourself and Denis and other environmental activists. It makes me shrug of the cloak of complacency and stand up and fight. Where do I sign up?

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    1. Thanks Willa. My kids loved Fern Gully, so did I. And so did James Cameron...Avatar was very very similar! It was actually an Australian film.

      I'm sad to say I'm not really an environmental activist, although Denis invites me to marches and blockades. I tell him I'll bring him a cake and a file when he lands in gaol! However, I really believe we can reach people in different ways, the ever widening circle. You see, Jonny and I went to the forest, then we took George. I later learned that the following weekend, George took his family then soon after, George's sister told her teacher who took the class on an excursion there. And who knows how much further it reached. The fact that you know it is all that is left of a HUGE forest has such an impact. You value that you can see, smell, touch and feel the cool air.

      And I'm sure like we all remember Fern Gully, those kids who went to our rainforest will make small decisions that help the environment in some way. Every save the rainforest site I visit says the same thing, make responsible consumption decisions. It seems like not enough, but if we all did it, then lots of things would benefit. I understand that the rain clouds that form from the Amazon drift north and waters the US. Without it, things will be rather different. Worth some action I imagine! http://www.savetherainforest.org/

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  2. Sold! I gotta get better at digital storytelling and presenting my message visually. For the record, I'd seen the video "A Day Made of Glass" a couple of times before, unsurprisingly all in contexts that now seem to have more than a whiff of "technological determinism". Great work.

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    1. Thanks for the tweet Helen. I think there is a lot of power in the visual story. I really want to get better at it. I put a post in fb about it. I want to become good enough that I can ditch the text. I think that is about practice and confidence. So I'm going to keep at it and in my blog, link to all the wonderful writing you guys are doing in your blogs about the weekly topics!

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  3. Remember the first Superman movie where the villans are trapped in glass?
    http://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Phantom.jpg

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    1. I forgot that one Maddie. Interesting when we are talking metaphors this week. Glass is keeps things in or out. A barrier. We are planning a visit to the dinosaur museum in Canberra where you can sift some sand as part of an interactive project looking at a fossil dig in South Australia. I much prefer the hands on approach where the kids get to have some experience of a dig, although I'm sure they will have plenty of tech effects happening there too.

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  4. Thanks Angela - after wallowing in that version of Utopia, I needed this! Best, Sandra

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  5. Nature through the eyes of a child! Beautiful! What an unforgettable experience for Jonny. This video will forever preserve that day, but he will always remember how he felt being there, being with you, his friend and being part of nature...feeling it. That's what we can't forget, that ability to feel the ground under our feet and touch and enjoy the beauty of nature. I see how Denis, your environmentalist friend, would consider this his greatest achievement. What an impact your video has on its own, but even more so when you pair it opposite the Corning ad. Loved it Angela! :)

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    1. Thanks Ary, it is funny, this little patch of temperate rainforest in an inspiration for many creative, intellectual, environmental and experiential discussions. I read a master's thesis on discussions between indigenous and non indigenous elders of the district. The author then expressed feelings of loss of the forest and all that it meant, in a series of beautiful works copied as lithographs. It was one of those ethereal kinds of academic works. Anyhow I was sitting in a cafe one day and my friend pointed out the beautiful, almost abstract drawings on the wall, which I instantly recognised from both my photos and the thesis as being of the rainforest. So we were able to have a conversation about the forest and how it has become almost iconic in motivating people to think and act on conservation through the sotries we tell about it through many different mediums.

      Jonny and I still visit often, It is different every time. The vines move, you never swing in the same spot. I don't know how that works! It is dark, very cool, the birds, the smell, the frogs,insects, fungi, wombats. Wonderful. We need to go at night next time

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  6. Angela. This week I am making it a point to read blogs as well as comment. I realize now that I have been trolling and not leaving my thoughts. So, less tweets and distractions. I want to focus on blogs so that I can become better at the craft. You have such a beautiful gift of sharing, synthesizing and humanising the avalanche of material that is coming at us. Thank you for a beautiful story!!

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